Zen Letting Go Story

No matter where you are in your life, or your spiritual journey (which you might believe are two separate things), there’s always time to sit, ponder, recalculate and retrain your thoughts and feelings.

One widely-accessible resource that often works effectively in opening one’s mind, heart and soul is the use of Zen stories.

These amazing treasures, generally left by Zen monks long past, normally centre on self-awareness, outward and inward kindness, and as you will experience in this one, the very important skill of letting go.

This is one of my favourite Zen stories:

Once there were two Zen monks travelling by foot on their long way back to the monastery.

On the road they saw a beautiful woman crying and close to desperation because she was too afraid to cross a dangerous river on her own.

The woman asked the older monk to carry her to the other bank. But he replied: “No, I can’t because that’s against the rules. I am forbidden even to look at a woman. Touching or carrying is absolutely out of the question”.

Then she called on the younger monk and he, in silence, carried her safely to the other side.

Many miles further, already nearing the monastery, the older monk spoke to his younger colleague, saying: “I’ll report your misconduct to the master!”

The younger man smiled and countered: “I unburdened her from my shoulders hours ago, but you are carrying her still”. – Unknown

Image Courtesy: Bodega Hostels

About Joel Helmes 22 Articles
I am a Sutherland-based Holistic Counsellor who offers a person-centered and solutions-focused approach. I utilize skills from a number of modalities. I believe that we are all capable of change and I hope that I might be able to assist you in achieving this.