Since last August's bear encounter - when a cinnamon-colored Ursid slammed into my moving car at night and apparently made off with a piece of the front section, which I never did find - I've felt a lot of bear-energy manifesting itself within my personality. Whether defending a loved one from a former associate hell-bent on defaming her, or embodying a feisty attitude that seeks to expose unrecognized forms of fundamentalism - including those arising out of Eastern Religions and even those connected to some forms of my own beloved mysticism - I've felt inspired to learn from the spirit of the prophets, who often lived as hermits yet who were called to critique and help transform society.
However, today's encounter with a coyote in Rocky Mountain National Park helped me remember that I need to maintain a light touch with all of this crazy bear-energy. The male coyote is a trickster-figure in many indigenous cultures of the Americas, and he speaks to me of the seemingly rogue-like qualities and behaviors of the Creator and of Life itself. Accordingly, I've been realizing that when I DO manifest the fierceness of bear-energy, I must remember that there is actually NO ONE - no solid self or identity - lying behind that fierceness, as though "my" feisty thoughts and actions actually arise - SURPRISE!! - from echoes coming out of nowhere, with no original "words" ever spoken!
Photo: Coyote, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO, March 14, 2016
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Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.