In three separate incidences within the span of several days, two women and one teenage girl were bitten by coyotes in NW Calgary.
When my friend told me of the first biting in our neighbourhood, I was shocked. Coyotes don’t behave that way. The city said they felt the coyote may have been displaced by construction in the once rural area where it lived.
So much of wildlife is displaced to make room for roads and houses and treeless fields.
But when my friend, Levi, (who you know as Leo in my books An Accidental Awakening, Awakening on Purpose, and the recent Waking up the West) told me this has also been happening in Stanley Park, Vancouver, I had to look at this situation for what it is.
In Awakening on Purpose, I write about a walk I enjoyed with Fernando Davalos, author of Eagle’s Country. The chapter is titled, The Call:
“We are very small, you and I,” Fernando said. “If someone like the Dalai Lama walked through these paths, everyone would come. They would be drawn to this place. We hear the call. The earth needs healing and you and I hear the call. We offer our help. We offer what we can and in that offering others more powerful than us come to help. Some powerful people can change the weather; can bring rain, can evoke great change, but there must first be a call.”
I took Fernando’s words to heart and continued the humble work. I offered prayers and practice wherever I found myself in nature. And I listened deeply.
More recently, I’ve come to know my Tibetan Buddhist teacher’s call to practice: inviting the sangha or community to embody a wisdom being for a specific issue. For the fires of California and BC, we became Tara Donjé, the 12th Tara, and rained down blessings through mantra to extinguish the fires. Or most recently, Tara Ritro Lomo Gyonma, the Tara who dispels contagious disease.
This is in line with Fernando’s words: “We offer what we can and in that offering others more powerful than us come to help.” Only here, we embody those more powerful. We become compassionate Tara, swift Tara, Fierce wisdom being, in order to respond to the situation.
This past week, I felt compelled to replace my usual silent morning meditation with chanting the Gyatri mantra. On my front step, I sing to the wind, to the trees, to the birds and bears and moose. To the fire, with the intention that she may be satisfied and leave the forests. I sing with a smile and with gratitude, and the vibration fills all the cells of my body. A living prayer.
It matters less what I do but that I do.
Mother Earth is calling.
How will you answer her?