EJM Designs Limited Blog

Monday, November 2, 2009

Inspiration Monday: The Muddy Road

In collecting my thoughts and gaining a handle on what is often a busy day, I sometimes use some of the readings of Zen Buddhism to refresh my memory of what is important and what is calm and what is flow. One of my favorites (I even used it in a piece of inspiration to a family member recently) is an old koan entitled "The Muddy Road:"
Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was falling. As they came around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross at an intersection.

"Come on, girl," said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.

Ekido did not speak until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he could no longer restrain himself. "We monks don't go near females," he told Tanzan, "especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?"

"I left the girl there," said Tanzan. "Are you still carrying her?"

Simple yet brilliant. Dwelling and ruminating and worrying get you nowhere. Something either is or isn't. As Mark Twain once said, "Worrying about something is like paying interest on a debt you don't even know if you owe."

But at the same time this koan makes me remember that all is change, all is in flux, and that focusing on one aspect of something for too longs adds nothing but stagnation to your river, for lack of a better analogy.

Take things as they come. Say "Thank you" for blessings. Overcome obstacles (then say "Thank you" again). You'll come out a better person, and others will see you as geniously anticipatory when all you were was flexible and mindful.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! You should write a book. Not sure about what yet, but you should write one. :)