One of the two founders of the Ts'ao-tung school of Ch'an Buddhism. A native and lifelong resident of southern China.he left the household life at the age of 10 and wandered long and far, studying with many masters before becoming a disciple of Yün-yen T'an-sheng (780–841). He made his permanent home on Mt. Tung (hence the title ‘Tung-shan’) at the age of 52, and took in many disciples, among whom was the other founding figure of Ts'ao-tung, Ts'ao-shan Pen-chi (840–901). He was known for his gift of seeing all things, including the inanimate, as manifestations of the Buddha's mind, allowing him to hear all things preaching to him. He was also fond of poetry, and among his literary relics one finds a poetic exposition of the Ts'ao-tung teaching of the Five Ranks.