THE SALT ANT AND THE SUGAR ANT

Once there were two ants. One lived in a sack of salt while the other in a sack of sugar. The sugar ant once visited her neighbour and tasted the salt in her sack.. 

Finding it bitter she said, “Do come a visit my house. I’m sure you’ll find the food there much to your liking.” 

The salt-fed ant accepted her neighbour’s invitation but being naturally cautious and not wanting to run short of food she took a grain of salt with her in her mouth.

When she ate the sugar she said, “Frankly I don’t know what you’re talking about. Your food tastes much like mine.”

The sugar fed ant replied, “Perhaps that’s because you’re hounding on to something of your own. Get rid of that and I’m sure you’ll notice the difference.” 

The salt fed ant cleaned out her mouth, tasted the sugar and never returned to the sack of salt.

Source: samathavipassana.org

CONSIDER THIS

Are you clinging to a thing, an event, an experience or a person in such a way that the disordinate attachment is blocking you from seeing and tasting the sweetness of fresh and new gifts awaiting to be acknowledged and embraced with a gentle and relaxed grasp?

LETTING GO

Two monks were returning to the monastery in the evening. It had rained and there were puddles of water on the road sides. At one place a beautiful young woman was standing unable to walk across because of a puddle of water. The elder of the two monks went up to a her lifted her and left her on the other side of the road, and continued his way to the monastery.

In the evening the younger monk came to the elder monk and said, “Sir, as monks, we cannot touch a woman.”

The elder monk answered “yes, brother”.

Then the younger monk asks again, “but then Sir, how is that you lifted that woman on the roadside ?”

The elder monk smiled at him and told him ” I left her on the other side of the road, but you are still carrying her.”

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Another version of the same story titled Muddy Road :

Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy raod. A heavy rain was still falling.

Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.

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

Ekido did not speak again until the night when they reached the lodging temple. Then he no longer could 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?” (p 591)

Source | Paul RepsNyogen Senzaki,  Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-zen Writings, pages 33-34

PONDER AND CONSIDER

Learn the art of letting go and all shall be well. In life we face many unpleasant things and people sometimes. They irritate us and they make us angry. Sometimes, they cause us a lot of hurt, sometimes they cause us to be bitter or jealous. But like the novice monk, we are not willing to drop the irritation, drop the attachment. We go through life carrying the unnecessary baggage with us.