Sunday, September 09, 2007
A Buddhist Thought...
For my three-year old's second birthday, I bought a book called Zen Shorts, by Jon J. Muth because I loved the watercolors. The story is very sweet--about a peaceful panda that moves into a neighborhood--but we never got through the book. Eamonn just wasn't interested in koan-spouting bears. However, lately he has been picking it as an early morning read, so I finally finished it. One of the panda's parables is so appropriate to all my vairagya discussions, I wanted to post it. Since I am one that tends to stew, it is especially useful...
A Heavy Load
Two traveling monks reached a town where there was a young woman waiting to step out of her sedan chair. The rains had made deep puddles and she couldn't step across without spoiling her silken robes. She stood there, looking very cross and impatient. She was scolding her attendants. They had nowhere to place the packages they held for her, so they couldn't help her across the puddle.
The younger monk noticed the woman, said nothing and walked by. The older monk quickly picked her up and put her on his back, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other side. She didn't thank the older man, she just shoved him out of the way and departed.
As they continued on their way, the young monk was brooding and preoccupied. After several hours, unable to hold his silence, he spoke out. "That woman back there was very selfish and rude, but you picked her up on your back and carried her! Then she didn't even thank you!"
"I set the woman down hours ago," the older monk replied. "Why are you still carrying her?"