The Tale of a Meditator and Her Animals

by | Dec 29, 2021 | Animals, Compassion, Everyday, Home, Identity, Inspiration, Storytelling | 0 comments

Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.

– Shunryu Suzuki


“The Tale of a Meditator and Her Animals” is a Zen story that I would like to share with you at the end of this so-called 2021. It is a beautiful story to meditate, visualise and reflect upon.

“One day one person climbed up a mountain where a hermit woman was meditating.

She had taken refuge and was asked:

– “What are you doing here alone in such a solitude place?”

To which she replied:

– “I have lots of work!”

– “And how can you have so much work?

I don’t see anything around you here…?”

– “I have to train two hawks and two eagles, assure two rabbits, discipline one snake, motivate a donkey and tame a lion…”

– “And, where have they gone that I don’t see them?”

– “I have them all inside here within me…!!


velvet sky


    Photo: Ivana Filip, 2021


The hawks stare at everything that is presented to me, good or bad, I have to work on them to see only good things. They are my eyes.

The two eagles with their claws hurt and destroy, I have to train them not to hurt. They are my hands.

Rabbits want to go where they want, at the same time they do not want to face difficult situations, I have to teach them to be calm even if there is suffering or stumbling. They are my feet.

The donkey is always tired, stubborn and does not want to carry the load each time I walk. That is my body!

The most difficult to tame is the “snake.” Although it is locked in a strong cage with 32 bars, it is always ready to sting, bite and poison anyone nearby. I have to discipline it… that’s my tongue.

I also have one Lion. Oh … how proud, vain, he thinks that “he is the king.” I have to tame him. And that’s my ego.

So, you see, my friend, I have lots of work…”

May you enter the New Year with a New You!

Love and thanks,


Ivana Filip’s collection of works and products is inspired by her research, affect and close coexistence with nonhumans. Works in the shop as such represent the extension of her artistic practice. Hopefully these artworks and products can contribute to your richer experience and relationship with nonhumans or perhaps make your dear one jollier. Every month we shall donate 10% of our monthly income to a non-profit dedicated to the protection of nonhumans in Croatia.

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