Untangling our heart to move towards our goals

One day, two monks were on their way back to their hermitage when they came to a steep downhill slope. Both monks noticed a young lady who was afraid to climb down that slope. The elder monk reached out for the young lady’s hand and supported her safely down the slope.

After walking for a long while, the younger monk turned to the elder monk and said, “Brother, today you broke our hermitage’s most important rule of not touching a woman. ”

The elder monk replied, “I’ve sent her off, why are you still holding on to her?”

This story is often used as a parable to teach “non attachment” of thoughts. Importantly, its also about the importance of how to differentiate between social rules and religious rules. Rule of not touching an opposite gender is good in itself, to establish boundaries against sensual desires. But a more important rule is differentiating between helping those in need versus following religiously to a social rule.

Lest we laugh at the younger monk, age doesnt matter in this story,

Many institutions of faith have similar stories about religious rule vs moral rules. In Jewish texts, David ate holy bread to fill his hunger, on the run from King Saul. In New Testament, Jesus healed the sick on a Sabbath, which is a holy day of meditation and non activity.

Intentions of the heart is the common thread in these examples. Do we focus on goals for the greater good or do we let the fear of what others say about us take over.

What is the other monk’s real concern in this story? Rules of the hermitage? Safety of the young woman? Safety of the elder monk?

Unfortunately, in life, we navigate these mines that entrap us. If we care too much about social approval, we will not move towards values that matter. Our concerns reflect what matters to us.

Before you go around breaking any kind of rules, make time to discover values that matter to you. Importantly, like David of the Jewish texts, find others who share your values (1 Samuel 21:6). If you are in a position of influence, then take time to educate those who need enlightenment. Sometimes, it can take centuries.

#untangle #lovingkindness #meditation #Zentangle #mirrorinourheart #reflection #socialrules

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: