Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker: Life Coach for Empaths, Highly Sensitive People & People Pleasers

Leave it by the River: A Tale of Two Monks

March 25, 2024 MaryAnn Walker Episode 92
Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker: Life Coach for Empaths, Highly Sensitive People & People Pleasers
Leave it by the River: A Tale of Two Monks
Show Notes Transcript

Today I share the story of two monks. Both had taken a vow to not touch a woman, yet they found a woman in need of help crossing a river. The older and wiser monk carried her across. The younger younger monk became angry and accusatory towards the senior monk. "We took a vow not to touch a woman!" The older monk replied, "I left her by the river. Why are you still choosing to carry her?"

So often we continue to hold onto things, possibly even ruminating on them, thinking this is productive. Today, I encourage you to leave it behind. Let it be. Leave it by the  side of the river.

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Welcome back to my Inner Work Monday minis. This is where I just share small ideas that can have a huge impact. And today I want to read you a story. I had heard this story before and I loved it and I couldn't find the original copy, so I Googled it. Thank you, Google. And I found this version by medium. com and it is about two monks. So are you ready for story time? Here we go. 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 to cross to the other side. The two monks glanced at each other because they had both taken vows not to touch a woman. Then, without a word, the older monk picked up the woman and carried her across the river. He placed her gently on the other side and then carried on with his journey. The younger monk couldn't believe what had just happened. After rejoining his companion, he was speechless. And an hour passed between them without a word. Then two hours passed. And then three, finally, the younger monk could contain himself no longer. He blurted out, as monks, we are not permitted to touch a woman. How could you then carry a woman on your shoulders? The older monk looked at him and replied, brother, I sat her down on the other side of the river. Why are you? still carrying her. Now that is the end of the story, but because it was worded so well, I'm going to just continue on with what they wrote on medium. com. I'll put a link in the show notes, but they said, this simple Zen story has a beautiful message about living in the present moment. How often do we carry around past hurts and hold on to resentments when the only person we are really hurting is ourselves? We all go through times in life when other people say things or behave in ways that are hurtful towards us. We can choose to ruminate over past actions or events, but it will ultimately weigh us down. And sap our energy. Instead, we can choose to let go of what doesn't serve us anymore and concentrate on the present moment. Until we can find a level of peace and happiness in the present circumstances of our lives, we will never be content because now. Is all we have. So today I encourage you to think about something that you might be holding on to. So yes, it might be our resentments. It might be guilt. It might be shame, but I encourage you today to find something that you're holding onto and let it go. Just leave it by the river. So you might be holding on something for yourself, or you might be holding onto it for someone else that you're holding onto judgment and resentment towards others or judgment and resentment towards yourself. But regardless of who it's directed at, these emotions, they just weigh us down. One thing that I see pretty often in this population is that oftentimes we have such a strong desire to make other people happy that sometimes we find ourselves being out of integrity with ourselves. And this means we might be doing actions that are Not in alignment with our moral character, or we might be out of alignment simply because we said yes when we wanted to say no. So I encourage you to look at what that is creating for you and leave it by the river. Alright, so that is all I have for you today. I will see you next time. Have a great week. Bye now.