Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The incinerator walk returns

Progress on my "goal" to have inner peace in any situation, with anyone, and in any location?  I  was able to dive into the welfare section of the animal community and come out without feeling crushing despair.  (I have found that this usualy preempts some avalanche of a test showing up...)

I was preparing to walk to the market with my sunglasses and headphones and see if I could repeat that amazing walk of feeling like musical sound with two legs....  As I got about 100 feet down the road, I hear piercing dog yelps, so I turn around.  There is a cute little black and white puppy who was just hit by a car. The local people were looking, but not doing anything.  Ok, so I walked over to the puppy to find she had a broken hind leg (hip, back too?) with the skin peeled back like a skinned drumstick.  No one is moving the dog off the road.  I know she is very upset and I was thinking about the rabies idea from the Help in Suffering visit yesterday, so I found a piece of cloth (one advantage of debris readily available) and wrapped the puppy up, so she could be moved without touching her and avoiding her teeth.  The young men started to jump in and help.  They loaned me one of their phones when I explained that I had the phone number for animal help in my room.  They trustingly let me walk off with their phone to my room where I was able to find the number, they called, the dog was moved to a safe place away from the side of the road, and medical attention was coming.  All good.  Sad about the dog, but at least we were able to do something.  (One thing that has changed considerably in my sensory perception is now my entire body reacts instead of just one area, so this did send me over the edge for a brief period of time. I have been wondering how people deal with the insane health and pain issues that they are presented with--one friend is looking at back surgery for a severe back and sciatic problem and a relative is dealing with a broken back in addition to recovering from a bone marrow transplant/experimental drug treatment.)

hanging out dog

The visit from yesterday got me really thinking about the street dogs, so I put some more attention in that direction while I headed back off to the market.   I took a picture of one dog hanging out with a street vendor.  The next dog was trying to eat out of a pile of garbage on the side of the road.  Ok, living proof of what Jack had been talking about.  This one looked really rough, so when I looked a little closer, skin and bones, because his lower jaw was hanging--a broken jaw!  He wanted to eat (the rest of him looked functional), but he was starving to death because there was no way to get food into his mouth or chew. I was contemplating, "What to do?"  This dog was starving, but mobile.  It cranked up those inner feelings of helplessness, abandonment, anguish...  I was trying to stay present and accepting, but the next thing I know the world is starting to turn disappear.  What would happen if I passed out on the side of the road?  Would anyone notice?  There were people working within a few feet of the starving dog and plenty of foot traffic, cars, etc. passing on the busy road, but no one appeared to notice.  I pulled it back together and decided that maybe I need a few more tools in the tool box to stay that unfiltered in those situations.  Now, I have to be one of those people who turn a (painfully) blind eye and keep walking.  My walk continued, but instead of being music with two legs, I was bliss gone wrong with two legs. 

dog with a broken jaw
The buying of goods at the market was a welcomed distraction.  

Now for the return walk.  I continued to digest what I saw and tried to have gratitude for the learning opportunity.  I wondered if I would have that severe of a reaction if I saw a human in need--appearing to be abandoned etc.  Wouldn't you know, there just happened to be a man squatting in my path (not using the pavement as a bathroom), with no clothes, and quiet.  I didn't even stare now that I know these things are possible,  but I did stop to offer a blessing (even if it only soothed my ego.)  I did get an answer to my question.  My reaction was one of sadness, tears, etc. but I didn't have the same deep feelings.  Why?  It was 'a human' in need instead of 'just' an animal.  Animals don't have a voice--they are at our complete mercy.

Could there be more?  A little farther down the path, there appeared two dogs.  One was thin, but he was okay.  His friend was thin, scruffy and had something on his neck.  As he jogged by, I could see that he had a fist sized hole in the top of his neck that was filled with maggots and that unforgettable smell of rotting flesh lingered in the air.

As I passed the place where the dog with the broken jaw had been, the garbage was gone and so was the dog. As I reached the place where the puppy waited for the animal ambulance, the guys came over with enthusiasm to tell me that the doctor had come.

The answer for peace must be inside of me or beyond Gurudev and the ashram walls.

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