The inspiring story below is one of my favorites. It is a story of inspiration that shows the power and impact that inner self-talk and hidden motivations can have in life.
Outer appearances notwithstanding, it is what happens on the inside that determines who we are and what we come to experience as our life. Welcome to the Japanese wisdom tale of the monk and the pros*itu*e.
In an old city in ancient Japan there once lived a pros*itu*e and a monk. They didn't know each other. They weren't even acquaintances. Yet each of them were deeply influenced by the other. Their lives were closely connected.
Every evening as the pros*itu*e left her home on the way to earning a nights wage she would pass by the buddhist temple where this monk lived. And every evening the young monk would be seated outside in the temple garden doing meditation.
As the young pros*itu*e passed by the temple she would see the monk seated in meditation and would think to herself, "What an amazing young man. What a noble life he is leading. Such a pure existence, untainted by the worries and concerns of this world. How rare and how wonderful!"
These thoughts sustained the young woman and gave her strength to endure her life. Just to know that someone was leading such a pure life gave her both hope and encouragement, even though she knew that such purity could never be her own. She always felt blessed just walking by the temple and being in the presence of such sacred energy.
The monk, although supposedly seated in deep meditation couldn't help but notice the woman as well. Every evening as the young woman passed by the temple, the monk would become distracted and think to himself, "What an immoral woman. How could she make a living doing what she does? Selling her body - how low can a person go! Where is her self respect and dignity?! What a wasted life. She would be better off dead!"
Quite a telling inspirational story.
This inspiring story points out the consequences of our inner-motivations and self-talk. Inner self-talk has the power to turn a monk into a pros*itu*e and a pros*itu*e into a monk. It isn't the outer garments that count.
The monk lost all peace-of-mind in the presence of the young woman; while the young woman experienced a peace of mind she never thought possible while in the presence of the monk. How ironic! The pros*itu*e was the one tapping into real meditation power, not the monk.
Although the monk and the pros*itu*e were powerful influences in each others lives, where was the real power coming from? What was the true source of both the monk's turmoil and the woman's peace-of-mind? In each case, it was their inner self-talk that was at the core of the matter.
The young woman's inner-talk was pure and selfless in the presence of the monk. The monk's inner-talk was soiled and deeply disturbed in the presence of the woman. And each experienced the immediate consequences of the kind of self-talk they entertained. The woman became very peaceful, and the monk became very agitated. Such was the result of their self-talk.
These inner dynamics, this internal motivation and self-talk is what creates peace or misery in our world.