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Animal World: Our Co-inhabitants

The Winter Sleep of Animals

2020-01-17
Language:English
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Winter is the coldest time of the year, when the days are shorter and the nights are longer. It is a season of rest, and a period to conserve, rather than expend, energy. So, what is hibernation? It is like a long, deep sleep for animals and a time. Animals prepare to enter this state by eating a lot during the summer and autumn seasons to store fat to last them throughout the winter. Did you know that a pregnant American black bear could give birth during hibernation? She does not even need to wake herself to take care of her cubs. Instead, she can nurse her babies for months from the stored fat she has on reserve. Did you know that some animals in hot climates also undergo a form of hibernation? This is called estivation. Supreme Master Ching Hai spoke about the spiritual purpose of hibernation for animals during an August 23, 2009 lecture given in France. “There are some spiritual reasons. You see, because every day, animals, they’re also busy looking for food and taking care of their family, and so during wintertime, they take advantage of the natural cycle and they go into hibernation; they sleep in winter to recover their spiritual strength, apart from other things.”
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