What the Raccoon Taught Me (A True Story)

As I turned the corner from the living room towards my office the other morning, I froze in my tracks . . .

Walking calmly from my office was a large – and very smelly – raccoon.

Here’s the raccoon leaving our room for the back garden. Photo by Eric Klein


The raccoon had somehow come in through the open front door and gone into my office. It looked a bit confused as it sauntered across the hall and into our bedroom.

I tiptoed quickly down the hall and quietly – very quietly –  closed the French door leading into the  bedroom. The raccoon glanced back at me through the glass and turned directly into my meditation closet.

I ran outside and around the house.

My plan was to open the other French doors that lead from our bedroom to the back garden. I wanted to provide an easy way for this unexpected visitor to leave. So, I opened the doors and peeked in. The raccoon remained seated on my meditation cushion – not moving a muscle.

I backed away to wait and watch from a distance.

After 15 minutes the raccoon finished meditating. She got up from the cushion and walked very slowly out of the house into the garden. Step by step, she mindfully disappeared under the fence and into the empty lot beyond.

What do you do when you’re lost or caught in situation that’s unfamiliar?

Run in circles? Scream and shout? Hunker down and hide?

Let’s take a lesson from the raccoon: when you can’t figure out which way is up and the path forward is unclear – find your way to the meditation cushion. That’s what the raccoon did.

She took her seat.

(Though technically it was my seat). She sat there in stillness, breathing in and out – until there the situation settled, the door was open, and the way clear. And then, rather than make a mad dash, she walked slowly and deliberately forward.

Let’s take note and cultivate our capacity to be still and allow clarity to arise.

Let’s develop our meditative awareness so we can settle, be still AND move forward with mindful grace.  We need these capacities now in such uncertain and tense times.

Being still and present is a service to the world.

Especially now.

It’s time to wake up; to take our seat, meditate, so we can act with wisdom. Fortunately it’s Springtime.

Springtime is the best time to renew your meditation practice.

In the wisdom traditions, the Spring Equinox is the ideal time to return to the cushion, renew your practice, and revivify your spiritual life.

There’s tremendous energy in Springtime. How can you use the raccoon’s wisdom and allow this powerful Spring energy to nourish your meditation practice?

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Love & Shanti

E & D

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