Archive for January, 2011

Kindred Hearts: Global Coherence

Kindred Hearts: Global Coherence

It seems appropriate that for February, 2011, we dedicate the Kindred Spirits Project to focusing on connecting with our animal companions through our heart connections. There actually is quite a bit of evidence documenting that human hearts radiate an electromagnetic field that is measureable. Much of this research and documentation is presented by a cutting edge website and group called the Global Coherence Initiative (www.globalcoherenceinitiative. com). One of their members, Dr. Rollin McCraty has proposed three major hypotheses that synthesize the relationship between human beings and earth’s electromagnetic fields as well as the solar energetic fields. His hypotheses are:
Hypothesis No. 1: All living things are interconnected and we communicate with each other via biological, and electromagnetic fields.
Hypothesis No. 2: Not only are humans affected by planetary energetic fields, but conversely the earth’s energetic systems are also influenced by collective human emotions and consciousness. Much of the planetary field environment is made up of the collective consciousness of the inhabitants.
Hypothesis No. 3: Large numbers of people intentionally creating heart-coherent states of care, love, compassion and appreciation can generate a coherent standing wave that will help offset the current planetary wave of stress, discord and incoherence.
We will discuss each of these individually in future blog posts.
Based on my studies in these fields, his hypotheses and my nearly 33 years as a veterinarian interacting daily with all creatures great and small, I am proposing a theory that I call the “Trans-species Field Theory”. After years of experiencing various energetic effects in numerous horse barns, animal hospitals, animal shelters and wherever human and nonhuman animals interact, I had always felt a certain energetic interaction between all of us. I could not put my finger on it so to speak, and there did not seem to be adequate science available to explain what I was feeling, nor appropriate language to explain the feelings. After studying the latest in quantum physics, electromagnetic fields, unified field theory and neuroscience, I feel like there is sufficient documentation to propose this theory now.
If they can now measure the electromagnetic fields emitted by human hearts, I thought, a horse’s heart is so much larger, what sort of field does that emit? What about dog and cat heart field emissions? What about other animals? I then pondered how do all these fields interact when we are in intimate contact with them. I was wondering what effect our heart fields have on their heart fields and vice versa. I suddenly had these images of all these fields interacting and impacting on each other, whether it was in a barn or an animal hospital. Then I pondered, how that might impact on the general feeling of the place. Then I remembered being in different barns or different hospitals and how the feelings of each one varied from quite hectic, sometimes chaotic to others that were quite harmonious. Could these trans-species field interactions be impacting on those feelings? If so, how could one improve the feelings in one in order to make it more harmonious, more peaceful? ……

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Lighten up your heart with the Human Animal Bond! (VIDEO)

Dear Kindred Hearts: When I saw this video, I felt like Kate Perry created a dynamic  visualization of what happens to some animal lovers when we experience the unconditional love and joy that we feel when we connect with our animal companions. Sometimes, animal lovers connect to a deep, quiet, silent space of peace and love within themselves when they connect with their animal companions. At other times, we connect with the energetic joy of our animal friends. Our hearts light up with fireworks of uncontrollable joy!  This fireworks video illustrates the energetic vibrancy that we can all connect to through this blog. Through the energetic connections that we feel with our animals and then multiplied by all the animal lovers following this blog, I  feel we can transform the world, animal lover by animal lover, kindred heart by kindred heart to a more loving, compassionate world!  In my book, “Kindred Spirits” I reviewed the research and shared stories on the health benefits of the human animal bond.  In future blogs I will discuss the latest research that documents all the evidence of the cardiac benefits of the human animal bond.  For now, let’s play a game, watch the video here, then close your eyes, take in a deep, slow breath, feel and visualize a moment when you were feeling so much joy with your favorite kindred heart, weather it be your dog, cat, bird, horse, alpaca, turtle, or whatever!  What did you feel and visualize?  Let me know!  We will be begin to collect your stories and share what different people are experiencing!  This is the joyous beginning of joining our experiences and energies together creating a collective, loving, energy force for all animals!

Kindred Spirits Theme Song Words (VIDEO)

Kindred Spirits Theme Song Words

One evening in June, 2010, my favorite clients gathered together to host a “re-creation” party for me at one of my clients restaurant, The Crabtree Kittle House in Chappaqua, NY. Here, I shared my new vision of creating a worldwide kindred spirits community based on the loving connection that we share with our animal companions and all animals in order to be of benefit to all beings. At the beginning of the evening I was presented with a surprise that left me totally speechless and touched me so deeply in the depths of my heart.
A friend and prominent singer/songwriter, Alex Forbes, had written a song about my work and my vision. The video of her singing her song at the party is in the media section of this blog. Many have asked to actually see the written words as well. So, here are the words to the song that captures the spirit of my vision of the new kindred spirits project community.
May they be a like a prayer flag sending blessings to all that hear the words!

KINDRED SPIRITS

I will be your shelter from the hardest rain
Ease your pain
Let your soul run free
And in return you’ll teach me how to come alive
In each others’ eyes
There’s a promise we will keep
Don’t need words ’cause you already know…
In the silence
Listen and you’ll hear it
Oh, we’re kindred spirits
One true vision
And we’re getting near it
Oh, we’re kindred spirits
Oh, we’re kindred spirits
Walk beside me on a journey that we all share
And I’ll be there
To mend whatever’s broken
All of life is yearning for a brand-new day
We can find a way
To light the great unknown
Guided by the love that runs between us
In the silence
Listen and you’ll hear it
Oh, we’re kindred spirits
One true vision
And we’re getting near it
Oh, we’re kindred spirits
Oh, we’re kindred spirits
Oh, we’re kindred spirits
Oh, we’re kindred spirits
©2010 by Alex Forbes

A Root Question for Kindred Spirits

Is there a root question for kindred spirits?

In the mid 1990’s,  when I was one of the pioneers in integrating complementary and alternative veterinary medicine into conventional veterinary medicine, I was often confronted with a great deal of  skepticism and criticism from veterinarians who either were just unaware of all the research and documentation of these modalities or chose for whatever reason to be extremely adversarial against them.   As I was lamenting about the weariness of debating with some of these individuals who were really not interested in debate, but just proving that they were right and you were wrong, one wise friend of mine calmly suggested that perhaps we were asking the wrong questions.  The details of these debates can be reviewed in the Textbook of “Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine” edited by myself and Dr. Susan Wynn (see book section).   I was momentarily startled by her suggestion, but then listened intently to her discussion.  Her suggestion was that perhaps rather than debating about the quality and quantity of documentation, qualifications of various practitioners, the politics of it all, perhaps we should ask “What is best for the animals?”  Though the question seemed so obvious and so appropriate, so often we end up in a corner, because another party is framing the debate in order to get to a certain end result or solution.

Soon after that, I was invited to be on a committee to develop guidelines for Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine (CAVM).  Eight of the veterinarians were representing various fields of veterinary medicine, from small animals to large animals, from wild to domestic and exotic, from academia to veterinary practices, and from medicine to surgery.  They were all quite reserved and skeptical to say the least.  There were two veterinarians on the committee who were representing the field of CAVM, myself and one other.  As we introduced ourselves to each other and stated our qualifications for being on the committee, who we were representing and what our perspectives were, I quickly realized how it seemed like the odds were completely stacked against developing guidelines that would be supportive of CAVM.  Fortunately, I was the last person to introduce myself.

In addition, to diverge for a moment,  I had just completed a weeklong intensive in Aikido with John Denver’s bodyguard (yes, the folksinger had a bodyguard), Tom Crum.  Tom had just written a fascinating book called “The Magic of Conflict”, which essentially took the philosophy of Aikido to verbal debate.  Essentially, in its most basic form, one might briefly describe Aikido as the martial art of not fighting.  Every evening after a long day of practice of Aikido, we would have discussions on the skills of verbal Aikido, the martial art of not fighting, with words and language.  Perhaps this was one of the precursors to the approach of Nonviolent Communication.

Now, back to that moment when I was in front of this committee and was asked to introduce myself and what my perspective was.  After stating my background and qualifications, I suggested that even though the questions being asked were interesting and valid,  perhaps there may be even a broader, more encompassing question that may embrace all the varied perspectives on developing new guidelines for CAVM.  Perhaps, the base, root question should be “What is best for the animals under our care?”  After all, that is part of the Hippocratic Oath that we take when we venture forth on the journey of being a veterinarian.

There was dead silence for a few moments as they were all so taken back by that essential question.   As faces rumpled up, brows raised and jaws dropped, there seemed to be a moment of cognitive dissonance.  Interestingly enough though, one by one, smiles came to the faces of all these rather reserved, professional veterinarians and it seemed to touch them at their core, at their original desire in their hearts of why they chose to be veterinarians.  By the end of the first day of our meetings, they had all agreed with great comraderie,  that indeed, that should be the root question of all our discussions.  Fortunately, by asking the right question, we were all able to develop respectful, balanced guidelines to assist veterinarians in the professional integration of CAVM into conventional veterinary medicine and it was for the best for all the animals under our care.  Certainly, there were still some extremist skeptics with their own personal agenda’s that despite all discussion, would still choose to disagree with that point, but rarely is it possible to please everyone.

With that in mind, I invite all kindred spirits to ask themselves, if we are all working together to create a new, more compassionate society with the intention of it being for the benefit of all beings, what are the right questions to ask ourselves and others, as we make future decisions on how to be in this world.  What if as we go about our daily responsibilities, chores, interactions with others at work, in school, at play, and everywhere in each and every moment, we ask ourselves if  our choices are the best for the benefit of all beings.  How would that look?

What are your thoughts on this?  If you have been or are asking this question in certain situations, how has it impacted on your choices and actions?  How has it impacted on others? How has it impacted on your contributions to the future of a new, more compassionate 21st century?   Thoughts?

A Christmas gift to all: Being free and awake!

I am beginning this blog on Christmas Eve day, Dec. 24, 2010.  It has been a year of transitions and change for many kindred spirits I know.  The past month has been a time of reflection, contemplation and envisioning for myself.  After a lifetime of integrating my professional veterinary journey alongside my personal, spiritual journey, I have come to realize that the two are one, intimately entwined like two strands of DNA.  During this journey, I found myself quite hesitant to share the more personal ponderings  and musings of the animal lover in me, for fear that I would be ridiculed in my community of scientists.  At this point in my life, I am in the process of letting go of those fears and sharing from my heart.

Throughout this journey I have been blessed with meeting so many wise, benevolent, compassionate teachers and healers, two legged, four legged and winged.  This afternoon, I met one of the more interesting teachers on my journey, a giant, northwest  Pacific crab. As everyone was preparing for the celebration of Christmas in all its glory, I was going along my way accomplishing some errands in the village of Ganges, in the quirky, loving community of Saltspring Island, in the “last best place on earth” as many Canadians describe the province of British Columbia.  As I went into the fish store to get some  local, wild caught, cold smoked salmon for a gathering, I had no idea that I was about to meet one of my more unusual wild teachers.

As I was waiting to pay for the fish, I had that unusual feeling that one may have, when they feel they are being looked at, being watched.  It was not by one of the other customers or the salesperson, but to my surprise, one of the giant crabs was looking at me eye to eye. Most of the crabs were piled one on top of each other in the corners of the crab pool, except for one.  This one crab sat in the middle of the pool, looking out of his/her glass aquarium right at me, not moving, not letting his/her eyes off of me.  Was this my imagination I pondered.  As I moved about a bit in the store looking for something, its eyes followed me, not anyone else in the store.  When I came back to the counter, its eyes continued to follow me.  The skeptic scientist in me could speculate that perhaps it was the colors I was wearing, a blue patagonia winter jacket.  But somehow, it felt different than that.  At that moment, I felt I had no other choice but to offer to buy that particular crab from the fisherman.

The fisherman said how would I like it prepared.  I replied, no, I want to take it home.  The fisherman continued to explain how it was much easier and cleaner to prepare the crab at their place.  I realized that I had not explained to her what I was recognizing I needed to do.  I said calmly to her, “I want to purchase the crab in order to set it free”.  You can only imagine the look I got from her, as if I had two crab legs sticking out of both ears.  I commented that I imagine that she had not seen or heard of that before and she quickly replied that “Oh yes, three months prior, there was a Tibetan monk in the store that had purchased all the crabs in the fish tank in order to set them free.  I chuckled and commented that I actually was at the three day meditation retreat that Pakchok Rinpoche had just taught at the Tibetan retreat center on top of Mt. Tuam on the island.  It was a combination of his actions as well as another Tibetan Rinpoche, H.E. Garchen Rinpoche,  that I have studied with that stimulated my action today.  In a documentary film about his life, (see www.forthebenefitofallbeings.org) it shows Garchen Rinpoche and his students setting free hundreds of shrimp in a Tibetan ritual of setting free captive sentient beings from suffering as they chant a chant of compassion “Om Mani Padme Om”.  May they be free and awakened!

So, I spontaneously bought that one crab that was staring at me eye to eye (that is a good start anyway, I thought).  They put her in a cardboard box and I drove her home.  I think it was a female, as one person said the females have a rounder, not as pointed bottom at the rear end.  Though I could not be absolutely certain.  I drove home  as she sat in her cardboard box in the passenger seat as I chanted the chant of compassion to her.  Carrying the box in my arms, I walked her down to the ocean along a trail near my cabin.   I was chanting too her all the time and set her free at the beach there as the sun shown brightly on the calm blue/green lapping waves.  The next few moments left me speechless, not fully comprehending all that was about to happen.  I let her out of box on the rocky, grey beach just above the water line.   She sat there for a moment on the rocks, looked around, perhaps observing  her new surroundings, perhaps realizing she was free.  She then  turned and looked at me, then turned and crabwalked into the water.  A few feet into the water, she turned and looked at me again and then turned and continued walking off into the dark blue depths of the ocean beach.

There are no words that  can express the joy in my heart seeing  her walking off into the ocean, turning back and looking at me again, perhaps, if I am not being way too anthropomorphic (and I probably am ) , recognizing her freedom. These observations were not my imagination.  My interpretation  of these events is probably way too anthropomorphic for a scientist to describe.  However, in this blog I am taking poetic license to share my feelings  and perception about this experience, as anthropomorphic as they may be.   Sounds crazy..

From another perspective, this experience made me realize that the scientific studies that Dr. Richard Davidson has conducted in his functional MRI unit at his neuroscience laboratory at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, do indeed have everyday applications and benefits.   In some of his studies, where he studied functional mri’s of the brains of Tibetan monks when they were meditating, he found that when highly trained Tibetan monks would meditate on compassion for all beings, that the areas in their prefrontal cortex for joy and bliss would light up.  When discussing these observations at a meditation retreat I was at with him at the Garrison Institute (www.GarrisonInstitute.org) , he felt that this was an excellent demonstration of selfish altruism in a way.  In essence, that when we do something that is of benefit to others, we feel joy and bliss.  OK, it does not have to be a crab, it could be any sentient being, anyone suffering anywhere in the world.   How appropriate to celebrate Christmas in that way, feeling the joy and bliss of being of benefit to all sentient beings, even a  “lowly” crab in a fish tank destined for someone’s dinner table.

It actually even gets better, when I shared this story with some friends and colleagues,  many were so touched by this small action, that it led them to perform acts of generosity for other beings.  One colleague pondered what level of compassion and empathy might it stimulate in veterinary students if they performed some action like that while in veterinary school.   What effect might it have on their career path and helping other animals?  Another friend asked if we could do this together for her grandchildren. She thought it would be a wonderful experience for them.  It taught me the unlimited potential benefit  of what setting one crab free  could do for  countless others.

It reminded me of a story about a child that was putting starfish back into the sea that were stuck way above the high tide line.  Some stranger walked by, mocking the child for the futility of his efforts and asked what a difference that could ever make.  The child humbly responded, it made a big difference for at least that one starfish.

So dear kindred spirits, have you had any experiences like that?  What was your experience like?  If not, perhaps, if so guided, try it and let me know.
Blessings from a kindred spirit!

P.S.:  If you would like further descriptions of Dr. Davidson’s work, they are described in the book “The Joy of Living” by Mingyur Rinpoche.

Blog Mission

Welcome to the Kindred Spirits blog!  In this blog I will share  and integrate my recent experiences, thoughts, feelings and insights about the future evolution of  human animal relations in the 21st century, along with their relationships to the  latest explorations in the fields of neuroscience, quantum physics, animal behavior, consciousness studies, the  human animal bond, neurodharma,  as well as the traditional, essential teachings of various ancient philosophies and belief systems.   I will also discuss some of the continued findings and questions regarding the co-creative human animal consciousness studies that we will be conducting through the website. This blog reflects my experiences, thoughts, feelings and insights going beyond being a veterinarian.  It is an  integration of  my personal spiritual journey along with my journey as a  holistic, integrative veterinarian, animal behaviorist and fellow kindred spirit on the journey of re-awakening to who we all really are, beyond all labels.

Welcome to the Kindred Spirits Project!

Welcome to The Kindred Spirits Project.  The Kindred Spirits Project encompasses my vision to assist animal lovers throughout the world to gather together and  unite in order to nurture, transform, concentrate and focus  the unconditional  love that they share with their animal companions into compassionate action to help improve the quality of life, happiness and health of all beings.

Are you an animal lover who wishes that they could do more to  make  a difference in the world?  Throughout my thirty three years of pioneering Holistic, Integrative Veterinary Medicine, I continuously hear animal lovers who state that they wish they could do more to make a difference in the world.  This blogsite has been created as a vehicle to support animal lovers throughout the world to come together with our intentions and compassionate energies to help create a happier, healthier, more loving society and earth!  This is a co-creative journey. By contributing, participating, spreading the word, we can change this world, thought by thought, intention by intention, action by action.  The result for you is that you will realize that you are an integral part of a solution.  By being a part of the kindred spirits project, you will reap great benefits in many ways that will begin to unfold in your heart and mindstream, moment by moment in your daily life.  As demonstrated in functional mri’s, by being of benefit to others, you become happier and more peaceful.  Join in and help us create a new, more compassionate society filled with loving kindness for all!  Again, welcome and thank you for joining us!

Through the  integration of the latest advances in quantum physics, neuroscience, mind/body medicine, consciousness studies, animal behavior and studies in the human animal bond, I have developed new theories, approaches and techniques that could possibly help transform our society into a more compassionate, happier, healthier society focusing on every place where we connect and interact with animals, our kindred spirits.  If I am correct,  every animal hospital, animal shelter, horse barn, animal sanctuary as well as each and every animal loving household can be a focal point for expanding compassionate action throughout the world.   This endeavor is a co-creative journey, whereby, all animal lovers throughout the world, can review my theories, practice the simple, yet profound  techniques that will be available for free on this website, integrate them into their interactions with their kindred spirits and report back with evaluations on their animal companions  as well as their own and others responses.  There will be questionnaires and surveys that you can fill out/ answer.  These will then be collected, collated and shared on the website.  I believe that we have the ability as individual animal lovers to gather together and  assist in the transformation of society into a more compassionate, happier healthier world, animal by animal, person by person. As the world seems to be bouncing back and forth from crisis to crisis, focusing on fear rather than love, it can be too easy to fall into hopelessness and despair.  The Kindred Spirit Project is an opportunity to offer another reality, another approach, re-igniting with unconditional love, passion and  compassion  each and every kindred spirit, each heart and each soul.  Love can be even more contagious than fear.

This is a warm, loving invitation to you, all animal lovers to say Yes to a new vision for the 21st century.  This is an invitation to help create a more loving, compassionate society.  It will require assistance from animal lovers from all walks of life, with many different skills, knowledge and abilities.  It will take great skillful means to create this new reality.  Based on my discussions with animal lovers throughout the world, I believe it is totally possible and that this new reality, Shambala, a new Garden of Eden, can become a reality beyond our wildest dreams.  So many of my clients, friends, readers of my books have asked me how they can take their love of their animal companions and help the world.  Their questions have led  me to create this project.  Please join us in this noble adventure to re-create the Garden of Eden, Shambala!