I came across the below in a newsletter the other day. It is an excerpt of Pema Chodron’s latest book, The Wisdom of No Escape. I thought it would be worth sharing!
Tigers Above, Tigers Below
There is a story of a woman running away from tigers. She runs and runs, and the tigers are getting closer and closer. When she comes to the edge of a cliff, she sees some vines there, so she climbs down and holds on to the vines. Looking down, she sees that there are tigers below her as well. She then notices that a mouse is gnawing away at the vine to which she is clinging. She also sees a beautiful little bunch of strawberries close to her, growing out of a clump of grass. She looks up and she looks down. She looks at the mouse. Then she just takes a strawberry, puts it in her mouth, and enjoys it thoroughly.
Tigers above, tigers below. This is actually the predicament that we are always in, in terms of our birth and death. Each moment is just what it is. It might be the only moment of our life, it might be the only strawberry we’ll ever eat. We could get depressed about it, or we could finally appreciate it and delight in the preciousness of every single moment of our life.
I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what they teach, who walk their talk. ~ Tony Robbins
Those who lead rather than manage, are the ones that lead by example.
Walk your talk and become a leader!
Only those who believe in what they are saying will lead by example. Only those are the ones in whose shoes you would want to walk for a mile!
Do what you preach.
This is something new.
However, I am usually more used to reading non-fictional rather than fiction books, so I had to take a few details out of my considerations when judging the book. Even if true, I wouldn’t like to hear that a monk is drinking, liaising with a woman in a sexual way and smoking. Of course I am not oblivious to it, but when reading stories about monks I’d like to see the picture I have of monks in my imagination. But maybe that is just me 🙁 But never mind, once I got used to it, I started to enjoy the book.
From the beginning until about page 70 (out of 270), I found that the book is slow going to set the scene. Whilst it was very detailed written, it could have been a bit more lively and interestingly put together. What I mean by that is that I read a few pages and really enjoyed the details and vividly written description of what’s happening and then read a few pages which I thought were dragging along a bit. Only after about 1/3 of the book I really got into the whole story. The story then picked up pace when he spoke about his friendship with the main monk and was shipped to New York to build a temple and Buddhist community. The first few weeks in New York were exciting and his experiences were quite well described. The story was enjoyable to read until we got to about 2/3 of the book.
Once the monk settled in Brooklyn and started to see life for what it is, began to liaise with a woman and had every day problems with the builders and the government etc., the story lost pace for me. Maybe that is because it analysed the US culture and system which I cannot relate to. I would even go as far as to say that the end of the book came down to a spiralling on and off journey where the author didn’t quite know how to finish it, so that the actual ending, which I don’t want to disclose here, just didn’t cut it for me. Sorry.
Overall a nice little read, a nice enough story to consider taking on holidays but not really a page turner. The idea of having this monk leaving Japan and going to the USA to build a temple is great but I missed the heroic and in depth leadership of a real monk versus the ‘story monk’ which might of course be more the true nature of what would actually happen. Nevertheless, for someone not being a Buddhist and would like an entertaining story which relates to Buddhism and the challenges of the US culture and society, definitely worth a read.
I hope you enjoyed my first book review on my blog and maybe there might be more to come.
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?
This is with anything you do. If you don’t act on what you want to achieve, there will be no outcome.
You can read, think and discuss Buddhism forever, but until you meditate, go inside yourself and calm your mind; until you experience inner peace; until you experience Buddhism… you will not find out what it is like.
Start practising today!
Love and Kindness,
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. Buddha
I love this quote although I often ignore it.
When you are in anger, and you express it towards someone, it is usually you that gets angry and wound up.
Buddha speaks wisely comparing anger with a piece of hot coal.
You throw it at someone and whilst doing so, you burn your hands.
The better way is to let the coal cool down, pick it up and it falls to dust.
Have a wonderful day,
It is time to fill the world with strong and powerful deeds. It is common knowledge that no great captain in the world has ever destroyed all of his enemies and lived with a sense of satisfaction. If one enemy is killed, two more will appear. It is important we cultivate love and compassion to all the sentient beings which is the way to bring peace to all.
When I first read this quote I was a bit overwhelmed. I was remembered of the tale of the dragon with the two heads. If the prince cut one off, two grew in their place.
We need to do good in this world.
No captain, as the Dalai Lama explains, ever got rid of all his enemies and was happy and satisfied afterwards. Similar to the dragon, once you got rid of all your enemies, more appeared.
We cannot get rid of our enemies but we can love them. Instead of trying to “eliminate” bad things, try to love them and be compassionate towards them. You then bring peace to everyone, and you won’t have any enemies again – ever.
Have a good day.
Love and Kindness,
Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life. Buddha
Buddha tries to make a point here.
A candle cannot burn without fire. It needs the fire to melt, to exist as a candle. Similar to the fire needing oxygen.
Men cannot live without a spiritual life. We need something to believe in. We need to look inside ourselves and understand our mind. We need something spiritual to fully comprehend life.
If you didn’t understand that, keep practicing. You will soon see the benefits of a spiritual practice.
Best of luck,
Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are hidden in the most unlikely places. Roald Dahl
This might be less inspirational than you are used to from myself.
Glittering eyes. Sparkling eyes.
Watch out out there.
Secrets are hidden where the “normal” eye would not expect them.
This quote really wants to say that there are more to the world than you would expect. It is about having different perspectives, looking at things from a different angle/point of view in order to discover things that you haven’t seen before.
There is an amazing world out there. Don’t be shy to look for it!
An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind. Buddha
You notice the slight but essential differentiation.
A beast or animal might hurt your body. It might rip off an arm.
But an evil friend, an evil human being, might actually wound your mind. S/he might hurt you deep inside, kill parts of your thoughts and freedom.
As they say: keep your friends close but your enemies closer.