- Think you have a stellar practice?
- Spout off inspirational quotes about “right” living?
- Laugh in the face of nay-sayers, your soul and psyche unmoved by outside forces?
- Call the yamas your b*atches?
Well, how about testing out your practice?
Ok . . .
Let’s do it.
But first, say hello to my little friend.
. . .
Enter Pete the palmetto bug. Rampant in the great state of Florida, these little guys – because nasty bugs are always male – rear their hideous
heads tentacles anywhere and everywhere, especially in the summer months. You can clean incessantly, spray regularly [a poison which is welcome if it rids the house of critters], get a cat and/or dachshund [thanks for the suggestion, Elizabeth!], all to no avail. You will see one at some point. And he will run across your living room/kitchen/bathroom, taunting you and reminding you that living in the tropics does have its downsides.
I ran into this unpleasant house guest in the shower the other day. I gasped and dared not to move an inch lest I frighten him, spark him to scurry and lose sight of the bugger, only to discover his presence at a later date. Like, in my wine glass [aaaaand I just threw up a little bit in my mouth].
So what was a yogini to do? Why, beckon The Big Guy, of course! Convinced I had severed a limb based on my blood-curtling beckoning, he quickly realized the source of my alarm when he laid eyes upon Pete. On cue, The Big Guy broke through the shower door and squashed Pete the palmetto bug like a hired assassin, without blinking an eyelash.
In those last moments of Pete’s life, though, I had a fleeting thought – Does ahimsa apply to palmetto bugs? Should I have swallowed my disgust, captured Pete and had him escorted outside? [I mean, The Big Guy was a bouncer once]. Surely I would’ve requested insect removal over immediate assassination had I discovered a caterpillar and/or cricket. Why don’t palmetto bugs get the same treatment? Perhaps, though, it is not for me to decide which insects to wage war against. Like Arjuna’s reluctance to fight his brethren in the Bhagavad Gita, maybe I am a palmetto bug warrior. Maybe my duty is to fight them, no questions asked.
Like Krishna said to Arjuna,
Prepare for war with peace in thy soul. Be in peace in pleasure and pain, in gain and in loss, in victory or in the loss of a battle. In this peace there is no sin.
– Bhagavad Gita 2:38
Nice try. However, that rationalization would only suffice if God stood before me and spoke to me [which didn’t happen].
So, I am left with my sin, hypocrisy, and non-observance of ahimsa. And not only did I not practice ahimsa but I also ordered someone else to do my bidding. Who am I to impose bad karma on another? If I wanted the bug dead, I should’ve had the hootspa to do it myself instead of enlisting the Blackwater Bug Killer.
blood bug goo on my hands.
. . .
Am I alone in my hypocrisy? How far does your practice of ahimsa reach into your everyday life? Do you have bug goo on your hands? 🙂