A young disciple approached an elderly hermit and complained of being haunted by sinful thoughts. The elder took him outdoors into the open field and ordered:
“Spread out your lap… Open your bosom!”
The disciple obeyed him.
“Can you stop the wind from blowing into your clothes?”
“No, I can’t!..”
“The same is also true with thoughts… We cannot stop their flow. We can only prevent them from remaining permanently in our souls…”
Translated by The Catalog of Good Deeds