Whatever predicament besets you in your life today, be willing to let go of any obstacles to peace you may be experiencing. And give yourself deep permission to enjoy the strawberry. "Each moment is just what it is."
A woman is running from tigers. She runs and she runs, and the tigers are getting closer and closer. She comes to the edge of a cliff. She sees a vine there, so she climbs down and holds on to it. Then she looks down and sees that there are tigers below her as well. At the same time, she notices a little mouse gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries emerging from a nearby clump of grass. She looks up, she looks down, and she looks at the mouse. Then she picks a strawberry, pops it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly.
Tigers above, tigers below. This is the predicament we are always in. We are born and sooner or later we die. Each moment is just what it is. Resentment, bitterness, and holding a grudge prevent us from seeing and hearing and tasting and delighting. This might be the only moment of our life, this might be the only strawberry we'll ever eat. We could feel depressed about this or we could finally appreciate it. We could delight in the preciousness of every single moment.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
The universal predicament
Undoubtedly one of the most important meditation teachers writing today is Pema Chödrön. Here she tells a traditional story and comments on it: