Buddha told a parable in a sutra:
A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, and the tiger chased after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above.
Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.
Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away at the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!
I love this story and wanted to share it with all of you on this day, the day before thanksgiving. Sometimes we find ourselves living our daily lives, feeling like we are constantly being chased by tigers — the tigers in our head, that illusion of how things would be great if only this or that were different.
And yet, here is a man, hanging on a vine, with a tiger above and a tiger below, with mice gnawing at the vine, and he sees a magnificent strawberry. It’s not so much that he ate it that grabbed me but that he noticed it. He was alive, so alive in his presence, that he could see, appreciate, and digest that splendor.
So, on this day, a day before Thanksgiving, try and look around and notice all the magnificent strawberries that are right in front of you. And perhaps, notice how that vine you think you are hanging on for dear life, is only the fear you are allowing to branch out into your day.
–My chin is dripping red with gratitude