Overview by Case-Number, Title and Text
Spare a smoke, Bud?
Koan-List of Mumonkan Cases: 1 to 24
(Go to - Cases: 25 to 48) (Go to - Introduction)
Case 1: Joshu's MU
Zen master Joshu was asked, "Has a dog Buddha nature?" Joshu replied: "MU"
Case 2: Hyakujo's Fox
"Does a perfectly enlightened person fall under the law of causation or not?"
Hyakujo said: "The enlightened person is one with the law of causation."
Case 3: Gutei's Finger
Master Gutei cut off a boy's finger.
Why was the boy enlightened, when Gutei raised his finger?
Case 4: Wakuan's Barbarian with no Beard
Wakuan saw a picture of Bodhidharma and said, "Why has the barbarian from the West no beard?"
Case 5: Kyogen's Man in a Tree
Kyogen said: "A man's hanging in a tree only by his teeth. Somebody asked him:
'Why did Bodhidharma come to China?' What shall he answer?"
Case 6: Buddha Twirled a Flower
Buddha twirled a flower. Only MahaKashyapa smiled. Why made him Buddha his successor?
Case 7:Joshu's Wash your Bowl
Monk: Please teach me! Joshu: Have you had your porridge?
Monk: Yes, master. Joshu: Wash your bowl!
Case 8: Keichu Makes a Cart
Keichu made a cart. Each wheel had 50 spokes. If you remove the wheels and every thing else. What does it tell about Keichu?
Case 9: A Buddha before History
Asked, why Daitsu, a Buddha before history, didn't realize the truth, Seijo said: "Because he did not."
Case 10:Sozan and Zeizei
Seizei said to Sozan, 'I'm alone and poor. Please help.' Sozan shouted: 'Seizei!' - Seizei said: 'Yes, sir?'
Case 11: Joshu Examines two Hermits
Johu asked two hermits: What's up? Both raised a fist. Joshu said: "Schallow water!" to the first, "Fully enlightened!"to the other."
Case 12: Zuigan Calls himself Master
Zuigan called himself daily: "Master!" and answered himself: "Yes, Sir!"
Case 13: Tokusan's Last Word
Tokusan went to dinner too early.
Ganto said:"Old Tokusan doesn't know the last word."
What is the last word?
Case 14: Nansen Cuts the Cat in Two
Nansen said: "With a word of Zen, you save this cat." Silence. Nansen cut the cat in two.
Case 15: Tozan's Blows
Ummon said: "You don't get three blows." Tozan asked: "Why do you spare me?"
Ummon scolded him. Why was Tozan suddenly enlightened?
Case 16: Bells and Robes
Ummon said, "The world is vast and wide.
Why do you put on your seven-piece robe at the sound of the bell?"
Case 17: Three Calls of the Emperor's Teacher
Chu called Oshin, three times. Oshin always said, "Yes!"
Chu said, "First I disappointed you. Now you disappointe me."
Case 18: Tozan's three pound of Flax
A monk asked Tozan, "What is the Buddha?"
"Masagin!" (Three pounds of flax.)" Why?
Case 19: Ordinary Mind is the Way
Joshu asked Nansen, "What is the Way?"
Nansen said, "Your ordinary mind is the Way.
Case 20: Shogen's Lift a Leg
Shogen said,"Why can a strong man not lift his leg?"
He added: "It's not the tongue that speaks."
Case 21: Ummon's Dried Shit
A monk asked Ummon: "What is Buddha?"
Ummon answered: "Dried shit."
Case 22: Kashyapa's Temple Pole
Kashyapa shouted:"Ananda!" Ananda answered: "Yes, Sir?"
Kashyapa said: "Knock down the temple pole!"
Case 23: Myo's Run After Eno
Eno asked Myo: "What was your original face, when you ran after me?"
At these words Myo was illumined.
Case 24: Fuketsu Remembers Springtime
What is the truth without talking?
Fuketsu says: I remember flowers and birds in spring.
Koan-List of Mumonkan Cases: 25 to 48
(Go to - Cases: 1 to 24) (Go to - Introduction)