The Tigers and the Strawberries (An Old Zen Story)


There’s an old Zen cone (parable) that goes a little something like this…

A man was walking through the jungle, when he spotted a tiger. The man immediately fled, but the tiger gave chase. Approaching a cliff, the man saw only one option… A hanging vine. He jumped off of the cliff and grabbed the vine, hanging on for dear life.

The tiger came to the edge of the cliff, snarling.

Just as the man thought he was in the clear, he noticed another tiger prowling below.

And then, if things weren’t difficult enough, the man then saw two mice above him (one black, one white) gnawing away at the vine.

In this state of impending doom, the man looked over his shoulder to the sight of a strawberry patch on a ledge, at arm’s length.

The man reached over, plucked a strawberry and ate it. It was the best damn strawberry he ever had.


The symbolism of this tale is powerful…

The tiger at the top of the cliff represents the past.

The tiger at the bottom represents the future.

The mice represent time, ticking away.

And the only thing we truly have is the present moment. Savor it.

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” -Eckhart Tolle


Life is short.

Enjoy the strawberries.

-Stevie P!

Stevie P

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