Otter Joy, Judgement and Our Minds

Recently I was walking along the rocky pacific northwest beach near my cabin, where otters play joyously, seals poke their heads out of the water to see who is above the waterline, and eagles, herons, kingfishers and others soar above the water. I saw a new dock being built with large concrete posts built into ground, a metal walkway and floating wooden dock. It was located directly over large grey boulders on a prominence where the otters appeared to have their home. They would often be on the land above the rocks rolling around with each other, licking and grooming each other. My silly, judgmental mindstream immediately reacted with irritation, saying to myself, “how could someone build this dock right over their home and ruin this beautiful beach with a dock”. The poor otters home would never be the same and they would have to deal with this dock forever or move their home elsewhere. I watched my mind as it scattered in different directions regarding destroying the otters home, changing the ambience of this coastline, etc. etc. I recognized my nonproductive, negative thought patterns and then briefly chuckled at myself thinking “Oh, such a busy mind with destructive judgmental thoughts”.

Later that week, as I walked along the beach and came across that dock, lo and behold, three of the otters were on the dock rolling around, chirping to each other, jumping in and out of the water, licking each other and then just laying on their new deck, sunbathing! I could imagine that they might be saying to each other “cool beans! someone built us a deck with a view for our home! how much fun!”

Then I remembered all my judgmental thoughts previously and chuckled at what a waste of energy all those thoughts were. Who really knows what other beings may be thinking and perceiving. It is always through our own minds filters and emotions. The more I can let go and clear my mind of all those judgmental thoughts, how much happier I would be. How much more enjoyable my walk would be without all that mind traffic inside. It was a perfect teaching for me. Otter’s are often called the clowns of nature. The otter’s joy showed me how to be in the moment and enjoy nature for what it is, without my perceptions, thoughts and judgments.

Ah…..that beach is so much quieter now!
How do your thoughts and judgments impact on your perceptions of animals and nature and everything else?
How does it feel to let go of that busy mind traffic and see it all for what it is?

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