Two monks, an old and a young one, were walking together while practicing their daily meditation. On their walk, the two monks came to a stream, swollen by the spring rains.
Both monks noticed a beautiful young woman standing on the bank of the river crying. The young monk kept walking because in this order of monks, any contact with women was strictly forbidden. The old monk, however, asked the woman, ”Why are you crying?”
She replied that she wanted to go to her father’s house to attend her sister’s wedding, but that the stream was too high to cross.
“No problem at all,” said the old monk, and he picked the young woman up and carried her across the stream. When he sat her down on the other side, she thanked him profusely, and went on her way.
As the two monks continued their journey, the older monk could see that his young companion was becoming more and more disturbed. “What’s troubling you, brother?” he asked.
The younger monk exploded in anger. “You know we’re not supposed to have anything to do with women, and you picked that woman up and carried her across the stream!”
“I picked her up and set her down hours ago” replied the old, wise monk, “You have been carrying her all this way.”
Seed: Let the past go. If we continue to carry our past failures, mistakes, or missed opportunities, we will overlook what is going on right now. Living in the past only leads to unhappiness and the inability to find joy. One must learn from the past, and let it go.
Our lesson in life is to learn how to hold the past, present and future with a sense of openness to whatever is. If you are in a rut, ask yourself, “am I still carrying the girl?”
What of your past are you still carrying?
This post originally appeared on PlantingWisdom.org