August 15th, 2005

Splinter: Sensei

Today's Koan

At one time, Danxia Tianran stayed at Wisdom Woods Temple. During some extremely cold weather, he took a simple wooden statue of Buddha and burned it in the fire to get warm. The Temple Director got extremely upset with Tainran and yelled, "Why are you burning my wooden Buddha?"

Tianran pulled some burning embers from the fire and said, "I’m burning the buddha to get the sacred ashes from it."

The Temple Director said, "How can a wooden buddha have sacred ashes?"

Tianran said, "Well, if it doesn’t have sacred ashes, let’s burn a couple more of them."

Wudeng teaching recorded by Dachuan Lingyin Puji, translation by Andy Ferguson, tweaked by me.