Archive for May, 2011

Dolphins and Trans-species Assistance

 

dolphin interaction

dolphin interaction

 Dr. Jason Cressy, a world renowned marine biologist, Oxford trained psychologist  and kindred spirit  was recently interviewed by another good friend of mine, world renowned artist, Jill Campbell on her artists getaway website.  Dr. Cressy  received his Ph.D from Oxford University on nonverbal communication and then combined that with his love of whales and dolphins.  In this wide ranging interview regarding his exploration of deeper connections between whales, dolphins and ourselves he describes an age old cooperative working  relationship between dolphins and fisherman on the Mandalay river in Burma, which provided food for both the dolphins and the fisherman.

When Jason and I were discussing his observations of this cooperative dynamic and the trans-species field theory that I am proposing,  we discussed the far reaching implications of these relationships and how they were taught by the dolphins from generation to generation for hundreds of years.  No one really knows how this symbiotic relationship came about.  It seems that animals and humans have cooperated and lived so much more harmoniously with each other in era’s past and continues in pockets throughout the world even today.  These transpecies fields still exist and continue to morph and evolve as we do.  Many of these energetic and conscious fields have narrowed to more domestic and urbanized area’s in horse barns, animal hospitals, sanctuaries etc. as our interaction with animals have decreased in the wild and increased in our ever continuing urbanization of life.  Dr. Cressy and I also discussed the many healing benefits of these interactions in the wild, in the civilized, urban environments as well as in our daily lives (more…)

Owl and Cat Friends: Trans-species Play (VIDEO)

This video of an owl and cat playing and being friends is circling the internet, with various perspectives by different commentators.  Personally, I feel that some important questions and insights that may be taken from it include the amazing documentation of play and friendship that transcends species, labels, belief systems and concepts.  The owl and the cat obviously do not seem to be thinking or saying, “wait a minute” we are supposed to be predators and prey, we are supposed to attack each other, we are not supposed to be friends and play like this”.  They are not in a mindstream with that busy mind traffic with all those concepts preventing them from just playing.  These documented behaviors between two species are in stark contrast to much that is accepted fact in animal behavior.  These youtube video’s that are documenting various behavior patterns between species that we would not expect to be interacting in the ways that they are seem to be turning our beliefs about accepted animal behavior patterns on their head.  We are witnessing behavior’s such as maternal behavior, play behavior, companionship, love, loving kindness, altruism between species that one would not think are possible.  In a way, these seem to be glimpses into the traditional concept of  a garden of eden where we all were living together in harmony, before concepts and beliefs.  Perhaps that movie title, “Back to the Future” is what we are witnessing now. Perhaps we are truly living in a Garden of Eden if we can only choose to see that.  Perhaps this is what we can be re-creating now if we listen to the animals.  You can see other video’s like this throughout this site.

What are your thoughts and insights regarding the deeper meaning and insights of interspecies behaviors like this?

 

Kindred Spirits, Worry, Distraction or Awakening?


“I vow to let go of all worries and anxiety in order to be light and free.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Our animal companions can bring us such great joy, help relieve and heal the parts of us that experience depression and anxiety. They can help calm our hearts and minds when we get caught up in the concerns about our life challenges, lessons and all that is going on in the world. In my book, “Kindred Spirits”, I review the research up to 2000 on how they can help us heal. There is an abundance of new research that continues to document these beneficial healing effects.
Some of us have a tendency to worry about almost everything in our lives from the smallest decisions to the greatest issues confronting our planet. I am aware that I certainly can have that tendency. Worry can manifest as true concern for an animal or it can just as easily and quickly take a wicked turn into anxiety and fear. As we shared in a recent post, fear can tend to generalize from one experience into many similar experiences both in humans and our animal friends. I find that that also can happen with worry. Worry, concern, anxiety are all just different manifestations of potential expressions along a wave of emotions. In each moment we can chose if we want to be aware of this concern and turn it into a productive, positive resolution to a particular issue or if we lose control of the emotion and it tumbles into worry and anxiety. (more…)

Compassion for All Beings: A New Vision for Society

The Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas

monk and mule

bodhisattva

Last night the full moon of May lit up the evening sky throughout the world. In some societies such as Nepal, Malaysia, Bhutan and Thailand, this is a national holiday celebrating the birth, enlightenment and passing away of  Gautama Buddha. It celebrates the possibility and potential of all humans to awaken to who we really are, beyond all our busy inner mind traffic and the challenges of the external world.   As I shared in a celebration of this day with friends, we recited a teaching that  I felt offers another possibility for creating a society based on compassion for all beings.  This teaching is known as the Thirty-seven practices of bodhisattvas.  Simply put, a bodhisattva is someone who chooses to be here on earth to be of benefit to all beings.  This teaching essentially is the basis for all spiritual traditions and inclusive with all and transcends all.  Personally, I feel if we can create a society with these tenets,  the world as we know could turn around and we could have a healthier and happier society and a healthier environment for all our kindred spirits.  One purpose of the kindred spirits project is to unite animal lovers, through our heart connections, to create a more compassionate, respectful society for all beings. I thought that you might enjoy reading and reflecting on these thirty seven practices and see how you might wish to incorporate some of them into the lives you share with your animal companions.  I would love to hear from you on how you have creatively integrated any of these into your life with animals.  Here are the Thirty Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas as translated for Garchen Rinpoche, a great Tibetan Buddhist teacher. Though some of the language may be a bit foreign to some readers, listen beyond the words to the essence of the practices and interpret them as you feel appropriate for your personal beliefs and traditions. Let go of anything that does not feel appropriate for you.  I am simply sharing these in the wishes that they may be of some benefit to you, your animal companions and all beings. (more…)

Trans-species connections: Love, Fun and Laughter

This video of a baby orangutan and a a baby human playing together just brings smiles to so many faces that I felt I would like to share this with you, kindred spirits, as part of the feel good, look how we can live together aspect of this site. There are many aspects to this project, and the humor and  joy that we experience  when we connect with others beings is a loving, compassionate perspective to being all we can be. This cute site also has many other video’s of animals and people sharing together. If you need a lift to your spirits, view these. They are further evidence of how healing the human animal bond can be. Please share your photographs or video’s with stories of how healing and nourishing the human animal bond can be. The more we document this, the more credibility and the easier it will be to create a more compassionate society for all beings!

Fear Response and Generalization Similar Transpecies

Fear and it’s fight or flight response is similar through all species. There was an interesting article in Time magazine recently regarding the generalization of fear in people based on an article in Nature/Neuroscience Journal. It talks about how one fearful, anxious experience can then be generalized to increase fear in general. It talks about this as a component of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how that relates to war veterans. It also mentions different approaches to treatment from medications to behavioral therapy.

I find that similar patterns of generalization of fear exist in animals as well. I have seen it numerous times in dogs that have had a fearful response to a loud noise such as a thunderstorm or a firecracker or some explosive noise. They will then begin to become anxious and fearful following any loud noise and it may progressively get worse and worse until it requires medications. It can also spread to a separation anxiety disorder if the noise happened while the human caretaker was away. I have seen it in horses as well. If a horse has had a negative experience to a veterinarian administering an injection, either intravenously or intramuscularly, it is not uncommon for them to then become more and more anxious and fearful to any injections to a point of being extremely difficult to handle for injections and even dangerous. This is commonly called needlephobia. Continue reading Fear Response and Generalization Similar Transpecies

Happy Mother’s Day to All Mother’s of All Species!

motherduckWhere would the world be without Mother’s? As I talk with friends who are mothers, single mom’s, who have lost their mother’s and share my life with mother’s of all species, a deep feeling of gratitude fills my heart for the incredible dedication and unconditional love that mother’s shower on their children. I reflect back on the challenges I offered my mother, not appreciating all she went through to provide a good life for me, till later in my life.  I hear from friend’s who are single mom’s concerning the challenges of raising children by themselves and how they have managed to still offer their children such profound love. I watch as the deer that give birth to their fawns under my deck each year, patiently show their fawns the in’s and out’s of where to find food, where to rest safely, which trails to travail the cliffs and how their fawns patiently watch everything they do.  I watch the eagle’s fly by window, getting food for their newborns in their nest and how all species that we share mother earth with all share the same dedication to their children.  I also am continuously amazed at how different species will adopt babies from other species.

On youtube there are more and more video’s of different species nursing and caring for newborns of other species who lost their mothers such as this monkey who adopts a kitten (video below).  It seems that unconditional love can transcend all species. Nurturing, giving and receiving is between all beings, beyond labels.  I ponder what makes a mother of one species feel maternal instincts for another where a monkey adopts a kitten.  What in a mother has them see all babies as their own, to nurture.  Truly, maternal instincts and unconditional love do indeed transcend labels of species, transcends all labels.  When we see this documented more and more on Youtube, crows adopting and feeding a kitten, etc. I wonder did this happen all the time, or is this a new phenomena.  What do you think is the basis for these behaviors transcending species?

May all mother’s bless their children with the unconditional love that is the foundation of all our hearts, two-legged, four-legged and winged!

 

Turtle Connection in Central Park

While visiting my 95 year old uncle and my cousin near central park in New York on one of the first warm, sunny days of spring two weeks ago, the power and beauty of our inter-species connections shined its bright light on me in a most unexpected way. After lunch with my wise, sage-like uncle, aunt and cousin, my cousin and I went for a walk in Central Park surrounded by hundreds of ecstatic New Yorkers rejoicing in welcoming fragrances and colors of flowers and trees celebrating the birth of spring. We were two cousins reconnecting, amidst the crowds meandering at a seemingly controlled pace along the paved walkways around the ponds while others paddled in rowboats, everyone moving in one flowing mass, packed solid like schools of fish following some unknown electromagnetic connection between us all. People of all races, colors, creeds, dressed up in all arrays of flamboyant spring colors, chatting away with each other, lost in their individual conversations, mindstreams and worlds, yet all connected by the speed of the flow of beings along the paths. It was really the first time I felt that my cousin and I were able to connect in a much deeper, heartfelt way, away from the sometimes challenging conversations of other family members regarding the drama’s that fill most families lives. In the midst of our chats and the crowds, there lay a small, one inch long, red-eared green turtle, head and feet tucked into its home shell, barely avoiding the feet of hundreds of pedestrians. It was truly an absolute miracle that someone, unaware of his presence beneath the hundreds of feet passing over him, would not have squashed him into flat oblivion. Continue Reading Turtle Connection in Central Park

Otter Joy, Judgement and Our Minds

Recently I was walking along the rocky pacific northwest beach near my cabin, where otters play joyously, seals poke their heads out of the water to see who is above the waterline, and eagles, herons, kingfishers and others soar above the water. I saw a new dock being built with large concrete posts built into ground, a metal walkway and floating wooden dock. It was located directly over large grey boulders on a prominence where the otters appeared to have their home. They would often be on the land above the rocks rolling around with each other, licking and grooming each other. My silly, judgmental mindstream immediately reacted with irritation, saying to myself, “how could someone build this dock right over their home and ruin this beautiful beach with a dock”. The poor otters home would never be the same and they would have to deal with this dock forever or move their home elsewhere. I watched my mind as it scattered in different directions regarding destroying the otters home, changing the ambience of this coastline, etc. etc. I recognized my nonproductive, negative thought patterns and then briefly chuckled at myself thinking “Oh, such a busy mind with destructive judgmental thoughts”. Continue reading Otter Joy, Judgement and Our Minds