One early morning in Thailand, I was walking through the grounds of Wat Po on the way to meet my Teacher. As I walked through the semi darkness, the sun rose and long fingers of light chased the purple shadows from the courtyard. I passed a fountain that flowed into a deep pool of water. Swimming feebly back and forth was an exhausted rat, apparently on her last legs. It must have fallen into the pool and had no way of getting out. I scouted about for something to scoop it out with, but the immaculately groomed garden was so clean, all I found was a tiny twig not more than two inches long. I was reluctant, afraid of getting bit, but I couldn’t leave the rat to die.
I gingerly extended the twig into the water. The rat seemed to recognize that help was being offered. She tried to catch on, but was so weak she couldn’t manage. I placed the stick underneath her body and guided her to the side of the pool so she could rest and gather her strength. After a long moment she made an extraordinary attempt and latched with her front paws, making a loud squeak with the effort.
I lifted her out and placed her on a rock. She just stood there while she got her bearings, then turned to face me with tiny black eyes filled with gratitude. I looked deeply into the rat’s eyes and saw only love. A million watt lightbulb went off in my head. My body turned into a fountain of flowing energy that was pure love. Outside of me was a shimmering soup of love. The plants, tress, rocks, and air was love. I relaxed and let go and merged into the greater energy. I was pure love and so was everything else. I finally understood.
I looked up and the rat was still sitting on the rock resting and gathering her energy. Apparently the tiny creature possessed a clear understanding I had saved her life. I was profoundly touched.
I sat at the edge of the fountain and thought long about the forces that caused me to pass right by that pool, at the crucial time to save him. Another light bulb turned on inside. There will always be someone who has fallen, and needs help getting up. If one is open, they will be guided to just the right place, at the perfect time.