(My) art for (“alternative”) zen (school) students from “The Gateless Gate”

The words in this “art” are a mishmash of mostly these two translations of “Nansen Cuts the Cat in Two” from The Gateless Gate:



The Gateless Gate by Ekai, called Mumon [PDF from consciouslivingfoundation.org]

Nansen Cuts the Cat in Two

Nansen saw the monks of the eastern and western halls fighting over a cat. He seized the cat and told the monks: ‘If any of you say a good word, you can save the cat.’

No one answered. So Nansen boldly cut the cat in two pieces.

That evening Joshu returned, and Nansen told him about this. Joshu removed his sandals and, placing them on his head, walked out.

Nansen said: ‘If you had been there, you could have saved the cat.’


Mumon’s Comment: Why did Joshu put his sandals on his head? If anyone answers this question, he will understand exactly how Nansen enforced the edict. If not, he should watch his own head.

Had Joshu been there,

He would have enforced the edict oppositely.

Joshu snatches the sword

And Nansen begs for his life.


From THE GATELESS GATE Translated by Eiichi Shimomissé 1998:

NANSEN CUTS THE CAT IN TWO

Nansen saw the monks of the eastern and western halls fighting over a baby cat. He seized the cat and said, “If (any of) you can say (a word of Zen), you can spare the cat. Otherwise I will kill it.” No one could answer. So Nansen cut the cat in two .

That evening Joshu returned and Nansen told him what had happened. Joshu thereupon took off his sandals and, placing them on his head, walked away. Nansen said, “If only you had been there, you could have saved the cat.”


Mumon’s Comment:

Why did Joshu put his sandals on his head? If you can answer this question with one word, you understand Nansen’s efforts. If not, you are utterly in danger.

Had Joshu been there,

The opposite would have been done.

Joshu would have snatched the knife,

And Nansen would have begged for his life.

Published by josh dippold

IntegratingPresence.com

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