Every so often, someone will tweet something to @BunnyBuddhism that really catches my eye. Most frequently, it is either an adorable photo of a bunny or else it is some kind of bunny artwork. This week, I was struck by a comic featuring a Bunny Buddhism quote, thanks to @BearAndInk:
It is always interesting to me to see @BunnyBuddhism tweets finding new homes and being used in new ways. When I tweet a certain message, I of course have some idea of what it means to me. Even more interesting, though, is the way the same words might affect someone else. It never in a million years would have occurred to me to do a Bunny Buddhism comic, and yet here one was, suddenly appearing in my feed.
A bunny must learn a new way to think before he can learn a new way to hop.
Yesterday, I learned that this tiny bundle of bunny joy departed this world before he was even given a name. I hope his loving human can take comfort in knowing she supported him in his time of need and cared for him in the best way she could. May his brief but powerful offering of bunniness remain with you always.
Did you ever have a security blanket? Or maybe a favorite childhood toy you could turn to for comfort no matter how lousy you felt? Was there somewhere you could go to feel completely safe?
As a child, I always had something soft to hold or hug and feel comforted. For a while, it was a favorite blanket. After that, it was stuffed animals. And then, whenever I could, I turned to bunnies.
When I held or watched a bunny, even the most miserable day would fade away until all that existed in the world was that bunny. I imagine the feeling I got was akin to what many people experience when taking in the grandeur of nature – a beautiful, sweeping calm. For some reason, nature and I don’t always get along. So, for me – it’s bunnies.
For many years, my little sister had a bunny named Jazzy (a.k.a. Jazzy Bunny). Often, I would find myself feeling crowded or ignored in a house full of family members who all had similar interests that were worlds away from my own. I knew they loved me and meant well – it’s just that the majority opinion always won, and I was the minority. So, I would turn to Jazzy for like-minded company.
At the time, I thought of it as an escape. I would find a quiet space and hold Jazzy until I felt myself becoming calmer. Spending time with Jazzy was more fulfilling than dealing with crowds of people and listening to conversations that didn’t involve me. Whether I was holding and petting him or just watching him hop and twitch his little nose, something about those moments just felt right.
When I met the man who is now my husband, it didn’t take him long to see how important bunnies were to me. For our first Valentine’s Day, he took me to a local animal shelter and let me pick out my bunny Valentine gift. This, I believe, was the first moment I felt certain this was a man who understood me, cared deeply for me and wanted me to be happy.
For a while, I had a beautiful, fuzzy little blood pressure-reducing companion named Lloyd. I spent hours and hours watching him flop, hop and binky. I delighted in holding him, watching him explore, feeling him nudge my hand to demand more pets and listening to the munching noises he made while he ate.
Years later, I realized something about all those wonderful bunny-watching moments. I felt calm in those moments not because I had escaped from the world but because I had experienced each moment mindfully. I was living in the present, taking in every blink, sniff and ear twitch of the bunny life – satisfied to be exactly where I was.
Most of the time, it is difficult for me to become absorbed in the present moment. But when it comes to bunnies, it’s the most natural thing in the world.
There’s a familiar Zen proverb that says, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I have found this to be true for me on many occasions and in many ways. And, on at least two of those occasions, my teacher was a bunny.
A true teacher helps you to see the bunny inside yourself.
Yesterday, I learned the sad news that one of our recent Bunny Buddhism feature bunnies, George, has passed on. Readers may remember his previous appearance on Facebook:
While this may be a very difficult time for George’s humans, Lorissa and family, they still have the benefit of knowing he brought a great deal of light into their lives. Here’s one more quote photo of George, in hopes that it will bring a smile even as they mourn their loss.
And, finally, some words of wisdom from the early days of Bunny Buddhism.
I am a sad bunny today, but I know my sadness will return to bunniness, just as a wave returns to the sea.