Gateless Gate 21

Gateless Gate (Mumonkan, Wumenguan) #21
Yunmen's "Shit-Stick"

  • YUNMEN Wenyan (Ummon Bunen, 864-949, 13th gen), disciple of Xuefeng
  • an unnamed monk
Case (Yamada/Sato)
A monk asked Yunmen in all earnestness, “What is Buddha?”
Yunmen said, “Shit-Stick” [Kanshiketsu]
Wumen's Comment (Yamada/Sato)
It should be said of Unmon that he was too poor to prepare even the plainest food and too busy to write a draft. Suddenly he took up the shit-stick to support the gate (of Buddhism). You can see how the Dharma has decayed.
Wumen's Verse (Yamada/Sato)
Lightning flashing,
Sparks shooting from a flint;
A moment's blinking –
It's already missed.

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