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Two Monks

Some weeks ago I came down with some kind of flu that gave me a headach, achey bones, and a general feeling of non-wellness. I seem to have it again.

It began on Wednesday, and I was the fortunate recipient of a massage that Deidre gave me to help me feel better. It worked, but another day at work on Thursday made me feel like crap, so I didn't go to work yesterday and stayed home in bed instead. I feel the same way today, but just a bit less than the past couple of days, so I guess it's getting better.

Anyway, Deidre and I went to have a look at the house this afternoon to find that the owner had already given it to someone. That was an hour ago and Deidre is still fuming about it. I reminded her about the story of the two monks which I have talked to her about a few times, but she wants to hold onto it instead.

An old monk and a young monk were walking through a forest when they came to a river bank and saw a beautiful young woman standing at the edge of the bank.

The woman told the monks that she was afraid to cross the river because she might slip and be carried downstream. She asked if one of the monks might help her across.

Now it so happened that these 2 monks were members of a sect which practiced celibacy and they had both taken vows never to touch a member of the opposite sex. But the old monk, sensing the extreme anxiety of the young woman, lifted her onto his back and carried her to the other side of the river.

The young woman thanked him and went on her way. The 2 monks continued on their journey, but the young monk was shocked and disturbed at having seen his older companion break his vow so nonchalantly. Finally, after 3 hours of walking and thinking, he could contain himself no longer and he burst out, "Tell me, old man, what did it feel like to break your vow of so many years? What did it feel like to allow sensuality to tempt you from your spiritual path? What did it feel like to have her smooth warm thighs wrapped around your waist, her breasts brushing against your back, her arms around your neck and her soft cheek almost one with your own? Tell me, old man, what is it like to carry such a beautiful young woman?"

The older monk remained silent for several steps and then said, "It is you who should tell me what it is like to carry such a beautiful young woman. You see I put her down 3 hours ago at the river, but you are still carrying her."

I always remember this story whenever I feel like I'm holding onto something, and it helps me let it go. Deidre likes holding onto things though. She said to me today that she can't let things go like I can, and I said: "All it's about is making a choice."

I choose to let go, she chooses to hold on. A lot of people out there are the same, choosing to hold onto their frustrations and angers, instead of letting them go and leaving them behind. I find life to be easier to deal with when you can leave things behind on the river bank.

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