There were two temples in Japan, both antagonistic to each other. One belonged to Shinto, another belonged to Zen. And for centuries they had been quarreling, arguing against each other. Both had masters, and they both had young boys, because the masters were old and they needed somebody to help them, to bring vegetables or cook food. Those small boys helped them. Both told the small boys, ”Don’t talk to the other boy of the other temple – never! We have been enemies for centuries, we are not on talking terms.”

But boys are boys, and because both were prevented, both were anxious… So one day, going to the market to fetch some vegetables, they met on the road. And one boy asked the other – this was the Shinto boy, coming from the Shinto temple. He asked the Zen boy, ”Where are you going?”

And the Zen boy said, ”Wherever the wind takes me.” He had been listening to his master, all kinds  of things, so he had also got the taste of Zen. He said, ”Wherever the wind takes me.”

The Shinto boy was shocked at this. What to answer? He wanted to make friends, but this boy seemed to be completely uninterested; he had completely cut him short. There was no way for conversation – now what to say? He is saying, ”Wherever the wind takes me…”

Very sad, he came to his master and told him, ”I did not obey you, I am sorry. I was just inquisitive, curious to know about the other boy. I was feeling alone, and I thought he must be also feeling alone. And your temples may have been for centuries antagonistic, but we are just boys. We can be friends.

”But you were right; it was not good to ask. Certainly those people are dangerous. I asked the boy, ‘Where are you going?’ and he said, ‘Wherever the wind takes me.’”

The master said, ”I had warned you. Now tomorrow, you go again and stand at the same place, and when that Zen boy comes, you ask him again: ‘Where are you going?’ And when he says, ‘Wherever the wind takes me,’ just ask him, ‘If the wind is not blowing, then…?’”

The boy went. He stood at the same place, watched. The Zen boy was coming. He asked him, ”Where are you going?” And the boy said, ”Wherever the legs take me.”

Now he could not answer what the master said, ”If the wind is not blowing…” It would be absurd to answer that. He came very sad to the Shinto master and said, ”Those people are very strange! That boy changed his whole approach! I asked the same question, but he said, ‘Wherever the legs take me.’”

The master said, ”I have been warning you. Now you are unnecessarily getting defeated and that means a defeat for our temple. This is not good. You go again! And tomorrow you stand in the same place, and when the boy comes you ask, ‘Where are you going?’ and when he says ‘Wherever the legs take me,’ ask him: ‘If you were crippled, then would you go anywhere or not?’”

So, utterly happy, the boy went again, stood in the same place, watched. The boy came out of the temple. He asked, ”Where are you going?” utterly happy that now he knows the answer.

And the boy said, ”I am going to fetch some vegetables.” Now the situation again becomes absolutely different. He cannot say, ”If you were crippled…” he cannot say, ”If the wind is not blowing…” So he returned, very angry, and said to the master, ”Those people are strange! Even the boy is strange.”

The master said, ”I have been telling you, but you won’t understand.”

The story is exactly the same. The significance is that each moment is so new and so fresh that nothing old is to be repeated. That Zen boy has understood from his master and his constant dialogue with the disciples that nothing can be repeated, because the situation is never the same. So every moment you have to respond freshly – out of your consciousness, just like a mirror. If a mirror is there and you look into it, you will see your face. And if a monkey looks at it, then the monkey will see his face.

If a donkey looks at it, then the donkey will see his face. The mirror is the reflecting medium, it has no opinion. You cannot say that the mirror is very self-contradictory, that it is not consistent: sometimes it shows the face of a man, sometimes the monkey, sometimes the donkey, what kind of mirror is this? One should be consistent! Zen is not consistent with the past, but absolutely consistent with the present. Its consistency is a totally different phenomenon to anything that has happened anywhere in the world. It is unique.


When I read this it reminded me of my Friend Randy. If there was ever a person of character it would be him, Randy is the icon of character, I assure you. Ex-Navy, submarine sonar operator and very intelligent and handsome to the point I think he was highly in love with himself. I worked and hunted with Randy for years and the thing that always intrigued me about Randy, was that he would say something different everyday, like have a quality day, have an excellent night, have a great day,  may the stars shine bright for you tonight.

I haven’t seen Randy in years till the other day, I ran into him at the store and realized I picked up on his daily difference and have obviously instilled it in this blog. Som thing fresh, something new, something different everyday, cause everyday is different. 


I close my eyes
Only for a moment and the moment’s gone
All my dreams
Pass before my eyes with curiosity

Dust in the wind
All they are is dust in the wind

Same old song
Just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do
Crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

(Aa aa aa)
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
Oh, ho, ho

Now don’t hang on
Nothin’ last forever but the earth and sky
It slips away
And all your money won’t another minute buy

Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind
(All we are is dust in the wind)

Kansas <<<(click here to hear the song)


may the wind be at your back