Subscribe now to Podcast of Prayer for Today
I used to be afraid to be by myself alone at night. I used to be very frightened to stay overnight by myself. So much has changed!
I’m currently camping at the Peace Village in Lincoln, Vermont, where I’ve camped about 9 times in the last 11 years, for as long as three weeks at a time. Many times, I’ve been the only person on the land and I feel perfectly safe.
Last night, I was working late, writing my blog and answering some e-mails, and I went off to bed in my tent. As I often do these days, I record the prayer right before I go to sleep and e-mail it to my wonderful assistant, Heidie, who prepares everything for the blog. I was recording and got to the announcements part when I heard what I absolutely knew was a bear coming through the woods, right towards my tent.
I almost unzipped the window so I could look out and see the bear, but that I didn’t wish to startle him/her. You’ll notice in the recording, my voice was getting softer as I heard the bear coming towards me, and then I decided to pause the recording and just be still. I wasn’t afraid, but I was definitely feeling cautious. Because I record the prayer on my phone, I used it to google, “bear nocturnal behavior,” and see what I could learn. LOL!!
Fortunately, what I read on the web confirmed what I felt, which is that bears in this area are only foraging for food and really prefer to avoid people. I could hear the bear rustling around my tent, and I had the light on, so the bear knew I was there. After about 15 minutes, I decided to simply go ahead and finish my recording. And then I went to bed, even though I knew the bear was right there. I fell right to sleep.
I am certain that my spiritual practice is the reason I wasn’t afraid. I could feel the bear’s intention and it had nothing to do with me and no interest in me at all. I felt completely safe, as I usually do.
I’ve learned that to feel safe, be a safe space for others. Be a loving presence. Hold loving thoughts in your mind and be loving in your heart. An open and loving heart is the safest place to dwell.
There are so many benefits to having a living spiritual practice of compassion, generosity, Love, and kindness, and feeling safe everywhere you are is just one of them. This applies to encounters with people as well as bears!
If you’re finding what I’m sharing to be helpful, won’t you please share at facebook and twitter to let others know? Thank you!