Once upon a time, a long long time ago, in a great forest, there lived a bear. Have you heard this story? Good, good. Now I can’t remember the bear’s name, so we’ll just call him … “the bear”.
Now the bear, he had a good life, he had a good job, he worked at a great company. But then you know, he started having problems at his company and things started becoming more difficult for the bear. And he thought, “I really need to do something”, because his boss was not nice to the bear. His boss was so strong and the bear thought “Oh, I’m so weak. I can’t do anything. I want to be strong.”
So that night, the bear prayed to the god of the Bears, and he said “god of the Bears, please please, make me strong.”
And the next morning he woke up, and the most amazing thing had happened because the bear had changed, he was no longer a bear. He had been transformed into a great mountain. A great mountain high, so high he almost touched the sky. And as a great, great mountain, he could really begin to feel his own strength. He was made of strong, strong rock that could stand up to anything. And he looked out upon the land and he felt so good.
You know, he really enjoyed being a mountain because mountains are strong – they are really centered. Nobody messes with a mountain. So he enjoyed being a mountain for a long long time and his life was much easier when he was a mountain. But you know, things began to change at his job and his life, as things always do eventually change. His work and life were changing and there were new things that he had to learn. Now a mountain is very strong, but a mountain is not very open to change. A mountain just stays one way for a long, long time.
So one time, he realized that he had to learn to be more open and to react, to respond to change. So what could he do?
He prayed to the god of the Mountain. Of course, he wouldn’t pray to the god of the Bears because he wasn’t a bear anymore. So he prayed to the god of the Mountain and he said, “god of the Mountain, please please, help me to be more open, to be more creative, to be more flexible.”
And the next morning, when he awoke, it was very strange because he had changed. He was no longer a mountain. What had he become? He had transformed into a wind. Yes, the mountain who used to be a bear had now become a wind. And being a wind is pretty cool, you know. Because when you’re a wind, that means that you can go everywhere. If there is something in your way, if there’s an obstacle, you can just go around it, or under it, or over it. There’s always a way for a wind to go.
And the wind felt wonderful and blew the clouds around the sky and went dancing with the rocks and the fields and so much more. And he came up with amazing new ideas and went to amazing new places – very playful and creative – open to so many new possibilities and ways of navigating the world.
And for a long long time, the wind had a wonderful life. Yet eventually, the wind who used to be a mountain who used to be a bear found that although he was very open and creative and playful, he was perhaps just a little bit … shallow. He felt that he was not really aware of what was going on at a deeper level. He just blew in from one place to another, and then blew out to another without really being able to become aware of things at a deeper level. He felt his existence in each place was too brief, so one night he prayed. He prayed to the god of the Wind, and he said “god of the Wind, please please, help me.”
And the next morning, when he woke up, he was no longer a wind. He had been transformed, completely changed … The wind who used to be a mountain who used to be a bear had now become … the sea … the great sea … the great sea that goes so deep, that goes right down to the heart of the world, the great sea that reaches out to vast continents, being aware of the whole planet … so present … the great sea is aware of everything. The great sea has all the knowledge, can see everything, can hear everything, can feel everything. All through the bright day and dark night, the sea is alert and awake, aware of everything in all senses at such a deep level.
And for a long time, the sea was very content and peaceful, simply being aware of everything around. But as the sea, he slowly began to realize that although he was aware of everything, he wasn’t really connected to everything at all. Sometimes, it was as if he was an acute observer of the whole map of the world, yet he was not really … connected to the parts of that world. In a way, he felt a little isolated – he was the only great sea. So one night, he prayed to the god of the Sea. And he prayed, “god of the Sea, help me.”
And when he awoke next morning, transformed and changed, he awoke not as a sea, but he awoke instead in the state of a being who connected the land to the sea… he awoke as one who dances with the wind… he awoke as one who connects all the way from the strength of the mountain right down to the depths of the sea as he danced with the wind in his journeys through the land. He awoke as one who is truly connected – for he awoke as a river.
And the sea who used to be a wind, who used to be a mountain, who used to be a bear… now he was that river. And the river is a wonderful thing. For the river starts with the strength of the mountain, flows down easily and enjoyably right down to the sea, connecting the mountains and the peace of the sea. And on the way, the river dances with the wind, always playful and open, the wind dancing with the water. Dancing together.
And for a long long time, he was happy as a river because a river could connect all of these things. Everything was really good, but you know, eventually he thought, “it is great being a river, being connected… yet it was also great to be a mountain, to have all that strength and centeredness… and it was also a fine thing to be a wind, to be open and creative and playful… and then it was wonderful to be the great sea, to be aware and alert and deep in knowledge.”
So one night, he prayed to the god of the river, “help me.” And the god of the River replied, “well, this is an interesting situation, and I’m curious to know the solution, aren’t you.” And the god of the River continued, “I can not help you on my own, yet there are other beings in other states who may be able to help us to find the best solution for you, the river who used to be the sea who used to be a wind who used to be a mountain who used to be a bear.”
And then the god of the river called upon the god of the sea and the god of the wind and the god of the mountain and the god of the bear. And they each came from their own states, and the five gods decided to go for a quiet drink in a local bar to find the best solution. And the quiet drink turned into a long night and many drinks as the gods all discussed “what are we going to do to integrate all these beautiful things that have been found.” And what do you think was decided?
After the long discussion of the gods, they said, “what we’re going to do is … we’re going to transform you back into who you really are … you will once more become a bear … and live a bear reality … but with some important differences … for you are indeed a special bear.”
And the god of the Mountain said to the bear, “Because you wanted to have the strength of the mountain, so down in your feet, centering you down to the ground, I will give you the strength of the mountain. And whenever you feel your feet supported by the solid earth below you, you can remember, remember the strength of the mountain and once again feel the centeredness and strength of that mountain within.”
And the god of the Wind said to the bear, “And I will give you the openness and flexibility of the wind, the ability to be open and play, the creativity of the wind. And I will put this all around your center, and whenever you become aware of the center of your body, then again you will be open and playful and creative in so many ways.”
And the god of the Sea said to the bear, “And I will give you the awareness and peace of the sea, inside all around your heart, all around your head. Whenever you focus on this area, you can have that peace, that awareness, that deep deep knowledge and alertness.”
And the god of the River said to the bear, “Well your body is now full – full of centeredness, openness, and awareness! But I will give you the connectedness of the river all around and beyond your body. Above you, below you, all around. Whenever you become aware of the areas around your body, you can again easily feel that connectedness with all living things and all the resources that are available to you.”
And there was one more god, wasn’t there? Do you remember? Yes, of course, there was the god of the Bears.
And then the god of the Bears said to the bear, “Well, I want you to be able to remember all of these things because in everyday life and when problems arise, a bear can bearly remember sometimes what is important, and a bear needs a little help to help you remember, don’t you? Because sometimes, you might not consciously remember that you have the strength of the mountain within you, or that you do indeed have the openness and creativity of the wind, or that the great awareness of the great sea is always within you, or that the connectedness of the river is available all around your body, waiting for you to embrace all those wonderful resources that you are connected to.”
“And so I want you to remember, if not even consciously, that all of those resources are available to you. So what I will do for you, my bear, is that every time you bring your hands (or your paws!) together, yes – that’s right – as you bring your hands together now – all of those things will come back to you and you will feel them all again in your body and around your body… integrating in exactly the ways that are most appropriate for you … growing and spreading in ways that support your excellence … and knowing that you can easily access all of these wonderful learnings in your future by simply bringing those hands together.”
And the next morning, the bear woke up and he was transformed, changed completely, and the god of the Bears spoke to him and said, “yes, indeed you are a bear, a very special bear, yet at a very deep level you will always remember all of these important things that you have learned … and learned to use in ways that are most appropriate for you … the mountain, the wind, the sea, and the river are all part of you now.”
© Copyright 2012 by Dr. Brian Cullen