“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feel- ings as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.”
— Albert Einstein
Look at the young grasshopper – the energy, the colours, the radiance. What a beautiful expression of life, what joy!
Each and every being – big or small, has its role to play in this magical existence we call “life”. If we observe these wonders around us, there is much to learn. Watch this millipede explore. It is moving along intuitively. The path is where he steps and he is walking effortlessly, gracefully – almost afloat over its million legs.
We come across several insects and reptiles on a daily basis. How many times do we cringe with fear or put heavy labels like “ugly” and “creepy” on these amazing godly creations. Do we pause and look carefully, through the tenderness of our hearts? Where do such reactions come from or did we just follow what we saw around us and never thought for ourselves? We talk about compassion, love, go for prayer and meditation and read spiritual books trying to get rid of our suffering – but do we even acknowledge this marvelous existence in all its varied forms? Do we recognize that the same life force/ God is in all? Are we operating from love or fear, is the question. (this has been beautifully and very simply elaborated in One Wholesome World)
“FEAR is like a scissor that keeps things apart. LOVE is like glue that connects and brings together. FEAR divides and LOVE unites.”
-One Wholesome World
Watching this caterpillar, the word “courage” emerged. He had to step over this gap on the wooden table – it seemed like a big trench. He paused – the trench became a little ditch, courage took over and he did it! Every little step changes our world. Can we drop our fears and start looking with love and compassion? A whole new world opens up as we open up to the world and drop our limiting views.
The breeze was fairly strong in bouts, on an afternoon in the everglades, Florida. This beetle was at it. It was fascinating to watch it try and go deeper and deeper within the bloom of the purple thistle. There must be something delicious and nutritious in there, something worth tasting.
“Happiness is your nature. It is not wrong to desire it. What is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside.”
We met this lost caterpillar on a chair outside Dunkin Donuts near Manatee Springs State Park, FL. It was our usual “work” visit to the cafe for internet connection. I took a paper napkin and put it on the shrubs nearby. As I was in a strange squat filming and transporting this one, several people came by and asked what was happening. “What a beauty, isn’t this?” and everyone who saw our little friend got a twinkle of a ten year old in their eyes. We are often as lost as this caterpillar. Searching for the food for our soul, nourishing ourselves with whatever tools help us, weaving a “retreat” cocoon for us to grow without interruptions – till we grow wings.
On our slow drive to our camping site at Oscar Scherer State Park, Arun suddenly stopped. “Someone is crossing the road,” he said, and we both promptly got off. In the month of April, this place was full of echo moth caterpillars. I was amazed at Arun’s presence and sharp eye and thanked the universe for such blessings. The caterpillar had stunning colours, and later in the day I filmed this one.
Here it is, a butterfly. This one was feeding on some dog urine. Its movement reminded me of the restless mind and endless thoughts. When you suddenly realize that you have wings, you know you can fly anytime. Your role has changed from a caterpillar to a butterfly. Then why balance on those branches….let go.
Camping along Florida is incomplete if you haven’t met a raccoon. They are like monkey’s in India. Look at this one, slyly creeping towards the dustbin. He has a distinct style and those masked eyes. I almost felt I am in an animation movie with this character.
When I was a child, there were these red velvety insects found in the park outside my home in Delhi. Now they seem to have vanished. I don’t know if they are still found in other parts of Delhi but I haven’t seen them in this area for sure. The giant red velvet mite reminded me of those. This was on a hike in the Smoky Mountains, Tennessee. On this rainy gray day, the red stood out, in rebellion.
On the last leg of our travels in USA, we spent a day at Matheson Hammok Park. It was fairly warm and humid. The waters had receded and a large amount of ocean life was revealed on the little beach under the mangroves. As we walked into the water to cool our feet, we noticed clusters of sand move. Who was under them? No, we do not want to disturb the entity or get bitten either. I shared the video with my father, Deepak Badhwar who is a keen observer of nature (a naturalist). We learned that this was a horse shoe crab. What fantastic camouflage, illusive, indeed.
Many of us would be familiar with the hermit crab. My aunt, Dr. Lalita Badhwar was the first one to show me this crab, on one of our beach holiday’s in Goa. I was about 10 years old that time. Here, at Key Biscayne, Fl, Arun and I watched the waves hit the rocks as this white fellow appeared before us.
Living in harmony with all life forms around us is such a wonderful feeling. May we embrace and acknowledge the love and infinity that runs through us all with a sense of oneness and compassion.
I am so thankful for being able to share these videos and images to express the great value these beings have added to my life. In putting this together, my interest in learning how to edit videos and share through little films, has also developed. Thanks to my dear friend Taruna, who is a videographer and video editor, I have the tools on my laptop now and her guidance to help me discover more. My brother, Satyen Badhwar would be happy to see that I managed to resize the images myself this time. Arun of course is the constant guiding force behind the show on muditationmoments. It is so nice to play together and learn more from friends and family through these activities. Deeply grateful!
Inviting friends to participate in this sharing. If you are keen to go through this process and discover the wonder for yourself, I shall be happy to facilitate and also share on the blog. For more, please email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: I was unable to identify the insect on the image above (walking on the map). If you know what it is, kindly inform me. Will be grateful.
April/ May 2017 – Florida, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Viginia (Shenandoah scenic route)