Monday, November 18, 2013
Three monks sat by a river, deep in meditation. One stood up and said, “I’ve forgotten my mat.” Stepping on to the waters before him, he walked across to the other side, where their small hut stood in the forest. When he returned, the second monk said, “I just remembered I haven’t dried my washed clothes.” He too, strode calmly across the water to the other bank and returned in a few minutes the same way.
The third monk watched them intently. Figuring that this was a test of his own skills, he loudly declared, “So you think your abilities are superior to mine! Watch me!” and scurried to the edge of the river bank. No sooner did he put his foot in than he fell into deep water. Unfazed, he waded out and tried again. And again and again, to no avail.
After watching this performance in silence, one of his fellow monks asked the other, “Do you suppose we should tell him where the stepping stones are?”
I'm very fond of Zen stories. If you've heard this one before I hope you'll excuse me for telling it again.