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Living in the Present

A long time ago I heard a beautiful Zen story in a Buddhist temple. The story encourages us to live in the present moment.

Most of the time Buddhist lessons are taught using simple examples from daily life. 

Quite often we are carrying around events from our past that hurts or, hold onto resentments, and we keep playing in our mind the same event over and over without realizing that the only person that we are hurting is ourself.

The story says..."A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. At one point, they came to a river with a strong current. As the monks were preparing to cross the river, they saw a very young and beautiful woman also attempting to cross. The young woman asked if they could help her cross to the other side.

The two monks glanced at one another because they had taken vows not to touch a woman.

Then, without a word, the older monk picked up the woman, carried her across the river, placed her gently on the other side, and carried on his 

The younger monk couldn’t believe what had just happened. After rejoining his companion, he was speechless, and an hour passed without a word between them.

Two more hours passed, then three, finally the younger monk could contain himself any longer, and blurted out “As monks, we are not permitted a woman, how could you then carry that woman on your shoulders?”

The older monk looked at him and replied, “Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river many hours ago; why are you still carrying her?"

We always have the option to ruminate over past events or actions, allowing these thoughts to sap on our energy or, concentrate in the present moment and let go of the past.

Because ‘now’ is all we will ever have.

For the Spanish version go to https://exploradorazen.blogspot.com/

Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Buddhist Monks.




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