Tosui was a well-known Zen teacher of his time. He had lived in several temples
and taught in various provinces.
The last temple he visited accumulated so many adherents that Tosui told them he
was going to quit the lecture business entirely. He advised them to disperse and
to go wherever they desired. After that no one could find any trace of him.
Three years later one of his disciples discovered him living with some beggars
under a bridge in Kyoto. He at once implored Tosui to teach him.
“If you can do as I do for even a couple of days, I might,” Tosui replied.
So the former disciple dressed as a beggar and spent a day with Tosui. The
following day one of the beggars died. Tosui and his pupil carried the body off
at midnight and buried it on a mountainside. After that they returned to their
shelter under the bridge.
Tosui slept soundly the remainder of the night, but the disciple could not
sleep. When morning came Tosui said: “We do not have to beg food today. Our dead
friend has left some over there.” But the disciple was unable to eat a single
bite of it.
“I have said you could not do as I,” concluded Tosui. “Get out of here and do
not bother me again.”