Striding Through The Universe: There is Nothing Stopping You.

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Striding Through The Universe: There is Nothing Stopping You.

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By Daniel Scharpenburg

 

大道無門   The Great Way is gateless,

千差有路   Approached in a thousand ways.

透得此關   Once past this checkpoint

乾坤獨歩   You stride through the universe.

[1]

 

This is a quote from the introduction to The Gateless Gate.

The Gateless Gate was written (or put together) in China in the 13th century by a monk named Mumon Ekai. The stories in the Gateless Gate are often a central teaching in Zen training even today. It’s a collection of 48 koans with commentaries.

When I first read this quote, I liked it. I had no idea what it meant, but I liked it. It sounds poetic as hell, doesn’t it? The whole text, The Gateless Gate is poetic and profound like this.

So, for years I didn’t really think much about what this text meant. I just thought it was a really cool quote to think about—but I’m going to analyze it for you, now. Keep in mind this has been analyzed by countless people, many of them much more knowledgeable than me. Here we go.

The Great Way Is Gateless

There is nothing stopping you. Enlightenment is right here. We think there are barriers to our practice or that we have something to gain, but the truth is that the door to Enlightenment is already open. The gate is gateless. The only thing preventing us from attaining Enlightenment here and now is our own delusion.

Approached In A Thousand Ways

There are many different ways of engaging the mystic’s journey. That is neither good nor bad. Regardless of how you come upon it, the gateless gate is there for anyone to pass through.

Once Past This Checkpoint

There are several ways this can be taken. I think the checkpoint is when you’ve made a decision to take refuge and become a Buddhist. Some have argued that the checkpoint is when you pick up The Gateless Gate for the first time. Others have argued that the checkpoint is when you have your first Kensho, or Enlightenment experience. These interpretations are as good as mine.

You Stride Through The Universe

We have the power to dwell in Enlightenment, now. Striding through the universe is living as the mystics—engaging life while trying to overcome our delusions. Striding through the universe is living in the world as it really is, putting down our preconceived notions and  just living in reality.

 

FOOTNOTES

  1. Katsuki, Sekida (translator). Two Zen Classics: The Gateless Gate and the Blue Cliff Records. (Boulder, CO: Shambhala, 2005).

 

Photo: yohelava/tumblr

Editor: Dana Gornall

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Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel Scharpenburg is an independent dharma teacher in Kansas City. He regularly gives teachings through the Open Heart Project. Daniel has a BA in English from KU and handles paperwork for a living. Once a Novice Monk in the Korean Zen tradition, Daniel dropped out of monk school to become a regular person.
Daniel has taken the vows of a lay zen teacher and Bodhisattva Vows.

Find out more about Daniel on his blog and connect with him on Facebook, Youtube,andTwitter

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By | 2016-10-14T07:49:41+00:00 November 12th, 2015|blog, Buddhism, Featured, Striding Through The Universe|0 Comments

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