A Koan for Monday

A monk and his apprentice were leaving on a journey. The head of their monastery told them that, on the way, they were to avoid any contact with women.

The two were walking along the road when they heard cries for help. A young lady had fallen into a hole and hurt her leg. The apprentice stood back and watched as the older monk helped the woman out of the hole. Her leg being hurt, he proceeded to carry her to the nearest village, where he got her a room at an inn and arranged for her to be taken care of until she was healed.

The two travelers then proceeded on, but after a short distance the older monk noticed his apprentice seemed bothered by something. He asked the young man what was troubling him.

“Sensei, did the head monk not tell us to avoid any contact with women?”

“Oh,” said the older monk. “Are you still carrying her? I left her back at the inn.”

(Yes, I know it’s not really a koan.)

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