Two monks are walking down the road. They arrive at a muddy stream crossing, and a well-dressed woman declares without introduction, “Don’t just stand there. Someone carry me across this mess.“ Without pause, the older monk lifts her across. She says nothing, not even a thank you.
The two monks walk all day. The whole time, the younger one stews in his mind—How could he pick her up? We’re not supposed to touch women, or even talk to them. And she was so rude, someone should say something to her, she didn’t deserve our help.
Finally, arriving at the inn for dinner, he can’t hold himself back. “What were you thinking?” he asks his friend. “She was nasty, and you broke the rules, and she didn’t even say thank you.” The older monk smiles gently and replies. “Wow, I put that woman down hours ago, but you’ve been carrying her all this time!”