The eagle did more than land

I am in the process of synthesizing my thoughts and reflections from the retreat I attended last weekend; you can look for a post about some of those details in the next few days.  In the meantime, I do have a funny story that I can share with you that occurred on the grounds of the retreat conference center.

The second-to-last day of the retreat is held in silence (i.e., none of the participants talk [at all], nor do we watch TV, listen to the radio/iPod/other noise-making device, use the computer, send or receive text messages, read, write, use gestures, exchange eye contact, etc.).  The teachers are allowed to talk, but they do so minimally (i.e., they only speak to give meditation instructions, and these instructions are usually only 5-10 minutes long).  The purpose of the day of silence is to not distract (or sedate) ourselves, and to allow ourselves to see deeply into our minds and hearts.

So, there we are, 25 highly-paid, moderately powerful/influential corporate executives, silently walking outside at a snail’s pace.  We paused underneath a tree while one of the teachers looked at the sky – and we all followed her gaze to see a bald eagle sitting on a branch about 30 feet in the air.  Wow.  Everyone stopped and stared – and for a full 2-3 minutes, all anyone did was look and breathe (including the eagle – I can only imagine what it thought to have 25 people staring up at it).  But after a few minutes of watching us, apparently the eagle became pretty comfortable with our presence, because at about this time it stood up slightly on the branch, and released a healthy stream of pee and poop.  Immediately, about half of the group (adult business executives, mind you) burst into laughter, while the rest of us chuckled and shook our heads.  (Apparently no matter your age or career choice, bodily functions are funny.)  Having relieved itself, the eagle settled back on the tree branch, and we continued to watch it.  (Because hey, what else were we going to do?  Sit inside on a meditation cushion with our eyes closed?)

Thirty seconds later, a second eagle swooped around from the east, and landed on the tree branch next to Eagle #1.  [And THAT was an amazing sight to see!]  Eagle #2 then made a sound/call, and Eagle #1 responded with a similar sound/call – and with that, Eagle #2 got top of Eagle #1, and the two, um, “got busy” (i.e., ensured their lineage would survive).  At this point every adult in our group burst into loud, boisterous laughter and guffaws (which didn’t seem to bother the eagles at all).  Here we were, immersed in a day of silence where even eye contact is discouraged – and we witness anything-but-modest behavior from some feisty birds.  What a crazy contrast!   Absolutely hilarious.

Stef

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About Stef

A "serious" gal who is trying to remember to lighten up and smile.
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18 Responses to The eagle did more than land

  1. barb19 says:

    What an awesome thing to witness between the two eagles – absolutely amazing! You were so fortunate and privileged to have seen the sight, and I want to thank you for sharing it, Stef.

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    • Stef says:

      Barb, you are most welcome. It’s amazing what can happen when a person is willing to surrender and get still…true nature can be revealed! 🙂

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  2. Wow, that’s so cool… and very funny! I stumbled upon this video earlier today and thought it was fascinating. This lady, who lives in Alaska, has even more videos of the eagles and her animals that are just as amazing.

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  3. caseyhoward says:

    This post made me laugh so hard. First, I agree w/ barb19 when she says that it is absolutely amazing that you witnessed two bald eagles at one point. Second, it’s even better that one “dropped their load,” only to be followed by a little love sesh w/ the other. Great post and still laughing 🙂

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  4. rutheh says:

    Wow that is a stunning photograph. What an experience. Really something to see and remember.

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    • Stef says:

      To be clear, the photograph isn’t mine (as we were in a day of silence, I didn’t have any technology on me). But yes, the experience was definitely one that I will remember!

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  5. mybrightlife says:

    Meditation can take place in so many ways. When I am rock-climbing I have to work so hard to focus that I find it is extremely meditative – I am a very fresh beginner, so I have to focus really hard!- During that moment I cannot afford to think of anything except the rock. I understand that this isn’t clearing the mind , as such, but I think it is a good start on the path. Bet the eagles had the full focus and attention of the group – and took things one step further just to make sure that they held it! Sounds like a great experience to have shared together.

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    • Stef says:

      I agree – meditation can take a variety of forms. When I’m in a challenging or new yoga class, I enter a space of mental calm and quiet (because much like you, I have to focus 100% on the poses or else I’ll either get lost or fall over). Tai chi, qigong, and slow walking are all traditional forms of moving meditation – but I know many people who enter that space while running, walking, surfing… and rock climbing. 🙂 However a person chooses to enter that place of meditative quiet, it’s all good!

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  6. Oh my goodness! I’ve never seen anything like that! 🙂

    To see one balk eagle is amazing. Two has got to be a sign for great things. 🙂

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    • Stef says:

      The eagles had built a nest in one of the trees on the retreat property; so we got to see them multiple times in the 5 days we were on-site. It was pretty amazing.

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  7. narami says:

    Awkward! And such a great story 🙂

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  8. The Divine has a tremendous sense of humour, no?

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  9. Touch2Touch says:

    The most Zen story I think I’ve ever heard!

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