It happened again one evening a couple of weeks ago, while we were relaxing and chatting with some dear friends. My wife, Devi, who periodically over the years has asked, begged, or cajoled me to tell the story of the mouse family, prevailed successfully upon me once again. People always seem to enjoy this story, so I thought you might, too.

It took place around 1974, after I had built and moved into a geodesic dome. This was in the days before we were married, and I was able to be a little more casual with my interior-decorating motifs. The inside walls of a geodesic dome are made up of many triangular shapes, and it required both more skill than I possessed, and more effort than I felt inclined to expend, to cover them with wood, sheetrock, or some other type of fancy-shmancy interior. So I decided to go with the traditional, time-tested design theme of uncovered insulation. I freely admit that shiny tinfoil doesn’t appeal to everyone, but in those days it worked for me.

One evening while I was meditating, I heard a squeaking sound coming from inside the insulation. It didn’t take an advanced degree in investigatory science to realize that there was a mouse family living there. But this presented an immediate question: What to do about these unwanted visitors? Not wanting to kill or even hurt them, I decided to scare them in the hope that they would relocate to a different neighborhood. I stood close to the noise and loudly clapped my hands several times. Much to my amazement, the mother mouse ran out with a tiny baby in her mouth, about the size and appearance of a pink bumblebee. I clapped again and she panicked, dropped the baby, and ran back to the nest. Carefully I took the baby and placed it in a wide-mouthed one-gallon glass jar.

The squeaking eventually resumed. Seeing how well I had done the first time, I clapped again and the same sequence of events repeated itself: clap; scare the mom while she is running with her baby; watch her drop it and run back to the nest; collect the baby and place it gently in the glass jar with its sibling. I was getting the drill down pretty well by now. Again I waited for the squeaks, and repeated the whole routine. After an hour or so, I had collected four babies, and there were no more sounds from the nest. I had corralled the kids, but how to nab the mom?

As I sat quietly, the desperate mother worked up the courage to try to rescue her family, and ran out toward the glass jar, which I had placed nearby. With a flash of inspiration, I carefully balanced a ruler on a strut of the dome and extended it over the mouth of the jar, forming a sort of bridge. The mother tentatively ran across it back and forth several times, retreating each time the precarious ruler started to tip. Finally she went too far, and her weight tipped the ruler, and her along with it, into the jar. I quickly put some grass in the jar, and gave them some much needed family time. In the morning I took them into the woods and set them free.

There are many spiritual lessons to be learned from this story, but I’ll let you figure them out on your own.

In joy,

Nayaswami Jyotish

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  1. I hope the babies were not cold in the woods. I am sure the mom made a nest for them and they were snug as a bugs in a rug. I am very happy the mom mouse didn’t run away and leave you and Devi her babies to raise. That was my concern! I loved this story very much, but don’t know what spiritual lesson to learn from it, except not worry too much and God will take care of all his children, mice and human 🙏 Thank you for being so funny and saintly 🙏 You made me laugh 🐭🐭🐭 bhajana 💛

  2. A better solution may have been getting a large fish tank(minus water,of course),arranging grass,wood chips,etc on bottom of tank,perhaps sand at one end(for mouse litter area),then putting family inside where instead of being thought of or seen as scary or inconvenient bad pests,they would be seen as wondrous, precious life,creatures also needing,deserving care,respect..a nice little pet mouse family.Kids would love to visit them at times,watch them,bring some cheese,crackers and learn not to have repulsion toward, hate,or be afraid of them.Mom mouse and babies could be given witty,cute mouse names,and maybe,like a hamster,they would play or excersize on a little wheel inside the tank.Consulting the internet or expert on the lives of mice would give info on their lives and how to best handle them.

  3. I am so glad that Devi prevailed. This is a precious story and I will listen to it and meditate on it to feel what I might glean of the spiritual truths you mention. It is delightful. Namaste, steve

  4. Regarding the mouse family story,did you consider this other spiritual lesson..that mother mouse was led by God to a completely safe place
    to give birth to and raise her babies..by your intervention,or disruption of their lives in their God-given safe place..taking them outside to the cold, wild,predator filled woods,you were actually sending them to their untimely and violent deaths.

    1. I am sorry but he had to do that, or else his dome would be filled with mice. I am sure the mice family was alright 🙏

  5. Dear Nayaswami Jyotish, Thank you for this both interesting and amusing story. I think I understand up until the mother part and then am not quite sure??!! Generally most times am able to help others in varied ways needed no matter the age but not so easy to help myself at times. Will have to think about the last part of your story! Namaste

  6. This is Dave, Jyotish’s little brother – Rodents were indeed great teachers at Ananda in those days. I recall that at Ananda’s little one room schoolhouse some snacks like nuts and raisins began to disappear but were replaced by an equal volume of sticks and grass. After a few days of investigation we discovered the culprit to be a Dusty Footed Pack Rat. Slightly larger and much cuter than a mouse. He also entered Ananda’s Rodent Relocation Program. The lessons learned from him were perhaps a little more obvious than Jyotish’s mouse family.

  7. recently I noticed a mouse while sitting at the computer. Me at the coputer, not the mouse. He/she walked fearlessly up to my foot and touched it with her little “hand?” I was so moved. It is the times we are in I think.

  8. Dear Jyotish,
    I cane see why asks you to tell that story again and again.. It is so sweet and the way you tell it – so You.
    Thank you,
    Suzanne K

  9. Yes, yes…we were getting the lessons all along the way as we read. Loved the tenderness and humor of this story. Thank you, Jyotish.

  10. Dear Jotish,

    Your story is very nice and amazingly very similar to what happened to me 3 years ago when I moved to my Meditation Retreat, a tiny wooden house in the forest near Ananda Assisi. I remember that I didn’t want to hurt them and I was trying to find a solution to take them out of their comfortable nest and help them find another comfortable place. I practiced a lot of patience like you did and I focused on the solution visualizing myself taking the family out into the forest. I trusted they could feel my good intentions. We had an amazing silent understanding for few days and finally I managed to take them out. I have grown stronger out of that experience overcoming my fears of mice 🐭 trusting that acting in the Dharma, thinking and behaving correctly towards the tiniest living creatures, would have attuned me with the right solution coming directly from a consciousness of Love and not reacting or acting out of fear. I found that attuning myself to the highest consciousness of Love I could act calmly with clarity and being joyfully successful 😃 Thank you for reminding me this experience 🌼🙏

  11. Dear Nayaswami Jyotish,

    I am happy to hear that you devised such an ingenious solution to your problem. In a few months you would have had a whole zoo living in your house.

    Best wishes,

    Mary Narang

  12. Dear Nayaswami Jyotish Ji,

    Thank you for this lovely story.
    One thing that strikes me immediately is :
    I being a baby mice slipped out from Divine Mother and got in to a delusion-glass jar. Guru came in to rescue me and build a bridge-Meditation and Teachings-, taking me from the body conscious to the divine realm.

    In Master’s Love
    Prem

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