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The Story of 2 Travelling Monks
Two traveling monks reached a river where they met a young and very attractive woman. She was in despair. She had to cross the river, but was afraid to do so. The current was too strong and she was afraid of drowning. Wary of the current, she asked if they could carry her across. The junior monks hesitated. Without hesitation, the older monk picked her up onto his shoulders and carried her across the river. Arriving safely on the other bank he sat her down and bowed. She expressed her gratitude and departed.
As the monks continued on their way, the junior monk seemed disturbed. He could not shake off what was on his mind and after walking for about a mile, he finally blurted to his senior. " "Master, of all people you should have known that our spiritual teaching forbids us contact with women, but you have picked that woman and carried her on your shoulders! How can that be!?"
The senior monk replied:”Brother, I set her down on the other side a mile back, why are you still carrying her?"
This very old story reflects the thinking of many people today. We encounter many unpleasant things in our life, they irritate and make us angry. Sometimes, they even cause us lot of hurt or make us bitter. But like the young monk, we are not willing to let them go away cos we allow negative thoughts or emotions to dominate us. We cannot not think about them and like a bad movie playing in the head endlessly. We are disturbed and not at peace. Sometimes, these thoughts are so overwhelming that we keep thinking and cannot sleep at night. We keep thinking of getting even, wasting our time, making ourselves sick with anguish, making us bitter and cause us a lot of agony.
Why? Simply because we are not willing to put down or let go the baggage of the "unpleasant memory/feelings".