When the train line through Usui pass was closed, one train refused to stop. A roshi from Gunma prefecture was consulted on the matter and agreed to speak with the train. When the roshi arrived, the train was traveling slowly up the steep slope. So much so, that he could easily walk in front of it.
“Will you continue trudging on these old tracks forever?” asked the roshi.
“I think I can, I think I can.” replied the train.
“Too much thinking,” said the roshi rapping it sharply across its metal nose with his keisaku.
“Ouch” said the train.
“You’re like a cat attempting to snare every mote of dust within a sunbeam. You journey, but where did it begin?”
“I don’t know, behind me.” shrugged the train.
The roshi hit him with again with the stick. “Your journey begins here. But where does it end?”
“Probably with you hitting me with that stick again.”
“Correct” said the roshi.
“Then why did you hit me?”
“Insolence is not part of the student’s journey.”
“I never asked to be your student,” replied the train.
“Did you not,” the roshi stroked his long white beard. ” Your actions led you to this point – a point I now share with you. The tracks that lead up the mountain cannot decide they do not want to lead to the valley”
The train pondered these words awhile. And as it reached the summit the roshi’s koan allowed the train to slip into a state of samadhi. However, as gravity pulled its mass down the opposite side of the mountain it was not enlightened enough to avoid running over the roshi who had been walking silently in front of him.