The Strawberry

Zen Buddhism


A young photographer with a passion for adventure had immersed herself in the jungles of Sumatra, with the intention of obtaining a snapshot of one of its famous tigers, which were under risk of extinction. Unfortunately, a hungry tiger discovered her before she discovered him. Feeling the hair on the nape of her neck rising, she turned to discover the fearsome beast crouching behind her, ready to pounce.

         She made a mad flight through the jungle, the fabulous animal close behind her.  She came to the edge of a cliff covered by tall trees, from whose tops, lianas hung over the abyss. Knowing that she did not have time even to look back, the young woman lept into the void and, as she fell, she managed to grab hold of a liana.

         Looking up, she could see the frustrated tiger watching her from the edge of the cliff.  Looking down, she could see that at the bottom of the cliff there was another tiger waiting for her to fall.

         As she was contemplating just how desperater her situation was, she heard an almost inaudible cric-cric-cric above her. She raised her head and saw two mice, one white and one black, gnawing on the liana vine that she was clinging to.

         While she was wondering what she could do to save herself, she noticed a small strawberry bush growing out of the wall of the cliff, the fat, juicy strawberry hanging from it seemed to call to her, ‘Eat me!’

         The young woman smiled and, with great care, released one of her hands from the vine, reached out and plucked the strawberry. Slowly, she brought it to her mouth.

         She had never in her life tasted such a strawberry!


Adapted by Grian A. Cutanda (2019).

Under license Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA.



We live in a time of great uncertainty in the shadow of an unprecedented climate and ecological crisis, which could lead to the extinction of humanity in the medium term. For those who are paying attention, this is a situation that can cause deep emotional reactions of anguish, anxiety and despair.

However, given the seriousness and urgency of the crisis, we do not have time to be pessimistic or to sink into our misery. All we have time for is to fight for the survival of the planetary Community of Life, so that we may leave a livable world to future generations.

As the Spanish writer and economist, José Luís Sampedro, said: ‘Battles must be fought, regardless of their results.’ And, meanwhile, let’s enjoy with all our senses what life offers us.



An infinity of sources.


Associated text of the Earth Charter

The Way Forward: …and the joyful celebration of life.