He ran and he ran but the roar got louder and louder. He ran clear out of the forest and into the open. Looking behind him he saw not one, but two of the biggest tigers ever!! They were catching him up!!
Suddenly he realized he had come to a dead end; the edge of a cliff. Looking around he saw a vine growing and quickly grabbed it, lowering himself down the cliff-face. Below him he heard a river, but…looking closer… he saw crocodiles everywhere! It seemed he was doomed. Also, to make matters even worse there was now a tiny mouse gnawing at the vine…
It is said that at this very moment, the young monk noticed a small fruit growing beside him; he carefully picked it and ate it… With this simple act he became enlightened. The story goes that this was the most blissful moment, the most defining moment of his whole life. Why???
This little story is ancient and has many versions and even more interpretations. I think that as the monk was in such danger, in such desperation, possibly just about to die…his mind just stopped. His thinking just stopped. With this he found himself, probably for the first time in his life, in the paradise of the present moment --- The holy "Here'n'Now".
They say in the East that eternity can only be found in the here and now and to discover this is to become enlightened. I like to think that with this simple little act the monk had a glimpse of the timeless. He touched God.
In short, he found everything he'd ever been searching for. …and after an experience like that, what happened to him would hardly have mattered!!
Written in 2006 by Simon Heighwaya