Sunday, May 14, 2017

Learning patience from a spider

Meditation is all about patience. A spider patiently builds a cobweb to trap insect, its food. In meditation, we work on taking down the cobweb called the mind in which are trapped remnants of all the food we have eaten through the senses. So we are no different from a spider in this sense. However, a spider is better than us in many ways. It builds a web but is unattached to the place where it is built. If someone intentionally or accidentally takes down a web that has taken hours for a spider to put up, it does not harm or bite the person. The spider retreats and starts over again. The silence is never disturbed.

If someone tramples on our mind through their words or actions, we immediately react and lose touch with our humanness. We turn both the world and the mind into noisy and disturbing places with our negativity. Instead of letting go of that “damaged” part of the mind, we cling onto it and it serves as a constant reminder to us of the harm caused by others. We become attached to that mental place. Over the course of many years, there are many places in the mental plane to which we are similarly attached. All these attachments are anchored in the physical plane through our possessions. Slowly our cobwebs turn to stone and become “permanent” edifices that we erect for ourselves. Time will eventually turn them into dust.

If we look at a spider web up close, there is great beauty in its architecture. But if the same fine and delicate strands of a spider web are bunched up in a ball, that beauty is quickly lost. Similarly, when the mind is kept free of the ball of attachments, negativity, fear, anxiety anger etc, its inherent beauty will be evident. Just as the beauty of a spider web comes alive when sun shines through it, as both the inner light and the outside light filters through a quiet and empty mind, beauty is appreciated from both ends. We then realize we are not the web that the mind is but the awareness that is able to appreciate beauty whether it is inside, outside or in the medium between the two, the magnificent mind.  

Meditating on the qualities of a spider will bring patience into our being. If we think that transformation through meditation is far away, we unconsciously put our awareness into the future which is uncertain for all of us. Awareness is best kept in the present. In this moment, change is just a "click" away. That click is telling ourselves any affirmation to that effect DIRECTLY and NOT THROUGH THE MIND. Our awareness of any affirmation can stand independently of the mind. But we rarely keep communication direct, we let it filter through the mind. If collects positivity on the way, well and good. But if it gathers the residue of negativity from the mind before it comes to our inner awareness the world will appear like a negative place and we become seekers of “something else”. This sends a subconscious message that we are not happy with ourselves or our situation. We should respect ourselves and others just the way we and others are. How do we know the current state is bad? Compared to so many millions, we are most fortunate. It is better to keep that comparison if we want a comparison; not who we think we should be. Listen to a spider work, you only hear silence. Watch a spider work and it will inspire immensely. Glory to Mother Nature.