died: c. 960
master: Luoshan (J. Razan)
Chan disciples: none recorded
| oshobob The Living Workshop
Tenjiku was asked about the
Tanka burning the statue, he replied, "When it is
cold we gather around the hearth by the fire."
"Was he wrong or not?" persisted the monk.
"When it is hot we sit in a bamboo forest in the
valley," said Tenjiku.
He is not saying it is right or wrong – that is the
way of Zen, not to decide right or wrong – he is
simply saying, "Every Zen master behaves
spontaneously. When it is hot he goes into the
shade of a bamboo forest; when it is cold he
burns wood." He is not mentioning at all whether
Tanka Tennen has done anything wrong. He is
simply saying, "Everybody who is aware functions
spontaneously. Finding no other wood, Tanka
Tennen found the wooden statue of Buddha.
There is nothing wrong in it. When it is cold one
needs fire, and when it is hot one needs shade."
Zen is absolutely natural. You should function
according to your nature, and out of your
spontaneity should come your response...
The Zen Manifesto: Freedom From Oneself, ch. 1