The Gateless Gate

‘A monk asked Tozan, “What is Buddha?”
Tozan replied, “Three pounds of flax.”

From Nyogen Senzaki’s commentary: ‘I am reminded of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, who was one of the world’s greatest educators of the eighteenth century. When he was a young school teacher, he was talking to his class about a window, so he drew a picture of a window on the blackboard. But one young pupil raised his hand and asked, “Teacher, why do you take such trouble, drawing a picture of a window? Can’t you see we have a real window in this classroom?” It is said that Pestalozzi’s new system of pedagogy was inspired by this child.
Yes, the child was right. Why do you draw a picture of a window when you are in a room with many windows? Some of you may say that the Buddha exists everywhere, and yet in all honesty you do not see it clearly. So you ask continually, “What is Buddha?”‘ (Eloquent Silence)

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