March 14, 2017

Meditation & what the Raccoon Taught Me. {A True Story}

The other morning, as I turned the corner from the living room toward my office, I froze in my tracks… 

Walking calmly from my office was a large (and very smelly) raccoon.

The raccoon had somehow come in through the open front door and gone into my office. It looked a bit confused as it sauntered across the hall and into our bedroom.

I tiptoed quickly down the hall and really quietly closed the French door leading into the bedroom. The raccoon glanced back at me through the glass and turned directly toward my meditation closet.

I ran outside and around the house.

My plan was to open the other French doors that lead from our bedroom to the back garden. I wanted to provide an easy way out for this unexpected visitor.

I opened the doors and peeked in. The raccoon remained seated on my meditation cushion. She did not move a muscle.

I backed away to wait and watch from a distance.

After 15 minutes, the raccoon finished meditating. She got up from the cushion and walked slowly out of the house, returning to the garden. Step by step, she mindfully disappeared under the fence and into the empty lot beyond.

What do you do when you’re lost or caught in situation that’s unfamiliar?

Run in circles? Scream and shout? Hunker down and hide?

Let’s take a lesson from the raccoon: When we can’t figure out which way is up, or the path forward is unclear—let’s find our way to the meditation cushion. That’s what the raccoon did.

She took her seat. (Though technically, it was my seat.)

She sat there in stillness, breathing in and out—until the situation settled, the door was opened, and the way became clear. And then, rather than make a mad dash, she walked slowly and deliberately forward.

Let’s take note, and let’s cultivate our capacity to be still and allow clarity to arise. Let’s develop our meditative awareness, so we can settle, be still, and move forward with mindful grace. We need these capacities now, in these uncertain and tense times.

Being still and present is a service to the world—especially now.

It’s time to wake up—to take our seat and meditate, so we can act with wisdom. Fortunately, it’s springtime. Springtime is the best time to renew one’s meditation practice.

In the wisdom traditions, the Spring Equinox is the ideal time to return to the cushion, renew your practice, and revivify your spiritual life.

There’s tremendous energy in springtime. How can you use the raccoon’s wisdom and allow this powerful spring energy to nourish your meditation practice?


Author: Eric Klein

Image: Flickr/Glenn Beltz; author’s own

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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