Cliffhanger

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!

– D. T. Suzuki, author, professor, and student of Kosen Roshi and Soyen Shaku, Rinzai school.

Tomorrow is an illusion

A Japanese warrior was captured by his enemies and thrown into prison. That night he was unable to sleep because he feared that the next day he would be interrogated, tortured, and executed. Then the words of his Zen master came to him, “‪Tomorrow‬ is not real. It is an illusion. The only reality is now.”

Heeding these words, the warrior became peaceful and fell asleep.

– Unknown, Zen Tradition.