Friday, July 31, 2015

A Test Of The Heart

Of course I know that there is more work until there isn’t. ‘Bring It On' is always turned up, but I was curious the form it would take next. I have been marveling at how different it is to sit with violence to animals while being aware of the state of Absolute Truth and Love. The inner world is my survival point while the outer world is my pain point. I stepped away from my latest job, because of not wanting to be around violence to horses. But is this the way? Am I an enabler by raising my hand, speaking, and then stepping away? I was heard and examined, but the violence continues. I knew this was an option, so do I need to raise my hand higher? Or do the ripples from the pebble cast in the pond follow in a design that is beyond my capacity to know or understand?

My silent vow with the horses calls me to examine this carefully. The first book is a step and the second will be yet another step, but there must be more? How do the humans pay for their animals to be treated this way? Knowingly? Or unknowingly? How do the humans watch other people’s animals be treated this way? The person taking action is guilty, but aren’t the witnesses too? I am trying to have patience, tact, and compassion, but I am not sure the raised hand is observed when it is conveyed with rationale, inner calmness, and compassion. The depth of pain is present, but so is the depth of the Universe. The duality is mitigated by Oneness. I know they are sisters and brothers on the path. Gurudev has made it clear that animals have their destinies as well.

Is there more to do then to surrender to not knowing and find solace in that it is a test as an individuated soul to fly closer to the flame. What next? More lessons from the two-legged, but motivated by the four-leggeds. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Walking, Reflecting, and Introduction of Book #2

I have missed walking. Contemplating an inevitable shift. When is the unknown.

Book #2


Where is the artful, heartfelt aspect
in the modern equestrian world?

While collaborating with Nancy Kasovich for the creation of
Seeing Through the Eyes of the Horse, I was inspired to start a second
book, My Horse, My Heart, My Soul.

For this book, I interviewed eight horse professionals who live or
grew up in America and Europe. They shared their journeys from
childhood through the professional years of experience, wisdom,
and passion. Working from a heart and soul level, all are voices
for the horse. After sitting with this collection of interviews,
I was overwhelmed by the tapestry it wove in support of the artful,
heartfelt aspect of the modern equestrian world. Enthralling, and
in some aspects familiar, each journey provides well-examined,
modern insight into staying true to the heart and soul’s depth of
connection to the horse.

Among them: 1) SeƱor Luis Valenca, who shared stories and insights
from his life, as well as from two of his teachers, Master Don
Jose Cunha Menezes (Baucherist) and Master Nuno Oliveira,
2) Rosalie Lewis, who had an unusual opportunity as a civilian
to train with the Portuguese Military School in Mafra and later
studied with Master Nuno Oliveira, 3) Lena Wedenmark, who
started her riding career in Sweden and later worked with Jonas
and Anders Lindgren while living in the U.S., and 4) Elizabeth
Johnson, who works with horses on a mind, body, and soul level as
an equine body worker. Her insight into the energetic subtleties and true nature of
the horse is revealing and transformative for both humans and horses.

It was a privilege to be the interviewer and scribe for this contemporary collection.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


I know where to go to bask in the intensity of the inner flame, but my sense is that my true stabilization of the inner state will come through discovering Divinity in my day-to-day practice. There are openings and there are obscurations. Looking at the open sky has been a lovely touchstone. Immersing myself in the state of presence while training the horses is another. My seeking, wandering nature has been a useful part of the path, but I see that there is a letting go of yet another layer and to place it on a shelf if and when it is needed.

What would it be like to settle into daily life for a while? Sleeping, exercising, eating, and inward awareness are a constant no matter where I stay now. Why does my mind search for more? I have a wonderful place to live, a job I enjoy, an income, grocery store/gym/gas station less then 5 minutes  walking from where I live, and adding a horse of my own again, up to 9 miles running...

The emotional outburst of the human condition is a clear aspect of scratchiness and the effect is becoming less and less disturbing. I am trying to use the state of respect, love, stillness, and gratitude that I have while in Gurudev's presence in my day-to-day life. I have had a few good opportunities to take action unskillfully, but waiting to respond until I found this peaceful state has allowed for harmony and grace to unfold.

Tears arise as I type and touch the history and path of the blog. I have wondered if I am becoming stagnant and complacent in my spiritual growth, because I am not siting in the ashram. Now I sense the steady capacity building while living in a low abrasive environment. Pain and scratchiness have been very useful, but time to place them on the shelf as a requirement for doing the work. Living is doing the work and it doesn't have to be more.

Learning so much from the students I am teaching. They have been given a lot of information that obstructs the harmony with their horse partners. Fun to help deconstruct the scaffolding. Maybe I will write a book on deconstructing the myths in dressage. Will be looking at the hard copy sample of the first book, "Seeing Through The Eyes Of The Horse", on Saturday.  (Team Takao!!!! Thank you!!!)