A Zen Story: Crossing the River

Written By: Sky Yang

Two monks were once traveling together into town. They went through a shortcut passing through the woods. Half way through their travels, they were met with a river cutting across their path.

As they prepare to cross the river, they noticed a young and beautiful woman in a fine dress along the side of the river, unable to cross the river.

The older monk inquired, “ ma’am, do you need my assistance to cross the river?”. The lady replied, “oh please, would you be so kind?”. The monk lifted her in his arms, and carried her across the river. He set her down and bid their good byes.

The young monk did not utter a word until that evening when they reached their destination. He could no longer contain himself and finally asked, “We monks we’re not suppose to touch females.” He told the older monk, “especially not a beautiful young lady. It is asking for trouble. Why did you do that?”

The older monk replied and said, “As soon as we crossed the river, I left the girl there. Why are you still carrying her?”

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