The Deoxyribonucleic Hyperdimension

Finding a Diamond on a Muddy Road

Gudo was the emperor's teacher of his time. Nevertheless, he used to travel alone as a wandering mendicant. Once when he was on his way to Edo, the cultural and political center of the shogunate, he approached alittle village named Takenaka. It was evening and a heavy rain was falling. Gudo was thoroughly wet. His straw sandals were in pieces. At a farmhouse near the village he noticed four or five pairs of sandals in the window and decided to buy some dry ones.

The woman who offered him the sandals, seeing how wet he was, invited him in to remain for the night in her home. Gudo accepted, thanking her. He entered and recited a sutra before the family shrine. He was then introduced to the women's mother, and to her children. Observing that theentire family was depressed, Gudo asked what was wrong.

"My husband is a gambler and a drunkard," the housewife told him. "When he happens to win he drinks and becomes abusive. When he loses he borrows money from others. Sometimes when he becomes thoroughly drunk he does not come home at all. What can I do?"

"I will help him," said Gudo. "Here is some money. Get me a gallon of fine wine and something good to eat. Then you may retire. I will meditate before the shrine."

When the man of the house returned about midnight, quite drunk, he bellowed: "Hey, wife, I am home. Have you something for me to eat?"

"I have something for you," said Gudo. "I happened to be caught in the rain and your wife kindly asked me to remain here for the night. In return I have bought some wine and fish, so you might as well have them."

The man was delighted. He drank the wine at once and laid himself down on the floor. Gudo sat in meditation beside him.

In the morning when the husband awoke he had forgotten about the previous night. "Who are you? Where do you come from?" he asked Gudo, who was still meditating.

"I am Gudo of Kyoto and I am going on to Edo," replied the Zen master.

The man was utterly ashamed. He apologized profusely to the teacher of his emperor.

Gudo smiled. "Everything in this life is impermanent," he explained."Life is very brief. If you keep on gambling and drinking, you will have no time left to accomplish anything else, and you will cause your family to suffer too."

The perception of the husband awoke as if from a dream. "You are right," he declared. "How can I ever repay you for this wonderful teaching! Let me see you off and carry your things a little way."

"If you wish," assented Gudo.

The two started out. After they had gone three miles Gudo told him to return. "Just another five miles," he begged Gudo. They continued on.

"You may return now," suggested Gudo.

"After another ten miles," the man replied.

"Return now," said Gudo, when the ten miles had been passed.

"I am going to follow you all the rest of my life," declared the man.

Modern Zen teachings in Japan spring from the lineage of a famous master who was the successor of Gudo. His name was Mu-nan, the man who never turnedback.


A Buddha
A Cup of Tea
A Drop of Water
A Letter to a Dying Man
A Mother's Advice
A Parable
A Smile in His Lifetime
Accurate Proportion
Arresting the Stone Buddha
Black-Nosed Buddha
Buddha's Zen
Calling Card
Children of His Majesty
Eating the Blame
Eshun's Departure
Every-Minute Zen
Everything Is Best
Finding a Diamond on a Muddy Road
Fire-Poker Zen
Flower Shower
Gisho's Work
Great Waves
Gudo and the Emperor
Happy Chinaman
How Grass & Trees Become Enlightened
How To Write a Chinese Poem
If You Love, Love Openly
In Dreamland
In the Hands of Destiny
Incense Burner
Inch Time Foot Gem
Is That So?
Joshu's Zen
Just Go To Sleep
Kasan Sweat
Learning To Be Silent
Midnight Excursion
Mokusen's Hand
Muddy Road
My Heart Burns Like Fire
No Attachment to Dust
No Loving-Kindness
No Water, No Moon
No Work, No Food
Not Far from Buddhahood
Nothing Exists
One Note of Zen
Open Your Own Treasure House
Publishing the Sutras
Real Prosperity
Reciting Sutras
Right & Wrong
Ryonen's Clear Realization
Shoun & His Mother
Sleeping in the Daytime
Soldiers of Humanity
Sour Miso
Stingy in Teaching
Storyteller's Zen
Teaching the Ultimate
Ten Successors
The Blockhead Lord
The Dead Man's Answer
The First Principle
The Gates of Paradise
The Giver Should Be Thankful
The Last Poem of Hoshin
The Last Rap
The Last Will & Testament
The Living Buddha & the Tubmaker
The Moon Cannot Be Stolen
The Most Valuable Thing in the World
The Real Miracle
The Silent Temple
The Sound of One Hand
The Stingy Artist
The Stone Mind
The Story of Shunkai
The Subjugation of a Ghost
The Taste of Banzo's Sword
The Tea-Master & the Assassin
The Thief Who Became a Disciple
The True Path
The Tunnel
The Voice of Happiness
Three Days More
Three Kinds of Disciples
Time to Die
Tosui's Vinegar
Trading Dialogue for Lodging
True Friends
True Reformation
What Are You Doing! What Are You Saying!
Your Light May Go Out
Zen Dialogue
Zen in a Beggar's Life

 Collection of Stone and Sand from 13th & 20th Century Japan From Zen::Koans