The two monks – Letting go

The two monks – Letting go

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Two travelling monks reached a river where they met a beautiful young woman. Wary of the current and getting her fine clothes wet, she asked if she could be carried 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 side of the bank. She thanked him and departed.

As the monks continued on their way, the older one taking in the lovely countryside, the younger one grew more brooding and distracted. Unable to hold his silence, he spoke out.

“Brother, we are taught to avoid any contact with women, but you picked her up on your shoulders and carried her!”

“Brother,” the second monk replied with a loving, gentle smile, “I set her down on the other side of the river, you are still carrying her.”


– Do you sometimes find yourself caught up in the past or future, replaying a situation in our head which in reality can now not be changed? Why waste energy on something that can now not be changed? This distracts us from the present moment, in the case of the younger monk this resulted in what we would perceive as negative emotions arising and a lack of experience as they continued their walk through the countryside. Are we guilty of this occasionally, getting so caught up in our heads that we miss out on the direct experience that life has to offer at that moment in time. It is definitely something to take in to consideration. What thoughts come to mind when you read this short story?