Life Lessons Within the Dance of Predator & PreyFeb 06, 2024
The Inner Life
The intricate dance of predator and prey in the animal kingdom offers a profound reflection on the ebb and flow of the inner life of humans.
Have you ever seen a cheetah chasing its prey? This is quite an intensely focused situation. When a cheetah spots its prey, it stalks for a while, and when the time is right, engages in a high-speed chase to capture it.
In pursuit of our goals, we can learn from these predator qualities of intense focus, determination, calculated timing and willpower.
The cheetah, however, is successful in its hunt just over 50% of the time. The other half of the time the prey animal gets away, and this is where an even deeper level of inner wisdom is learned.
Let's consider the hare, a prey animal, for example, being chased by a powerful and hungry cheetah would be a terrifying and high-stakes experience. During these moments, the hare will be undergoing intense stress, fear and adrenaline-fueled survival responses in an attempt to evade its predator. The intense stress and fear experienced during the high-speed chase are its inbuilt instinctive mechanisms, crucial for navigating the make-or-break pursuit.
The true wisdom and inner power, however, lie in what happens once the threat has passed.
In contrast to most human experience, once the chase is over, and the hare returns to safety, it immediately escapes the emotional clutches and instinctive survival mechanisms of the cheetah's threat.
In a seamless transition, the hare lets go of the chase, and returns to its natural tranquillity, enjoying its peaceful surroundings and activities of rest, nourishment and simply being. It doesn't continue to shackle itself with the weight of fear and stress.
This natural ability to let go and return to a state of ease serves as a poignant metaphor for our own inner lives. While we too face experiences of intense uncertainty, disharmony, pressure and stress, there's wisdom in recognising that these states need not become a permanent fixture in our mental thinking habits. These survival-based responses are not our natural state.
In the tapestry of our experiences, the chase may be intense, but it is not the entirety of our existence. Just as the hare immediately returns to its peaceful state, we too can cultivate resilience, allowing ourselves the grace and inner power to stand unshaken amidst life's storms and embrace the calm, wisdom and depth that follows these unerring challenges.
Like the hare, we can release the grip of the past that is living in the mind-scape holding us back from enjoying the present moment, even when there is no longer any threat present.
Cultivating our inner life is a sacred and intentional practice that helps us to free ourselves from the mental and emotional burdens of the past. These burdens often come from painful, sorrowful, or angry experiences that we've had. By cultivating our inner life, we can come home to the only true reality which is the present moment. This helps us to find acceptance, love, clarity, and peace, much like the hare who has the remarkable ability to find solace and restoration, abiding in its true nature, once the chase is over.