The Gateless Gate (The Gateless Barrier), is a collection of 48 Zen koans compiled in the early 13th century by the Chinese Zen master Wumen Huikai. The title has a double meaning and can also be understood as Wumen’s Barrier; the compiler’s name, which literally means “No Gate”, is the same as the title’s first two characters. Wumen’s preface indicates that the volume was published in 1228. Each koan is accompanied by a commentary and verse by Wumen.
“A new translation of one of the great koan collections–by the premier translator of the Chinese classics–that reveals it to be a literary and philosophical masterwork beyond its association with Chan/Zen. Zen is famous for its koans, those seemingly confounding statements, questions, or stories that masters use to gauge their students’ practice. Here, the lauded modern master of Chinese poetry translation asks us to reimagine one of the greatest of the koan collections in a new way: as a classic of Chinese philosophical literature in the tradition of the Tao Te Ching or the Chuang Tzu. He presents the No-Gate Gateway (variously also familiar to readers as the Mumonkan, Wu-men Kuan, Gateless Gate, or Gateless Barrier), in a “bare bones” version, without the usual additional commentary, not intended to be studied in the usual case-by-case method, but to be read as a complete work in itself, one that leads the reader carefully on a path to the discovery of the deep nature of reality–an unconventional way of reading it that can be truly revelatory”– Provided by publisher.