Ma Tsu heard of Ta Mei’s stay on the mountain, and sent a monk to ask him this question….Ma Tsu is a great Zen master, and Ta Mei is one of his disciples – he had thousands of disciples. The master sent some-body to ask the disciple some question – because he is staying on a mountain, alone, meditating, just sitting silently there. Now, the master must be feeling that he is getting settled or something. So he sends a person. He cannot go – he is very old, it will be difficult for him to climb the mountain – but he wants to see whether this Ta Mei can still be unsettled or not. He must be thinking to unsettle this Ta Mei, so…
Ma Tsu heard of Ta Mei’s stay on the mountain and sent a monk to ask him this question: ’What did you obtain when you called on the great master Ma Tsu and what prompted you to stay here?’
Ta Mei replied, ’The great master told me that mind was Buddha and that is why I came to stay here.’
The monk said, ’The great master’s Buddha Dharma is different now.’
Ta Mei asked, ’What is it now?’
The monk replied, ’He says it is neither mind nor Buddha.’
Ta Mei laughed and said, ’That old man is causing confusion in the minds of others and all this will have no end. Let him say that it is neither mind nor Buddha. As far as I am concerned, mind is Buddha.’
When the monk returned and reported the above dialogue to Ma Tsu, the latter was very happy and said, ’The plum is now ripe.’ ’Ta Mei’ in Chinese means ’big plum’. ’The plum is ripe now, I cannot unsettle him.’ Now even the master cannot unsettle the disciple. The disciple has arrived; now he knows all the tricks of the old man.