The Gateless Barrier: The Wu-Men Kuan (Mumonkan) (Paperback)
The Gateless Barrier is generally acknowledged to be the fundamental koan collection in the literature of Zen. Gathered together by Wu-men (Mumon), a thirteenth-century master of the Lin-chi (Rinzai) school, it is composed of forty-eight koans, or cases, each accompanied by a brief comment and poem by Wu-men.
Robert Aitken, one of the premier American Zen masters, has translated Wu-men's text, supplementing the original with his own commentary -- the first such commentary by a Western master -- making the profound truths of Zen Buddhism accessible to serious contemporary students and relevant to current social concerns.
“Aitken Roshi poses these koans in a manner accessible to Westerners through his depiction of his personal struggles with them (as a student) and his approach to them as a teacher. His commentary allows the transformative power of this traditional koan collection to come alive for modern students.” —Joko Beck, author of Everyday Zen
“[Aiken] has cultivated the moon of Zen for over half a century. I trust the rich and juicy harvest . The Gateless Barrier will be the door to open the Treasure House which has neither inside nor outside.” —Hakuyu Taizan Maezumi, Abbot, Zen Center of Los Angeles