Friday, August 17, 2012

Great White Egret: Our Newest Neighbor

Earlier this week, I spotted a great white egret stalking the shoreline across the river - a newcomer to our river community. I have spent a lot of time observing this masterful hunter this week and allowing it to be my teacher. The slow, controlled movements this bird makes with such obvious focus reminds me of walking meditation as taught by the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh.

I feel myself becoming more calm and centered simply by watching the great egret move so slowly and gracefully and at times stand completely motionless with highly alert eyes focused on the water.

Then all of a sudden, it jabs its long, yellow-orange, spear-like bill into the water and usually emerges victorious with a fish, which it swallows whole.

The great egret exudes alert stillness and quiet confidence. Without carrying on or making any kind of show, this bird focuses intently on what it desires, recognizes opportunity, and takes swift action. It knows when to move on and where to go. It brings full presence to what it does and achieves results.

This morning, I looked out the window and saw the pure white figures of three great egrets across the river. Later, when putting the photos on my computer, I noticed that in some of the photos a great blue heron was standing in the background. There is some serious heron/egret energy around our house lately!

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© Susan Meyer and River Bliss, 2012-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all photos, without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss ( with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. 

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