by Andrew Merz
We must carry an iron yoke with no hole,
It is not a slight matter, the curse is passed
on to our descendants;
If you want to support the gate and sustain
You must climb a mountain of swords with
When asked about the challenges of teaching Zen, Josh Munen Bartok sensei, one of the four guiding teachers of Boundless Way Zen (BWZ), recalls these rather severe lines from The Gateless Gate, a thirteenth-century koan collection compiled by the Chinese master Wumen.