There’s a story from Zen Buddhism of two monks on a journey back to their monastery. They reach a shallow river and are about to cross when a beautiful young woman calls to them and asks for help getting across. Knowing that his monastic rule forbids contact with women one of the monks refuses but the other picks her up, carries her across and sets her down again on the other side. After thanking him the young woman leaves to continue her journey whilst the two monks walk in silence until they get near to the monastery.
As they approach the monastery the monk who refused to carry the woman turns to his companion and says: “I hope you’re going to confess your infringement of the monastic code – I can’t believe you picked that pretty young woman up!” His companion replies: “Friend, I put her down on the other side of the river, but you have carried her all the rest of the way”.
In the monastery we wrote these down and burnt the paper. If you have a suitable way of doing this you may like to do the same or simply imagine putting it on a bonfire and seeing all that you wish to let go of from last year being burned and the energy being released and transformed by the flames.
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