Friday, December 30, 2011

An Example of Being in The Present

This story is about detachment, about living in the moment. It is convenient to attach to and detach from situations as our need. Being always attached to anything, always carrying it in the mind is a handicap- a dependency.

Two Zen monks were on a pilgrimage. On the way, they came upon a rapid stream. They were about to wade through when they saw a beautiful woman in distress, by the bank of the stream. One of the monks went up to her and enquired about her problem.

She wanted to cross the stream to go to her village. But she was too afraid to step into the rapid waters and the slippery rocks. 

"Is that all?" He said, "I'll carry you across."

And he lifted the woman on to his shoulders, and waded across the stream.

The other monk, who had listened to this exchange stood dumb, looking on at the duo. After a while, he too crossed the stream.

The woman thanked the monk and went on her way.

The monks completed the rest of the day's walk in silence, without the philosophical chat they used to have on long treks.

In the evening, they reached a village, and stopped to rest there.

"I just can’t believe what you did today!" the second monk finally blurted to his companion.

"About what?" asked the monk who had helped the lady.

"You have broken the sacred vows-we monks are not supposed to even look at women or speak to them. You spoke to her, and even touched her! Sacrilegious!" the rant continued.

"Oh, her! My friend, I left her at the stream. But you're still carrying her!"
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Wouldn't it be nice for you to have a collection of Zen stories on paper back at your bed side ? Paul Reps' Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, has a large collection of Zen stories classified under various desirable qualities. A really good read. To order, click the following image:

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