This story of two Zen monks, Tanzan and Ekido, is told by Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth:
“Tanzan and Ekido were walking along a country road that had become extremely muddy after heavy rains. Near a village, they came upon a young woman who was trying to cross the road, but the mud was so deep it would have ruined the silk kimono she was wearing. Tanzan at once picked her up and carried her to the other side.
The monks walked on in silence. Five hours later, as they were approaching the lodging temple, Ekido couldn’t restrain himself any longer. ‘Why did you carry that girl across the road?’ he asked. ‘We monks are not supposed to do things like that.’
‘I put the girl down hours ago,’ said Tanzan. ‘Are you still carrying her?’”
Don’t we all carry stuff long after we should have laid it down? Stuff of our own. Stuff of others.
Whatever happened in our past, good or bad, has helped shaped us into who we are today. But today we live in the now—where God lives—and God doesn’t intend our memories of the past to become burdens into our futures.
Don’t keep carrying the girl across the road if she’s been put down hours ago. Weeks ago. Years ago. It’s time to lay her down now.
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- God save me from god
- I need your worship