Gudo was the teacher of the emperor of his time. On his way he finds a diamond. A diamond on a muddy road.
Nonetheless, he used to travel alone as a wandering beggar. Once, when he was traveling to Edo, the cultural and political center of the shogunate, he approached a small village named Takenaka.
It was evening and it was pouring with rain. Gudo was completely wet. Her straw sandals were in pieces. On a farm near the village he noticed four or five pairs of sandals at the window and decided to buy some dry ones.
The woman who offered him the sandals, seeing how wet he was, invited him to come in for the night at her house. Gudo accepted, thanking her.
He went in and recited a sutra in front of the family shrine. He was then introduced to the woman's mother and her children. Observing that the whole 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 gets violent. When he loses he borrows money from others. Sometimes, when he gets completely drunk, he never comes home. What can I do?"
“I'll help him,” Gudo said. “Here's some money. Bring me a gallon of fine wine and something good to eat. Then you can retire. I will meditate in front of the sanctuary “.
When the man of the house came back around midnight, quite drunk, he yelled, “Hey, wife, I'm home. Do you have something to eat for me? "
“I have something for you,” Gudo said. “I happened to be surprised by the rain and your wife kindly asked me to stay here for the night. In return I bought some wine and fish, so you might as well have them ".
The man was happy. He drank the wine immediately and lay down on the floor. Gudo sat in meditation next to him.
When her husband woke up in the morning, he had forgotten about the previous night. "Who are you? Where do you come from?" asked Gudo, who was still meditating.
“I'm Gudo from Kyoto and I'm going to Edo,” the Zen master replied.
The man was completely ashamed. He apologized deeply to his emperor's teacher.
Gudo smiled. "Everything in this life is eternal," he explained. Life is very short ". If you continue to gamble and drink, you will no longer have time to do anything else and you will also make your family suffer ".
The perception of her husband woke up as if from a dream. "You're right," he declared. “How can I ever repay you for this wonderful teaching! Let me accompany you and take your things a little further ”.
“If you wish,” Gudo asserted.
The two began. After traveling three kilometers, Gudo told him to come back. "Just another five kilometers," Gudo prayed.
"You can come back now," Gudo suggested.
“After another ten kilometers,” the man replied.
"Come back now," said Gudo, when the ten kilometers had passed.
“I will follow you for the rest of my life,” declared the man.
Modern Zen masters in Japan are born from the lineage of a famous master who was Gudo's successor.
His name was Mu-nan, the man who never looked back.