There is a Zen story. There were two temples in a town – rivals, as temples are. Each didn’t allow their devotees to go to the other temple. They were fiercely antagonistic. And both the priests – old priests, had a boy, one each, for odd things, odds and ends – to bring things from the market, this and that, and both had ordered their boy not to talk to the other, in the market or on the road: No! Those people of the other temple are so corrupted, don’t talk to them!
But boys are boys, and when you forbid a boy and tell him not to do something he is bound to do it, it is natural. They became interested – what was the matter?
So one day they met on the road while they were going to the market to fetch something. The boy from temple one asked the other boy: Where are you going? The other boy said: Wherever my legs will take me – listening to great metaphysical things he had also become a metaphysician; he was just going to the market to fetch vegetables but he said: Wherever my feet will take me – I live in spontaneity! The other boy was puzzled, because he was defeated, he couldn’t prove his metaphysics.
He came back and he asked his Master what to do: You have prohibited me, but I am foolish; they are really bad people – I asked the boy a simple question: Where are you going? and he started talking nonsense, but he defeated me. I feel hurt.
The Master said: You should not be so. Ask again tomorrow.
He will say: Wherever my feet will take me, and then you ask him a Zen koan: If you had no feet
then where would you go? Then he will be put right.
The next day the boy waited for the other boy to come. The other boy came, the first boy was ready, he asked: Where are you going? The other boy said: I live spontaneously. Wherever the wind will take me. He never talked about feet.
The first boy was at a loss what to do: These people are really very cunning, and not reliable either. He has changed!
He came back very angry and said to the Master: You are right, these people are very contradictory, inconsistent, not reliable at all. I was ready but the boy had changed his mind; he said: Wherever the wind takes me. I am like a white cloud. So what to say? Because clouds don’t have any feet, legs, so how to..? The Master said: I know them well; these people are very inconsistent. Tomorrow you again ask him: Where are you going? He will say: Wherever the wind takes me. I am a white cloud. You ask him: If the wind is not blowing where will you be going?
Next day the boy was ready again.
This boy is your mind. You prepare it again and again to face life, and again and again it fails
because no readymade answer can be of any use. Life is inconsistent, life is not reliable at all.
The boy asked: Where are you going now? The other boy said: I am going to the market to fetch
vegetables. Now what to do?
Never move in life with a readymade answer otherwise you will never meet life. You waste time in preparing, getting ready, and then you waste time after you have missed the life.