with Gillian Gontard, M.A.A.T. Spiritual Care Counselor
You are walking home alone through the jungle. You sense danger; a tiger appears! It begins to give chase, forcing you to the edge of an immense cliff. You spot a vine growing out of the precipice and quickly lower yourself down the side. Glancing up, you see the tiger appear, menacing and fierce, looking down at you. Far below, you see another tiger arrive, looking up at you, also menacing, also fierce. As you cling desperately to your vine, two mice appear from a hole in the cliffside, one black and one white. They begin to gnaw on your vine. It starts to fray and you feel the force of gravity more strongly upon you. Glancing sideways you spot a strawberry plant, also clinging to the side of the cliff. It holds beautiful red ripe strawberries. You reach out, pluck a berry off the bush and pop it in your mouth. "Mmm," you think to yourself, smiling, "How sweet!" -Traditional Zen Koan-
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Gillian Gontard is a Spiritual Care Counselor with a Master’s Degree in Applied Theology (M.A.A.T.) from Marylhurst University, in Marylhurst, Oregon and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Corcoran School of Art, in Washington D.C. She is a member of Spiritual Directors International. She is not a medical professional, a licensed therapist, or a social worker. For more information, click here.