Sunday, November 10, 2013

two monks


Two traveling monks reached a river where they met a young woman. Wary of the strong current, she asked if they could help her 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 bank. She thanked him and departed.

As the monks continued on their way, the one was brooding and preoccupied. Unable to hold his silence, he spoke out. "Brother, our spiritual training teaches us to avoid any contact with women, but you picked that one up on your shoulders and carried her!"

"Brother," the second monk replied, "I set her down on the other side, while you are still carrying her."

21 comments:

  1. Immediately following your piece, there is a heading, "No comments:" (before being invited to comment). That just about describes my reaction to your post. It is so to-the-point that any other comment seems to be superfluous.

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    1. Hi Tom. That's exactly why I posted the story with no further comment. It pretty much wraps up the burdens we carry without necessarily being conscious of them.

      I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  2. Oh, this is so wise, yet gently humourous. Is it your own story or a common zen one? Your illustration is lovely, Susan. I especially love the darker brown inked lines which remind me of old Chinese paintings.

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    1. I'm happy you enjoyed it, Marja-Leena. It's not quite a common zen story but it is an old one that really touched me when I read it first. Yes, I tried for that effect with the painting so having you say I succeeded to a degree is very nice. I'm certainly no master of calligraphy :)

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  3. also love your art.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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  4. As I am running out of words of praise imagine me just bowing in front of the artist. : )

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    1. That's not necessary, Sean - in fact, far from it. Still, I'm glad you liked it.
      You always leave me smiling.

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    2. Oh, lovely . . . to imagine you smiling . . .

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    3. My smile doesn't look quite like this :-) but it's as good as the medium allows...

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  5. Perhaps I should've been a monk. Less to carry.

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    1. Yes, having (and needing) nothing more than a bowl and a walking stick sounds pretty good.

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  6. hhhhmmmm .... maybe I should try picking up women down by the river..... not much luck at the bar. ( course, truth be told.... my back couldn't handle the activity.) neat story.

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  7. Down at the river at least you'd be able to float them across.

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  8. This has always been one of my favorites. it was good to read it again. i'm passing by saying hello to those i am missing. i see i've missed a few posts and apologize for it. i not only wasn't online much but then lost my little hotspot that makes it so my connection isn't slow as molasses. ;)

    things about the same if not worse here. no answers to anything except more $$$ usually to only llead to more confusion... figures no?

    xoxox

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    1. It is a wonderful story, isn't it?

      It's good to see you again.
      xoxo

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