"Where? Where can I enter the way?
How? How can I study?"
Kyosei asked a question in turn: “ What is the noise outside?”
“That’s the voice of the raindrops, that’s the rain” the student said.
“Enter from there” Kyosei replied.
A gate. But that gate, unlike any other, doesn’t lead anywhere. Gateless gate.Kyosei doesn’t actually point at the objective thing called “rain” ( how could rain be perceived as something happening" over there", anyway?) I believe that this good old fox is pointing at the activity of the self. Listen to the word "enter".The activity cannot meet its end, you cannot enter through the gate of rain. The curtain made of rain drops won't let you through. You are too big anyway. Therefore, you simply, utterly endlessly “enter”. Pure direction without destination or goal.
Of course, the world is full of gates. Our existence is not gatefree. Each moment in its illusionary nature appears to be a gate although you cannot see anybody passing through. Winter does not become Spring. A child does not grow into a teenager. You cannot see those things because they have no substance.
But it is also true that every moment as fleeting and unreal as it is, is also a precious opportunity to practice and enter: raindrops, traffic noise, kids shouting, loud this and musical that, a simple apple or a delicacy, a stroll or a rest, everything can be a gate. Everything can be a gate providing there isn't anybody to enter the gate.
In this particular koan, a great question could be: who cannot enter? another one could be: can the gate enter itself?
Do I move towards mountains or do mountains move towards me?
Forgetting the self, as Dogen puts it. To forget the self is the key.
In other words, letting this "entering" doing itself in sitting, we allow our sitting-zen to be nothing but nothing but nothing. A living gate opening on itself, again and again. A dynamic space free of the rigidity and fixation of hope and fear, free of the worry of achieving, grasping, fixing, loosing. A space free of any view. I know: it sounds a bit philosophical, heavy almost pompous. When kyosei whispers "enter from there" he manifests the direction of great simplicity, he urges you-me-everybody to practice the impossible and be met by the ineffable.
What is it? Keep entering and if you can help it, never get anywhere.