Open to strawberries in the Pacific Ocean

In the Life of Pi, Pi sums his predicament up pretty well:

“I was alone and orphaned, in the middle of the Pacific, hanging on to an oar, and adult tiger in front of me, sharks beneath me, a storm raging about me. Had I considered my prospects in the light of reason, I surely would have let go of the oar, hoping that I might drown before being eaten. But I don’t recall that I had a single thought during those first minutes of relative safety. I didn’t even notice daybreak. I held on to the oar, I just held on, God only knows why.”

This reminds me of the old Buddhist story of the monk and the tiger. (Is it always a tiger?) A monk out walking encounters a tiger who begins to chase him. The monk manages to escape being eaten by climbing out to the edge of a cliff. Hanging on to a weakening tree branch, with hungry tiger above and certain death below, the monk notices some strawberries growing on the cliff.

His reaction? To enjoy the strawberries – what else? MMMM!

Enjoy the moment, since, after all, we’re only here for a short time.

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