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.
I really like this story and became familiar with it while reading, Pema Chodron’s, “The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving Kindness,” which I highly reccommend. Chodron explains that “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. ”
It is so very true. We always want to find a way out of this predicament or that dilemma. It is easy to forget that within the limitations of the moment, there is freedom. In this story, it’s the experience of the fresh taste of the strawberry. It is different in each case. Not every day can be an easy day for anyone. The freedom of the moment is always available, even when the circumstances are not pleasant. So as you go about your weekend remember this story and savor each moment.
— Pema Chödrön (The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving Kindness)