Reply To: Expanded account of grizzly bear encounter

  • Jeff Verge

    May 19, 2024 at 1:10 am

    Wow thank you again Shannon. That you would read it twice and discuss it with your son is such a huge compliment. I am grateful to hear it.

    When I was eleven I would read anything I could find about shark attacks :). Much of what I know about grizzly bear encounters I only learned recently, but there are a few things I would note for anyone interested: 1: Avoid surprising them. Most encounters that go badly are surprise encounters. If you’re making noise that identifies you as human, most often they will quietly move away and you’ll never even know they had been there. 2. If you do encounter one, surprise or not, do not run. Never run from a grizzly bear. There is a high probability that running will trigger their prey response and they can run much faster than a human. Talk to the bear in a low soothing voice if you can as it will be listening for clues of your intentions. Remember you smell and taste gross to them and they only want to eat you if they’re starving, otherwise they’ll only get angry enough to attack you if they feel threatened. 3. If you’re ever unfortunate enough to encounter a mother and cubs up close, try not to get between them as that’s the most dangerous place to be. In my case Momma let it happen because she’d already investigated me and knew I wasn’t out to hurt anyone, but in most cases she won’t have the opportunity and she won’t take the chance. 4. If you have a dog with you, make it shut up quickly if you can. A yapping, snarling, aggressive dog, who will engage fearlessly with a bear because it loves you deeply and is a pack animal, can take a mellow bear and agitate it very quickly. Something like this (it’s held to be likely) happened to a couple late last year not too far from where I met Momma.

    I expect your son will feel the unity. After all, the unity wants that too :). I feel your friend and guru have it exactly right, I’m sure I thought about this peak experience every day in the almost two years since..

    I won’t go into details here but hearing of your accident, which sure does sound like a hemisphere-based event, gives me occasion to reflect on my own accidental experience which was something quite opposite, a wrenching away from unity to unipole LH detachment. Nature was my healer, long before I met Momma. In my twenties I started to learn about ancient ways of being and learned of one way to cultivate unity: When you meet a deer, or see an eagle circling above, or even with the trees, mountains, water or sky, imagine you are one with them and you can sense and feel from their perspective. What do you sense and feel?

    My partner as it happens is steeped in Hafiz and the Sufi poets. For my part I probably read more about the poetry than the poems themselves, which I will soon rectify by starting with Daniel Ladinsky’s The Gift. I had only casual acquaintance with Indra’s Net before but I am dazzled by Iain’s rendering of the idea and now it’s an image I contemplate often.

    I’ve gone on too long ! A glorious wonder that we are: beautiful way you put it. Thank you again. I hope your son comes back buzzing with wonder and enchantment and longing for more.