In Asian mythology, dragons were believed to possess a wish-granting jewel. If pressed hard enough, a dragon will cough up that precious jewel but one still has to capture it as it flies about. From the Zen perspective, the most precious jewel is the jewel of enlightenment; if the desire for enlightenment is intense enough, there is a possibility of a breakthrough. Another interpretation would be that the universe is spitting out the truth constantly, and it whirls around us, but we are too distracted to realize it.
Gyokuden was the forty-ninth abbot of Mampuku-ji in Uji, the headquarters temple of the Obaku branch of Zen established by Chinese immigrants.