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The Mental Baggage We Carry

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. So today I'm going to talk about how we often carry a lot of mental baggage around with us and a way to set it down and find freedom, right where we stand. So there's a well known parable about this. A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. And at one point they came to a wide river they had to wade through to get to the other side.

And as they were about to cross the river, a beautiful young woman who'd been attempting to cross on her own, asked them for help to get to the other side. The two monks hesitated for a moment because they'd both taken a vow, not to touch women. Then without a moment of hesitation, the older monk picks up the woman carries her carefully across the river and places her gently on the other side. The two monks then continued traveling on their way. And for the rest of the day as they travel, the younger monk was replaying this scene over and over again in his mind in disbelief and dismay at the scene back there at the river.

The older monk had broken his vow. He couldn't believe it. Hours passed in silence as the young monk continued to ruminate on what had transpired. And as the hours passed, not a word was spoken between them. And as the sun set that day, finally, the younger monk could not contain himself any longer and blurted out.

'How could you? Why did you carry that woman across the river and break your vows?' The older monk looked at him with a serene smile and said, 'Brother, I sat her down on the other side of the river many hours ago. Why are you still carrying her?' So like that young monk, how often do we carry around our resentments, our grievances, our judgments, and our bitterness when we could have easily set them down hours ago, days ago, or in some cases maybe even years ago. You know, we all go through times in life where other people behave in ways that we don't like, or we experience pain, heartache or disappointment. This might help to provide the conditions for kind of tumultuous thoughts and feelings to arise. But the rest of the suffering, we inflict upon ourselves by ruminating, stewing on the things, holding grudges and resentments and mulling over our problems over and over again.

But ultimately all this does is weigh us down and make us full of anger, tension and negativity. But like the older monk, we too can simply stop carrying all that mental baggage around with us in the mind. We can set it down and instead be present, right where we stand. If you think about it, this is a kindness to ourselves. If something was already painful or difficult or confusing, why prolong it by dragging it around with you all the time? So as much as possible, remember to set down and what's no longer serving you and bring your focus back to the here and now.

The more we can do this, the more we can find inner freedom and strength, right where we stand. So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here. And just inviting you now to settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

The Mental Baggage We Carry

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. So today I'm going to talk about how we often carry a lot of mental baggage around with us and a way to set it down and find freedom, right where we stand. So there's a well known parable about this. A senior monk and a junior monk were traveling together. And at one point they came to a wide river they had to wade through to get to the other side.

And as they were about to cross the river, a beautiful young woman who'd been attempting to cross on her own, asked them for help to get to the other side. The two monks hesitated for a moment because they'd both taken a vow, not to touch women. Then without a moment of hesitation, the older monk picks up the woman carries her carefully across the river and places her gently on the other side. The two monks then continued traveling on their way. And for the rest of the day as they travel, the younger monk was replaying this scene over and over again in his mind in disbelief and dismay at the scene back there at the river.

The older monk had broken his vow. He couldn't believe it. Hours passed in silence as the young monk continued to ruminate on what had transpired. And as the hours passed, not a word was spoken between them. And as the sun set that day, finally, the younger monk could not contain himself any longer and blurted out.

'How could you? Why did you carry that woman across the river and break your vows?' The older monk looked at him with a serene smile and said, 'Brother, I sat her down on the other side of the river many hours ago. Why are you still carrying her?' So like that young monk, how often do we carry around our resentments, our grievances, our judgments, and our bitterness when we could have easily set them down hours ago, days ago, or in some cases maybe even years ago. You know, we all go through times in life where other people behave in ways that we don't like, or we experience pain, heartache or disappointment. This might help to provide the conditions for kind of tumultuous thoughts and feelings to arise. But the rest of the suffering, we inflict upon ourselves by ruminating, stewing on the things, holding grudges and resentments and mulling over our problems over and over again.

But ultimately all this does is weigh us down and make us full of anger, tension and negativity. But like the older monk, we too can simply stop carrying all that mental baggage around with us in the mind. We can set it down and instead be present, right where we stand. If you think about it, this is a kindness to ourselves. If something was already painful or difficult or confusing, why prolong it by dragging it around with you all the time? So as much as possible, remember to set down and what's no longer serving you and bring your focus back to the here and now.

The more we can do this, the more we can find inner freedom and strength, right where we stand. So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here. And just inviting you now to settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

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