There was once a little monk who was preparing for a journey to advance his studies in Buddhism. Knowing that the little monk’s faith was still not strong enough, his Master asked, “When will you set off?”
The little monk answered, “Master, I will set off next week. Considering the long distance, I want to prepare a few more pairs of straw sandals.”
The Master replied, “Tomorrow I will tell everyone to give you straw sandals.”
In the following days, everyone provided the little monk with pairs of straw sandals. In case it would rain when the little monk set off, he was also given so many umbrellas that they filled the whole meditation room.
However, the little monk was still hesitant to leave. The Master saw this and asked, “How many straw scandals will be sufficient? How many umbrellas will you need?”, encouraging the little monk to hurry and begin his journey.
One week later, the Master came again and said, “Now you have enough umbrellas and sandals. You’ll probably come across small rivers and streams on your way. Tomorrow I will ask everyone to donate a boat for you to take with you.” Suddenly the little monk realised the Master’s good intentions. He knelt down immediately and exclaimed, “Master, I will set off right away! I won’t take any of the sandals or umbrellas with me. They will only cause affliction.”
This story teaches us that complete preparations are secondary to determination and resolve. When setting a goal, put your heart into it. With your eyes fixed on the distant horizon, you move forward steadily. Every step you take is a step closer to your goal. With your full devotion, everything will be ready for you. Bear in mind that, as long as you learn Buddhism with your heart and soul, you will attain all kinds of wisdom!