The other night, my 5 year-old son brought his new book “Zen shorts” written by Jon J Muth to me for reading, And the word “zen” just caught my attention, hmmm, Zen for kids?
With the beautiful watercolor images, while I was reading it for my two kids, I have found this also really good to the grown ups, yes I am also touched and felt of “Zen.”
One of the stories told here is actually my favorite among many zen stories simple but quietly striking teaching for your mind deep. I like to enjoy this with you and maybe your little ones.
“The heavy load”, story goes….
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 monk, 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?”
Now the question goes to you all,
“Do you think you have carried it long enough?”
We carry many things, many worries and angers etc…don’t you feel that heavy load still on the body, which creates the enormous amount of the burden physically and emotionally as well? Now take a deep breath and hold a bit and exhale through your mouth with ‘haaa’ sound – with that out-breath, unload all the weights.
The very unique and special power of Zen story is that it gives you continually thinking mind a temporary stop and in turn the space…the emptiness and then every one has a different question and answers rising – there is no one right question nor answer.
Be alert and mindfulness, move and live your breath always…