On the first day of the Vipassana meditation retreat, I take a walk during the lunch break and come across a trail nested at the back of the property. I follow the trail into the forest, strolling mindlessly, grateful for a chance to stretch out my legs and take in some fresh air. The winter air is crisp and the strong earthy smell fills my nose.
At one of the turns on the trail, I notice the land drops down a steep hill, leading to a quiet creek along the ravine. I stand at the top of the hill looking down admiring how beautiful it feels down there. Suddenly I get a really strong pull to hike down the hill and sit by the creek.
They have some pretty strict rules at this meditation retreat. Going down there seems like something that would be frowned upon… if someone saw me. So I look around and take a quick 360° survey of the forest. Good, no one is here. Without another thought, I leap off the trail and begin my descend.
Staying Present with the Serene Forest
Holding onto the skinny tree trunks for support, I descend quickly like a monkey on tree vines.
The land is super flat at the bottom of the hill and I quickly look for a place to sit down out of sight. Leaves of various shades of yellow cover the ground and everything is soggy and wet. Where can I sit?
My eyes catch sight of a massive root of an ancient maple tree right by the creek. It offers the perfect seat. This spot also happens to be completely hidden from the trail’s view by the tree’s wide trunk. I couldn’t help but smirk a little because life always delivers so perfectly when you are open to it.
I sit down absorbing my surroundings and taking a deep breath in. Wow, it is incredibly beautiful here. The water is still and calm. Long tree branches of a willow tree hang gracefully as it decorates the forest space above. The quiet sounds of the forest fill the air. A sense of serenity and forest magic washes over me. I am 100% present with nature. A minute goes by but it feels as if time has suspended.
An Unexpected Visitor Drops By
A large brown log floats slowly down the creek towards me. As it gets a little closer, it dawns on me that it’s not a log. It’s actually a BEAVER! I quietly explode with inner excitement – I love having wild animal encounters!
The beaver floats by right in front of me and is only a few arm’s length. My excitement swiftly turns into fear. I have never had such a close encounter with a beaver. What if he attacks me? I’m worried he might come out of the water and slap me with his tail! I sit as still as I can, hoping he won’t see me if I manage to blend in with the tree.
The beaver swims slowly around in circles in front of me. He knows I’m here. I pray that he keeps his distance. As I juggle my fear with my excitement, I watch him with absolute amazement, completely stunned that a wild beaver has no fear and wants to come this close to me.
He peeks out of the water checking me out. I think he’s trying to assess the situation and pick up on my intentions vibrationally. He keeps swimming in front of me, casually enjoying his time in the water. He then turns around and disappears down the creek from where he came from.
My body relaxes and the only word that comes to mind is “wow”! Energy always nudges me to take a certain direction in life. When I learn to trust it by following my heart, I am always rewarded with little gifts like this. The reason for this encounter? No clue! Only time will tell.
As I sit for a minute to take in what just happened, the beaver decides to come back, gliding down the creek towards me. To my disbelief, following him close behind is a second beaver. She’s a female, possibly his mate.
My jaw literally drops wide open as I sit there in utter shock. I have no words, zero.
The female beaver doesn’t care much for me and swims right past me down the creek. The male beaver however, the one I encountered 10 minutes ago, has an agenda.
He swims in front of me, circling around a couple of times. He seems to be gathering time and waiting on something. Then he turns to face me head on. He stays in the water staring right at me. Oh no! I shake my head slowly from left to right, trying to tell him mentally not to come any closer. He swims a little closer, inch by inch. I press my back right up against the trunk of the maple tree with my eyes wide open.
An Energetic Gift
The beaver approaches me a little closer, shortening the distance between us by a few more inches. At this moment, he is standing on his hind legs out of the water, only an arms length away from me. If I extended my hand out, I could probably touch him.
He turns his head slightly and looks right into my eyes. We establish a connection and I know something special is coming my way.
Instantaneously after that acknowledgement, energy starts coming through to me. I feel it shoot through my body and it causes my right leg to start bouncing. The beaver is completely fine with the movement and continues to hold his eye contact. As crazy as it sounds, he is basically acting as a conduit and delivering frequencies to me.
As the energy transfer draws to a close, my right leg stops bouncing and the beaver turns around, submerging himself back into the water. He gracefully swims away.
In total bewilderment, I gather myself and make my ascend up the hill quickly so I can get back onto the trail without being seen.
Obviously, I can’t focus my mind in meditation for the rest of the day. All I could think about is the beaver and how unreal, magical and amazing that experience was. All I could think about is when I follow my feelings, beautiful outcomes materialize.
I can’t wait to go back and visit my new friend tomorrow!
A Beautiful Message Delivered
I go back the next day on my lunch break but sadly, no beaver. The forest looks a little different. Someone’s been busy cutting down the trees. Then it hit me that it’s not a person, it’s the beaver chopping them down!
Right where I descended down the hill yesterday, I notice a special marking on the centre of a tree trunk. It was left by the beaver. I know immediately that it’s for me. I get validation for this as I watch other people walk by this tree completely oblivious to this mark. Totally perplexed, I couldn’t help but wonder if I am just crazy or if they are just blind.
I truly believe this is Spirit delivering me a beautiful message in physical form. The beaver is simply the messenger.
So you’re wondering what the mark on the tree is? Well since everyone has to hand in their phone for the entire duration of the retreat, I went back into the forest just before I left to take a picture for memory’s sake. Here it is:
A perfect heart carved so beautifully by the beaver. I didn’t even know that was possible!
The spirit animal of a beaver symbolizes a master builder. My interpretation of the heart is Spirit telling me it’s time now to build my dreams with love. I have been searching high and low trying to figure out what my life purpose is and how I can give to this world. While the message is not specific as to what I am to build and how I should build it, I think it doesn’t really matter. As long as I create something from my heart and pour my love into it for the goodness of this planet and humanity, I truly believe Spirit will always support me.