a zen master lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. one evening, while he was away, a thief snuck into the hut only to find there was nothing in it to steal. the zen master returned and found him. ‘you have come a long way to visit me,’ he told the prowler, ‘and you should not return empty handed. please take my clothes as a gift.’ the thief was bewildered, but he took the clothes and ran away.
the master sat naked, watching the moon. ‘poor fellow,’ he mused, ‘i wish i could give him this beautiful moon.’