As an unbound deer in the forest
seeks a feeding-place when it wills,
wise, seeking independence,
one should live alone, like the horn of a rhinoceros.
We have a lot of wandering deer foraging for food in my area, particularly in winter late at night. There have been many occasions when upon peering through the drapes of my bedroom window I’ve come face to face with some of these majestic creatures. On a singular occasion as one was feeding on some shrubbery outside my window, it was as if I could reach out and gently stroke its head. Its enormous eyes on either side of its head were like vast blackened whirlpools that appeared to draw me into them, as if descending into the very depths of the primordial void Itself. Needless to say I was left feeling awestruck by this encounter, it was like peering into the eyes of an extraterrestrial visitor who had something to convey that was beyond words, beyond the fabric of time and space itself. It was an encounter with the Unborn in all Its own magnificent wonder and unbounded presence. Like the deer who roams freely about, a most independent creature, so is the Unborn Spirit revealing its actuating essence—a vigorous transcendency leaving a luminous imprint on the mind. I was no longer on an earthly, but rather the Sambhogakayic Plane, enraptured with its effervescent joyousness.
As today’s verse teaches, the one living in seclusion needs to cultivate an independent spirit like that majestic and unbounded deer, not dependent upon social-circles to maintain and stroke a false identity and security of the herd mentality, but breaking-free from the chains that bind the Self and reach out alone, unsoiled in solitude, and touch the very face of the Unborn.