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Tuesday, March 23, 2004

I was laying on my back, as were the other students. My mat was a comfortable medium between my body and the hard floor, but I was still grateful for my socks I had just slipped on. I could feel my heart starting to calm after such a vigorous session, and as I listened to quiet sighs about the room, it was obvious that everyone was quite tired. We were supposed to be reflecting on all the goodness we just gave our bodies from our yoga and prepare for complete relaxation, without falling asleep. She turned the lights down and changed the music to Robert Gass's Bliss.

And I layed there, listening to the most heavenly mantras being sung by little children, or at least that's what it sounded like to me. At times I wonder what exactly I should be thinking, or not thinking about. I know that my mind is supposed to be right here, right now, in the moment; not thinking about what's next, where I have to go after this, what I did yesterday - right here, right now.

If the hardest thing for the human body to do is to stay still, then forcing the mind not to think is a close second.

After shifting my hip a bit and taking another breath, I was ready to stop thinking. My eyes were still open, but were in that heavy drugged stage.

Although there were 12 other women laying on the floor to the right of me, I felt a tiny presence to my left, between the wall and me.

I moved my eyes to the left and saw a tiny stink bug sitting next to my head. I wondered if he had done yoga with us. I felt strangely comforted by his presence, like he was reminding me that we all share this world. I admit I was feeling rather blissful after such an invigorating experience that comes with my favorite yoga class, and the music was setting the mood to be peaceful with any creature that happens by.

That's when I realized the stink bug was laying on one of it's legs.

It was broken.

I'm sure that I wasn't supposed to be concentrating on a bug's discomfort, but maybe that is the point behind meditation afterall. We're supposed to be in the moment, and that's what I'm doing. I reached over and gently pushed the bug's body to unfold it's leg. I wondered if it had been sitting there for hours hurt. Perhaps I even stepped on him or kicked him with my mat.

My water bottle was laying on its side next to my hand, and I managed to catch a drip on my finger tip, and dropped it by the little bug's head. He might be dehydrated, I thought.

I turned my head back upright, and closed my eyes. I was pleased that I showed pity for one of God's creatures. I knew I should stay put and breath, but my curiosity was killing me. I had to know if my tiny friend was drinking from his drop.

I squinted my eye to the left to sneak a peak.

The little stink bug was dead.

No, I did not drown him. He was just dead.

And I realized that no one in this entire world would ever know of his existence, or his death, except me. Not a single person in that room had any idea that a life force had just slipped through to the other side.

Is there another side for a bug? I hope so. I hate to think there's nothing for them once they die. I know their bodies go back into the earth, or will feed another creature, but what happens to their little souls? Does a bug have a soul? I hope so, that would be sad if it didn't. Then I thought, what happens to a bug's body when it dies indoors? Will the cleaning lady just sweep it away into the trash and that will be it's official burial? Unless a creature gets into a dumpster and eats it, how will the stink bug continue the cycle? And what about it's family? Does it have one? Is there a nest of stink bugs waiting for this one to bring home dinner? Do they wonder where this stink bug is? Do they even know each other from one another?

Boy, your mind can go on forever and never make a complete circle with one thought. I guess I didn't do to well on meditating.

Relaxation was over, the lights came on and the others were starting to sit up. I layed still for one more moment, just to let the stink bug know that I recognized it's existence, and I was here when it died. I saw it, I was right there when it happened, and it's life force did not go out of this world unnoticed.

As I sat up, I thought that would be such a horrible way to die. To not have anyone notice.

I think perhaps that stink bug was there for a reason. I think, I have learned something from this bug. I don't want anyone to ever have to go through life unnoticed.

I promised myself from that moment on to see people, to feel their existence, and to let them know that their life is significant. I'm not sure how it will help or if it will make me a better person, but I definitely know that no one wants to live, or die, unnoticed. If they did, what would be the difference if they died at all?