I like to go to the local cemetery for walking meditation. It is relatively quiet, hardly anyone comes there, and the paths are straight and plentiful. There are even a few trees and rose bushes...and the human residents are very quiet indeed.
Anyway, I had finally succeeded in just being with the sensations associated with walking, standing, turning etc, and was actually quite enjoying it for a change, when right in front of me I saw a quite small, common garden earthworm. It was travelling across the footpath to the other side. Even on the mildly sunny day it might have made it across without drying out, but what the worm did not realize was that on the other side of the footpath was a line of ants. I've seen what ants can do to such hapless creatures, so I bent down and gently scooped up the worm, and searched for a suitable place to relocate it to. Ants seemed to be everywhere, this was no easy task...finally I found a mostly ant-free zone, and dug a bit into the ground, placing the earthworm into the loose, damp soil, and wishing it luck. As I stood up, I reflected on how incredibly difficult and dangerous just day-to-day life is for most animals. Even birds and mammals, when wild, have to keep looking out for predators, and life can end most pitifully when they least expect it. It's like a battleground for most animals, every day of their life.
I then reflected on the Buddha's words in the mata sutta: At Savatthi. There the Blessed One said: "From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. A being who has not been your mother at one time in the past is not easy to find... A being who has not been your father... your brother... your sister... your son... your daughter at one time in the past is not easy to find..."
I wondered...going by the Blessed One's words, I had most likely
been related at some time, however long ago, however many Aeons ago even, to that little creature I had just aided. Who knows...and reflecting like that, I felt happy that I could be of service to it now, in it's time of need. What is definitely true is that somehow or other, our respective kammas had brought us together that day at the cemetery. And it had helped me, too - I had gained another lesson on the inherent dangers of Samsara, this long and dusty road.
Finally, the rest of the mata sutta: ..."Why is that? From an inconstruable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. Long have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling the cemeteries — enough to become disenchanted with all fabricated things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released."