Mumon

‘Buddhism makes mind its foundation and no-gate its gate. Now how do you pass through this no-gate? It is said that things coming in through the gate can never be your own treasures. What is gained from external circumstances will perish in the end. However such as saying is already raising waves where there is no wind. It is cutting unblemished skin. As for those who try to understand through other people’s words, they are striking at the moon with a stick; scratching an itch on the foot through the sole of the shoe.’ (Preface to the Gateless Gate)

I was thinking of this passage, with its unforgettable simile, as I gather material for my next talk in San Rafael on June 18th. The third Bodhisattva vow is ‘Dharma gates are boundless, I vow to enter them.’ So – how do we pass through a no-gate?

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