I suppose it’s improper to provide a koan without context, at least according to tradition.
My context is a really fast ramp-up on a project at work. I also have a tight deadline. I also am taking on some managerial responsibilities for this project. And amidst all this my new endeavor with running, as well as getting ready for a trip to British Columbia for my 4th anniversary. I feel stressed and am having difficulty relaxing.
So, with that as the frame, the following really resonated with me.
Buddha told a parable in sutra:
A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.
Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!
Am I the man? Am I the vine he grasps? Am I the mice? Yes, and also I am the strawberry, I am the tigers, and I am the chase.