That Window Ain’t Open, Fool!

Via Lia Aprile
on Apr 25, 2011
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I got interrupted by a bee during my meditation this morning.

If you know me at all you know that, while not usually the type to get squeamish, if a bee comes into my personal space while I’m doing ANYTHING I get a little…idiotic.

Usually I just sort of squeal and run away…

Which is exactly what happened during my meditation…I heard his foul buzzing and, without even taking a moment to think about it, I leapt off of my cushion and ran across the room.  Once safely the requisite 10 feet away, heart pounding, I watched the little bugger banging into the window and thought about how probably at some point I should actually just, um, try to sit through the bee in my space if it happens again during meditation.  Seeing as how, I don’t know, that’s the POINT of meditation.

And then I thought about how often I react to uncomfortable thoughts or feelings in this same way…”Eeek! Get it away from me!” (scramble, scramble, scramble).

And with bees I have this great excuse…about how my brother and I were attacked by a nest of hornets or wasps or something when we were kids and we both got stung many many times and it was very traumatic, blah blah blah…but don’t I have those same stories for upsetting emotions?  And thoughts?  Don’t I have my traumatic childhood story that justifies WHY I don’t want to deal?  Why I can’t just sit while it buzzes around me?  What do I think is going to happen? Worst case scenario, right, I get stung (be it bee or thought).


Yes, ouch…for like 15 seconds, ouch.  And maybe a sore spot.  And then?  Done.  Over.  And the poor bee…the poor bee is DEAD.  I’m definitely the winner in that situation.

So, I’m thinking about all this, and I’m watching the bee, and I’m watching him do the thing that a lot of bees do in our apartment, which is:  they fly in an open window, they land on a closed window, and they repeatedly buzz-bump into the window pane of the closed window, over and over and over again.  And the whole time I’m watching and I’m thinking, dude…the open window is right over there.  You just flew through it.  Can’t you feel the breeze?  Can’t you hear the noises from outside coming in from over there?

The smarter bees only get stuck like this for 30 seconds or so, but some of the younger and/or stupider ones can do that for a really long time.  I’ve seen some of them DIE doing it.  (I don’t actually see them die, but I see their little carcasses on the ground next to the window later in the day).  And, I don’t know if it was because I’d already sort of made this bee into a symbol for my inner-workings, but I watched him doing this little window-dance and I thought, oh my god, that is just so perfect.

How many times does the mind make a decision based on faulty information, that we then just blindly follow?  Because the mind is like, nooooo, no no, this leads outside.  It has to lead outside, because I can SEE outside.  So, yes, I know there’s some sort of invisible barrier preventing us from getting there, but I’m certain this is the right way, so if you’ll just bear with me a little longer, let’s just keep ramming our heads into this glass until we finally get free.  And all the while this other voice (our intuition, our other senses, our body) is like DUDE…can’t you feel the breeze?

Because what we’re supposed to be looking for is the FEELING of the BREEZE.  The feeling of freedom.  The feeling of sunshine on our skin.  That’s the input we’re supposed to be using as our little guidance system.

So, for all the bad things I’ve said about bees, I’m issuing an official apology here and now, because it seems like they might actually have a thing or two to teach me…


About Lia Aprile

Lia Aprile is a writer, actress and yoga teacher currently living in Los Angeles, CA. When she’s not peddling her headshots or perfecting her handstand, Lia can be found tending to her yoga blog, Shanti Town, which is definitely about yoga, but mostly about life (the messy kind). And, because the nerdiness just keeps on coming, she has also recently begun interviewing teachers and yoga luminaries for the Shanti Town Podcast, which you can now find on ITunes.


8 Responses to “That Window Ain’t Open, Fool!”

  1. I think the bees will forgive you. They were pretty friendly in Bee Movie, weren't they. Great blog.

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Bob W.
    Yoga Editor

  2. Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

  3. Lia says:

    Thank you, Bob!!!

  4. Lia says:

    We had that happen once too, with a blue jay who flew in our window…it was amazing to watch (he got out more quickly than the bee), but yes…it's that hold that fear can take over a body (or a bird, or a bee)…it just blocks out all reason.

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. Lia says:

    I'm slowly trying to train myself away from turning into a screamy-meamy everytime a bee comes near me. One step at a time!!

  6. yoga-adan says:

    nice exploration of bee-against-window-i-ran-away-from incident 😉

    but would you have gained as much if, you hadn't "felt the breeze" of the bee, and made you're way to where you could more comfortably, more safely, view and meditate a fellow piece of nature?

    after all, some bee stings last a lot more than a few seconds 😉

  7. Lia says:

    Well I don’t know…thats a really good question…I guess it just depends on which discomfort seems worth sitting through and which seems worth backing away from. I know for myself, I’m always bolting out of my seat (metaphorically) when I get scared…and that’s something that seems worth changing.:.

  8. […] We not only strengthen our container when we practice yoga, but we strengthen our ability to witness, discern and compassionately apply our skills. We start small, on a yoga mat, and eventually translate this art and skill to our daily lives. […]