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睦州道明 Muzhou Daoming (780-877)
睦州道蹤 Muzhou Daozong / 陳尊宿 Chen Zunsi / 陳蒲鞋 Chen Puxie

Bokushū Dōmyō/Dōmei
Bokushū Dōshū / Chin Sonshuku / Chin Hoai

Mu-csou Tao-ming / Mu-csou Tao-cung
Csen Cun-sze / Csen Pu-hszie (Bocskoros Csen / Gyékénybocskor Csen)

睦州語錄 Muzhou yulu
(Rōmaji:) Bokushū goroku
(English:) Recorded sayings of Muzhou (also known as Rush-sandal Chen)
(Magyar:) Mu-csou összegyűjtött mondásai


Mu-csou összegyűjtött mondásaiból
Fordította: Terebess Gábor

"Before a Donkey and After a Horse"
Translated by Chang Chung-yuan


Chen Zunsu 陳尊宿 (also known as Muzhou Daozong 睦州道蹤 or Daoming 道明, whose family name was Chen)
Muzhou studied the vinaya as a youth, then became the disciple, and eventually the heir, of Huangbo. Afterwards he lived at the temple Guanyin yuan 觀音院 in Muzhou 睦州, in present Zhejiang, then at Longxing si 龍興寺, a temple that later texts call Kaiyuan si 開元寺. There people called
him Chen Puxie 陳蒲鞋 (Rush-sandal Chen) from the rush sandals he plaited and hung under the eaves of the temple to give or sell to passersby. His methods of handling such students as came to him are described as eccentric, even violent, but he appears to have been much respected among his contemporaries. The Muzhou yulu 睦州語錄 (Recorded sayings of Muzhou) states that he was ninety-eight years old when he died, but does not give the date of his death. According to the Yuan-dynasty work Shishi qigu lue 釋氏稽古略 (An outline of research on the lineage of Śākya) (t 49: 843a.), Muzhou died during the Qianfu 乾符 era (874–879), and this dating is generally accepted.


"Before a Donkey and After a Horse"

(From The Transmission of the Lamp, Chüan 12)
Original Teachings of Ch'an Buddhism. Translated by Chang Chung-yuan. New York: Random House, 1969. pp. 107-115.

THE Old Reverend Master Chên lived at the Lung-hsin
Monastery in Mu-chou.14 He concealed his fame among the
learners of Ch'an and in no way made himself known to the
outside world. He used to make sandals and secretly put them by
the road. After many years, people found out that it was he who
did this. Thus he was called "Sandal Chên." Scholars often came
to ask him questions, to which he would respond instantaneously.
His words were sharp and cutting, indicating that his teachings
were beyond the conventional way of thinking. Therefore, the
shallow and the superficial often laughed at him. But those Ch'an
learners who were highly endowed with talents greatly respected
him. Hence devotees came to him from all directions and called
him Chên Tsun-su, or Old Reverend Master Chên.
One evening the Master said to his assembly:
"All of you! Those who do not yet have insight into Ch'an
must seek it; those who do have it should not be ungrateful to me
afterward." Just then a monk stepped out from the crowd, bowed,
and said, "I will never be ungrateful to you, sir!" The Master rebuked
him, "You have already been ungrateful to me." The
Master then said, "Ever since I came to preside here, I have not
seen one man free from attachment. Why don't you come
forward?" A monk then came up to him. The Master said, "My
supervisor is not here, so you had better go outside the gate and
give yourself twenty blows." The monk protested: "Where is my
mistake?" The Master said, "You have added a lock to your
Often when the Master noticed a Ch'an monk coming to see
him, he would immediately shut his door. Sometimes when he was
visited by a lecturing monk, the Master would call him, "Sir."
When the monk answered the call, the Master would say to him,
"What a lumber carrier!"16 Or sometimes he said, "Here is a
bucket; please fetch me some water."
One day when the Master was standing on the stone steps of
the corridor, a monk came upon him and asked, "Where is the
chamber in which Old Reverend Master Chên lives?" The Master
took off his sandal and beat the monk on the head with it. When
the monk was about to leave, the Master called to him, "Sir!" The
monk turned his head and looked back. The Master pointed to
him and said, "Please leave that way!"
A monk knocked on the door. The Master asked, "Who is it?"
The monk answered, "It is so-and-so." The Master said, "A drill
used for making wheels in the Ts'in Dynasty [
252-207 B.C.]."
One day an envoy sent by the Royal Court asked the Master,
"All three doors are open: through which one should I enter?" The
Master addressed him, "Your Highness!" The officer responded,
"Yes, Master!" The Master said, "You must enter through the door
of faith." The officer saw the mural painting on the wall and
asked, "What are these two aryas17 talking about?" The Master
knocked on the pillar and said, "Each of the Triple Bodies18 of a
Buddha preaches Buddhism."
The Master asked a lecturing monk, "Are you not lecturing
on 'Mere Ideation'?" The answer was "Yes!" The Master said,
"You are not following the first five of the ten commandments."19
The Master asked an abbot, "When one understands, a drop
of water on the tip of a hair contains the great sea, and the great
earth is contained in a speck of dust. What do you have to say
about this?" The abbot answered, "Whom are you asking?" The
Master said, "I am asking you." The abbot said, "Why don't you
listen to me?" The Master said, "Is it you or I who does not listen
to the other's words?"
The Master saw a monk coming toward him and said, "According
to the well-known kung-an you will be given thirty blows." The
monk answered, "I am what I am." The Master said, "Why should
the image of the vajra20 at the monastery gate raise his fist?" The
monk replied, "The vajra is what he is." The Master struck him.
A question was asked: "What is the upward passage?"21 The
Master said, "It is not hard to tell, if I wish to do so." The monk
said, "Please tell me." The Master said, "The third day, the
eleventh, the ninth, and the seventeenth."
Question: "I am not going to ask you how to negate one level
through another level. But how do you not negate one level, if not
through another?"
Answer: "Yesterday I planted the eggplant, today the winter
Question: "What is the real meaning of the teaching of the
Six Patriarchs?"
Answer: "I am fond of anger, but not joy!" The questioner
went on: "Why should you like this?"
Answer: "When you meet a swordsman on the road, you should
show him your sword; when you meet a man who is not a poet,
you should not talk about poetry."
A monk came to visit the Master, who asked him, "Where do
you come from?" The monk answered, "Liu-yang." The Master
asked, "What did the Ch'an master in Liu-yang22 say about the
meaning of Ch'an?" The monk answered, "You can go anywhere,
but you cannot find the road." The Master asked, "Is that what the
old master there really said?" The monk answered, "Yes, it is."
The Master picked up his staff and gave the monk a blow, saying,
"This fellow remembers only words."
The Master asked an abbot, "If a brother monk comes to ask
you something, what would you answer?" The abbot said, "I'll
tell him when he comes." The Master: "Why don't you say it
now?" The abbot said, ''What do you lack, Master?" The Master
said to him, "Please do not bother me with your creepers."23
A monk came to visit the Master, who asked him, "Are you
not one of those monks who travel on foot?" The monk answered,
"Yes." The Master then asked him, "Have you bowed to the
image of Buddha?" The monk answered, "Why should I bow to
that lump of clay?" The Master exclaimed, "Go away and give
yourself blows!"
A monk asked, "I give lectures, as well as travel on foot. How
is it that I do not understand the teaching of Buddhism?" The
Master said, "If your words are true, you should repent." The
monk asked, "Please tell me how to do it." The Master said, "If
you do not understand, I will shut my mouth without a word."
The monk insisted, "Please tell me." The Master said, "If you are
not ungrateful, you will not appear ashamed."
Question: "What is that which can be expressed in one word?"
Answer: "The meaning is lost."
The questioner went on: "Where is the lost meaning?"
Answer: "Who deserves thirty blows?"
Question: "Are the teachings of Buddha and the teachings of
the Patriarch [Bodhidharma] the same?"
Answer: "A green mountain is a green mountain, and white
clouds are white clouds."
The monk continued: "What is a green mountain?"
The Master: "Return a drop of rain to me."
The monk: "I cannot say it. Please say it yourself."
The Master: "The 'troops' that stay in the front of the Peak of
the Dharma-Flower will be recalled after the word of nirvana is
The Master asked a monk, "Where were you this summer?"
The monk answered, "I will tell you when you have a place to
The Master: "The fox is not the same as the lion, and lamplight
cannot be compared to the brightness of the sun and moon."
The Master asked a newly arrived monk where he came from.
The monk stared at him. The Master said, "You are a fellow
running before a donkey and after a horse." The monk said, "Please
look at me." The Master said, "You, fellow, running before the
donkey and after the horse, say something to me." The monk gave
no answer.
When the Master was reading the sutras, the Minister Chen
Tsao24 asked him, "Master! What sutra are you reading?" The
Master said, "The Diamond Sutra!"25 The Minister said, "The
Diamond Sutra was translated in the Sixth Dynasty;26 which edition
are you using?" The Master lifted up the book and said, "All
things produced by causation are simply an illusive dream and the
shadow of a bubble."
When the Master was reading the Nirvana Sutra,27 a monk
asked him what sutra he was reading. The Master picked up the
book and said, "This is the last one for cremation."
The Master asked a newly arrived monk, "Where did you go
for this summer session?"
The monk: "To Ching-shan."28
The Master: "How many disciples were there?"
The monk: "Four hundred."
The Master: "This fellow eats dinner at night."29
The monk: "In your honorable assembly, how can you even
mention a fellow who eats dinner at night?"
The Master raised his staff and chased the monk off.
Master Mu-chou heard of an old Ch'an master who was
practically unapproachable. He went to visit him. When the old
Ch'an master saw Mu-chou entering his chamber, he immediately
uttered, "Ho!" Mu-chou slapped him with his hand, and said,
"What an imitation this is." The old master said, "Where is my
fault?" Mu-chou scolded him, "You! You wild fox spirit!" After
saying this, Master Mu-chou returned home immediately.
The Master asked a monk where he had been recently.
The monk: "Kiangsi."30
The Master: "How many sandals have you worn out?"
The monk made no answer.
The Master shared his tea with a lecturer monk, and said, "I
cannot save you."
The monk: "I do not understand. Please explain, Master." The
Master picked up a cream cake and showed it to him, asking,
"What is this?"
The monk said, "A material object."
The Master said, "You are the kind of fellow who boils in hot
A high-ranking monk, who had been given a purple robe by
the court, carne to the Master and bowed to him. The Master took
hold of the ribbon of the monk's hat and showed it to him, saying,
"What is this called?"
The monk: "A court hat."
The Master: "If that's so, then I will not take it off."
The Master asked him what he was studying.
The monk answered, "The Teaching of Mere Ideation."31
The Master: "What is this?"
The monk: "The Triple World is nothing else but mind, and
all things are but consciousness."
The Master pointed at the door and asked, "What is this?"
The monk: "This is a material object."
The Master: "In the court, the purple robe was bestowed on
you; to the Emperor you have spoken the sutra. Why do you not
keep the five cornrnandrnents?"32
The monk made no answer.
A monk asked, "I just carne to the assembly. Please give me
The Master: "You don't know how to ask a question."
The monk: "How would you ask it?"
The Master: "I will release you from thirty blows. Give them to
yourself and get out of here."
A monk asked, "Please explain the basic principles of the teaching
of tbe Buddha."
The Master said, "You may ask me and I will tell you."
The monk: "Please, Master, say it."
The Master: "Burning incense in the Buddha Hall and joining
your hands outside the gate of the rnonastery."33
A question was asked: "What word illustrates?"
The Master: "To evaluate a man's talent, give him an appropriate
The monk went on: "How can one be free from the trap of
verbal illustration?"
The Master said, "May I beg you to accept this offer?"34
The Master called Chaio-shan to him, and also called a boy
to bring in an ax. The boy brought him an ax and said, "There is
nothing to measure with, so you will only be able to cut roughly."
The Master shouted, "Ho!" and called the boy back, saying,
"What is your ax?"
The boy held the ax as if he were chopping with it.
The Master: "You should not cut off the head of your old
A question was asked: "What is the direct way to the Truth?"
The Master said, "To evaluate a man's talent and give him an
appropriate position."
The question was rephrased: "What is not the direct way to the
The Master: "May I beg you to accept this offer?"
A newly arrived monk visited the Master, who asked him, "Are
you newly arrived?" The answer was, "Yes, Master!"
The Master said, "Cast off your creepers. 35 Can you understand
The monk said, "I do not understand."
The Master said, "Carry a cangue, present a statement of your
crime, and get out of here by yourself." As the monk was leaving,
the Master said to him, "Come back, come back. I really want to
ask you where you come from." The monk answered that he was
from Kiangsi. The Master said, "Master Pê-t'an36 is at your back,
and he is afraid that you might say something wrong. Have you
seen him?" The monk made no answer.
Someone asked, "When the image of the guardian spirit [vajra]
at the temple door wields the thunderbolt, he possesses all the
power of heaven and earth. When he does not wield it, nothing
happens. What does this mean?'' The Master cried out, "Hum!
Hum!37 I have never heard such a question before." Then he continued:
"To leap forward three thousand times first, and then
retreat backward eight hundred steps: what does this mean?'' The
monk said, "Yes!" The Master said, "First I will rebuke your crime
with a written statement, and then I will grant you blows." The
monk was about to leave, but the Master called him back: "Come
here! I'll share your creepers. When we wield the thunderbolt we
possess all the power of heaven and earth. Can you tell me how
deep the water is in Lake Tung-ting?"38 The monk said, "I have
not measured it." The Master said, "Then what is Lake Tung-ting?"
The monk answered, "It exists just for this moment." The
Master said, "Even this simple creeper you cannot understand."
He gave the monk a blow.
A question was asked: "What word is entirely free from attachment?"
The Master said, "I would not say it this way."
The monk pressed, "Then how would you say it?"
The Master answered, "An arrow is shot through India for
about a hundred thousand miles, but you wait for it in the great
kingdom of T'ang."
A monk knocked on the Master's door. The Master asked,
"What is it?" The monk answered, "I do not yet understand my
own affairs of life and death. Please, Master, guide me." The
Master replied, "What I have for you here is a stick." Then he
opened the door. The monk was going to challenge him. The
Master immediately slapped his mouth.
A question was asked: "What character neither completes i nor
resembles pa?"39 The Master snapped his fingers once and asked,
"Do you understand this?" The monk answered that he did not
understand it. The Master said, "To ascend to heaven and present
a memorial to the throne for the infinite surpassing cause, a frog
jumps into the Brahman Heaven and an earthworm passes through
the East Sea."
The Abbot Hsi-feng came to visit the Master. The Master
offered him a seat and refreshments, saying, "Where were you
teaching Ch'an this summer?" The Abbot answered, "Lan-ch'i."
The Master went on: "How many people were there?" The Abbot:
"About seventy." "What did you teach your disciples then?" The
Abbot picked up an orange and presented it to him, saying, "It's
done." The Master rebuked him: "Why should you be in such a
A newly arrived monk came to visit the Master. As he was bowing,
the Master cried out, "Why should you steal the ever abiding
fruit40 to eat?" The monk said, "I just arrived here. Why should
you, Master, steal the fruit?" The Master said, "The stolen goods
are here."
The Master asked the monk, "Where have you just come
from?" The monk said, "From Mount Yang." The Master went
on: "Why don't you follow the five commandments?" The monk
replied, "In what way did I lie to you?" The Master said, "This
place does not defile a novice."

[The Master entered nirvana in his ninety-eighth year. See the
Amalgamation of the Sources of the Five Lamps, Chüan 4.]


14. Now Chien-te (Kienteh), located west of Shun-an in Chekiang
15. The cangue is a wooden frame that confines the neck, formerly used
as a punishment in China.
16. This is a T'ang colloquial expression which indicates one-sidedness:
a coolie can carry lumber on one shoulder only.
17. An arya is an honorable person, such as an arhat.
18. The Triple Bodies (Trikaya) of the Buddha are dharmakaya, or the
Body of Essence; sambhogakaya, or the Body of Bliss; and nirmanakaya, or
the Body of Magical Transformation.
19. The first five commandments are against killing, stealing, adultery,
lying, and intoxicating liquors.
20. The vajra is the guardian spirit of the Buddhist order, who holds a
large thunderbolt in his hand.
21. The Ch'an master Pan-san once said: "As for the upward passage,
a thousand saints could not give it to you. The learners toiled in search of it.
The result was the same as when the monkey was trying to catch the moon."
In other words, "the upward passage" is the Ch'an expression for the way
leading to ultimate enlightenment.
22. A town east of Ch'ang-sha in Hunan Province.
23. This is the expression used by Ch'an Buddhists to indicate that our
intellectual arguments lead to others, like a vine that never ends.
24. Chen Tsao was governor of Mu-chou at that time. He was a statesman
and a Buddhist scholar, as was Pei Hsiu. See The Lamp, Chüan 12.
25. The Diamond Sutra sets forth the doctrines of Sunyata, emptiness,
and prajna, wisdom.
26. The Six Dynasties were the Wu, Eastern Chin, Sung, Ch'i, Liang,
and Ch'ên. These dynasties had Chien-kang, now Nanking, as their capital.
27. The Mahaparinirvana Sutra, first translated into Chinese by Dharmaraksa
in 423, advocated the doctrine that the dharmakaya is everlasting
and that all human beings possess the Buddha-nature.
28. Ching-shan Hung-yen became the chief abbot in Ching Mountain
in 865. Ching Mountain was located in Hangchow.
29. According to Ch'an monastery rules, the monks only eat two meals
a day, breakfast and lunch. They have no third meal, but in the afternoon
they eat some biscuits. Those who eat dinner at night are considered immoral.
30. In the T'ang Dynasty, Kiangsi was one of the centers for the study
of Ch'an, where great masters such as Ma-tsu presided.
31. The doctrine of Vijnaptimatra, or Mere Ideation (Wei-shih in
Chinese), originated in India as the Yogacara School.
32. See above, note 19. Among the five commandments is "Do not tell
a lie."
33. A practice meant to express piety and devotion. It was also a gesture
of salutation.
34. The original text, fu wei shang hsiang, is the usual expression used
as the last sentence in every eulogy. Because this is such a common expression,
it does not have any particular meaning as used by Mu-chou.
35. See above, note 23.
36. According to The Lamp, Chüan 6, Fa-huei and Wei-chien were both
abbots of Pê-t'an in Hung-chou, and both disciples of Mu-chou. Therefore
either Fa-huei or Wei-chien can be referred to as Master Pê-t'an. We do not
know to whom Mu-chou makes reference in this context.
37· Hum is the last syllable of Om-mani-padme-hum, which is the Jewel
in the Lotus, a mantra of Tantric Buddhism. It is interpreted as the bodhi
of all Buddhas, with magical power when spoken.
38. One of the large lakes of the Yangtze River valley in central China,
in northern Hunan Province.
39· The character for i has five strokes and that for pa two strokes. There
is, however, a partial resemblance between the two characters.
40. This indicates the fruits of cultivating Buddhahood: in other words,
enlightenment, variously referred to as bodhi, tathata, nirvana, etc.


Muzhou Daoming (780-877)
compiled by Satyavayu of Touching Earth Sangha

Little is known about the early life of Master Muzhou Daoming, but he was a prominent disciple of Master Huangbo Xiyun, and served as the head monk at Huangbo’s monastery in Jiangxi. After training with master Huangbo, Daoming settled at the Dragon Rising (Longxing) Monastery in his home town of Muzhou (in eastern Zhejiang Province) and began to teach.
Master Muzhou soon gained a reputation for a severe teaching style. It was said that he could tell the disposition of a student by the student's footsteps as he approached the master’s room. When the student came near, Muzhou was known to slam the door shut and shout, “Nobody’s here!”

Once the Master Muzhou Daoming ascended the hall to give a talk and said, “Since I’ve been abbot, I’ve never seen someone without an issue come before me. Why can’t one of you come forward?”
A monk then came forward. Muzhou said, ‘The monastery director isn’t here, so take yourself out the front gate give yourself twenty hits with the staff.”
The monk asked, “What did I do wrong?”
Muzhou said, “Your head’s already in a prisoner’s stock, and now you're putting your hands in shackles.”

Master Muzhou once asked a newly arrived monk, “Where have you come from?”
The monk shouted.
Muzhou said, “That’s a shout on me.”
The monk shouted again.
Muzhou said, “Three shouts, four shouts...what then?”
The monk said nothing.
Muzhou struck him and said, “You thieving phony!”

Once a lecturing priest who had received imperial honers came to visit Master Muzhou. The master.asked him, “What doctrine do you expound?”
The priest said, “The Consciousness-Only (Vijnanavada) doctrine.”
Muzhou said, “What do you say about it?”
The priest said, “The three worlds are mind only. All the myriad phenomena are only consciousness.”
Muzhou pointed to the screen door and asked, “What’s that?”
The priest said, “A form phenomena.”
Muzhou said, “You received a purple robe and taught scripture to the emperor. Why can’t you uphold the five precepts?”
The priest couldn’t answer.

One day the head monk came to Master Muzhou for an interview. Muzhou asked, “Can you expound on the Consciousness-Only doctrine?”
The monk said, “I dare not.”
Muzhou said, ‘In the morning traveling to the the Western Pure Land. In the evening, returning to the land of Tang China. Do you understand?”
The monk said, “No, I don’t understand.”
Muzhou said, “Oh! Breaking the five precepts!”

Once Master Muzhou asked a visiting scholar, “What scripture do you specialize in?”
The scholar said, “The Book of Changes” (Yijing)
Muzhou said, “In the Book of Changes it says, ‘Families use it everyday and yet do not understand it.’ What is it that they don’t understand?”
The scholar said, “They don’t understand the Way.”
Muzhou asked, “How do you understand the Way?”
The scholar couldn’t respond.
Muzhou said, “Just as I suspected - no understanding.”

At some point in later life the master left the monastery and returned to a lay lifestyle, living in his family home and supporting himself by fixing sandals. As his family name was Chen, he became known to many as Honored Elder Chen, and he continued to teach those devoted students who sought him out. His long life and teaching career lasted even to an important role in the early life of the famous master Yunmen Wenyan.



Mu-csou összegyűjtött mondásaiból
Fordította: Terebess Gábor
Vö.: Folyik a híd, Officina Nova, Budapest, 1990, 60-61. oldal

Ráérő idejében Mu-csou mester gyékénybocskort fonogatott, és suttyomban kirakott egy-egy párat az országút szélére. Teltek-múltak az évek, míg egyszer rajtakapták, és azontúl Bocskoros Csennek csúfolták.

– Honnan jöttél? – kérdezett Mu-csou egy szerzetest.
– Liujangból.
– Mit mond a csan mester Liujangban?
– „Mehetsz bárhová, útra úgyse találsz.”
– Tényleg ezt mondta?
– Ezt.
A mester kapta a botját és fejbe kólintotta a szerzetest:
– Csak a szavakra emlékszel – jegyezte meg.

Néhanapján, ha prédikáló szerzetes látogatott a kolostorba, Mu-csou mester megszólította:
– Tisztelendő úr!
Amikor a szerzetes válaszolt a hívására, azt mondta:
– Nem látsz a gerendától, amit a válladon cipelsz.

– Nem kérem, hogy az újjal tagadd meg a régit – mondta egy szerzetes –, de hogy fogadod el az újat, ha nem veted el a régit?
– Tegnap padlizsánt vetettem, ma meg tököt – mondta Mu-csou.

Mu-csounak panaszkodott egy szerzetes:
– Mindennap öltözni, vetkezni és enni kell. Hogy szabaduljunk meg ettől a sok nyűgtől?
– Egyszerűen csak öltözünk, vetkezünk és eszünk – közölte Mu-csou.
– Nem értem.
– Ha nem érted, akkor bizony mindennap öltöznöd, vetkezned és enned kell.