There is a story of two Buddhist monks walking by a river. They noticed a young woman was having difficulty crossing the river, so one of the monks stopped and carried the lady across the river. Later in the day, the other monk spoke saying. – “You shouldn’t have carried that woman – as monks are not supposed to get involved with woman.’ The first monk replied, “I just carried her across the river, then let go of her.” By contrast, you have been carrying her around in your mind ever since.
The point of this story is that it is the mind and our thoughts which are important. With our thoughts we can create heaven or hell on earth.
For example, one millionaire may become obsessed with his money – every night he might count up his savings and then worry endlessly about losing his wealth. Because the miser only thinks of money, he fears people only wish to approach him for his money and so he becomes defensive and suspicious of other people However, another millionaire, may give little thought to his wealth. He won’t mind spending it for good causes, but, he wouldn’t use it for ostentatious display. Money is not the most important aspect of his life and he can easily detach from the desire for money and worries about money.
Here money is neither good nor bad – it depends how we use it. If we obsess with gaining more money we will be unhappy. But, if we are detached we won’t have the worries and anxieties of a miser.
Photo by Pavitrata Taylor, Sri Chinmoy Centre Galleries