I am the bear and the mountain

Walt Whitman's poem "Song of Myself" has a verse that I think about a lot:

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself;
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

Even the verse itself contains multitudes. I've written before about this verse and how I sometimes feel like I embrace paradoxes.

muse 4.jpg

But on this revisit of the verse, I'm pairing it with Asha's image: a bear that contains within it the mountains and forests it roams. There is little difference between the landscape and the animal adventurer. They are one and the same; in the bear is the mountain and in the mountain is the bear.

I've found it very difficult to translate the state that some of my meditation retreats have dropped me into, but this image hints at the feeling. After the dust of daily living has settled and I slip deeper and deeper into practiced contemplation, that feeling of being separate and apart from my environment fades. The lines between me and everything else become fuzzy. I'm not divided from the environment, I am it. I am the bear and the mountain.