Taking Mindful Cues From The Hummingbird
There is a truthfulness in meditation that clarifies. What may begin as a method to quiet the mind, transforms into easing into our natural self, of returning to our authentic essence.
Through any number of schools of meditation, including the Joshin Kokyu Ho, or Seishin Toitsu meditations in Traditional Japanese Reiki (Usui Reiki Ryoho), its practice is an expansion of being open and attentive, in be-ing Awareness. Whether they are subtle or overt in experience, through meditation there are lessons to be learned about ourselves, including Oneness—an interconnection with all. Nature’s presence can assist us along this journey.
Visiting at a friend’s house, they had eight hummingbird feeders with several of the iridescent beauties flying about. I sat next to one feeder that was just above my head. At first the dainty beings would flit nearby and immediately leave, seemingly hesitating, not landing on the one nearest me. Then, when I began meditation, just breathing from the Hara, or energy center just below the navel and expanding the energy, feeling compassion emanate, the meditative space felt light and airy—just like they are in demeanor. At that time their hover patterns changed entirely.
Instead of an assurance such as, “You are safe,” as one would think we would want to say to a tiny creature not known for lengthy visits, I just set an intention of invitation ever-so-briefly in thought and enjoyed. What was an invitation for inclusion of the winged teacher with a stop-motion succinctness in sharing, became an inclusion of myself, as well.
In that moment, four hummingbirds simultaneously chose to land on each of the available feeder spots next to me, remaining for what seemed like an eternity in hummingbird time. It was a distinct message of consciousness, a vivid example of releasing all the extraneous thought that can weigh us down in meditation, as well as in everyday living. Like the infinity patterns of their wings, awareness became boundless during this experience. Being in this space with the hummingbirds was a reminder to let the magnificence of joy take flight, and that judgement or labeling of our mental ramblings that occur during meditation can easily float away, returning us to the present.
Intention, and the setting thereof, is truly a glimmer of the mind; in an instant everything opens with limitless reach. The hummingbirds capture this concept. It isn’t so much that they are in a hurry, racing about, as much as they keep it simple and streamlined, an effortless course, just as a meditation practice, and rediscovering our true nature can be.
Another aspect of being with hummingbirds reminds of the thoughtful path of smallness—not in a negative or deprecating way, but with a Beginner’s Mind, one of humility without ego, of being teachable. It is contentment without borders, without the need to quantify or evaluate things, or ever-anticipating largeness in scope to be the most meaningful. When we go inward through meditation, the ego recedes and our presence expands to encompass peaceful abundance, equanimity and balance, compassion for the self and others, and pure love. Likewise, hummingbirds are spectacularly colourful, yet diminutive in their place in existence, where the perspective is on observance and approach as new, where life is a series of moments to be savored.
Why anticipate, expect, or worry? We can be like the hummingbird and live a life of luminescence. If we’re not inclined to stick to a thought, and we choose to move along as they do—without attachment—we might consider not clinging to something that no longer serves, or does not help us to turn inward and flourish like the petaled blossoms along their winged path. Hummingbirds encapsulate efficiency and lightness of be-ing. They keep things minimal and bright, a joyful, gentle example of how to open ourselves up to any number of things, and our purpose in the Universe.
Loretta Boyer McClellan,
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“Taking Mindful Cues from the Hummingbird” ©2015 Loretta McClellan
Author headshot photo by Frank Leonard; used with permission.
“Anna’s Hummingbird” photo by Ben Wilson of freedigitalphotos.net; used with permission.