”Nobody tells a bird to fly, a fish to swim, or a worm to crawl, it is all in the conception itself…” -Nisargadatta Maharaj (Sage from India)
Recently I watched a beautiful documentary called: The Animal Communicator. My friend, Harriett, describes it well:
“…I remain stunned, deeply affected in my heart that I did not even know there was such sublime recognition of the significance of our animal friends…..Truly a spiritual happening for me and while the sorrow for our animal friends was intense and acute, it was not received as a negative emotion but the realization that mankind might be breaking through in individuals like Anna (the primary animal communicator in the documentary) where our species as a whole could be evolving to…I am so honored to have witnessed this beautiful peek of embodied enlightenment as witnessed in this…”
I started the day (New Year’s Eve) feeding some rabbits at a caregiving job that started December 30th. I brought food out to the rabbit cage, opened the door and slid the morsels in. These two rabbits were completely uninterested and I squatted by the cage baffled, as usually rabbits dig right in. The rabbits stared at me, communing at the level of being, the natural state. Suddenly I found myself looking at an empty water bottle attached to the cage.
I scampered into the house, filled the bottle and remounted it against the cage holster. What happened next truly struck me. These rabbits were in dire dehydration. The alpha rabbit slid its mouth around the water outlet nipple, greedily slurping, while his friend attempted to slide underneath and usurp the water. The alpha rabbit, using his paw, was able to keep the other rabbit from getting to the water. This did not stop the non-alpha from trying, as relentlessly he maneuvered into different positions, angles, even stealing a quick sip every 30 seconds, before being pressed away by his alpha mate. Finally the non-alpha slid next to his friend and began to press his mouth against the side of alpha rabbit’s mouth with such pressure that he was able to get trickles of water from the alpha’s mouth. This went on for several minutes until the alpha finally gave up the water outlet and let his friend drink unabated.
The last few months I have been living with a family who ‘owns’ a dog named Senorita—a vibrant, though now quite disturbed, 4 year old female German Shepherd. Celia and Augustine, the dog’s caretakers, are a simple couple. He is an 88 from Spain and she in her late 60’s from Chile. Augustine, in the early stages of dementia, is a retired metal worker who built the house they live in; Celia is a dedicated and kind workaholic—taking care of her husband at night and running a large day care during the day. She comes home each night absolutely exhausted, devouring black tea just to get through the evening until 9 pm. I feel for her. I really do.
What gets lost in all of this is the beautiful being known as Senorita. You see Senorita, when I first arrived at the house, appeared crazed, edgy, and severely agitated much like a lion in a cage at the zoo. When I first came towards the front door of the house to meet Celia and Augustine, Senorita was moving about anxiously near the side of the house, pacing back and forth wildly. I grew up around dogs and know to always wait and let them approach me at first meeting. I dropped down low, heart open, hands in close to my body, palms turned out—welcoming and receiving on her terms. I waited, and waited, she continued to move about in a frenzy of energy, pacing, eyes darting, a light foam formed around the edges of her jaw. Finally, after a couple of minutes of growing apprehension, I decided it best to move on towards the front porch and knock.
Shortly after meeting the nice couple, I mentioned the beautiful dog outside, finding out that the reason Senorita did not approach me related to the fact that she wore a shock collar and I was kneeling just outside the ‘shock zone perimeter’ . She really wanted to come give and receive love but was not willing to get shocked to do so. I was horrified. I hate shock collars. You might say I have a strong, anti-affinity towards them. This stems from my childhood. As a young boy,for some months I slept on a foil device placed under the sheets, quite similar to the shock collar, with the sickly idea that it would stop bedwetting. What the device did provide was an amplification of the emotional intensity and nervous system anomaly –for both me and Senorita.
A month or so after I began living with this family, Senorita’s shock collar became damaged, and non-functional. The house, being proximal to a busy frontage road and local highway, forced Senorita to an elevated deck adjacent to the second floor living room. An area, about 30 feet by 15 feet became her new day time ‘home’, though it was more like an asylum. She began to whine and cry daily. I found out that as a puppy, when first confined to this little sector, she jumped off the 20 foot, elevated spot and hurt herself. This fall was enough to discourage further jumps. Senorita was forced to succumb to this prison of sorts, like an Orca in a Sea World containment pool. And just like the Orcas, her physical body was fed, even with high grade grain-free food but her Spirit was squelched, moment by moment, hour by hour and day by day. With no regular exercise and a lack of touch and love, Senorita was starving for affection.
What happened during that first two weeks of her confinement was amazing. Instead of buying a new collar for Senorita, Celia decided that a new collar was too expensive to take a chance (since she had come to the bizarre conclusion that someone purposefully cut the original shock collar). This made Celia even more reluctant to buy a new one, since she feared the new one would also be cut. So, for all intents and purposes, Senorita might well be confined to this decking area indefinitely and with no other dog friends. After I leave no humans will give her touch except to take her collar/leash off, push her down when she jumps up. It is heart-breaking, this kind of abuse that we put our animal friends through. Are they really thought of as friends, as beings of light?! No, most of the time, they are just ‘things to have’: guard dog presence, something to show off, have around.
Not only are we burying their spirits, we are cutting ourselves off to a loving presence, a magnificent being that is available to show us what unconditional love really is. Do we really want that—Unconditional Love? Love scares the human mind. In unconditional, true love, the human mind becomes obsolete. The mind is a figment though, appearing as a flash like gunpowder residue; the vital force of the blast is Spirit-everlasting. Dogs live from That space.
Later in the afternoon of New Year’s Eve, while walking at the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor with my friend Aleece, a large adult great blue heron flew over our heads right as she said the phrase:
“We are always free birds” At that moment, a short distance into the harbor on a boat called ‘Destiny’, the Lynyrd Skynyrd song ‘free bird’ was playing on a sailboat’s stereo. My friend and I then looked over and saw several adolescent great blue herons in a tree. They were perched motionless, the mother herself unconcerned, perched majestically across the harbor on the top of a large tree, watching.
Pictured here is one of the young great blue herons. Never have either of us seen a juvenile great blue heron and certainly not close up. What an animal communication: In Ted Andrew’s book: Animal Speak, he says of Herons:
“…The long thin legs of the heron reflect that you don’t need great massive pillars to remain stable, but you must be able to stand on your own…when it feeds, it stands in the water, reflecting a connection to the earth – while implying the exploration of other dimensions on the earth (water element).
It is important for anyone with a heron totem to explore various activities and dimensions of Earth life. On the surface, this may seem a form of dabbling, but those with heron totems are wonderfully successful at being the traditional ‘Jack of all trades’.
This ability enables them to follow their own path. Most people will never be able to live the way heron people do. It is not a structured way, and does not seem to have stability and security to it. It is, though, just a matter of perspective. There is security in heron medicine, for it gives the ability to do a variety of tasks. If one way does not work, than another will. This, heron people seem to inherently know.
Heron people do not seem to need a lot of people in their life, nor do they feel pressured to keep up with the Joneses, or be traditional in their life roles. The only time they gather in colonies is during the breeding season. They stand out in their uniqueness, and they know how to snatch and take advantage of things and events that the average person would not even bother with… those with this totem follow their own innate wisdom and path of self-determination. You know what is best for you and should follow it, rather than the prompting of others…”
Humans can communicate from being and sometimes they express it with words, like these, spoken from Aleece that day:
“…Michael Scott I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you….you are a true yogi and have been living your purpose every step of the way…”
Words spoken from being have a certain vibrational frequency that penetrates into every cell; That piercing quality resounds from Essential Self to Essential Self.