Today when I settled in with my book and began the Morning Meditation. I turned to a picture of a stairway path up a mesa somewhere in the desert southwest. As I focused on the picture, I found myself there, in that place. I could hear the sound of crickets? cicadas?
It was hot and dry. There was a small breath of wind but not much. Off in the distance I could barely make out a small herd of what might possibly have been antelope.
I turned to go up the rocky stairway, and as I did, I wondered what it was that I wasn't seeing. Then I heard the rattle of a rattlesnake. I didn't see on on the rocks by my feet, or in the crevices of stone around me.
I thought it I must have made it up, imagined it... then I looked up and there in front of me at the top of the stairway was a huge rattlesnake. He was way bigger than me, so I knew he must be a "spirit" snake - a protecting energy.
I knew immediately that if I hadn't seen him or if now that I had, if I disregarded him that he would prick me with his two sharp teeth and a slow poisoning would begin.
I wondered how many hikers had come to this same spot and behaved disrespectfully and unknowingly been bitten.
So, I searched my mind for what I could do to appease him. It occurred to me that snakes like eggs, so I pulled several eggs out of my rucksack and gave them to him.
He swallowed them whole and then slipped down the stairs and into a hole in the stone. He watched me for a moment and then his eyes closed and he went to sleep.
I continued up the steps until I came out on top. It was very beautiful and stark - I looked down and saw arrowheads at my feet. I picked one up, looked at it, and then realized that it would be wrong to take it, gently I put it back where it was.
Once again, I wondered what it was that I wasn't seeing. And when I looked around I saw a small tree, and she was alive - and the stones too. I could see that they lived. Everything around me was full of life and intelligence.
I reached down and patted one of the rocks. It was warm to the touch. I thought. Wow! Everything that is IS alive. Which is something that I already knew in my head, but had never experienced in such a visual way.