Dreaming the cougar

It is time now to finish the story of the medicine walk and apprenticing on the CA Fall Fast last October. The night before the fasters were due to return, I had a powerful dream. The dream showed me that something had shifted in my psyche as a result of the healing work I did … Continue reading Dreaming the cougar

Wild neighbours: cougars and their ways

At Monkey Valley, we place a strong emphasis on keeping retreat participants safe. One of the ways to do that is helping people learn about the wild animals that live in the area. I’ve written extensively about cougars on this blog, to tell you the story of how I learned about cougars and why I … Continue reading Wild neighbours: cougars and their ways

Cougars: spirit guides on the vision fast

When you are on a vision fast or medicine walk, you enter into a mystical realm where all events and encounters take on a significance that is bigger than what most of us experience in ordinary waking life. During this time, an encounter with an animal is not just a coincidence. (If it ever is!) … Continue reading Cougars: spirit guides on the vision fast

Cougars: fun physical facts

“Puma, cougar, catamount; Felis concolor, the shy, secret, shadowy lion of the New World, four or five feet long plus a yard of black-tipped tail, weighs about what a woman weighs, lives where the deer live from Canada to Chile, but always shyer, always fewer, the color of dry leaves, dry grass.” Thus writes Ursula … Continue reading Cougars: fun physical facts

Cougars: sign of the cat

When you are out in the wilderness, it is helpful to know the signs of the cougar, which might tell you that the cat has been by recently, and could still be in the area. This information can be helpful for self-protection, but it is also interesting for its own sake, to be able to … Continue reading Cougars: sign of the cat

Cougars: planning for an encounter

Just kidding! A little hubris was creeping in there… Even if the chances of a cougar encounter are very remote, and the likelihood of an attack even slimmer, we must all be aware that the possibility exists, and prepare ourselves with a plan for what to do. Children: Remember, most cougar attacks have been on … Continue reading Cougars: planning for an encounter

Cougars: what to do if you meet one on the road

There is a saying, “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.” This is concerned with our mind’s tendency to latch onto ideas and use them to fit our experience into preconceived shapes. Such as, for instance, the idea of how to become enlightened through emulating the life or practices of the Buddha. … Continue reading Cougars: what to do if you meet one on the road

Cougars: and now for the facts

As I mentioned earlier, when I first moved to Monkey Valley I did some research to find out about cougars, consulting my handy Mammals of British Columbia. But recently I came across a great pamphlet put out by the BC Ministry of Environment, Land and Parks and the BC Ministry of Forests, called Safety Guide … Continue reading Cougars: and now for the facts