The Gateless Gate

13th century Chinese collection of 48 koans

The Gateless Gate (無門關, Mandarin. Wumenguan, Japanese. Mumonkan) is a collection of 48 Chan (Zen) koans compiled in the early 13th century by Chinese monk Wumen (無門).


  • A good horse runs even at the shadow of the whip.
    • Chapter 0.
  • Has a dog Buddha-nature?
    This is the most serious question of all.
    If you say yes or no,
    You lose your own Buddha-nature.
    • Chapter 1.
  • To understand clearly one has to have just one eye.
    • Chapter 2.
  • When you can give the right answer, even though your past road was one of death, you open up a new road of life.
    • Chapter 5.
  • Keichu, the first wheel-maker of China, made two wheels of fifty spokes each. Now, suppose you removed the nave uniting the spokes. What would become of the wheel? And had Keichu done this, could he be called the master wheel-maker?
    • Chapter 8.
  • The path does not belong to the perception world, neither does it belong to the nonperception world. Cognition is a delusion and noncognition is senseless. If you want to reach the true path beyond doubt, place yourself in the same freedom as sky. You name it neither good nor not-good.
    • Chapter 19.
  • However profound the complicated knowledge of the world, compared to this enlightenment it is like one drop of water to the great ocean.
    • Chapter 28.
  • When the question is sand in a bowl of boiled rice, the answer is a stick in the soft mud.
    • Chapter 31.

See also

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