Once there was a young monk who was set upon by bandits. He managed to slip away and was being chased by them when he fell into a deep pit. As he fell he reached out and grabbed a vine, and hung half way down the pit.
As his eyes grew accustomed to the dark, he looked down and saw below him that there was a hungry tiger who had also fallen in the pit. He looked up, hoping to be able to climb up the vine and out of the pit, but saw that there were rats gnawing on the vine above him who had nearly chewed right through it.
He looked to the wall of the pit to see if there was a way for him to climb out and saw a clump of wild strawberries growing from the smooth wall. He reached out and plucked a strawberry and put it in his mouth.
It was delicious.
It has become common now for us to anthropomorphize the year 2020 as some malevolent being that is throwing bad things at us - the sarcastic refrain 'thanks 2020' has become a bit of a meme. And it is true that for many people this has been the toughest of times.
And yet, here we are. And while, to quote Tom Robbins, "the international situation is desperate, as usual," there are many strawberries still out there to be eaten and enjoyed.
Or, if you are a tiger, monks.
I have linked below a fully-guided 30 minute audio meditation on the story of the strawberry. You can listen at any time, but a few of us have committed to press play at 7pm PT on Sunday 15th November. You are welcome to join us if you wish.
If the above player doesn't work for you please click here.