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A Parable on Being in the Present Moment

The Story of Two Monks and The Woman

An old monk and a young monk were walking through a forest when they came to a river bank and saw a beautiful 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 2 hours of walking and thinking, he could contain himself no longer and he burst out, “As monks we have vowed not to look at or touch a woman, how could you carry that girl on your shoulders?” The older monk looked at the younger monk and replied, "Brother, I set her down on the river bank 2 hours ago, why are you still carrying her?”

I've always been drawn to parables for their simple yet rich lessons. I've always remembered this story in particular, it must have struck something in me because I often come back to think about it. Being the "overthinker" that I am, I can find myself ruminating over the simplest of things, most of which are not worth my energy. I wanted to share this today, as we head into our weekend, to encourage you to sit with these lessons. Are you in fact carrying around something that no longer serves you? Perhaps it's time to let it go. Stay present and enjoy the moment my friends, Emily

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