Book: Reflections

Reflections - bringing attention to your daily life by Désirée Steinmann

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Reflections of the Week

Two Monks

2010-09-11 10:39 (comments: 0)

today I have a ZEN story to share with you that made me think:

Two monks, one rather aged and one still very young, were hiking along a muddy path in a rainforest. They were on their way home to their monastery. Suddenly they ran into a beautiful woman who was standing helplessly at the banks of a raging river.

The older monk recognized her dilemma and picked her up in his strong arms and carried her across the river. She smiled and clasped her hands around his neck until he dropped her off on the opposite river bank. She bowed politely to thank him, and the monks continued their journey in silence. After 4 hours, not far from the doors of the monastery, the younger monk could no longer hold back:

“How could you take such a beautiful woman into your arms? Such an action does not behove a monk!”

The old monk looked at his companion and said:

“I left the woman on the other side of the river 4 hours ago. You, it seems to me, are still carrying her.”

Which monkeys are you carrying on your shoulders? Ones that are too old or should have been filed a long time ago? Did you separate from a partner a long time ago, and are you still harbouring bad feelings and want revenge? Did you ever make a wrong business decision which today is hindering you to make self confident, good decisions? Did you ever experience something, or had something done to you, that you keep playing like a bad movie in your head and you just can’t shake it off?

One can’t turn the clock back on the past, but everyone has the possibility to decide about the ´here and now´ and to influence the future. It all starts with accepting what has happened, forgiving oneself and others in order to be free and let go. Leave the issue behind you now, except that what you learned, because your life is happening only in this moment and not the past.

Yesterday has passed and tomorrow is not yet here. Live in the present!

Please share your thoughts or personal stories here in the blog.


He, who is looking for revenge shall dig two graves.

Chinese Proverb


Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.



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