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Photo by Tanakawho

A woman is running from tigers behind her, comes to a cliff and hangs down a vine to escape, only to find that there are also tigers awaiting her below and a little mouse eating at the vine that suspends her over the abyss. Then she sees a strawberry growing near the vine. She smiles, plucks the berry and eats it with a smile, enjoying the taste, color and smell.

This story about enjoying the present moment grabbed me at yesterday’s sitting meditation at Stillwater. We are reading from Pema Chodron‘s Comfortable with Uncertainty.

The story above is a paraphrase of her version. After the reading, I invited the bell and tears came to my eyes. How delicious the sound of the bell in that moment, how precious. I listened until the sound reverberated out into the atmosphere, smiled at the group and invited comments. One person said that her resistance to staying in the present moment was very great, especially when tigers where chasing from the behind and growling with open mouths in her future. We understood, breathed together, enjoying the fact of our present unity, safety and presence. How much easier it is to smile at the tigers our minds create and reach for the strawberry surrounded by friends.

Before I begin my list of writing tasks for tonight’s last class at the Writer’s Center, return phone calls, emails, do more planning for Saturday’s workshop, teach meditation to local high school students, counsel friends, I give thanks that the tigers are relatively quiet in my mind this morning, the strawberries of the day beckoning.

What are your tigers? Your strawberry today?

One Comment

  1. Most of my tigers are within my mind. The strawberries all around me when I wake up and notice. Keep breathing please …

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