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 one implored Tosui to teach him.
"If you can do as I do for even a couple of days, I might," Tosui
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."