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Girl on Muddy Road


By Lulu Hansen, Fishing for the Moon and other Zen stories

Tanzan, the renowned Soto Zen teacher, AD 1819-1892, and a Daoist priest were traveling on the road made muddy by rain when they met a lovely girl in the silk robe. She had to cross the road but did not want to soil her skirt and so was stranded.

“Let me help you,” offered Tanzan, and he carried her to the other side.

The two friends than journeyed onward, although the priest brooded it in silence for the rest of the day.

At nightfall, he blurted to Tanzan, “We searchers of the Way keep our distance from women. Especially those who are young and beautiful. Why did you do that? Are you ashamed?”

“What do you mean? Ashamed about the girl?” answered Tanzan. “I put her down along time ago. Are you still carrying her?

Do find you hold on to a lot? Imagine he weight of the girl on the road. How much emotional weight are you still carrying after the physical weight is gone?

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