If you are the type of person who throws around the word "zen" just to make yourself feel important, consider this: *the complete lack of sound.* Now who is "zen," you faux-spiritual fop?

The koan: "Zen Dialogue"

Zen teachers train their young pupils to express themselves. Two Zen temples each had a child protégé. One child, going to obtain vegetables each morning, would meet the other on the way.

"Where are you going?" asked the one.

"I am going wherever my feet go," the other responded.

This reply puzzled the first child who went to his teacher for help. "Tomorrow morning," the teacher told him, "when you meet that little fellow, ask him the same question. He will give you the same answer, and then you ask him: 'Suppose you have no feet, then where are you going?' That will fix him."

The children met again the following morning.

"Where are you going?" asked the first child.

"I am going wherever the wind blows," answered the other.

This again nonplussed the youngster, who took his defeat to the teacher.

Ask him where he is going if there is no wind," suggested the teacher.

The next day the children met a third time.

"Where are you going?" asked the first child.

"I am going to the market to buy vegetables," the other replied.

The enlightenment: "Nope," replied the first child. "Today, you're going to the fucking hospital."

This has been "Zen Koans Explained." Sprinkle dust each night.

[Photo: Shutterstock]