Here’s a plethora of monkish stories that I’ve used before and like very much – enjoy! 🙂
There was once two monks travelling together, a young novice and an elder Master. As they came to the edge of a huge river, they noticed a young woman at the edge of the river who could not cross over. Without hesitation, the older monk lifted her up on his shoulders and carried her across the raging river. When they came to the other edge of the river he put her down and the two monks went on their way. After a few hours of travelling in silence, the young monk couldn’t contain himself any longer. “Why did you pick up that woman?”, he asked the older monk. “You know that our rules strictly forbid us from touching women. And here I thought you were one of the wisest and holiest persons at the monastery!” The older monk replied, “I carried the woman and set her down at the edge of the river. You, my dear friend, are still carrying her around in your heart.”
Two Other Monks
A young monk was pondering the mysteries of life one day, and he thought of a question he couldn’t answer. He ran to his Master and asked, “Master, why is it that some people are faith-filled and not others?” So the Master said, “Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time there was a dog chasing a rabbit. As he chased and chased he barked and barked, making quite a commotion. After a while, his barking attracted other dogs, and soon other dogs, until there were dozens of dogs chasing this one rabbit. Mind you, the other dogs didn’t know what they were doing – they had only been attracted by the barking of the first dog. So these dogs chased the rabbit up hills and down streets, through villages and streams. And one by one the dogs started getting tired, until there was only the first dog, alone again, chasing the rabbit.
The young monk stood silent for a respectful amount of time, then said, “I don’t get it!”
The Master answered, “The other dogs had no idea why they were running. Only the first dog knew they were chasing a rabbit. Similarly, we must get a glimpse of God before we can dedicate our lives to God and others. Without that first vision – that first taste – we too tire easily, because we do not know what we are striving for.”
There was once a famous monastery where people from all over the world came to study. One day, the eldest monk asked a question of the gathered students. “How can one tell when the night is over and the light is starting to shine forth?”
“Is it when you can look at a distance and tell the difference between your house and your neighbor’s house?”, answered one pupil. “No,” replied the Master, “that is not the answer.”
“Well, is it when you can look at a distance and tell the difference between your dog and a neighbor’s dog?”, answered another student. “No,” replied the Master, “that is not the answer either.”
“Then it must be when you look at a distance and can tell the difference between and apple and an orange hanging on two adjoining trees,” replied a third disciple. “No,” replied the Master, “you have still not grasped the answer.”
“Then tell us, please,” they all pleaded.
“When you can look at another persons face – any person – and see your brother or your sister, then and only then is the light coming that will banish the darkness.”
Blessings & Peace,