the Tiger & the Strawberry


Traveling across a field one encounters a tiger.
one flees, the tiger chasing
Coming to a precipice,
one catches hold of the root of a wild vine
and swings down over the edge.

The tiger sniffed at one from above.
Trembling, one looks down to where, far below,
another hungry tiger.
Only the vine sustains one.

Two mice, one white and one black,
little by little started to gnaw away at the vine.

One sees a luscious strawberry nearby
Grasping the vine with one hand,
one plucks the strawberry with the other.
How sweet it tastes!


“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.”

 Pema Chodron

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