There is a common story about 2 monks who are traveling along a river and come to a point where there is a distraught woman on the opposite bank of the river who wants to get across. One of the monks, without hesitation, wades across and carries the woman over. In gratitude, she departs and the two monks continue their journey. After some time, the monk who did not wade across the river bursts out with bewilderment at what had happened, asking he other how he could have done that when they had vowed (or been taught) to never touch a woman. The monk who helped the woman wisely says something like "Brother, I left that woman far behind. It is you who are still carrying her." ("in your thoughts," presumably).
It is a interesting story with a nice lesson cautioning against fretting about the past and perhaps against allowing strict moral legalism to prevent someone from aiding another.
It is also interesting in that the exact same story is told within both Christian and Buddhist circles. Many years ago I heard the story in a talk given by a Theravada Buddhist monk, who cited it as being a ancient Buddhist story, and just today I heard it again told on an Orthodox Christian podcast where the podcaster attributed it to the Desert Fathers. In a quick internet search, the vast majority of references are on Buddhist sites.
Does anybody know the source of this story, whether Christian or Buddhist?