Once, long ago, Budai was traveling the dusty roads of his native Fenghua, in what is now the Zhejiang Province.
Carrying his cloth bag, and his prayer beads, he would give candy to the children he met. His only payment, a penny, he would ask of his fellow monks, and other travelers he encountered on the way. On this particular day, Budai passed by a monk not known to him.
“What is,” the monk inquired, “the meaning of Zen?”
Budai dropped his bag to the ground.
“And how,” continued the monk, “does one realize Zen?”
Budai retrieved his bag, and the candy, and continued down the path.