Letting Go: An Update on the Practice of Patience
There is a story of a monk and his teacher who were walking in the forest. They came upon a small creek and saw a beautiful elegantly dressed lady standing on the other side of the creek who was obviously trying to figure out how to cross the body of water. Without hesitation the teacher stepped across the creek, picked up the lady and carried her across, set her down, and without a word, continued on his way. His student was very troubled by witnessing this scene because he had been taught that he was not allowed to touch a woman under any circumstances. He was, however, hesitant to bring this up to his teacher, lest he show disrespect to him. So they continued to walk in silence for several more hours. Finally the young monk could bear it no longer and he said, “Excuse me teacher, but I am confused by your actions. You have taught me that it is wrong to touch a woman.” The teacher stopped and looked directly at his student and said simply: “I did pick her up, my student, but I set her down again. Why are you still carrying her?”
So my practice continues with a deeper understanding of the importance of letting go of self criticism.