One With Fear
Knowing i was going to need something to purify my being after walking a man through his execution, i made arrangements for a vision quest, a retreat, a period of Oneness with Nature and my Higher Power.
A friend offered a cabin in the woods. Upon arrival i decided to take only water, granola and matches. i had no idea how long i would stay. i knew i would know when it was time to come out.
The cabin was far into the woods and and was baron except for a piece of foam on the floor. i spent my first day in meditation and built a fire under the canopy of the thick trees that evening. As the sun set, so did i. i fell into a peaceful sleep and listened to the silence of the woods.
At one moment during the still, pitch black night i awakened in a frozen flash of fear. i felt a pressure on my neck that moved as i opened my eyes. i lay on my side without moving a muscle. It all happened so fast. The blinking of my eyes must have also awakened what was coiled on my neck. A snake. OH MY G-D! YES! A SNAKE! But, not just any snake - a huge snake.
As i lay in my calm, peaceful, panicked state of mind my first thought was to grab this thing and fling it violently across the cabin, hopefully killing it and the fear consuming me in that instance. As i imagined this scene (which took place in a nanosecond!) i also felt me being harmed, the snake being harmed and the snake retaliating. i felt the whole thing being violent and deadly. my next thought was, "i'm in his world and if i don't hurt him he won't hurt me." This was the thought i was able to breath into as i felt this snake slowly slithering down my body. i knew he was really big because when i felt him at my heels i could also still feel him on my neck!!!
i kept focusing on my breathing...... slowly, deeply, steadily [thank G-d for meditation practice!!!] i knew i could not be afraid. i knew if i exuded fear i would trigger fear in the snake and risked the possibility of harm. And so, i breathed ..... deeply in through my nose, out my mouth.....slowly in rhythm with the snake sliding down my entire body challenging my deepest core.
When i felt the last of his tail glide past the soles of my feet, i took a deeper breath but still did not move a muscle. What next? i was all alone at least a mile from anyone, it was pitch black, if i lit a match and saw the snake, what then?!
i prayed. i prayed for sleep because i did not want to be conscious anymore. There was nothing i could do except become One with my surroundings in a state of calm and peace.
Sleep came quickly
When i awoke in the morning i looked around my little cabin. No snake that i could see. i then had a choice. Do i remain for another night or do i leave?
i stayed. For 4 more nights. i never saw the snake again but i felt him every night as darkness came and i was challenged to face fear in the face and breath into it, transcend it and become One with it.
The lessons of the snake remain with me today and continue to reveal secrets from another realm of Spirit and faith and fear and Peace.