The Nature of Frogs and Cheesemaking

Loving Byron Bay, rachel Zinman YogaI’ve never really understood frogs until one came to live in our toilet last month. It all happened quite suddenly. One minute the toilet bowl was empty and the next a frog was squeamishly clinging to the edge as I flushed. Even though I cringed at the site of his little legs kicking against the bowl I was fascinated by his tenacity. No matter what I tried that frog wanted to be in the toilet. A few nights later I found Mr. Frog on the window ledge. My partner John, insisted he was waiting for mosquitoes but I wondered; Was he looking for a way out? On discussing frog habits with a friend I was told that frogs are territorial and when removed from their homes will travel up to 2 km to find their way back. There was no point in moving our frog I would just have to make sure he wasn’t having a swim when I wanted to use the Loo.

there's a frog in my looThus began my cohabitation with Mr.Frog, a beautiful green, bug eating and sometimes musical creature who reminded me that the nature of nature is that it will have its way. If we humans didn’t sanitize and civilize, the world would be full of creeping, hopping, sliding, mooing, barking and neighing things that did exactly what they were supposed to do. EXIST!

So what seems to be the trouble? We just don’t get it! Rather than celebrating our existence and reveling in the fact that we are alive, conscious of being conscious and living in harmony with our environment; we extract, destroy, pillage and pull every ounce of life from the earth to service what we feel is our birthright. It saddens me that our conditioning is so impenetrable that we miss the obvious. Just like the frog is part of the natural world so are we. We are made up of earth, water, fire, air and space and as such are inseparable from creation. A frog just does what its supposed to do and if we knew ourselves, we would do the same. So the big question is; Why don’t we know what to do? Why don’t we know why were here? Who has the answers and where do we go?

I pondered these ideas in the midst of my new passion; cheese-making. What’s so cool about making cheese and how could it solve the mystery of the universe? The answer lies in seeing that you can take the cheese out of the milk but you can’t take the milk out of the cheese. In other words when making cheese we take the milk for granted. But without the milk what cheese? And without the cow?

Looking at ourselves, the whole reason we exist is because we are inseparably part of creation. Everyday we take our existence for granted. Think of it like this; the milk is eternal the cheese is only apparently existing for some time and without milk what cheese? Just like without water what ocean? In the same way taking your existence for granted without YOU what existence.

In the Hindu pantheon the Swan- Hamsa is the ultimate cheese maker. Apparently a swan has the capacity to separate curds from whey in the same way that human beings have the capacity through knowledge and proper teachings to separate the unreal from the real.

Teachings and cheese making aside I was still living with a frog and all this pondering on the nature of nature couldn’t compare to John’s brilliant idea to take Mr. Frog down to the creek to be, ” set free”.  So there we were, me and John in the car with Mr. Frog in a bag dangling from the rear view mirror. We released Mr. Frog into the creek but he scrambled out and jumped onto John’s leg. John peeled him off and gently put him back in the water. Mr. Frog swam left than right and scrambled up the embankment, then scaled a tree and that was the last we saw of him.

I admit it. I miss him. Mr. Frog kept me on my toes. His unexpected visits took me out of my complacency and forced me to be aware of my surroundings. He made me stop and think about what I take for granted, what’s real and unreal and the nature of creation and… if he ever finds his way back to our toilet? I’ll let him stay for good.

If these ideas on the nature of SELF inspire you why not join Rachel Zinman and John Weddepohl on retreat in 2013 in Bali or Greece.

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