I am reminded of another Zen master. He must have been a man of some similar qualities to Bodhidharma; he was a disciple in the same lineage. He was staying in a Buddhist temple on a winter night – the priest, knowing that he was a great master had allowed him to stay in the temple. But in the middle of the night the priest woke up. Suddenly there was so much light. He looked inside the temple…because his room was by the side of the temple. The master he had allowed to stay in the temple was enjoying burning a beautiful statue, a wooden statue of Gautam Buddha.

The priest was simply mad. He said, “Are you insane or something? You have burnt the statue of Gautam Buddha.”

The master took his staff and started searching for something in the ashes of the burned statue. The priest said, “What are you searching for?” He said, “I am looking for the bones.”

Even the priest had to laugh, although he was angry and his most beautiful statue had been burned. But he said, “You are really insane. But how can a wooden statue have bones?”

The master said, “That’s what I have been showing you; that if there are no bones inside it, it is not the statue of Buddha. It is not Buddha; it is just wood cut into a certain shape. Don’t be deceived by it. The night is long and it is too cold and I am tired of this long journey. If you can be of some help…you have still got three more statues. One is enough for worshiping, two you can give me. The night is really cold. Moreover I am a living Buddha. For a living Buddha it is absolutely right to burn a wooden Buddha to have a little heat. It is too cold in this temple.”

The priest became very afraid that this man seemed to be absolutely dangerous and thought, “If I go to sleep, he is going to burn all my statues.” In the middle of the night he threw the master out of the temple. The master was insisting, “This is not right. Listen, you will repent of it. You are throwing a living Buddha into the darkness of the night, into the cold winter night. And you are protecting wooden Buddhas. Are you mad or something?”

The priest said, “I don’t want to discuss it with you. I know who is mad. You just get out.”

In the morning the priest opened the door to see at what had happened to the master. He was sitting by the side of the road. He had picked a few wild flowers and he had put those wildflowers on a milestone. He was worshiping, “Buddham sharanam gachchhami. Sangam sharanam gachchhami. Dhammam sharanam gachchhami.”

The priest could not believe it. “He is really mad. Last night he burned a Buddha, so costly” – it was made of sandalwood – “and now that madman is worshiping a milestone as a Buddha.” The priest came close to him and said, “What are you doing?”
The master said, “My morning prayer.” The priest said, “But you look a strange type. Last night you destroyed my Buddha and now you are worshiping a milestone.”

He said, “You don’t understand. It is only our visualization. If you visualize that this is a Buddha, this is a Buddha. You visualized a Buddha in the wooden statue – it became a Buddha. It is all a mind game. I don’t believe in prayers. It was just for you that I waited and was worshiping the milestone – just to show you that whatever you worship, you are worshiping something wrong, because you are the Buddha. The worshiper is the Buddha, not the worshiped. Can I come in the temple again tonight?”

The priest said, “No, although you appear to be right and perhaps I am wrong, I cannot follow your great understanding – it is dangerous. It will be good if you leave this place and do your act in some other temple. I am a poor priest; you have already destroyed one of my most beautiful Buddhas; now I cannot – even though you convinced me – I cannot allow you inside the temple.”

The master said, “It is not a question…but I can see that you have understood rightly, and one day you will come searching for me. I can see in your eyes the light of understanding, a ray of understanding. Don’t let me in…but I am already within you.”

And after two years the priest had to come to the master to give an apology, and he brought the remaining three statues, saying “You can burn them whenever you need. I have understood. Since that night, I have not been able for a single moment to forget you – your beauty, your grace, your peace, your silence and your great effort to make me understand that what I had been doing was stupid.”

“And misbehaved with you; I threw you out in the dark night, on a cold night. Still you waited for me next morning, to give me another opportunity to understand. And I was so foolish that I missed that opportunity too. But two years are enough. You have been have been haunting me. Now I have come, knowing perfectly well that the Buddha is within; he is not in the statues of the temples, and the statues of the temples and the milestones are not different.”

https://i2.wp.com/geekcrunch.reviews/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Large-zen-curved-rocks.jpg?fit=1024%2C500&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/geekcrunch.reviews/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Large-zen-curved-rocks.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Osho DharaCultureFolk TalesMaster: OshoSpiritual CornerZen StoriesBodhidharma,Gautam Buddha,Zen,Zen Masters,Zen StoriesI am reminded of another Zen master. He must have been a man of some similar qualities to Bodhidharma; he was a disciple in the same lineage. He was staying in a Buddhist temple on a winter night – the priest, knowing that he was a great master had...From A Geek to a Geek