A monk asked: “A dog too has Buddha-nature, no?” And with the master’s enigmatic one-word response begins the great No-Gate Gateway (Wu-men Kuan), ancient China’s classic foray into the inexpressible nature of mind and reality. Wu-men Kuan (Mumonkan) has been the most widely used koan collection in Zen Buddhism for nearly eight hundred years; and with its comic storytelling and wild poetry, it is also a remarkably compelling literary masterwork.
In his radical new translation, David Hinton invests this classic for the first time with the philosophical framework of its native China, and this represents a whole new way of understanding Zen, transforming generic “Zen perplexity” into a more approachable and earthy mystery. And with the poetic abilities he has honed in his many translations, Hinton brilliantly recreates the book’s literary power, making it an irresistable reading experience capable of surprising readers into a sudden awakening that is beyond logic and explanation.
— from the book jacket
Praise for No-Gate Gateway
“I love this book! The classic koans of the No-Gate Gateway are translated by poet and scholar David Hinton in a unique and powerful way. The book includes a brilliant introduction and rich notes that that open doors to the heart of Zen.”
—Roshi Joan Halifax
“David Hinton is a fabulous translator. This book is luminous and transparent. You can see the light of the original Chinese masters shining through.”
—Roshi John Tarrant
“[Hinton is a] rare example of a literary Sinologist—that is, a classical scholar thoroughly conversant with, and connected to, contemporary literature in English.”
—Eliot Weinberger (New York Review of Books)