Archive for the ‘Human Animal Bond’ Category

Blessings for a Happy, Compassionate New Year

Dr-Allen-Schoen

Wishing all my kindred spirits a Happy New Year with a unique perspective on what True Happiness can look like….

After taking a bit of a retreat from blog writing, I am excited to share this heart advice from a Buddhist teacher on what happiness is

based on their perspective. I wish you all a truly transformative 2014!

This past year has been filled with seeing patients, large and small, lecturing about integrative veterinary medicine, mind/body medicine and the human animal bond throughout the world and working on new projects to be of benefit to all that is.  I lectured at the World Small Animal Veterinary Congress in New Zealand as well as the Canadian Veterinary Association Annual Conference in Victoria, B.C., sharing new insights from my 35 years of practicing and teaching.  In addition, I began working on some new projects evolving from my work with the Charter for Compassion where I was involved in beginning to establish Western Connecticut State University as one of the first Compassionate Universities.

With my co-writer, Susan Gordon, a holistically oriented horse trainer, we have begun a project called “The Compassionate Equestrian”  (see www.compassionateequestrian.com).  We have developed 25 Principles of Compassionate Equitation based on her decades of experience as a horse trainer and my decades of experience as a holistic, integrative veterinarian based on our exploration of what is ultimate healing for horses and humans and the Charter for Compassion.  We invite you to assist in this co-creation by sharing your constructive, positive, compassionate thoughts and insights as we create this new program and book.

In addition, I am working on similar projects for companion animals and wildlife. If you would like to assist in any of these co-creations, feel free to contact me here.

After reflecting on how I might be of most benefit to all beings at this point on my veterinary journey and my personal life journey, I feel like integrating compassion based on the latest research in compassionate neuroscience, contemplative neuroscience and quantum physics along with classic traditions is how I may be of benefit.  I look forward to sharing more from this perspective this year on this blog as well as through upcoming books, retreats, and teaching.

If you are interested in hosting any retreats, workshops or teaching regarding this new approach, feel free to contact me here as well.

Blessings to all of you for a joyous, peaceful, healthy, creative, fun, compassionate New Year!  Again, I would like to share these profound perspectives on what Happiness is from a special teacher.

Happiness by Gendun Rinpoche from Heart Advice from a mahamudra master

Happiness cannot be found

through great effort and will,

but is already there, perfect and complete,

in relaxation and letting go.

Do not worry, there is nothing to do.

Whatever appears in mind has no importance,

since it has no reality.

Do not hold on to it, and do not judge.

Let the play happen by itself,

arising and passing,

without changing anything-

everything vanishes and reappears, without end.

Only your searching for happiness

prevents you from seeing it,

just like a rainbow that you chase

without ever reaching it.

Although happiness does not exist,

it has always been there

and accompanies you

in every moment.

Do not believe that good

or bad experiences are real.

They are like rainbows.

Wanting to grasp the ungraspable,

you exhaust yourself in vain.

As soon as you relax this grasping,

space is there — open, inviting and joyful.

Make use of it.

All is yours already.

Do not search any further.

Do not enter the impenetrable jungle

to search for the elephant

that is already quietly at home.

Nothing to do,

nothing to force,

nothing to wish for —

and everything happens by itself.

Gendun Rinpoche

Happy New Year with a Unique Twist

Wishing all my kindred spirits a Happy New Year with a unique perspective on what True Happiness can look like….

After taking a bit of a retreat from blog writing, I am excited to share this heart advice from a Buddhist teacher on what happiness is

based on their perspective.  I wish you all a truly transformative 2013!

Happiness by Gendun Rinpoche from Heart Advice from a mahamudra master

Happiness cannot be found

through great effort and will,

but is already there, perfect and complete,

in relaxation and letting go.

Do not worry, there is nothing to do.

Whatever appears in mind has no importance,

since it has no reality.

Do  not hold on to it, and do not judge.

Let the play happen by itself,

arising and passing,

without changing anything-

everything vanishes and reappears, without end.

Only  your searching for happiness

prevents you from seeing it,

just like a rainbow that you chase

without ever reaching it.

Although happiness does not exist,

it has always been there

and accompanies you

in every moment.

Do not believe that good

or bad experiences are real.

They are like rainbows.

Wanting to grasp the ungraspable,

you exhaust yourself in vain.

As soon as you relax this grasping,

space is there — open, inviting and joyful.

Make use of it.

All is yours already.

Do not search any further.

Do not enter the impenetrable jungle

to search for the elephant

that is already quietly at home.

Nothing to do,

nothing to force,

nothing to wish for —

and everything happens by itself.

Gendun Rinpoche

Spirit Bear Revival

I have been blessed with experiencing one of the last great wildernesses in the world, The Great Bear Rain Forest,  before it gets devastated by a planned tar sand, dirty oil pipeline from one of the  greatest environmental disasters in history, the Tar sands of Alberta to one of the most sensitive and pristine  coastlines in the world on the British Columbia west coast.  It is an amazing living example of the Kindred Spirits Project where the First Nations bands still live and work in harmony with the animals and environment despite all the outer challenges from corporations interested only in financially extracting as much as they can from the environment and leaving the devastating results to everyone else to deal with.  I stayed with the Klemtu First Nations band in their Spirit Bear Lodge and spent hours interviewing band members from 18 years old to their elders and their chief.  I was blessed that their 30 year old (youngest ever) Chief, Doug Neassloss was by bear guide for a few days.  We discussed the endless challenges from corporations to destroy their homeland as well as how their culture is so intimately intertwined with all the animals and the nature that they share their homes with.  The human animal bond is evident in every moment here.  Watch this to get just a tiny impression of being in this precious, endangered  great bear rainforest.  This great bear rainforest video is a clip from the National Geographic documentary on this endangered region.

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A Dog’s Compassionate Wish

A  dear friend just shared these beautiful thoughts with me.  A while ago,   I had assisted their  family with the transition of their aged kindred spirit who they loved so dearly.  Though this may seem quite anthropomorphic to scientific ethologists, we continually see evidence of  compassion between animals that  sometimes defies our current scientific acknowledgement of what is possible.  Their are a number of youtube video’s of dog’s remaining with their deceased companion as well as other animals or assisting an injured animal friend.  When I read this, my own heart opened to memories of so many suffering animals that I have treated over the years and how many I wish I could have helped more in some way.  There are no words to describe the joy in one’s heart when one sees  the joy in a dog in need that you have just given a loving home to.

In my practice using complementary therapies to try to help animals where conventional medicine is not working anymore, I do end up assisting people with their animal companions death, when even the best of complementary therapies are not sufficient. As I have assisted many clients with the emotional transition of the loss of their kindred spirit, I have seen many ponder the question of if and when they might consider sharing their lives with another animal.  There is no right answer to this question and the perfect time unfolds for each individual.  I do love and agree with the sentiment of the thoughts below, that the love we share with another is the greatest gift that carries on beyond physical death. Sharing that love with another being that is yearning for that love is indeed the greatest memorial we can give to our deceased friend.  So often I see someone who is resistant to adopting another dog or cat for various reasons, yet once one has found them, their hearts re-open with joyous abandon.  This is the essence of our connections with dogs and all beings!  Rejoice in the love we share with others in need, whether they be two-legged, four-legged or winged!

 


Trans-species Connections: Dog Saves Baby

I am so grateful to so many readers of my blog that send me further documentation of trans-species connections.  Apparently this video and news report have gone global and one wonderful reader shared it with me, as I do not watch TV.  It not only is further documentation of trans-species connections, but also of trans-species maternal behavior as I have discussed on each Mother’s Day for the past two years.  In addition, on you-tube next to this video are more video’s documenting trans-species maternal behavior.  I feel that the further collection of video’s documenting such behavior may eventually allow skeptics or scientists who demand double blind placebo controlled trials for evidence of behaviors and consciousness in other species, to acknowledge that consciousness and more evolved behaviors do indeed exist. I believe that the more evidence that we collect, the more  people will acknowledge this  trans-species field exists and just by becoming more aware of it, we can actually re-create a garden of eden on this planet, where compassion for all beings is the basis for compassionate society.

Creativity and Compassion Conference

This past April I was asked to participate in a panel discussion on the integration of creativity and compassion into daily life at the Conference on Creativity and Compassion at Western Connecticut State University.  This is part of a program that is being developed at the University, culminating in a visit by the Dalai Lama to Western Connecticut State University in October.  They are developing a program on compassion and peace.  They are working together with a local Buddhist Monastery, DNKL  (dnkl.org).  I shared how throughout my entire career I have subconsciously integrated creativity and compassion into my veterinary journey pioneering new innovative approaches to integrative animal health care.  The conference committee filmed the entire conference and have just made it available on youtube.  You can watch the panel 5 which I am on and if that interests you, you can connect to the entire conference from there.  I would be interested in your own thoughts on creativity and compassion and how you have integrated them into your own lives.  This conference will be collated into a book that will be available in October for the Dalai Lama’s visit. I believe it will include a forward by the Dalai Lama. I have contributed a chapter describing how I have integrated them into my veterinary career.

I hope you may find these beneficial.

 

Trans-species Friendship

A friend of mine collected a series of animal friendship video’s and sent them to me recently to share with all my kindred spirits!  So delightful to see so many friendships that transcend species, limited belief systems,  biases, labels etc.  Our programmed beliefs and patterns can limit our perceptions of reality so much that we  can miss the  interconnected oneness of all beings.  These heart warming, joyous video’s assist in awakening our inner joy, our awareness of our oneness and what fun life can actually be!

My invitation to all of you today is perhaps try to see each being that you interact with today, beyond labels, and just someone to connect with with joy, offering them simple thoughts of loving kindness recognizing that we truly are all one.

 

http://mashable.com/2012/04/30/animal-friendships-videos/#

Can We All Be Horse Whisperers?

The Bond Between Horse and Human

Throughout my life,  I envisioned sharing lives with animals with a much more compassionate perspective than what sometimes happens in the “real” world.  This heartwarming equine training video with a Czech horse trainer exemplifies what is possible when we interact with loving kindness and compassion for all beings, connecting through the silence, the “oneness” that is within all of us.   When working on my Master’s degree in Animal Behavior, I was committed to only conduct studies that would not harm animals and that could provide potential improvement in their lives.  Throughout my veterinary career, I always focused on more human training methods for all animals, horses, dogs, cats etc.   I also gravitated to clients that were focused on more humane training and treatment of animals.  I am pleased to see that more and more video’s are showing “horse whisperer’s, horse trainers and others who are interacting with horses in more humane ways and working together with their natural behavior patterns.  I am interested to hear from anyone working with horses what you think of this video.  Is there a way one can incorporate more of these approaches into your own work.  Perhaps it can stimulate us to explore new ways of interacting with horses with more fun, love and compassion.

Watching this video, I sensed that I could feel what I call the “Trans-species Field” interaction between them all.  I believe that there are other levels of interspecies connection and communication that transcends what we understand and I feel that this is a beautiful demonstration and documentation of these fields of communication.

Recently I attended a showing of the documentary “Buck”, with the director Cindy Sheehan.  It was touching to see how Buck transformed old childhood wounds and emotional trauma into a positive force in his life and has helped so many people and horses through that.  There are some touching moments in the movie, showing the deleterious effects on horses, when people’s emotional trauma impacts on their treatment of horses. This is the exact same with all animals, horses, dogs, cats etc.  Our emotional trauma impacts significantly on the well being of our animal friends.  It is a unique opportunity for us to heal and transform our childhood wounds and trauma so that we do not impact on our kindred spirits in a destructive manner.  So often, if one is observant and aware, we can see how our old destructive patterns can be mirrored back to us by our animal companions as well as humans.

As so much is happening in the world these days, it is more essential than ever that we heal our old wounds so that we can be of benefit to all other beings and assist in the creation of a more compassionate society.  May all of us heal our old wounds and destructive patterns and have more fun with our animal friends and enjoy creating a world filled with loving kindness!

 

 

Trans-species Mourning and Grief

Elephant Mourning

Elephant Mourning

It seems as though as we connect with different animal species at a more intimate level we are able to communicate with them with such depth that the illusion of separation slowly dissipates.  This article concerning mourning and grief of elephants with a human called “the elephant whisperer” is one stunning example of the depth of such deep communication.

The life of Lawrence Anthony is a testimony to a depth of  trans-species communication, respect and love that goes beyond our minds limited perceptions of what is possible.

The blog post on delightmaker  asks the right questions as stated here “So, how after Anthony’s death, did the reserve’s elephants — grazing miles away in distant parts of the park — know?  “A good man died suddenly,” says Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, Ph.D., “and from miles and miles away, two herds of elephants, sensing that they had lost a beloved human friend, moved in a solemn, almost ‘funereal’ procession to make a call on the bereaved family at the deceased man’s home.”  The blog, delightmaker also states ““If there ever were a time, when we can truly sense the wondrous ‘interconnectedness of all beings,’ it is when we reflect on the elephants of Thula Thula. A man’s heart’s stops, and hundreds of elephants’ hearts are grieving. This man’s oh-so-abundantly loving heart offered healing to these elephants, and now, they came to pay loving homage to their friend.””

From my limited, exploratory perspective, this is one further documentation of my “Trans-species Field Theory (c) and my thoughts on the potential of a “love particle” (c) that may be formed from the instant when the energy of love turns into a potential form of matter of love through the thoughts and emotions of that connection.  The research and concepts at Heartmath  may also be appreciated as truly being “trans-species” as is seen in this example of elephants recognizing the death of a beloved human and traveling so far to connect at that moment.  The levels of interspecies communication and their potential implicatons  are only being glimpsed from our limited three dimensional perspective.  We need to witness and experience these connections to become aware of their existence.  The potential of  where that can lead all living beings is unlimited.  If we create a space of inner silence, quiet within our hearts  and allow a spacious emptiness of love and compassion to arise out of that to connect with all beings, perhaps there can be a global shift back to a living garden of eden here and now.

 

 

http://delightmakers.com/news-bleat/wild-elephants-gather-inexplicably-mourn-death-of-elephant-whisperer/

Kindred Assistance

Dolphin Connection

Dolphin Connection

I am grateful to readers of the kindred spirits project who are kind enough to share video’s and photo’s that continue to document how it is truly in our hearts to help one another.  Someone just sent me this heartwarming video of average beings confronted with a challenging situation and just instantly choosing to help  save these stranded dolphins.  Watch this video of people relaxing on a beach and then jumping into  Saving Dolphins.  Personally, each time these situations are documented of how we naturally want to help one another, it builds a solid foundation for demonstrating the highest good in all of us.

Thank you all for sharing these. The kindred spirits project is truly becoming a storehouse of documentation for who we truly are and who we can be!