THE BEE, THE DEER, & THE LION
Gather, Comprehend, and Share
JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group
19 November 2020
I was recently turned onto a Tibetan text that stopped me in my tracks. It’s from the Dzogchen scriptures, and is translated as follows:
As a bee seeks nectar, seek teachings everywhere
Like a grazing deer
Digest in seclusion
All you have gathered
Like a madman
Go wherever you please
And live like a lion
Completely free of all fear
While I have much to work on to be able to live my life in that manner, I have to say the imagining of living that way is appealing. If I seek teachings everywhere, I’ll be able to widen my perspective. I’ll be able to be more accepting, inclusive, and educated. Just like a bee, flitting from flower to flower, I’ll be able to pollinate the ideas I’ve gathered along the way. I’ll learn about one topic and fly to the next flower to learn another.
While seeking teachings everywhere may seem like a noble idea, it has to get overwhelming at times. There may be things I understand and things I don’t. There may also be things I want to meld into the current knowledge in my mind. That’s the grazing deer: I can take all that nectar I’ve gathered and absorb it in humble solitude. While it’s great to bounce new ideas off our friends and families, those ideas must first be comprehended and internalized. We all have different minds and different ways of processing information. If I ask others for input too soon, it may skew my specific understanding.
And finally, the text relays a beautiful concept of freedom. In our current pandemic-laden world, the concept of going wherever I please is extremely attractive. And while I may not travel wherever I want, I can do it in my mind and soul. I shouldn’t be fearful of others. I shouldn’t be fearful of outcomes outside of my control. But I must take my digested knowledge and share it with others. I must use my voice loudly and proudly.
Here’s to living our lives like the bee, the deer, and the lion. To learning as much as we can while we’re here. Processing it to our hearts desire. And sharing it with others.
Once you’ve escaped fear, you realize it’s no place to live.