Caoshan Benji
Mt. Caoshan      Origin Silence
Japanese, Sozan Honjaku
born:  840
died:  901    61 years

place:  China
Chan master:  Dongshan Liangjie (J. Tozan Ryokai)
Chan disciples: 16 recorded as masters
Together with his master Dongshan, Caoshan goes
down in history as co-creating the
Caodong School (J.
Soto) of Chan (the name is literally a combination of
the "mountain names" of both), one of the 5 "houses"
of classical Zen in China.  He came from the area of
modern Quanzhou, Fujian.  Named his temple location
Mt. Cao in the Fuzhou district after Huineng's temple
in Guangdong.  Started another temple at Mt. Heyu,
and named that one Caoshan too.

Zen: The Quantum Leap from Mind to No-mind,
ch. 12

Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt, ch. 3
Chinese simplified:
        oshobob  The Living Workshop                                        
                                                      Zen Masters

Sozan once said to Shie Doja, "Aren't you
`Paper Clothes the Pilgrim'?"

Shie Doja answered, "I am not worthy of being

Sozan asked, "What is the thing beneath paper

Shie Doja said, "When just a leather garment is
put on the body, all things are of their suchness."

Sozan said, "What is the activity beneath paper

Shie Doja came near him, did as he was asked,
and died standing up.

Sozan said, "You have expounded the going,
but how about the coming?"

Shie Doja suddenly opened his eyes and asked,
"How about when a spiritual nature does not
borrow a placenta?"

Sozan said, "This is not yet wonderful."

Shie Doja asked, "What is wonderful then?"

Sozan said, "Not-borrowing borrowing."

Shie Doja thereupon said, "Be happy, be well!"
and died, sitting.

Sozan made a verse:

    The enlightened mind is a perfect and
    formless body.
    Do not believe, unreasonably,
    that it is far off or near!
    Thoughts of difference becloud the
    original form.
    A mind at variance with itself cannot be in
    harmony with the way.
    When emotion distinguishes phenomena,
    we fall into materiality.
    When intellect judges the manifold, we
    lose the reality.
    If you understand perfectly the meaning
    of these words,
    you are without doubt beyond danger like
    those of ancient times.

This is my whole effort to introduce you to this
same experience of the ancient buddhas,
because it does not belong to time. It is a
question of diving deep into yourself. The
buddha is hiding in the paper bag. The paper
bag may be of any shape: it may be male, it may
be female; it may be young, it may be old; it may
be black, it may be does not mean
anything to the inner consciousness. All
distinctions are meaningless...

Zen: The Quantum Leap From Mind to No-Mind,
ch. 12