A Monk with Heavy Thoughts

I’ve been reading a book titled Wisdom Tales From Around The World. I’ve heard this particular story before, but it always makes me think. So, I’d like to share it with you all (slightly changed):

As two Zen monks walked along a muddy, rain-drenched road, they came upon a lovely woman attempting to cross a large mud puddle. The elder monk stopped beside the woman, lifted her in his arms, and carried her across the puddle. He set her gently down on the dry ridge of the road as the younger monk discreetly admired her charms.

After bowing politely to the woman, the two monks continued down the muddy road. The younger monk was sullen and silent as they walked. They traveled over hills, down around valleys, through a town, and under forest trees. At last, after many hours had passed, the younger monk could stay silent no longer. He turned to his elder and exclaimed, “You are aware that we monks do not touch women! Why did you carry that girl?”

The elder monk turned and smiled. He said, “My dear young brother, you have such heavy thoughts! I left the woman alongside the road hours ago. Why are you still carrying her?”


Anonymous So it is Zen that, if I may put it metaphorically, a wise man said “the perfect man employs his mind as a mirror. It grasps nothing, it refuses nothing. It receives but does not keep.” And another poem says of wild geese flying over a lake, “The wild geese do not intend to cast their reflection, and the water has no mind to retain their image.” — Alan Watts, Lecture on Zen
Stephen Ahh, better now.
Anonymous Hmm, that comment above is mine, but has “anonymous”
Anonymous How about now?
Anonymous Ha. Okay. The tags on the left say .
Anonymous – Stephen
Brent Click either the little icon next to the text box, or the “(tell me your name)” link, to set your name as a cookie on this site.
Brennen Nice.
Brent Thanks, Bren!
Stephen I did set my name as a cookie. It even displays on the left side, but it wasn’t (isn’t) displaying my name.

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