Gai Lawson, British Columbia, Canada
As a student of Eckankar, I have an understanding of how the Mahanta, my spiritual guide, often shelters me under his umbrella of divine love and offers me respite from the sometimes frantic world around me. This divine love supported me when we relocated last year.
We moved across the country to a semiarid region. Our neighborhood is in a grasslands area with sagebrush and other small shrubs but no big trees. We can see the forest far off in the distance, higher up on the mountains across the wide river valley. The sun really heats up the hillsides where we live, as there is no natural shade.
That summer we had extreme heat, which was very unusual, and I wondered what effect this would have on the animals in our area. We are fortunate to live by a gully with lots of wildlife—deer, coyotes, marmots, many birds (including chukars, bald eagles, crows, ravens, and a variety of small songbirds), mice, rattlesnakes, and so on. I knew that the birds could fly to water or shade, and the bigger animals could find water, but I wondered about the mice and other small creatures.
We had seen an official government sign at a local hiking trail, warning people not to disturb or harass rattlesnakes. Our neighbors also told us to be careful of rattlesnakes in the area. Often, a neighborhood social-media site would post notices of where rattlesnakes had been sighted. If the snake stayed, a local snake expert would remove the creature and transport it up into its natural territory in the hills, where it could be safe from people, and vice versa. People tend to react sharply with fear when it comes to these Souls in snake bodies.
One very hot afternoon, I decided to pick some weeds out of a potted tomato. I carefully stepped across a raised garden bed into a shady area, reached for the small weeds—and froze. I was nearly face-to-face with a rattlesnake! Then I relaxed, became very still within myself, and simply observed this beautiful creature as it rested in the garden border, in the shade of the garden shed. I carefully moved away, while staying in the shade. I continued to watch the snake, just as it watched me. The delicate coloring, its skin patterns, the shape of its head and sinuous body—it fascinated me.
I did not feel alarmed at that point. Instead, I felt curiosity, as I had never seen a rattlesnake. Perhaps the snake had never seen a human. As we continued to watch each other, I felt a sense of trust and camaraderie within the stillness of the shade. I had a sense that the snake was just resting in this sheltered area for a while to cool down and avoid the heat of the direct sun.
I felt wonder at the snake’s visit, seeing its beauty and noting how it was so still and calm around me. I felt a surge of love and gratitude for its visit. The ECK, Divine Spirit, was showing me how the snake, one of God’s small creatures, could find shelter in the shade, much as I find shelter within the umbrella of the Mahanta’s love.
—Photos by Gai Lawson
This rattler was welcoming you to the Okanagan… so glad you are here…great story
Glorious Soul to Soul encounter Gai, thank you for sharing it
Gai, it’s amazing how calm you were at this encounter. Trusting Spirit and in the protection and love from the Mahanta, I agree with, although I must admit my initial reaction would be to run away as fast as I can which would have the opposite effect in that I’d be startling the poor creature who’d most likely attack. Thank you for this story.
That’s funny, Rose! I can just see you racing away from the snake. 🙂 There was so much love and serenity in the moment, so I was happy to stay and share the space.
Vraiment, l’amour du Mahanta touche toutes les créatures quelle que soit leur forme et taille. Huuuuuuuuu
Thank you for your comment, André.
Lovely encounter. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for your kind comment, M.J.
I enjoyed hearing your experience. No doubt, the snake too sensed that you felt no fear and this allowed the ECK to flood into the situation making it such a joyful experience. Thank you.
I think you are correct, Trudy, that the snake felt as safe as I did in sharing its love with me.
I love the sense of quietness and stillness you described as you recognized the snake as a brother (or seester).
Thank you, Elaine.
Nice story! I counted the rings on the rattle(10!)
Thank you, Kim! Yes, the snake seemed like a big fellow. He would have been about three feet long when straight, rather than coiled up. 🙂
Ahhh, a Soul encounter, neither of you needed outer protection. There was only love. And for the other Soul was welcomed rather than feared. Perhaps a Mahanta and Prajapati moment?
May the Blessings Be!
Yes, this was *totally* a Soul encounter, Linda! I can imagine that the Mahanta and Prajapati (for those unfamiliar, Prajapati is a spiritual Master who works with animals) were in attendance, encouraging Love.
THANK YOU for sharing this lovely, heart-warming event. I’ve always liked snakes, see them as beautiful and am delighted to read your encounter was filled with love.
Thank you for your kind comments, edith.
That is a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing the experience.
Thank you, Clairia, for your kind remarks. It’s such a gift when Spirit brings these special moments with other species!
Great. This is how the Eck works. Thanks for sharing.
Yes, this is indeed, how the ECK or Spirit works, Felix! 🙂
Lovely story! I have for some reason, a lot of interactions with animals and had one with a baby garter snake while headed into a late afternoon class in a new neighborhood where the gutters were too slanted for this baby snake to climb. He just could not get a grip, although he tried and tried, and the pavement was so HOT. So I stepped out of one of my flipflops and put it down for him to use which gave him a path to the cool grass. This tiny little guy, no more than five inches long disappeared into the emerald grass and then turned and lifted as much of his body as he could up out of the lawn and just looked into my eyes for a moment, saying thank you, and then went on his little way. I will never forget it.
Oh, my! Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful experience, Laramie! It brought tears to my eyes to read your loving kindness to this small creature. When my heart opens, tears often follow. It’s amazing how clearly other species can communicate their gratitude and love to us. Thank you, again, for taking the time to share.
Thank YOU, Gai!
I hope the soul in the snake body found a new home away from humans. Snakes are amazing and beautiful creatures that keep nature in balance.
We live on the edge of a very large, protected area of grasslands, which is home to rattlesnakes (they’re also protected), so I imagine this fellow readily made his way back home from his explorations. 🙂
Yup. That hit the heart spot!
That’s a sweet way to put it, David! Thank you. 🙂