Two Buddhist Monks and a Beautiful Woman

Two Buddhist monks, one old and one young, were strolling outside of the monastery, near a river that had flooded its surroundings. A beautiful woman came up to the monks and asked them for help crossing the river.

The young monk was horrified at the idea of taking her into his arms, but the old monk picked her up very naturally and carried her across. Then, the two monks continued on their stroll.

The young man couldn’t stop thinking about the incident and finally exclaimed: “Master! You know that we have taken a vow of abstinence. We aren’t allowed to touch a woman like that. How could you take the beautiful woman into your arms, let her put her arms around your neck, her breasts against your chest, and carry her across the river like that?” The old man answered: “Child of mine, you’re still carrying her!”

The third of these Buddhist tales helps us understand that sometimes we carry the past, with emotions of guilt or resentment, and we make it even more heavy than it really was. By accepting that the incident doesn’t form a part of our present, we can take a great deal of emotional weight off of ourselves.

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