Thursday, October 11, 2007

White Mouse, Black Mouse

Weather has turned cold, so I wandered down to 5,000 feet, looking for warmer quarters. The adit in the lower right corner, above, was ideal but there were of course numbers of bones. So, while sorting out the bones, I started thinking about the parable by I-forget-who, quoted by Tulku Thondup in I-forget-where.

The point is, a guy slips over a cliff and is falling to his doom when he grasps a clump of grass and arrests his fall. He is hanging there, holding on to the clump of grass, when a little white mouse appears from the rocks and starts nibbling the blades. He eats one or two blades, and then disappears.

Then a little black mouse appears, nibbles one or two blades, and he disappears.

This goes on: first the little white mouse nibbles, then the little black mouse nibbles, until finally all the grass is gone. The poor guy has nothing left to hold, so away he goes.


The point is, being born is like falling off a cliff, the white mouse is day, and the black mouse is night. You are desperately holding on to the clump of grass that is your life, and it is dwindling away in front of your eyes.

So, do us both a favor, won't you? Stop whatever you are doing and right this minute say 108 mantras for all who are hanging around, waiting for the mice to finish eating.

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