I picked it up, held it in my hand and cried. Yes, I cried because only days prior had I shared with friends during a conference call the trouble I was having killing the carpenter bees flying around the eves of my house and the deck railing. I felt like a murderer taking the life of a living creature even if in the long run its tunnels might threaten my home. I do not like feeling as if I'm a murderer.
The friend facilitating the call told of mukti, a concept of which she had learned while on retreat and wondering what to do in relation to the mosquitoes swarming about her. The teacher shared that saying, "Mukti" when killing the mosquito liberated it or freed it from this physical realm.
Later that day, a carpenter bee came round while we were sitting on the deck. I told Jerry of Mukti and suggested he try it. (Notice how I was avoiding killing the bee?) Jerry's attempts failed as the bee darted from the broom's reach. I watched quietly knowing the job was meant for me.
He went inside. I picked up the broom and took a deep breath. Half-heartedly saying "Mukti, "I swatted. I felt cold and detached, but I swatted, never getting the bee. I could not accept the murderer in me. The bee darted out of site as if it knew I was not committed to taking its life. I thought nothing more of this until I found the dead bee perfectly laying in the middle of the step at my door.
Thus in the aftermath of the recent floods, I wept with joy while holding this furry black and gold offering with cellophane wings in my palm. Nature is sweetly, so intimately involved with us in such simple yet profound ways if only, if only we stop, notice, listen. I held the bee and listened.
I held the bee and knew the end of life is just part of the cycle of life. I need the hardiness and the heartiness to realize that when life is taken, new life is given. This is part of the Great Cycle in the Great Mystery. This too is part of mukti for me.
I held the bee and remembered how the day prior I lay so very tired and exhausted on my acupuncturist's table. I asked if he thought I had a heart blockage. He quickly replied I was too opened hearted for a blockage. He left the room. I knew my heart for so long off and on had been blocked, at times feeling like stone from lifetimes of pain. I lay on his table in the dimly lit room, weeping and stating aloud that I wanted to clearly know my team for these times.
I now smile with great joy for the bee before me even as I write is part of that team. Its presence broke open, yet again, my heart reminding me that all of Nature is my tribe. Nature is my child. It reminds me that I murder my heart when I close it and don't allow it to feel.
Moments later during my daily meditation call for which I thought I was late, I held the bee and and was held by the bee and by my cross country friends as I shared. They too are part of my team. Ramapriya who initially shared of Mukti mentioned the aspect of bees in relation to our food and flowers but also community. Bees are highly intelligent social insects that cannot live without community. I thought but didn't say, "I don't think I have a honey bee."
After our conversation, I realized someone had called in on my phone. I redialed the number and got Rosie, Ray's wife, in Georgia. Ray had honey for me that he wanted to deliver as he was driving up to tend his area hives having lived in Middle Tennessee for many years.
I studied the bee. Was I actually holding a honeybee, pollinator of our flowers and foods and provider of honey, a reminder of life's sweetness? Was I being given a message that I/We must use the present challenge here in Tennessee to be community long after this crisis has passed and continue to bee community with one another and with Mother Earth as is evidenced by the rains, earthquakes, Iceland's volcanic eruption, the continued Gulf Oil spill and the deadly coal mine explosion in West Virginia?
Sensing that 'class' was not over, I continued to hold Nature's precious gift. There was something else I needed to hear. Walking through my living room, I looked at the bee. Time stopped and in one brief moment it was crystal clear. I got the most important lesson of all. I carry the murderer in me. (Bear with me.) Yes, in my own heart resides the heart of the murderer, the sex trafficker, the abuser, the animal torturer, all the many political lobbyists and CEO's whose businesses promote the raping of Mother Earth. I am them and they are me. We are all One. I knew this Truth with such clarity that I wish I could pass on to you.
I could reference facts about quantum physics and how we are all entangled and intertwined, but I would only be doing so to give scientific legitimacy to what I know, to what in an instant I knew.
In that moment, I felt total freedom and love. The stone was rolled away. Realizing and acknowledging my connection with the murderer was personal mukti for me, killing off an illusion I didn't even know I carried and liberating me from separation with humankind. I thought, 'This is how Gandhi, Joan of Arc, all the many Saints and Mystics and Mary and Jesus did it; this is how the Dali Lama and the Indigenous people do it. They knew, they know, they experience that we are all truly connected, we are all One. We are all Love.'
I am in awe of the simple, yet profound ways in which Nature communicates and relates. When I could not kill the bee, it came to me. It laid itself at my door offering an opportunity for me to wake up as to how nature works with us and how love works. When I could not kill the bee, it gave its life for me.
Life is beautiful. We are not here by accident and the bee was not at my door's threshold by accident. Thresholds signal entry points and opportunities. We are living in times of change and challenge. Middle Tennesseans have crossed a threshold to what many do not yet know. I do know the recent flooding has activated an outpouring of love, liberating us from our separateness while offering freedom to love our neighbors regardless of color, age, race, religion, politics, gender or status.
May we all die to our separateness and fully wake up to our Unity.
As for the little bee, whatever kind it bee, both provide sweet nectar, one to feed the soul and educate us as to our interconnectedness with human and Naturekind and the other to feed and nourish the body and model community for Nature is part of our team. Earth is part of our team. We are all here as a team. Blessed. blessed bee.
Imagine that shift! Love, Dawn 5/10/10