By Remez Sasson
What do you do, when you go through an unpleasant experience, or when someone tells you something you don’t like? Do you keep thinking about the event or the words said? Do you go on playing the same CD in your mind?
This reminds me of a story I have read in the book “101 Zen stories”, about two monks, who were walking from one village to another.
On their way, they came to a large puddle full of mud, which they had to cross. At the brink of the puddle, they saw a young woman standing, afraid to cross the puddle.
“Come”, said one of the monks, “I will carry you to the other side”. He took her on his back, and carried her to the other side of the puddle.
After crossing the road, the two monks continued walking silently for hours, until they reached their destination.
The other monk could not keep silent any longer and exclaimed:” How could you carry that girl on your back? We are monks and are not allowed to touch women.”
The monk who carried the women over the puddle smiled and said: “I have left the girl at the other side of the puddle, but it seems you are still carrying her with you!”
This story shows the importance of detachment. Thinking over and again about the past, or repeating hurting, unpleasant and negative thoughts, is like carrying a heavy load on your back. It is important to let go and learn to display detachment toward such thoughts. This will develop the ability to clear the mind of unnecessary and disturbing thoughts, and bring a sense of freedom and happiness.
Pay attention to your inner conversations and to the thoughts you keep repeating in your mind, and you will discover how much time and energy you waste thinking over and over about past actions and events, or about what people said or did.
It is so much better to forget the past and focus on the present moment. You cannot change the past, but you can make the present moment happier and more enjoyable.
Focusing on the present moment, enjoying it, and doing your best, ensures the creation of a better future.
Detachment, and the ability to focus on the present, depend on your ability to free your mind from the past, and from unnecessary and negative thoughts. Doing so, will bring more happiness, joy and real freedom into your life.
Detachment, and focusing on the present moment, removes any load from your back.
Inner detachment and freedom from thoughts requires some inner work. All the good things in life require doing some work.
I have written about focusing the mind, and I have written about detachment in many of my articles, which you can find at this website, as well as in the books about focus and detachment, available at this website.