The Tiger and the Strawberry: A Short Zen Story About Living in the Present Moment

Let’s stop and have a think on this old Zen parable about living in the present moment…the only time that really matters!

One day while walking through the wilderness a man stumbled upon a vicious tiger. He ran, but soon came to the edge of a high cliff. Desperate to save himself, he climbed down a vine and dangled over the fatal precipice…

As he hung there, two mice appeared from a hole in the cliff and began gnawing on the vine…

Suddenly, he noticed on the vine a plump wild strawberry. He plucked it and popped it in his mouth…

It was incredibly delicious, the best strawberry he ever had!


The Takeaways

  • The strawberry represents all of the amazing things around us in life. The vine symbolizes the timeline of life (between the cliff = birth; precipice = death). Choose to celebrate the strawberry (the good things in life), always.
  • Forget the past, don’t worry the future, and live in the present moment. Only by that way can we live happily.
  • Reminds me of this Mark Twain quote, “I’ve had many worries in my life, most of which never happened.”