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    The Sweetest Strawberry

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007, 1:39 PM [General]

    Buddha told a parable in a sutra: A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger 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 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!

    -Paul Reps, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones

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    Uncompromising, Unclouded Experience

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007, 1:30 PM [General]

    Bodhidharma brought Zen Buddhism from India to China. He was well known for being fierce and uncompromising. There is a story about how he kept nodding off during meditation, so he cut off his eyelids. When he threw them on the ground, they turned into a tea plant, and then he realized he could simply drink the tea to stay awake! He was uncompromising in that he wanted to know what was true, and he wasn't going to take anybody's word for it. His big discovery was that by looking directly into our own heart, we find the awakened Buddha, the completely unclouded experience of how things really are.


    -Pema Chodron, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
    from Everyday Mind, edited by Jean Smith, a Tricycle book

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