Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Path Of The Animal Soul Has Led Me...

August 18, 2008 this blog site was started with the intention of sharing the integration of dressage and ballroom dancing.  Fun to look back and reflect.  Six years later, this is an open letter to the horse community regarding my journey. 

The path of the animal soul has led me to look at the human soul.  Many from the "animal loving tribe" often align to non-human animals for their companionship, unconditional love, and inner simplicity. From childhood, I alway had pets:  fish, hamsters, cats, dogs, and more.  As I matured, I moved to horses.  At three I was sitting under them in the field and at four, I was learning to ride these gentle giants as they are often referred to.  They provided the quiet understanding that no human appeared to possess.  One could bury a face in the soft fold of their mane covered necks, feel the gentle enquiries of their muzzles, or look into their large gentle eyes empty of judgement or reproach.  For me, the path always included a horse even as I went off to college and eventually found my way to study in Europe.  The plan wasn't ever to become a professional horse trainer, but that was where the path continued to lead.  Overtime, the darker side of humanity seemed to wrap its tentacles around my business of horses versus the innocence of being with horses.  Making a living, material requirements, emotional needs of clients and self, urbanized horse quarters, competition goals, and more have led me to look at the human soul.

The two year mark is approaching for a retreat into the inner realm of my being to examine whether or not a thread of "goodness" exists within me and is there a "goodness" strand that connects all of humanity no matter how the outer layer is perceived.  Not finding answers within my riding or dance community for the level of disconnect that appeared to be "normal/acceptable" in the relationship of humans to nonhumans and humans to humans left me with intense pain and unanswered questions.  Sitting at the feet of a guru in India wasn't on my to do list, but that is where the path has led.  Examination of the ego in many different fields and over the course of 25 years had proceeded the final turn to the purely spiritual path. Hinduism wasn't the attraction.  India wasn't the attraction.  A bearded man in an orange robe wasn't the attraction.  Finding the root of inner peace, truth, and love were the attractions.

As I type on my laptop in a small, pink, cement living space surrounded by traffic sounds, restaurant pans banging, children yelling, dogs barking, elephants/camels sauntering by, smells of open sewage, an unrelenting dust layer of pollution, the view of a 300 year old temple, I have no regrets and I have answers for my human soul.  Yes, we share a common thread of "goodness/divinity."  The challenge is removing the obscurations that often cover this deeply buried truth and love.  The work has only begun with this point of recognition.  Now the process is the reconciliation of the outer and inner world.  Taking action without reaction, listening with an open heart, and recognizing my limited perception are the steps and the markers to move forward on the path. 

Can I now return to the animal world and be in service in some capacity as a more patient, compassionate, and tolerant two-legged being?  Time will tell. This writing was inspired as an open letter in some ways to support others who are examining the pain and suffering as individuated beings and as a tribe of humanity to ask questions, go deep within, and to know that your are not alone.  I would encourage any horse owner or horse trainer to observe and question the practices of horse training.  It may not need to be confrontational, but it is one's right as the voice for the animal with often no choice--or the child, or the...

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