Ma Tzu

“Ma Tzu was a very strange master — you have heard about him. He walked just like an animal on all fours; he never stood up on his legs — not that there was any problem, not that he was hunchback. He just walked on all fours because he said that is the most relaxed position. It is, because man is standing almost despite nature. No animal stands on two legs, because when you stand on two legs your heart has to pump against gravitation towards the head. This cuts your life in half.”
– God is Dead, Now Zen is the Only Living Truth, Chapter #1

“Ma Tzu moved on all fours just to go beyond mind and be in tune with nature. Everybody laughed. They said, “This is strange!”
And he looked like a tiger. He had such shiny eyes that he would look at you like a tiger. The disciples who gathered around Ma Tzu were men of great courage, because he used to jump on people, beat them. Ma Tzu devised beating and slapping and jumping on people as methods of meditation! You won’t believe it, but he managed to make more people enlightened than even Gautam Buddha, because he had found a secret in it.”
– God is Dead, Now Zen is the Only Living Truth, Chapter #7

“Ma Tzu belongs to the second category, of very creative and inventive masters. He never repeats himself. In every situation he will bring a new device; he will function just as a mirror. And whatever comes spontaneously out of his empty heart, he will use it as a vehicle of dhamma.

This type of master is very rare, because you don’t know whether a method is going to succeed; you don’t know what will be the outcome. You are simply trusting in your own heart, that your heart cannot let you down. This is an immense trust in one’s own enlightenment and awakening — that whatever comes out of your illumination is going to succeed, there is no question about it. Hence a man like Ma Tzu has a tremendous freedom.

Other masters have thousands of methods given by the tradition, and they choose one of them; but it is a dead device, even though success seems to be more certain.

With Ma Tzu success is not the point; success is the last point in the journey. All those masters in the first category are looking at the success — the method must succeed. And because the method has been used again and again, and has been successful, why bother to look for a new method? Their emphasis is on the end, the success.

Ma Tzu’s method, his approach, is totally different. It depends on the first point of the journey, from where the arrow comes. If it is coming from your empty heart, then there is no need to bother about success. That is no more the question for Ma Tzu. His whole life he invented thousands of methods, according to the person confronting him. And he had tremendous success.”
– Ma Tzu: The Empty Mirror, Chapter #6