As I sat quietly in meditation this morning, a fly began circling my head. While staying focused on the breath, I accepted that my mind was disturbing the fly and not the other way around.
But it seemed my little friend really wanted to be apart of my practice this morning, landing on my ear and then my cheek.
I accepted, actually welcomed him into that moment. Sending the fly loving kindness and compassion, he became quiet and still. It was truly as if this tiny creature was meditating with me.
It occurred to me how many people view a lowly house fly as simply a pest. And a fly swatter is the easiest way to be rid of such a nuisance.
But are you aware that the average lifespan of a fly is only about 21 days long? From his first breath to his last is only a very brief 3 week experience. How much do you think that fly values each moment of his existence? What would each moment mean to you, if you only had three weeks?
I began to think about my previous post about speciesism. And I am sure that most people give little to no thought about killing a fly. And if we look at something larger like a roach, still I think few would have doubts about squashing it in an instant.
If we move up to a larger creature, like a mouse, how many feel sadness to see one killed in a mouse trap? I think many people, while they may kill the mice, do feel a sense of sorrow seeing a dead mouse.
Now ask yourself if you could kill a Guinea Pig. It’s in the same rodent Family, just larger and perhaps in most people’s eyes cuter.
I’m sure that all of you are answering that you could not kill a Guinea pig.
So how did you arrive at the decision of what creatures life has value, and which does not?
When we live a compassionate life, we are not being genuine if we lack in equanimity (Upekkha).
Mudita is sympathetic or vicarious joy, the pleasure that comes from delighting in other’s well-being rather than begrudging it.
And isn’t viewing all other life in this way, a wonderful way to practice equanimity and compassion.
Today, the fly was my teacher and I am so grateful. We shared a space and our breath, and he chose to spend such a valuable part of his extremely brief life with me.
May he be well, happy and peaceful. And may you also be well, happy and peaceful.