Thursday, August 15, 2013

"Mending the Mind"


              Two monks were walking by a river at daybreak in the early Spring.  Swollen with melted snow, the river coursed above its banks, immersing the local footbridge, the only crossing for miles in either direction, under two feet of water.  A young woman in a silk dress stood by the riverbank, terrified by the rushing water.  Seeing the monks she flashed them a look of pleading.  Without a word, the first monk scooped her up into his arms, held her aloft as he struggled across the submerged bridge, and set her down on the far bank.  The two monks then continued walking in silence until sunset, when the vows of their order allowed them to speak.
              "How could you have picked up that woman?" sputtered the second monk, his eyes blazing with anger.  "You know very well that we are prohibited from even thinking about women, let alone touching them.  You sullied your honour. You are a disgrace to the whole order."  He shook his fist at his companion.
              "Venerable brother," said the first monk, "I put the woman down on the other side of the river at sunrise.  It is you who have been carrying her around all day."

~Zen Teaching  
15 August, 2013


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