An important lesson of a monk who died reaching for a strawberry

“Relax, be in the moment.” Great advice for letting go stress and ruminative thinking, but what exactly does living in the moment mean? One of my favorite Zen stories tells us of a monk who, walking along a mountain path encounters a tiger. The monk leaps off the edge and grabs hold of a vine. The vine begins to loosen. Frozen in the moment before his fall and death, the monk notices a strawberry growing in the cliff face. The last words the monk speaks before his death are, “What a magnificent strawberry, I think I’ll eat it.”

This story illustrates being totally in the moment. For the monk, there was no past, no future, no tigers, no cliffs; there was only that pristine moment filled with an appreciation of that magnificent strawberry. As you practice letting go of your doubts, fears, and negatives, you put yourself in a position of noticing the wonderful strawberries that populate your world. Living more in the moment takes practice and patience, but the payoff is enormous. Once you’re no longer living with chronic anticipatory fear and worry, you can risk letting go of any struggle and become totally engrossed in watching a sunset, listening to an opera, playing with your children…or eating a strawberry.

#depressionrelief #anxietyrelief #relax

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