On being a pioneer

On Sunday I had the opportunity to meet Gunther Hauk, a biodynamic beekeeping pioneer and the man who first inspired and validated my love of the honeybees.

meandguntherI first saw Gunther in the documentary Queen of the Sun, a film about honeybees and the current crisis both humans and the honeybees are facing.  I loved the film, and out of all those featured, Gunther”s approach, practice, and relationship with the bees and nature resonated deeply within my heart; hearing him in the film, I felt like he spoke my language and experienced the world in a similar way.

So when I found out he was going to be in Chicago for the Bioneers conference, I was pretty darn excited.  Getting ready for the conference, however, I realized that I didn”t actually have anything to ask or share (other than my gratitude).  I mean, come on, Gunther has been doing this work for almost four decades, and I haven”t been stung by a bee since I was a child.  Sure, I was excited to hear about his practices and experience, but I also had a sense that this wasn”t really why I was going.

Instead, I saw that, for me, this meeting was more like sitting with a spiritual teacher; it”s not about the words or the concepts or even the bees.  It”s not about taking notes or trying get anything out of the experience.  Sitting with a spiritual teacher is about being in the presence of someone who effortlessly awakens a clearer, more authentic experience, understanding, and expression of yourself.

After spending an afternoon with Gunther, I felt like I had a deeper sense of what feels right and inspiring to me, more clarity about what it is that I am actually doing, and a little more courage to share my truth, even when that truth may be difficult for others to hear.

To be a pioneer, it takes cutting through the jungle of conditioning, ignorance, doubt, and fear in both the world outside and within ourselves; after seeing Gunther, I feel that what it really takes to walk this path and be a true pioneer is compassion.

When we cultivate a heart and mind of compassion, when we truly experience that this world and everything within it is made of the same one spirit, we open to a source of power and wisdom that has no limits, no fears, and no questions.   It is from this place of love that I sense Gunther and many others are living from, each facing different challenges, each offering their own unique gifts in service of the whole.

I recognize this to be my aim as well, and I feel fortunate to spend time in the company of those whose aim is truer than my own.

If you are interested in learning more about Gunther and his work, you can visit the website of Spikenard Farm and Honeybee Sanctuary.