Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Things We Carry

One of the things I've relearned this past 18 months is that I'm in control of what I choose to carry - and how long I choose to carry it. There's a vast amount of freedom in this knowledge (one of my favorite stories in this regard)

Two monks, going to a neighboring monastery, walked side by side in silence. They arrived at a river they had to cross. That season, waters were higher than usual. On the bank, a young woman was hesitating and asked the younger of the two monks for help. 

He exclaimed, 'Don't you see that I am a monk, that I took a vow of chastity?'

'I require nothing from you but simply to help me to cross the river,' replied the young woman.

'I...not...I nothing for you,' said the embarrassed young monk, and he went on his way.

'It doesn't matter,' said the elderly monk. 'Climb on my back, and we will cross together.'

Having reached the other bank, the old monk put down the young woman who, in return, thanked him. She left and both monks continued on in silence. 

Close to the monastery, the young monk could not stand it anymore and said, 'You shouldn't have carried that person on your back. It's against our rules.'

The older monk looked at the younger with a loving, pitiful smile and said, 'Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river; you are still carrying her.'

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