Zen Pencils by Gavin Aung Than for March 21, 2014
Two monks, a younger acolyte and an older priest, were traveling to the village of Sui-Shen, to assist in the Moon Festival there. On their way, they came upon a rushing stream, with a beautiful young lady in Moon Festival finery, fretting at the stream's edge. Oh, please, good Monks! Won't you carry me on your back over the stream so that I do not ruin my festival dress? No! Not possible our order forbids us to tough the flesh of females. To the shock of the younger Monk, the older priest smiled... Of course my dear, please hop up on my back and I will carry you across. The older Monk dutifully carried the young lady across the stream, and set her gently down on the other side. The girl thanked the Older priest profusely, and then made her way to the Festival. While walking towards the village, the youthful acolyte fumed and internally raged until he could take it no longer. Elder Brother! How dare you carry that woman across that stream, when your order prohibits that? Younger sibling... I put the girl down on the other side of the stream. Why are you still carrying her?
Avatar_Ang about 9 years ago
Yup! Understand the REASONING behind the rule rather than following it blindly…
Darwinskeeper about 9 years ago
I really love this saying. It reminds me of the importance of not holding onto grudges indefinitely. The younger monk’s error was not in refusing to help the woman, it was in fuming and internally raging about the older monk’s action.
mr_sherman Premium Member about 9 years ago
An excellent tale in separating the spirit of the law from the letter of the law.
j2p2 about 9 years ago
Your art here is fantastic!! And a wonderful tale!!
LittleCatFeet about 9 years ago
I’ve heard a slightly different version before, where the youger monk is angry because the woman showed no gratitude, but it remains a very good story to tell someone who just can’t ‘drop it.’ I like the new twist that weaves in another good lesson, mr_sherman.
H P Hundt Premium Member about 9 years ago
So do whatever you want and anyone who comments on it is wrong?
topbunk about 9 years ago
Very Zen… Now, don’t think about it!
vldazzle about 9 years ago
Good one, and well drawn, too.
GopherBaroque about 9 years ago
I read this little story years ago. It is one I still remember and keep in my toolkit.
rorena623 about 9 years ago