Friday, 27 May 2011

wise man once told me this story...

So I used to do Yoga (loads of it) I was stretchy and subtle and strong.  I ought to get back to it as today I'm all stiff at the desk but that's for me to battle with... Anyway, my Yogi instructor was a guy called Brian.  Lost in the 70's, white hair, soft voice, sunlamp tan that sort of look.  He told me a story of two monks which I am delighted to say is a famous Zen story that I share now.

Two monks, both sworn to silence and solemnity.  The pair had vowed to lead a pure life in search on enlightnment.

They were both walking though a forest one day (as is the behaviour of such monks). Eventually their path led to a stream. There they saw a beautiful young girl, standing on the bank. She was in great distress because she wanted to cross the stream, but did not know how without getting her fabulous robes wet.
Without hesitation one monk scooped her up, stepped through the stream, and set her down on the other side. She thanked him and continued on her way, and the two monks continued on theirs again in silence. Nothing but the forest around them.
The second was confused and stressed. He got more restless by the minute and then finally spoke up.
"Brother," he said, "I do not know what to make of it. You know our order is an austere order, and we cannot so much as speak to a woman. let alone scoop her up and carry across a stream! yet you keep walking as if nothing happened!"
"It is quite simple," the first monk replied. "I set her down on the opposite bank, but you, Brother, are still carrying her!"
So... who, indeed, had the lighter burden, and the lighter step?

I like this story - especially to pass on - as it reminds me that a great deal of how we percieve our current circumstances are what we believe to be true.  We give energy to our perceptions and thoughts the longer we dwell upon them.  If we think of other things and invest in re-frames and new possibilities, we can actually create a better picture of our surroundings and future.

We have choice.

We dont have choise over what happens to us; that which crosses our path in our forest, but we do have choice on whether we allow such matters to concern us still.


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