Dongshan Shouchu
Mt. Dongshan (Cave Mt.)   Protect Original
Jap., Tozan Shusho (sometimes seen as "Tosan")
born:  910
died:  990

place:  China
Chan master:  Yunmen (J. Ummon)
Chan disciples: ....
stories:
Wumenguan, Case 15
Blue Cliff Record, Case 12 ("Three Pounds of
Flax")

Osho
Live Zen, ch. 9

And the Flowers Showered, ch. 8
This Mt. Dongshan in Hebei Province is
different than the Mt. Dongshan in Jiangxi
Province.  And the two Chan masters with this
mountain name are different too--
Dongshan
Shouchu
, and the more well known Dongshan Liangjie.
          oshobob  The Living Workshop                                        
                                                          Zen Masters
A monk asked Tozan, “What is Buddha?”

Tozan said, “Three pounds of flax.”

Setcho says:

    The golden crow swoops, the silver hare
    bounds;
    The echo comes back, direct and free.
    Who judges Tozan by his word or phrase
    Is a blind tortoise, lost in a lonely vale.
    The abundant blossoms, the luxuriant
    flowers,
    The southern bamboo, the northern trees.
    One recalls Riku Taifu and Chokei:
    “You should not cry, but laugh!” Eh!

At that moment he was carrying three pounds of
flax. In that moment he could not indicate
anything else; there was nothing else available
other than three pounds of flax. In fact he is
saying that the question is wrong and if you ask
a wrong question you will get a wrong answer.
But he is compassionate and polite. Rather than
saying, “You idiot! A question about buddha is
not to be asked – it is an experience without any
explanation, an experience beyond mind.” Being
of a very kind nature, rather than saying that
you are asking a wrong question, he simply
gives an absolutely absurd answer:

“Three pounds of flax.”

In that moment it must have come to the inquirer
as a shock and also as an insult – not only to
himself but to Gautam Buddha – but he knows
that Tozan cannot be insulting or derogatory in
any sense towards Gautam Buddha, because
for Tozan to insult Gautam Buddha will be to
insult himself...

                                                  --Osho
                                                Live Zen, ch. 9