The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A shower of Bee Pollen

All summer it seems, honey bees have been absent from our backyard garden.  Though we've tried to lure them with Joe Pye Weed, Bee Balm and a variety of enticing flowers, their absence has been keenly felt.  You might think that having sustained two bee stings over the summer I might boast that we were visited by tons of bees, but no, our garden has been fairly quiet.
Except for Sunday morning, when the neighborhood was still sleeping, with the sun just touching the tops of the Hackberry trees and the ivy in the  tree branches just beginning to bloom all over in tiny white flowers--I took my cup of coffee out to the back of the yard and noticed tiny specks of dust floating in the pale sun....
And looking into the trees, began to notice movement in the ivy, on the tiny white flowers now illuminated by the rising sun...bees, perhaps thousands of them!  Everywhere a flower bloomed, a bee fretted and gathered pollen, shaking the excess down all around me, dusting the ground, falling into my hair, my coffee cup, my bare feet....And then I was able to hear their continuous hum, the little motor of pollination and industry, a community workforce gathering for the early Fall task of accepting the final offerings.
It was a humbling experience.
How many times has my human consciousness decided separation from the natural world is my birthright, when all along, it's been the other way around--the gift is recognizing there is no separation, just a thread of life and death, of being engaged on a rudimentary level that is beyond consciousness.  Sometimes we need reminders of our interdependent being in Indra's Web.
My birthright is having been born into this precious human form, so that I can practice awakening to this realization, gathering like a bee these moments of Shunyata!
As Sunday came to an end, and the sun had begun to set, I realized the sun had acted all day as a spotlight on the most succulent white flowers, guiding the bees in their search.  It was fun to watch the bees follow the sun, to make their way around the trees, and finally, somehow, finish their work for the day.
Is it possible for a human being to act as a light for others, illuminating what is unconscious, unseen, or sometimes in plain sight?
Perhaps the Bodhisattva Vow says it all.

Sentient Beings are numberless, I vow to liberate them.
Delusions are endless, I vow to end them.
The ways of wisdom and compassion are boundless, I vow to embody them.
The Way is unattainable, I vow to attain it.

With gratitude to my teachers!


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