Short Stories

The Muddied Mind

Sometimes Zen conveys a concept through stories and anecdotes. They are simple yet profound. I was surfing the net when I came across a story I read in my childhood.

A senior monk and his student were once travelling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling. Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in an expensive silk kimono and shoes. She was unable to cross the intersection as she feared her attire would get muddy. “Come on, girl,” said the senior monk and lifted her in his arms. He carried her across and put her down. Then the monk and the student continued on their journey.

The student did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. “We monks don’t do near females,” he told the senior monk, “especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?”
“I left the girl across the road,” said the monk. “Are you still carrying her?”

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