The parable of the raft explores the nature of getting across, but not retaining. A spiritual leader describes this parable to a group of monks. He begins by saying, imagine there is a man trying to cross a river.
On the side closest to him, the river is filled with dangers and fears, while the far side is beautiful and peaceful. He wishes to cross to the other side, but how? There is no boat or bridge to cross, so the man creates his own raft out of sticks and branches.
Once on the other side, he sees how useful this raft is. He wonders if he should carry it with him on his journey, taking it on his head and shoulders. The leader asks the group of monks, what should he do? No one answers.
The leader explains that he should walk away, and continue on his journey without the raft. This is what should be done to the raft, not to retain and hold onto it, but to let it go.
This parable explains the importance of letting things go with the flow in life. We are so quick to hold onto every little thing with the fear that we might lose it. But if we took that raft with us, it would be a huge hindrance to our journey. We must know when it is time to let go of things, so we can grow properly.
The raft played a vital role in getting us to the other side, where we need to be. But it is not needed beyond that point. We must learn to allow the ebb and flow of life to carry us. Sometimes we will meet people that we must eventually leave, for they teach us a lesson at the moment, then we continue on.
In many ways, this frees us from holding onto physical items or even thoughts and emotions. When we are in a state of allowing, we are truly free.
Credits Music: Happiness by Super Junior
Background music: Iwasaki Taku