Remembering Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri on Her 70th Birthday – Story 22 : The fly in the spider web


by Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni

Have you ever heard a fly caught in a spider web?

I heard the buzzing sound for the first time when I was working with Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri in a room in the nuns’ cottage at the monastery. We turned around and searched for the source of the buzzing sound. We saw a fly caught in a spider’s web and it was making its last scream for help.

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri climbed onto a chair, apologized to the spider for taking its food away, and took the fly out of the web. She then carefully and gently unwrapped the web from the fly. When she finally removed the last bit of the web from the fly, the fly stretched its wings and flew away. I felt relief and joy watching the fly flying towards its freedom.

I heard the buzzing sound again a few months ago in my room at Jhana Grove Meditation Retreat Centre. The desperate sound of crying for help.

I remembered Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri, and so I climbed onto my chair and took the fly out of the web. I said sorry to the angry spider staring at me. I told the fly I was not as gentle and skillful as my teacher, but that I would help.

In addition, I have poor eyesight at night even with my glasses on. But I tried my best to unwrap the web from the fly. I then took the fly to the front of the cottage and opened the door. I had tears in my eyes as I watched it fly away in freedom.


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