Fly as a Totem Update
by Neva J. Howell unless otherwise noted
Fly as a totem or messenger:
Update to earlier post on Fly appearing as a Totem or spiritual messenger
Some time ago, I was noticing flies. They were noticing me too; landing on my hands while I typed, first one hand then the other, flitting so fast that the other hand I moved to wave them away missed entirely (but took my hands off the keyboard, a significance that didn’t escape me)
Logically, it is normal for flies to come inside when the winter weather starts and so, normal that I would have a few flies in the house. What was abnormal, at least to me, was the amount of attention they were paying me, when they had a 3,000 foot building in which to roam.
They seemed to find me and light, but only for the briefest moment, in the midst of some other point of concentration. One even landed on me during the filming of my Pangea Day entry on youtube. I think back on my reaction and see that it was delayed. And although, in some small way, I did move with consciousness on the moment later, it was not full consciousness in the way that I’m learning about this morning.
I pondered, in the original posts, what the meaning of fly as a totem might be? For me, flies represent annoyance and irritation but no real harm. Fly also taught me how much impact an extremely light touch can create. A fly on the skin is barely there, yet SO noticed. In some way, it reminds me that a little effort can create big effects.
Buddha and the Fly
However, this morning a light bulb from Buddha shone brightly in the words I read about an experience Gautam Buddha had while sitting with some of his students. A fly landed on the Buddha’s head and he, like myself in the video, simply waved it away with his hand. Moments later though, Buddha closed his eyes in a focused intensity that was so deep that his students immediately noticed and became transfixed. He shifted his energy immediately in a way that was palpable to those around him.
With eyes closed, the Buddha slowly retraced the movement of his hand swatting away the fly again.
His student asked what he was doing and informed him the fly was already gone (audacious….Jesus, I am blind…what good will putting dirt on my eyes do?)
Gautam Buddha responded that, before, he had waved the fly away unconsciously and that now, he was moving his hand as it should have been moved then, with consciousness.
Oh, I love this story. If this is how Buddha responded to the fly as a teacher, I can do no less. Their little dance on my hands will now become an instant message to move with consciousness in the very moment I’m in; fly as totem is, for me, a message to examine my movement through life and to resolve to move with consciousness in every moment.