Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Zen Story - Still Carrying Her


Two traveling monks reached a river where they met a young woman. Wary of the current, she asked if they could carry her across. One of the monks hesitated, but the other quickly picked her up onto his shoulders, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other bank. She thanked him and departed.

As the monks continued on their way, the one was brooding and preoccupied. Unable to hold his silence, he spoke out. "Brother, our spiritual training teaches us to avoid any contact with women, but you picked that one up on your shoulders and carried her!"

"Brother," the second monk replied, "I set her down on the other side, while you are still carrying her."

This is a wonderful Zen Story, intact all Zen Stories amazes me for the fact that profound meanings are hidden in seemingly short simple stories.

This story about the two monks on the way. When they find a woman unable to cross the river and asking for help, the first one hesitate. He remembers the teachings of keeping himself away from woman. The other monk does not give much of the thought, lifts her up put her on the other side of the river and keeps moving.

The first monk though has not touched the woman physically is still not free of her and the thought of his friend breaking the laws harass him all the way. At last he could not hold it any longer and inquire about the same to is friend. The monk points out to him that he had left her long ago, but he is still carrying her.

The freedom of mind is important, it is more important that the mind is free, totally in the present moment gathering energy. It is very easy to be lost in the past or projected future and lose the energy, lose the present moment. Quite arduous to be free from the time, the past and the future, and be totally in the present.


PeteP said...

I love that story. It reminds me of another one I heard - I can't remember where - but there were 2 men arguing over whether to go into a temple or a brothel. Eventually, one went into each, and each man spent the whole time thinking about the other. :)


PeteP said...

By the way, this site has a ton more Zen stories if you're interested.

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