Bit of an old thread, but i'm interested in the topic and feel I have a worthy story to share. I'm new here btw, been a long time lurker, applied for an account but wasn't approved until just recently. Normally I wouldn't share this story with strangers but i've seen that the general vibe is good here and it will be well received. Years ago, during a tumultuous period of my life brought on by an unfortunate series of circumstances and exacerbated by general emotional ineptitude, I found myself with my arms raised to the heavens begging for elucidation as to the knowledge that had hitherto remained hidden from my mind. I was adamant that there was something greater than the ins and outs of the capitalism, consumerism and materialism that permeated the culture I had been born into. Absolutely surrounded by this vapid culture I had been struggling to survive; emotionally and physically, and so I found myself at the end of my rope with my arms outstretched in a desperate and defeated attempt to extract some grain of truth amidst the perverted falsehood of my environment. One night, not long after my appeal to The Great Unknown, it seems I had my wishes fulfilled and I found myself in a state of what I can only describe as bliss. This state was characterised by a curious mixture of extremes. At once, I was both very relaxed, having no need for anything and with no urges or impulses appearing within me, yet i was also very energetic and passed the night without sleep. I found myself without fear and even felt that if I was to be threatened with imminent death at that very moment I merely would have smiled and accepted it as it was. It seemed to me on this night that there was nothing to fear in this life and that death itself was but a journey in itself. I honestly cannot explain what I did in my room that night as I cannot remember doing anything in particular and only remember the realisations I have just explained. My memory returns as the sun returned that morning. I left my room and walked to a local man-made nature reserve; Tempe Lands, a sad little section of environmental mimicry situated atop an old dumping ground that had been sealed, to some degree, with concrete. Between the sounds of the Princess Highway and the Sydney airport it would have been difficult to have heard the sounds of the wildlife. Luckily that wasn't a problem as there simply was no wildlife to be heard. Although the ponds had been filled with water, the embankments planted with Lomandra and surrounding area covered with Eucalypts life had simply refused to be so easily swayed into returning to the land. In my previous ambles through the area I had found myself grateful for the opportunity to escape the suffocating mass of concrete, antennas and exhaust fumes of the greater inner west, yet I was always left with a feeling of emptiness that matched the emptiness of that ecosystem. However, on this particular morning, as the suns rays shone through the branches of the trees, I found myself in a world of absolute beauty, as if I was reborn as a child, enamoured by the wonder of the world. I explored the delicate details of the bark, I savoured the swelling sounds of the leaves as they danced in the breeze and I stood in awe at the incredible sight of creation. Then it happened. As I circumambulated the perimeter of one of the ponds I was suddenly stopped in my tracks as three yellow-tailed black cockatoos swooped through the vicinity, alighting upon separate trees. One cockatoo in particular chose a branch just above where I myself was standing and as it sat, watching me, I soaked in its beauty, before it flew on, right over my head, spreading its wings and tail feathers in a display of such impressionable beauty that the stunning yellow pattern of its tail feathers are forever burnt into my memory. Needless to say I was left standing under the tree in amazement, unsure of what I had just experienced but grateful nevertheless. Not long after, I found myself sitting in the grass on a hillside overlooking the airport and watching the sun rise higher into the sky before I was visited by an exhaustion so suddenly that I fell asleep right there and then for a few hours. Upon waking I found myself to be in a state that more closely resembled my usual state of mind. No longer was everything soaked in dazzling beauty and no longer did I find myself devoid of all impulses. yet I hadn't forgotten the hours before my slumber and I now looked upon it as one does a very strange dream that feels more real than reality itself. I Never forgot that black cockatoo and I always cherished the memory of that night. Over time I began to wonder if there was a reason I had met the cockatoo, a reason it had sat there so still and looked deep in to me with its little black eye. I found it a peculiar place for such a bird to be, surrounded by a city of 5 million people. After all i'd never seen or heard of anyone else who'd seen a black cockatoo in those parts before. I decided to investigate what the black cockatoo could mean. I found myself on a site called wildspeak.com. Now I don't know who the author of this website is, or from what authority they write from, but I was amazed to find that the attributes given to the black cockatoo reflect perfectly the emotional and spiritual state I found myself in that night. The first line reads "The black cockatoo represents the power of spirit come into your life." The last section explains that "Black cockatoo tells us that everyone has beauty on the inside, everyone. Even people in prison, even those who have committed unspeakable acts. Black cockatoo reminds us that no matter how ugly we feel, or how corrupt, there is a space of beauty inside every soul that is incorrupt and pure. Through the presence of this great bird, we can learn how to access it, to transform our opinions of ourselves and the world in general." Thank you for reading my story. I hope you enjoyed it, as I enjoyed writing it and recalling the experience in detail. If you have any thoughts please share them.