Evening meditation time. I was thinking again about the “Ant Incident” which must have happened ten years ago or so. It really has stuck with me. Let me recap.
I took weekly yoga classes at a local community center and often I arrived early. On this particular Thursday evening I was the first one there and rolled out my mat in the room. It was quiet. Restful. I sat on my mat. After a while I noticed a cute little ant confused by my mat. It was trying to go left-to-right but my mat was in the way. So I watched him. Heck, there was nothing else to do. He tried left. He tried right. I am a writer, what can I say. I started to encourage him. I started to envision his little ant family back at home waiting for him. I gave him tips. I imagined what he might say back to me. I gave him help. This ant was my buddy.
Finally the teacher arrived and put her mat in the corner. She came over to say hello.
I gleefully said, “Look! I have an ant buddy!”
She looked down, peered at him –
AND SQUASHED HIM.
I was, I admit, in shock. And clearly this has stayed with me all those years since.
We should be mindful of all life around us. If we choose to eat meat, we should be grateful for the lives given for us. Heck, we should be grateful in general. But that little ant wasn’t trying to do harm. He was just trying to get to where he was going. And for a brief moment, I understood that.