White Wind Zen Community

A Community practising and teaching Dogen’s Zen since 1985

Wumenguan (Mumonkan): Case 41: Bodhidharma's Pacifying the Mind

無門關: 四十一 達磨安心

translated by Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi

Bodhidharma sat facing the wall.
The Second Ancestor [Dazu Huike] stood in the snow.
He cut off his arm and said, My mind has no peace as yet! I beg you, Master, please put it to rest!
Bodhidharma said, Bring your mind here and I will pacify it for you.
The Second Ancestor said, I have searched for my mind, and I cannot take hold of it.
Bodhidharma said, Now your mind is pacified.

Wumen's Comment 無門曰、

This broken-toothed old barbarian, proudly puffed, came a hundred thousand miles over the sea.
This was raising waves where there was no wind.
In his last years he managed a disciple, but he was a cripple [defective in the six roots]. Crude.
The family's third son [Xuesanlang, Hsieh San-lang, Shasanro], unable to read four characters.

Wumen's Appended Verse 頌曰

西來直指 Coming from the west and directly pointing,
事因囑起 All this trouble comes from this.
撓聒叢林 The clamour in the monasteries
元來是□ Is all because of you.

The Wumenguan 無門關 or Mumonkan, the Gateless Barrier or Gateless Gate, is a collection of 48 koan and commentaries by the Chinese monk Wumen Huikai (無門慧開) (1183-1260). It was published in 1228 and so was too late for Dogen to encounter in China, although copies later made their way to Japan in 1254.