Saturday, March 15, 2008

THE STRAWBERRY

March 15, 2008

The story from Blythe... there's a variation to it which I have seen in the website, "True Tao" of Derek Lin. I will fill in some details into Blythe's version from memory:

"There was a man being chased down a trail through the jungle by a man-eathing tiger. He ran as fast as he could, but the tiger was running faster. Still he ran, hoping for a tree he could climb in time, a house to take shelter in, a warrior to defend him, something, anything to save him from the tiger. He ran around a bend in the trail... and found himself at the edge of a dropoff that was a hundred feet straight down. He was doomed! But then he saw a thick vine hanging down over the edge of the dropoff! He grabbed it and climbed down. The tiger couldn't get him. He climbed and he climbed, but the vine got thin and weak and he was still too far above the ground to survive a fall. He looked up, and saw the tiger looking down at him, but he knew, if he just hung on long enough, the tiger would go away.

He thought of jumping down to escape the fearsome tiger above and looked down... to his horror he saw another tiger below snarling at him. Just when he thought that the situation could not get any worse.... he heard a nibble, nibble, nibble noise and saw, way up in reach of the tiger's swatting paw, two mice... one white, one black.... nibbling on the vine, chewing through it....

The man looked in all directions for a rock to stand on or a ledge to cling to or a trail slanting down. He looked and he looked as the vine creaked under his weight and the tiger growled above him . And then, off to one side, in easy reach, he saw a fragrant, ripe berry hanging from a plant rooted in the cliff. He picked it and ate it. It was the best berry he had ever tasted.

The end.


The scenario represents our state of mind:
1) Our attachment to the past (unable to let go) and being haunted by it as well (the tiger is hungry and wanting to eat us)... represented by the tiger above
2) Our fear of death: represented by the tiger below
3) Our perception of the time (we always say life is too short).... represented by the two mice: the white one - day, the black one - night
4) The mice nibbling away on the vine depicts our perception of never being fulfilled with the present and always trying to break away to find the happiness that never come
5) The vine represents our journey (life) through this realm called "world" which is destined to end

and finally there is another state of mind represented by the sweet strawberry: TRUE HAPPINESS

When we are able to taste the sweet strawberry that has always been within reach and right in front of us, we have found our TAO. Eckhard Tolle calls this state of mind: "being PRESENT". When we are PRESENT, there is no past, no future, and no perception of time... only NOW.

The famous Taoist sage, Chuang Tzu says that you never find happiness until you stop looking for it.

Hun yuan ling tong!
Kian Tee

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