This is a zen koan. Case 21 of the The Gateless Gate or Mumnonkan.
UMMON'S DRIED DUNG
A monk asked Ummon, "What is Buddha?" Ummon answered, "A dried stick of dung."
We must say that being so poor, Ummon cannot appreciate plain food, or he is so busy that he cannot even scribble properly. He is disposed to support his school with dry dung. Look at how devastated the Buddhist teaching has been!
Sparks of striking flint.
In a blink of your eyes,
You have passed by (and missed it).
Stuff like "dried shit" is the reason why Zen is called "a special transmission outside the scriptures, not founded upon words and letters. By pointing directly to one's mind, It lets one see into one's own true nature and thus attain buddhahood." Ummon is pointing at something, but the problem is that something just can't be expressed with "words and letters". The teachers teach that the way to understand such statements is to put your mind in a place that is before or beyond "words and language" (AKA, thoughts, concepts, ideas, etc.) and then understanding it becomes clear. (AKA " lets one see into one's own true nature") And the proper contemplation of a koan does just that. Although, many recommend that koan contemplation be done with an actual teacher that teaches koan style practice.