Trying To Get Out
In my travels I have seen many birds. They can be very hyper. They panic. For instance when you blaze a trail in a wetland area you watch these guys in flight and how they can come after you. Aggressive might not even be the word to describe their fear and fury. You might be near their nesting area where they have young ones. Overall, depending on the species, some are very territorial.
One day, while walking the back road at the rural farm community, Saranagati, in B.C. where you will find it not particularly wet, but a very dry region, I came upon a female quail. It was my guess it was a she. When she saw me I startled her. She reacted with an incredible dance; rustling feathers indeed. This, I learned later, was an attempt to distract me away from her little ones.
Today a meadowlark flew into our temple. It came in through an open door. Birds don’t understand glass, it seems. It flew towards a tree but butt its beak again and again with the windowpane. Poor soul was desperately trying to get out. Did it ever become fearful as I and god brother, Haridas, attempted to shoo her towards freedom via another open door. Others had tried and failed, but we succeeded and the feathered creature saw to his moksha (liberation).
Bats have done the same thing. They, somehow or other, get inside this sacred place and then work tediously, like hell, to get out.
I contemplated on how we become like these frightened creatures in flight. As tiny souls we move into a cage by chance and get ourselves trapped. There are moments when we panic and want out and when we try different outlets we come to terms with that illusion (the window). After beating our own brows, we may finally understand, “I’m getting nowhere. I need help.”
It usually takes time, patience and often a concerned helper to get us out of the mess we have created before reaching height or chance of freedom.
This evening I and other monks were invited to a beautiful dinner in a penthouse suite with a great view from the balcony. This is where birds fly, land and carry on. They are unaware that a tiny spark of life has flown inside of them, trapped itself in a cage, the body. It’s trying to get out.