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The Story of the Monk and the Tiger.

The story of the monk and the tiger is a very old but still popular Zen story that carries with it some essential messages about life, being mindful and living in the present.

On a hot Summer’s day whilst walking through the jungle a Buddhist monk stumbled upon a vicious hungry tiger that when seeing the monk gave chase.

The monk ran away as fast as he could but soon he came the edge of a high cliff.
In a desperate effort to save himself from the tiger he jumped off the cliff, whilst falling through the air to his imminent death he saw a vine dangling out of the cliff.

The monk reached out and grasped the vine with all of his might to stop his fall.

The monk clung precariously onto the vine, dangling from the side of the cliff, as the snarling tiger circled above him.

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

From the corner of his eye the monk noticed a plump red wild strawberry growing out of the cliff next to him.

He plucked it and popped it in his mouth, it was the most delicious strawberry he had ever tasted, and for that small mindful moment the monk felt good.


It is often thought that the story of the monk and the tiger gives us messages about savouring the small moments in life, and to live we must take chances, yet the story also tells us that we just don’t know what’s around the corner in life and that we need to seize opportunity before it is too late, for me the story is an example of mindfulness and being able to live your life in the moment.

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