Two Zen Monks

The following story was told to me by another member of the fellowship. Though not specifically from the program, it is in total alignment with 12 step thinking.

Two zen monks were walking in the forest and came to a fast flowing deep stream. At the bank of the water was a beautiful women who said, ” kind monks, can you help me across the stream for the water is too fast and deep”. The older of the 2 monks carried her across the stream on his back and deposited her on the other side. As the two monks continued walking together, the younger one became very agitated. Over the next few hours his upset increased until he blurted out, “how could you carry that woman across the stream? We have taken a vow of chastity. Yet you had her climb onto your back”. The older monk replied, “I dropped her onto the bank of the stream hours ago. You’re still carrying her”.
We all face upsets and challenges in life. They are unavoidable. The deeper question is how quickly are we willing to let go of these events? We can be like the older monk who was totally in the moment. When he finished carrying the women he moved onto the next life event. Or we can be like the younger monk who continued to “carry” the woman long after she had been dropped off.

Personal Reflection: Which of the 2 monks do I most resemble?

2 thoughts on “Two Zen Monks

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