Thursday, September 3, 2015
ZEN: DRAGGING THE BOAT
Two young men left their village to attend a talk by the Buddha. It was to be a three day journey so the men left a day early to insure they would arrive in plenty of time to enjoy the preceding.
After two days they arrived at a river only to find the bridge had been destroyed. Knowing they had an extra day they set about constructing a boat from bamboo and reeds. The next morning they made the crossing and were feeling confident as they still had a day for travel.
The oldest man said that it was such a fine boat it would be a shame to leave it, so they each grabbed a gunnel and started down the road.
The men arrived in village just as the Buddha finished talking. They approached the Buddha and told him how disappointed they were to have missed his talk. The Buddha look at the men and the boat and asked why they dragging a boat. The men said they had built it to cross the river and that it was such a fine boat they could not leave it.
The Buddha smiled and walked away.
I sit here in my den/office/man-cave or whatever you want to call this room that all the artifacts of decades of my life are jumbled into and look around at the boat that I have been dragging: books on sky diving (not going to happen,) books on white water canoeing ( I no longer own a canoe,) survival gear, hunting and fishing gear, pictures and artifacts hanging on the walls, three boxes of cassette tapes ( I no longer own a cassette player,) Sherlock Holmes collections and the list could go on.
I have been dragging most of this stuff around with me for decades – some for over fifty years.
I tend to think of this stuff as defining me; but in truth I was a different person at each time this stuff represents. However, they bring back pleasant memories.
You can’t stand in the same river twice.
I guess we all drag our boats, and perhaps that is only a bad thing when it prevents us from living in the present or obstructs our future goals.
Hell I don’t know