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Muddy Road is found in STEP 4 of the Seven Steps to Lasting Peace and Joy of the Website.

Muddy Road

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Muddy Road: A Zen Parable

Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling. Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.

“Come on, girl,” said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.

Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. “We monks don’t go near females,” he told Tanzan, “especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?”

“I left the girl there,” said Tanzan. “Are you still carrying her?” 


2 Reps, Paul. Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection Of Zen And Pre-Zen Writings (p. 39). Pickle Partners Publishing. Kindle Edition.