Archive for the ‘Compassionate Action Steps’ Category

Blessings for a Happy, Compassionate New Year

Allen07

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

Genetic Roulette Health Awareness

I would like to share some of the most important news that I have come across for disease prevention in both our animal friends and ourselves.  For most of my veterinary career I have been expounding the belief that we should feed our animal friends as naturally and organically as possible. I have seen so many diseases improve with simple dietary changes from allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, immune mediated diseases and cancer.  I have been well aware of doing my best to avoid genetically modified foods (GMO’s) in myself, my family and for my animal patients.  I just came across this new documentary, “Genetic Roulette” which is a free online movie that explains and summarizes all the potential hazardous effects of GMO’s on our food producing animals, our companion animals and humans.

Please watch this documentary, Genetic Roulette, and share it with as many people as you can.  We can all make this shift in awareness and improve the health of countless animals and people. I wish to keep this blog post brief, so you can spend your time watching this movie and spreading the word.  We can all help countless beings to quickly improve their health and happiness right now and that is what the Kindred Spirits Project is all about.  This is a key to preventive medicine for all beings.   Thank you for watching this and sharing it and spreading the word.  Let us create a healthier, happier world where compassion, health and happiness are more important than corporate greed and government corruption.

 

 

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!

 


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.

 

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!

 

 

 

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!

 

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!

 

National Museum of Animals and Society

The beliefs, philosophy and concepts of the Kindred Spirits Project seems to be evolving in the collective consciousness of society recently.  My dear friend and colleague, Dr. Marc Bekoff has recently shared in his blog post about the creation of the new National Museum of Animals and Society in Southern California.  With all the museums in the world honoring so many worthy causes, movements, art and history, I am so thrilled to see the creation of this new Museum of Animals and Society. NMAS even has a tour titled Souls that Awaken Us and can be found on their Facebook page.

This museum, NMAS, is another physical manifestation of the vision of acknowledging a new level of awareness and connection between humans and animals.  It has been an ongoing evolutionary process, back to the future, so to speak, acknowledging the vast, intimate interconnectedness between humans and nonhuman animals and all living beings. It seems so obvious, yet, in a society where technology, competitiveness devoid of ethics and morality, darwinian capitalism and survival of the fittest seem to be the dominant themes, the healing power of human, nature, animal connections seem to have been less honored and acknowledged for their vital part in a healthy society.   Years ago, the Harvard based entomologist, E.O. Wilson termed this connection “biophilia”, the inherent love of all living beings.  I discussed this subject as one of the foundations of my book, “Kindred Spirits”, over ten years ago.  This has began to evolve into a  relatively new field of called anthrozoology that is focused on research on the nature of humans-animal interactions. It is exciting to see how this  field  is gaining a good deal of momentum from researchers representing many different disciplines.

On the anthrozoology website, Anthrozoology is defined as “the study of the relationships between humans and animals”.  The website states that “Anthrozoology is unique in that it studies the role of animals in the lives of humans, and vice versa. It has been called many other things, including “human animal interaction”, and the “human animal bond”.  The term Anthrozoology comes from the Greek anthropos, meaning human, and zoon meaning animal.”

These days it can be challenging not to become disheartened  by all the pain and suffering occurring to animals and humans throughout the world. It is a joy to see some positive acknowledgements about the importance of nature and animals in the survival of our world.  I am grateful that we can all be part of this new awareness and each of us bring this awareness to all our friends and our communities.  Check out these new worlds and museums and spread the great news!

Happy Easter, Happy Passover, Happy Spring and with the new buds and flowers blossoming outside, may new love and light blossom within each of us and be of benefit to the world as well!

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

Kindred Spirits Helping Each Other

A friend sent me this photo essay going around the internet.  I found it incredibly touching.  Personally, it felt like it was a demonstration of intelligence, trust, and nonverbal communication between species that was perhaps the way it used to be, prior to so much division and fear having developed between  humans and other animals. It was heartening to see how the fisherman and his family assisted them.  It is a promising illustration of how perhaps we can all help each other in the midst of the global environmental challenges we are confronting in 2012.

Perhaps we can all use this as a healthy, joyous reminder of how we can help all beings in need beyond all labels of species, predator, prey, us vs. them, self vs. other.  We can all support each other in creating a more peaceful world in 2012!

A DEER STORY FROM ALASKA
A Heart Warming  and Amazing Rescue , in Sitka  Alaska
Amazing story…a  miracle of sorts, really!
The Best Day Of Fishing Ever!

I’ve heard of salmon jumping into boats, but never anything quite like this…
Tom Satre told the Sitka Gazette that he was out with a charter group on his 62-foot fishing vessel when four juvenile black-tailed deer swam directly toward his boat. 

 

Deer Swimming for Help

“Once the deer reached the boat, the four began to circle the boat, looking directly at us.  We could tell right away that the young bucks were distressed.

I opened up my back gate and we helped the typically skittish and absolutely wild animals onto the boat.  In all my years fishing, I’ve never seen anything quite like it!

Once onboard, they collapsed with exhaustion, shivering.”

Deer Resting on Board

Deer Resting On Board

“This is a picture I took of the rescued bucks on the back of
my boat, the Alaska Quest.  We headed for Taku Harbour.

Once we reached the dock, the first buck that we had pulled from the water hopped onto the dock, looked back as if to say ‘thank you’ and disappeared into the forest.

After a bit of prodding and assistance, two more followed, but the smallest deer needed a little more help.

Deer Rescued

This is me carrying the little guy.

 

Deer Rescued

My daughter, Anna, and son, Tim, helped the last buck to its feet.
We didn’t know how long they had been in the icy waters or
if there had been others who did not survive.  My daughter later told me that the experience was something that she would never forget,

and I suspect the deer felt the same way as well!”

Thank you for sharing these photographs and story with all of us!