The Pretty Lady
Once upon a time, a big monk and a little monk were traveling together.
They came to the bank of a river and found the bridge was damaged. They had
to wade across the river.
There was a pretty lady who was stuck at the damaged bridge and couldn't
cross the river. The big monk offered to carry the pretty lady across the
river on his back. The lady accepted.
The little monk was shocked by the
move of the big monk. "How can big disciple brother carry a lady when we are
supposed to avoid all intimacy with females?" thought the little monk. But
he kept quiet.
The big monk carried the lady across the river and the small
monk followed unhappily. When they crossed the river, the big monk let the
lady down and they parted ways with her.
All along the way for several miles, the little monk was very unhappy
with the act of the big monk. He was making up all kinds of accusations
about the big monk in his head. This got him madder and madder. But he
still kept quiet. And the big monk had no inclination to explain his
Finally, at a rest point many hours later, the little monk could
not stand it any further, he burst out angrily at the big monk. "How can
you claim yourself a devout monk, when you seize the first opportunity to
touch a female, especially when she is very pretty? All your teachings to
me make you a big hypocrite."
The big monk looked surprised and said, "I had put down the pretty lady
at the river bank many hours ago, how come you are still carrying her
This very old Chinese Zen story reflects the thinking of many people
today. We encounter many unpleasant things in our life, they irritate us
and they make us angry. Sometimes, they cause us a lot of hurt, sometimes
they cause us to be bitter or jealous. But like the little monk, we are not
willing to let them go away. We keep on carrying the baggage of the "pretty
lady" with us. We let them keep on coming back to hurt us, make us angry,
make us bitter and cause us a lot of agony. Why? Simply because we are not
willing to put down or let go of the baggage of the "pretty lady".
We should let go of the pretty lady immediately after crossing the river,
immediately after the unpleasant event is over. This will immediately
remove all our agonies. There is no need to be further hurt by the
unpleasant event after it is over. It is just that simple.
Next time you hear somebody criticizing or making fun of you, remember,
it's probably just a couple of noisy frogs.
Some of us waste our time waiting for people to live up to our
expectations. We are so concerned about what others are doing that we don't
do anything ourselves.
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The
trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up.