Dharma Message for 4Q12

Pema Chodron (Omega Institute, 2007)

Pema Chodron (Omega Institute, 2007)

“There is a story of a woman running away from tigers …”

[NOTE: This is a retelling of a classic Zen teaching tale, but it is a delightful one, and Pema Chodron powerfully articulates the story’s subtlest nuance and deepest meaning. She “owns” the story now. — R. Power, SFTS Lodge]

“There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly. Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life; it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.”

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