The Young Monk
A young monk planned to wander around the world spreading the gospel. But, he postponed the departure date again and again. The abbot waited impatiently, ‘You were supposed to start off six months ago. What’s stopping you?’ The very perturbed young monk sighed, ‘It is a very long journey. I can’t imagine how many thousands of mountains and rivers I will have to go through. The climates, the clothes, the foods and some others… I need to have a good plan before I set off.’ The abbot hesitated for a while and nodded, ‘Yes, it is such a very long way. You certainly need to be well prepared. Do you have enough shoes?’ Then, the abbot ordered every monk to make ten pair of shoes for him. There were some one hundred monks living at the abbey. Over a thousand pairs of shoes were piled up in the young monk’s room not long after. The young monk was stunned at the scene. The abbot ordered again, ‘This junior is going far away. He will meet the unnumbered trials and hardships on the journey. Everyone should make an umbrella for him.’ Hundreds of umbrellas were delivered to his room before long. The shoes and the umbrellas were stacked like a mountain. The abbot asked, ‘Do you have enough clothes? I will order…’ The young monk interrupted, ‘Teacher, I wander around the world myself only. Look at all this stuff, let alone to carry it for thousands of miles. I can hardly move one tiny step.’ The abbot smiled faintly, ‘No worry, these are not enough yet. You will across the boundless oceans too. I’m going to order every monk to build a boat for you.’ The young monk quickly knelt down before the abbot, ‘Teacher, I’ve understood your intention. I will hit the road right now!’ The abbot said, ‘When one starts off on a journey, one pair of shoes and a monk’s robe are enough. If he carries a lot of stuff, it will only become a burden on the way. As a result, you will never get very far. Most people wander around the world from time to time, accumulating “stuff” for the journey when all we really need is to have a pure heart and a change of clothes.’ The young monk comprehended eventually. The more we want, the more it becomes a burden to us at the end of the day. We should all have the self-discipline to make life as simple as it
can be, not as complicated as the world would advise us.
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