My Pet Tarantula

There is a very large spider that’s been staying in my tent with me since a few days ago. He/she seems to be a baby tarantula, by the looks of his legs and the shape of his body. I initially found him near the zipper door of my tent and tried to encourage him to leave by making a ramp of paper for him, but he didn’t budge. So now 2 nightys in a row, I have slept with this thing in my tent with me, in full surrender to him crawling up my nose or whatever.

That’s been a theme recently – wildlide and other animals and equanimity therof- I was in the chicken coup this morning tending the chickens and they can sense your demeanor and will get agitated if you get annoyed or frustrated. So my way of being is to just say hello friends, wish them metta, and treat them like a beautiful phenomenon of nature. I re-integrated one of the chickens back into the herd today after isolating him due to s leg sprain. Chickens are kind of group-centered animals. If one of the herd is injured it often attracts predators, so the other chickens will sometimes kill the injured one and it’s not pretty. But they are collectively minded, and if one hurt chicken attracts a wolf it could wipe out the entire herd. So they are unforgiving and it’s not really personal.

Luckily today they accepted the previously ostracized chicken back into the herd, and now we have 8 happy chickens. Lots of eggs were produced today, very fruitful day actually.

This theme has been coming up lately, many times in the last week I’ve been meditating outside, in the sun, in the early morning windy cold, with flies and mosquitos biting me, ants crawling on me while I’m sitting, etc. (No, I haven’t maintained a perfect Buddha smile through all this- but I’m close! 🙂 Getting into nature and simply meditating leads to lots of engagement with many types of critters. Just now I was standing, and something was crawling all over my foot, up my leg, then it seemingly disappeared and then reappeared on my arm, crawled up to my neck and then started back again, and by the time the crawling sensation finaly reached my foot and disappeared again, I was overcome with curiosity, and it was a big spider.

The ants tend to have a different feel to them and decide to bite pretty soon after crawling onto you. So far, I have only sustained 1 insect bite and that was a red fire ant because their hill was right underneath the outdoor sink.

4 responses to “My Pet Tarantula”

  1. Sigmatropic, why do you meditate?

    1. Thanks for commenting!

      I suppose there’s two reasons- one of them being a more self-centered reason and the other being a more functional reason. I meditate because I enjoy it- there is such a nourishing, blissful sense of freedom and clarity that simply feels good to be in – whether it’s jhana or just resting in the natural state, it’s almost always quite gratifying on a personal level.

      And the more functional reason is that I seem to be better at transmitting the dharma, awakening, and just generally being a better steward to those around me, when I’m myself in a state of calm tranquility. The dharma concepts are readily available and more so when I have direct experience in short term momory to pull from. I think if I didn’t meditate I woudn’t be as effective of a teacher and mentor.

  2. Thanks Sam for the thoughtful response. It makes sense. I resonate with your first reason a lot.
    Curious to hear on the second reason – one of my assumptions was that after one has attained arhatship, the calm tranquility is just the base state of where one operates from. Is that not so? Must it be brought back from short term memory? is it not spontaneously available?

    1. It is spontaneously available all the time in my experience and gets more intense with formal practice, but the line between meditation/not meditation does not exist so I’m always in various states of flow it seems like. I have noticed I am more spontaneous and effortless.

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