On October 5, 2023
Columns

Mountain Meditation: Black bear, turkeys, and a return to the Bear Cave

Our son, grandkids and two dear friends came for this past glorious weekend. We described recent animal sightings (we never know who’ll show up or when). On Saturday, their young friend and I entered a Bear Cave meditation to meet our power animals and see what they’d say.

That afternoon, once again, our home was a hotbed of animal sightings. (Perhaps our meditation stirred them up.) I hollered to all when I glanced outside: “a black bear’s crossing the grass out back! It came to our bedroom window again!”

I snapped several photos as fast as I could. Everyone raced to windows for glimpses before the bear disappeared in the woods. (He was the size of our son’s Newfie dog, Shiloh.) But then the adolescent bear reemerged at the driveway turn around. He gingerly stepped down into the creek, drank his fill, then climbed up the bank on the far side. Among the trees, his blackness stood out.

It was Cora’s first bear sighting—she’s 2 1/2. (Now she wants to go hug the bear…) Silas is 8. He saw the bear last year who got our attention by scratching our wood siding.

While we discussed the bear’s timely visit, I happened to notice more movement out back. Three huge male turkeys strutted across our yard at a leisurely pace—the biggest toms I’ve ever seen. After that, we laughed and joked, “what will be next, coyote or fox?”

Last fall, our neighbor Kay watched 30 turkeys parade down her long driveway. A week later, she couldn’t believe who joined her, precisely, on Thanksgiving Day. Her deck was crowded with a flock of turkeys who knew, somehow, they were safe at her house. Why? Kay happens to be a committed vegetarian!

Now we’ll return to my meditative journey into the Bear Cave last summer.

I dressed more warmly for my second visit to not feel the chill and roughness of the cave wall. I took four deep breaths, raised, then lowered my eyebrows while exhaling, then my body relaxed. I set my intention, began meditation, then entered the Bear Cave once again. Soon my bear friend entered in.

“Good morning, Bear. May we please speak? You shared much wisdom. I’d like to hear more.”

“Good morning, Jill. Are you feeling better?”

“Last night I didn’t rest very well.”

“Do what you can to get enough sleep. Your mood and health will surely improve.”

“It’s sometimes a matter of self-discipline—overcoming bad habits like my iPad and TV,” I confess, guiltily.

Bear replies, “I love spontaneity but structure is good to help you live the life you desire. If I don’t structure my day very well, I go to bed hungry and can’t hibernate. Bears are like squirrels—we must plan ahead—but mostly we eat whenever we can. To grow big and strong takes many bites!”

“That’s why we say ‘as hungry as a bear.’ I have been known to nibble all day,” I confess.

“Times of fasting are also helpful to give the digestive track a break. Then the body can focus on healing rather than using its energy to digest,” bear said.

“Good point! What else would you like to teach me today?”

“Lifting up mood seems to be on point. Let’s strategize to resolve this in you.”

“Thank you!”

“Jill, look around. What do you see? Duality and polarity. Sometimes you need to consciously choose on what you want your focus to be.”

“I see.”

“Will you choose turmoil, anguish, and strife, suffering, negativity, or choose life? If injustice and pain are your choice, they will empower more challenges in your life. Decide to become a bright beam of light to spread love and joy around on Earth. Look to nature to find your peace. It will reset and heal your brain. Healing vibrations stem from love and feelings of gratitude for living this life. You can also go within to trigger healing and Source connection.”

“Bear, how do you share your strength?”

“By standing and planting my feet on the ground, I feel the power and energy of Earth. Naturally, I get to plant all four!”

“I love your sense of humor, Bear!”

“We bears are quite serious when out on a mission, but we love to guffaw, too. After all, big belly laughs originated with bears!”

“I don’t know if I’d recognize the sound—like the baby bear calls I recently heard. I thought they came from a turkey being tortured until I listened to cubs on the internet.”

“Augh! Augh! (Bear laughed guffaw sounds.) As long as it puts a smile on your face!”

Bear guffawed. I giggled. Then he leaned forward and suggested: “Jill, this is the moment to think forward and envision the life you wish to live—with a purpose greater than yourself. What brings you joy that you’d like to include?”

I thought for a moment, then this came out: “Time with our grandchildren and son. Good health so I can do as I wish without the main focus being on my health. A loving affectionate relationship with my hubbie with lots of bear hugging, kissing and connecting. Spiritual growth and a way to share it with fellow seekers and curious kids.”

“That’s a great start. Now begin to imagine the details of this life. Plan your future schedule, events, journeys, workshops, and together times. Write it all down so you can see what you’ll be doing and where you’ll be when.”

“Thank you, Bear!” 

Then I slowly creep out from the cave. I feel excited and energized. I have a plan of steps to change my focus to my future dream life. In the meantime, I choose to enjoy life!

To be continued next week. . . .

Marguerite Jill Dye is an artist and writer who divides her time between Vermont and Florida.

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