When I was on retreat in California, I climbed the very steep, tall hills until I got to the ridge. I could see the Golden Gate bridge and the Richmond bridge and the water... Along the ridge line was a fence and at one end sat the vultures and ravens. I got so close to them I almost touched them. They swiveled their heads and slowly opened their massive wings and launched, floating on the thermals. I could sense flying, opening to the free fall as they tipped and turned their wings slightly, moving up and down in the shadowy depressions looking for lunch. They were a constant presence during the retreat, circling over and over high above us as we did walking meditation.