Archive for the ‘Conscious and Emotional Commons’ 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

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/

Happy Mother’s Day: Cooperation in Protecting Children Between Whale Species

Do animals have concepts of other? other species?  I pondered this question after reading this story of cooperation between humpback and gray whales in defending a baby whale from Orca whales who attacked it.  This article offers excellent documentation of this cooperation.  It also proposes which parts of a mammalian nervous system are designed for this level of cooperation.  It is wonderful to see continued documentation of behaviors in other species that we oddly consider limited to humans  due to our species centric egoic perspective of life.  Perhaps if we begin with a perspective that we are essentially the same, rather than essentially different, we might behave differently to other species and not destroy them and all our shared habitat.  Again perhaps we should  begin with asking the right questions or begin with a unified field theory, that we are truly all one.

On Mother’s Day, it is sad to see one species killing the baby of another for food.  Yet, it is also beautiful to see other species trying to help the mother protect her young.  On Mother’s Day, perhaps we can view each other as being mother to all beings, to our environment and to all of nature and perhaps we can create a world where we care for and love all of nature as our child.  May all beings assist in protecting our precious children from harm whether from other beings, or from harmful ecocidal practices, from control issues that are not in the best interest of all beings and from the lack of truth.  Happy Mother’s Day to Mother Earth as well!

 

 

 

Animal Morality: Compassion, Reconciliation & Empathy

Compassion

Compassion

A friend shared this educational video from TED talks on Animal Morality.  The TED talk summary states “Empathy, cooperation, fairness and reciprocity — caring about the well-being of others seems like a very human trait. But Frans de Waal shares some surprising videos of behavioral tests, on primates and other mammals, that show how many of these moral traits all of us share. In the midst of being “time-challenged” with seeing patients, I wanted to just quickly share this heart touching, hopeful, promising video of how humans can choose to act rather than some of the more violent, greedy behavior that seems to be in the news so frequently.

I am about to participate in a two day conference at Western Connecticut State University with Buddhist scholars, faculty and students on April 20 and 21, titled  ”Creativity and Compassion”.  It is part of a preparation for a visit from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama.  Based on the integration of my personal journey and my professional journey, I will be part of a panel discussion titled “The Art of Compassion: bringing creativity and compassion to the ordinary tribulations of daily life.  It is heartening to see how compassion, empathy, creativity, are being recognized as essential behaviors as we choose to evolve to a more conscious world, all working together for the benefit of the common good.

Enjoy this educational video and recognize we all are able to make choices regarding our behaviors.  Let us choose ones that are moral and for the benefit of all beings!

 

Charter For Compassion: Vancouver

This past March, Vancouver pioneered a new approach to living together with their Vancouver Conference on 12 days of compassion based on the charter for compassion.  I am grateful to share with you this Video of Karen Armstrong’s keynote Lecture on the Charter for Compassion.  Karen Armstrong is a world renowned historian of religion, author, professor and winner of the TED Prize for her development of the Charter For Compassion.  This is sponsored partially by the Greater Vancouver Compassion Network (www.gvcn.ca)  as well as the Simon Fraser University  Center for Dialogue and the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education.  The Dalai Lama sometimes describes compassion as a generosity of heart.  This is all part of a new movement for a Network of Compassionate Cities.

The one thing I would add to this discussion of compassion is that they include compassion for all beings to include the animal kingdom.  When this happens, perhaps the oil companies will no longer use sound frequencies that have been found to kill dolphins, whales and other marine mammals, poachers will no longer kill elephants, rhinoceros, primates etc.  and factory farms will no longer treat animals like objects rather than sentient living beings.

I feel like this is part of synchrodestiny.  I was unaware of this network when I felt guided to begin my Kindred Spirits Project blog.  With my background as a veterinarian  committed to doing my best to help animals and their human caretakers, guided by my search for what is ultimate healing,  I had found myself on a subconscious quest which has led me to my own insights that compassion for all beings is one of the keys to heal the human condition and its disastrous impact on our environment.  I personally feel that by practicing unique mind body medicine techniques that I have developed for all animal lovers, animal hospitals, animal shelters, sanctuaries, zoo’s, aquariums, and any place where animals and people connect can actually become center for the awakening of compassion for all beings.

I will be sharing these techniques more in the future on this blog, in webinars, books, as well as various conferences for veterinarians and animal lovers.  Stay tuned.

I will keep this post short so that you can utilize your valuable time watching this special presentation at the beginning of the 12 days of compassion in Vancouver. Let’s expand on this develop a network of compassionate cities and compassionate animal care centers throughout the world!  What do you think?

 

 

http://charterforcompassion.org/news-and-events/article/60

Deeper Connections with Horses Through Love

Horse Connection

Loving Horse Connections

It is a joy to see the compassionate trainer, Jean Francois in this video demonstrating his loving horse connection.     Through his loving connection, he is able to train and enjoy such a deep, profound bond with his horses without all the traditional horse training tools.  As he says in this beautiful video, he is able to get these results through love and the inner silent connection.  Personally,  I find one of the keys to this deep profound connection is finding that profoundly quiet center in our hearts and cultivate and nourish that center and radiate out that loving connection from that center to all animals.  That is essentially what I feel Jean Francois is doing in this video. I actually think this is a possible example demonstrating my “trans-species field theory.   (more…)

Happy Valentine’s Day to All Kindred Spirits!

Warm Wishes for a Joyous Valentine's Day to All Beings!

Warm Wishes for a Joyous Valentine's Day to All Beings!

This video shares the images of the wish of Happy Valentines Day to All Kindred Spirits

Wishing all Kindred Spirits a Happy Valentine’s Day!  May all beings feel the deepest, profound love that permeates all of life, all dimensions!  This love is within each and every one of us.  It is not getting love from food, treats, distractions, etc.  It is giving and receiving love from the deepest truth of who we really are.  This love radiates from our hearts in every moment.  Love is the bridge between all of us, between the form and the formless, between all hearts.  Love is a key to the trans-species field theory and global coherence.  It is our old programmings, thoughts, belief systems etc. that prevent us from realizing this.  From this deep love, I wish you all the love that the kindred spirits project wishes to radiate out to all our wonderful followers!

Blessings to you all!

 

Good Intentions Study

I chuckle sometimes when I  read studies that document what some might think is soooo obvious.  It is nice to see though that science continues to document  the beneficial impact of positive thoughts and intentions that ancient traditions and modern psychology discuss at length.  This particular study on the benefits of good intentions is one of those studies.  It seems like one of those “duh” moments.  Of course good intentions make us healthier and happier.

Neuroscience continues to document how our positive thoughts, intentions and emotions are not only of benefit to our own body, mind and spirit, but also have significant impacts way beyond us, to be of benefit to all beings we encounter and thereby to all beings that are encountered by the beings we encounter and on and on.  So simple, yet so challenging.  As I wait to board a flight back east to see my patients and their humans,  I get great joy by consciously thanking flight assistants at check-in, the security personnel, cashiers, etc. who are all just “doing their jobs”.  They immediately smile as they feel recognized and acknowledged as a fellow living human being, not just an automaton.  In reality, all of us, two-legged, four-legged, winged, domestic and wild, all we want is to be acknowledged and loved.  It truly is as simple as that.  If we have positive intentions and express them to everyone we encounter, we can and do indeed make a difference in the world, being by being, moment by moment.  When I enter a horse barn or an animal hospital, I do my best to smile, (most of the time) even during more challenging personal moments in my life.  That smile inevitably shifts to a more positive energy in the environment.  Neuroscience is documenting how mirror neurons, mirroring others visual images of each other tend to reflect back to us often what we are reflecting to others.  Once we realize this, it  might seem sensible, that we can consciously choose, as often as possible, to have helpful, positive thoughts and good intentions.  We truly are mirrors for each other.  We can be like that dark mirror in the Harry Potter movies, or we can consciously choose moment by moment to have good intentions and be a positive mirror to the world.  Good intentions stimulate good vibrations!  So as the Beach Boys used to sing…”Good, Good Vibrations”, let us all have good intentions and good vibrations!  Is this not what our animal friends stimulate in us and do for us when they whinny, purr, wag their tails, and show us their joy when they see us?  Let us wag our tails, whinny and purr and bring joy and good intentions to others!  Let’s support the findings of this study day by day.

 

 

http://mpm.umd.edu/Good%20Intentions%20SPPS%20In%20press.pdf

Foundation for Kindred Spirits Project: Consciousness

Conscious Connections

Conscious Connections

One key foundation for the kindred spirits project is consciousness. As the new year begins, I will be sharing different concepts on the foundations of the kindred spirits project.  We begin the New Year with our last post on silence and nature.  This new post explores what it seems like is one real key to the foundation for all life, consciousness. It seems like one of the  foundations for the interconnectedness of all beings is consciousness.  I just came across this website and dvd’s called “The Consciousness Chronicles”.  The Consciousness Chronicles Video offers an introduction to great thinkers who are exploring consciousness based on the latest science.I have seen some of these scientists interviewed on other documentaries and they offer a great scientific basis for uncovering the basis of consciousness based on the latest discoveries in neuroscience, quantum physics, consciousness studies and the new biology.

Wikipedia defines consciousness as “a term that refers to the relationship between the mind and the world with which it interacts.[1] It has been defined as: subjectivityawareness, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind.[2] Despite the difficulty in definition, many philosophers believe that there is a broadly shared underlying intuition about what consciousness is.[3] As Max Velmans and Susan Schneider wrote in The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness: “Anything that we are aware of at a given moment forms part of our consciousness, making conscious experience at once the most familiar and most mysterious aspect of our lives.”[4]Wikipedia provides an excellent discussion of consciousness.

I feel that consciousness is an integral part of the deepest connections between us and all other beings. I feel that consciousness is a key component of what I call  my “The Trans-species Field Theory” Some “free range” thinkers, scientists and philosophers feel that there exists a field of greater consciousness that connects us all, a collective consciousness.  It has also been called a “conscious commons”.  Some cutting edge thinkers believe that a field exists that some call “the information field”.  Scientist and inventor, Marc Newkirk has developed some cutting edge technology that he claims can assist us in connecting to this information field, what he calls “the lightfield”.   His video discussion of this and his website provide some fascinating food for thought on this subject.   Some spiritual traditions have called this field “the akashic record”.

Ervin Laszlo, a leading systems theorist who was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize is the author of “The Akashic Experience, Science and the Cosmic Memory Field” as he calls it.  In this book, they state “20 leading authorities in fields such as psychiatry, physics, philosophy, anthropology, natural healing,  etc. offer first hand accounts of interactions with a cosmic memory field that can transmit information to people without having to go through the senses”. There are numerous other references and thoughts on this field from all spiritual traditions.  A fascinating discussion of consciousness and other deeper connections from the Tibetan Buddhist perspective is offered in a well written book titled “Mind Beyond Death” by Dzogchen Ponlop. What I find fascinating is that even though we cannot see, smell, touch, or have any physical evidence of this field, nowadays forward thinking, open minded scientists, physicists, physicians, biologists, etc. are all studying and documenting a field that our ancient traditions have taught about for centuries. It is indeed time to integrate the latest in science with the truths of ancient traditions.

How does this relate to our dear dogs, cats, horses and other animal companions?  There are many people who call themselves “animal communicators”.  We will discuss these labels in a future post.  I actually feel we are all animal communicators. We all communicate with animals, especially ones that we are closer to and that we have an emotional, loving bond with.  Some of these levels of communication are through our fives senses, observing one another, touching one another, smelling each other, hearing each others voices etc.  Much of this is nonverbal communication. There seem to be even deeper levels of nonverbal communication between us and animals. Some individuals have certainly developed their personal skills to a higher level that allows them to connect with animals in ways that others are not normally aware of.  I personally have experienced, seen and known of different levels of communication that defy our commonly understood scientific basis of communication.  Experience turns knowledge into wisdom.  Once one experiences these other levels of connection, then the next step if one wants to go there, is to try to understand them.  Extremist skeptics tend to just say brush them off as “voodoo” or pseudo-science”.  How often in history has something been labeled magic, voodoo, pseudoscience, garbage,etc. and then only to be documented later on.  What happened to Copernicus? Galileo?

So dear kindred spirits, I invite you to share your thoughts and experiences in conscious connections with our animal companions.  More to come….

 

Celebrating the New Year With All Families, Inner and Outer

Celebration by Tom DuBois

Celebration by Tom DuBois

Celebrating and bringing in the New Year with beloved family members can nourish old bonds, heal old wounds, create new experiences and allow for support for future endeavors. Hearing, seeing and watching so many family members flying all over to connect with others families stimulated thoughts in my mind about the families closer to us as well as deeper concepts of family.  Hearing of different perspectives on the holidays, gift-giving and receiving and the “mind traffic” that can occur based on different belief systems and philosophies about this holiday season helped me appreciate all the different mind universes that live together on this planet.   Recently, I shared in a previous post about inter-species families with gorilla’s as well as all the varied species that share my sanctuary with me.

Today I came across a beautiful commentary that spoke to me regarding all these  varied observations and interactions of what family means.  This commentary is from one of my favorite books, “Glimpse After Glimpse, Daily Reflections on Living and Dying” (Harper SanFrancisco, 1995) by Sogyal Rinpoche, the author of the renowned book “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying”.  Sogyal writes:

“Just as the ocean has waves, and the sun has rays, so the mind’s own radiance is its thoughts and emotions.  The ocean has waves, yet the ocean is not particularly disturbed by them.  The waves are the very nature of the ocean.  Waves will rise, but where do they go? Back into the ocean.  And where do the waves come from?  The ocean.

In the same manner, thoughts and emotions are the radiance and expression of the very nature of the mind.  They rise from the mind, but where do they dissolve? Back into the mind. Whatever rises, do not see it as a particular problem.  If you do not impulsively react, if you are only patient, it will once again settle into its essential nature.

When you  have this understanding, then rising thoughts only enhance your practice. But when you do not understand what they intrinsically are…the radiance of the nature of your mind….then your thoughts become the seed of confusion. So have a spacious, open, and compassionate attitude toward your thoughts and emotions, because in fact, your thoughts are your family, the family of your mind. Before them, as Dudjom Rinpoche used to say: “Be like an old wise man, watching a child play.”"

Upon reading this commentary this morning, I had a totally expanded concept of family, from our inner family to our outer family of all beings on mother earth and beyond.  The inner family of our thoughts and emotions are an integral  foundation for how we relate to ourselves and all other beings.  Our thoughts and emotions which radiate naturally from us allow us to perceive and experience family in so many varied ways.  Once we recognize that, we have the opportunity to embrace a more loving compassionate  perspective on all our families, inner and outer, from our thoughts to a bloodline family to friends and to all beings that we share mother earth with.  Once we appreciate all these levels of family, we can create a more harmonious, compassionate world, again, both inner and outer. Thereby, we can have a huge impact on the health and happiness of the planet through the impact that these compassionate action steps, of cultivating our loving thoughts and emotions, can have on the conscious and emotional commons and on global coherence.  Through our positive thoughts and emotions we are making a difference in the world, thought by thought, moment by moment.  These positive thoughts and emotions can be greater gifts to our families than any material gifts.  There is great truth in the saying that the greatest gift one can offer is  being”presence” for the other being, rather than physical “presents”.

One of my many wishes for all  kindred spirits for the New Year is that may we all be blessed with a loving, peaceful, healthy, awakening, fun family of inner thoughts and emotions and may they all be blessings to all other outer family members that truly transcend all labels!