Suiwo, the disciple of Hakuin, was a good teacher. During one summer
seclusion period, a pupil came to him from a southern island of Japan.
Suiwo gave him the problem: "Hear the sound of one hand."
The pupil remained three years but could not pass this test. One night
he came in tears to Suiwo. "I must return south in shame and
embarrassment," he said, "for I cannot solve my problem."
"Wait one week more and meditate constantly," advised Suiwo. Still no
enlightenment came to the pupil. "Try for another week," said Suiwo. The
pupil obeyed, but in vain.
"Still another week." Yet this was of no avail. In despair the student
begged to be released, but Suiwo requested another meditation of five
days. They were without result. Then he said: "Meditate for three days
longer, then if you fail to attain enlightenment, you had better kill
On the second day the pupil was enlightened.