Carrying Burdens

 in San Antonio - Talamantez Karate

Carrying Burdens

A long ago time ago in the hills of Quong Zu province, there once lived a revered old monk who was a master of Zen Buddhism.

One day he decided that he would make a pilgrimage to a neighboring monastery, and not wishing to make the journey alone, he decided to take along one of his young disciples.


They started their journey early the next morning and in the true spirit of Zen each walked along engrossed in his own thoughts, and so they journeyed for many hours without speaking. By mid-day they had come to a small stream and it was here that they noticed a young girl dressed in fine silk, obviously contemplating how best to cross the stream without getting her precious clothes wet.


Immediately the old monk walked over to the young girl and in one smooth motion, he picked her up in his arms and walked out into the stream, then after carrying her safely to the other side, he gently put her down and walked on without having said a single word.



We always challenge our students to think critically and to develop a better outlook on life. In this story a great metaphor was used to express how carrying burdens can be stressful and sometimes limit us. The story may be hard to decipher at first, however, by using critical thinking we can imagine how it relates to our daily lives.


Kimonos are traditionally made of many heavy layers of silk and are very confined in their movement. The woman knew she had to cross, and that if she made a wrong step, that she would soak her kimono, or worse, she could surely drown.


Along came the Zen Buddhist master who had left his burdens behind while meditating. By simply letting go and finding peace where he was, he had no issue with seeing the young woman needed help. Had he been burdened himself, perhaps he would have never noticed the woman in the kimono. Once he took action he was committed and thought nothing of it. Pick the girl up, cross the river, and on he went. No stress and no fuss.


As was with the girl in the kimono, we sometimes find ourselves with too many burdens and think too much on how to act. We need to realize that, sometimes, we simply need to ask others for help. Not every burden you face has to be on your own; asking for help can be a strong life characteristic.


Once we face our own hardship, either by yourself or with help, we can then slowly turn into a wiser person, and help others cross their own streams in life.

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