Gateless Gate 21

Gateless Gate (Mumonkan, Wumenguan) #21
Yunmen's Kanshiketsu

  • YUNMEN Wenyan (Ummon Bunen, 864-949, 13th gen), disciple of Xuefeng
  • an unnamed monk
Case (Senzaki)
A monk asked Yunmen, “What is Buddha?”
Yunmen answered, “Dried dung."[1]
[1] "Kanshiketsu!" (Sekida); "'Kanshiketsu!' (a shit stick)" (Low); "'Kanshiketsu!' (a dried shit-stick)" (Yamada); "'A shit-stick!' (Kanshiketsu!)" (Shibayama); "Dried shitstick" (Aitken); "A dry turd" (Cleary).

Wumen's Comment (Senzaki)
It seems to me Yunmen was so poor he could not distinguish the taste of one food from another, or else he was too busy to write legibly. He tried to uphold his school with dried dung. His teaching was just as useless."
Wumen's Verse (Senzaki)
Lightning flashes.
In the blink of an eye
You have missed it.

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