47 Tosotsu's Three Gates

What's your true nature, your death, your life after death?
(The Koan-answer is the picture's caption!)


Remove gras, dye, go for breakfast

The background story of this Koan

Tosotsu built three barriers and made the monks pass through them. The first barrier is studying Zen. In studying Zen the aim is to see one's own true nature. Now where is your true nature? Secondly, when one realizes his own true nature he will be free from birth and death. Now when you shut the light from your eyes and become a corpse, how can you free yourself? Thirdly, if you free yourself from birth and death, you should know where you are. Now your body separates into the four elements. Where are you?

What next?

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Zen Riddle #58-well2 :
Why does a clearly enlightened monk falls into a well.
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The original Chinese Goang

Venerable Doushuai Yue established three checkpoint questions for students:
Pushing aside the grass and visiting the obscure is simply a plan to see your nature; now quickly, at what place is the nature of the superior person?
Awareness of one’s own nature is a method to be freed from birth and death; when the light of the eye declines with time, how do you get freed from birth?
To get liberation from birth and death is thus to be aware of the place you will go; when the four great (elements) separate and you depart, what direction and place will you go? What next?

Traditional Commentaries and .... Poems (Gata)

Mumon's comment:Whoever can pass these three barriers will be a master wherever he stands.
Whatever happens about him he will turn into Zen.

Wumen says:If you can be able to issue these three turning words then you can continue to accord with the established place and if you run into a master you immediately draw near to the lineage.
If this is maybe not yet so, with rude dining it is easy to eat one’s fill, with minute bites it is difficult and one is starving.

What next?

The Gata

An instant realization sees endless time.
Endless time is as one moment.
When one comprehends the endless moment
He realizes the person who is seeing it.

One thought moment observes all measureless kalpas,
The business of measureless kalpas is immediately the now of thusness,
Thus now, the now of thusness, now witness each single thought moment laid bare,
Witness the now of thusness laid bare, witness the basic person.

What next?