Creating Healthy Beginnings through touch, movement, and tender moments.   Calming Energies, LLC.  

This Spiritual Warrior

I am a spiritual warrior on the hero's journey, searching for truth wherever she may reside. Truth wears many faces, and her wisdom is shared through the sages, masters, and our meditation. I also find her shining through my daughter's eyes and the beauty in nature. She is always eager to converse when I am quiet enough to listen. It is interesting to discover which face she presents at any given time.

In September my husband and I took a trip to California. Nestled in the mountains just north of Los Angeles, truth chose to reveal herself in the form of some amazing animal encounters. Hollywood Animals, located in Santa Clarita, trains animal actors for movies and commercials, and we were fortunate enough to be able to meet and interact with some of these remarkable actors.

The morning of our encounter was filled with anticipation. Thoughs of how magical this adventure was going to be drifted through my mind. I asked Swami Rama to help me open my heart and clear my mind so I could stay present in the moment. And to keep us safe, too - I still felt a need to be practical. I also crossed through another boundry: I prayed to Babaji. The thought of talking to him surprised me at first, but after hearing the wonderful stories about him and animals, it felt natural.

My favorite story of Babaji is when he was walking with Swami Rama and they came across a cobra. Swami Rama viewed the cobra as threatening and was prepared to protect his master (he did not view snakes as friends!). Fortunately for that cobra, Babaji was of a different opinion. The thought of Swami Rama harming his new friend was unaccceptable. As Babaji went to give his greetings, the cobra spread his hood and stood tall. To some people this action may occur as ominious, but to Babaji the cobra was simply reaching for a touch from a master who was filled with pure love. When I heard this story the lesson that spoke to my heart is when you are filled with love there is no room for fear or any other negative emotion. The sages who call the Himalayas their home walk and live freely among animals that most other people would consider dangerous (e.g. tigers, leopards, and snakes). These sages are beacons of love. Their pureness allows them to travel fearlessly without concerns about attacks.

I wanted to experience this pure love. I prayed to Babaji to guide me on my spirtual journey with these animals. I asked for his assistance to teach me how to "be" pure love. This animal adventure was a perfect teaching avenue to practice being pure love. Intellectually, I had been learning that I am pure love at my deepest level. But right then I wanted to have this feeling in my body. Underneath my day-to-day routine, my personality, my worries, and my fears, I am Pure Love. It is my birthright, an innate source of my being. I wanted to meet this part of myself and get a glimpse of my hidden potential.

When we arrived the compound and met the trainters, I immediately liked their energy - it was calm, open, and full of passion. The love and respect they share with the animals surrounds them like a thick mist. They reviewed the rules and procedures with us and explained that they never demanded the animals perform an activity; they ask. They also explained they were very practical. "Practical;" now where have I heard that word before? Could it be from my favorite swami? Perhaps from Ma Devi as she teaches us about our tradition?

 

The compound was plain, nothing fancy. The animals had plenty of room to roam, enough toys to please a toddler, and their own swimming pool. Our scheduled session was for an hour, but the sages must have wanted more time to work with me, because we were granted three. I set my intention to be open and create the space to experience this magical adventure through love and humility. These animals souls were the masters, and I was the humble student.

Black Panther

 

Our first ambassador was a black panther named Whoopi. She was beautiful. Her coat was soft and shiny and seemed to glow. She radiated a soft power cloaked over a stealth center, dignified, professional, and career-oriented. We were given two sticks - one to use for directions, and othe other for offering a reward when she did what we asked. We headed into the mountains with Whoopi to where they kept one of the training stands. With the mountains as a beautiful backdrop, I took the stick and gently tapped the plantform to ask Whoopi to sit. It worked! She jumped on the stand and I rewarded her with a piece of meat. When I raised my training tool up high she stood on her hind legs. The most magical time occurred when I went to the stand and was able to touch her. The strength in her aura seemed to penetrate into my being and I felt the restoration of an inner power that had eluded me for some time.

 

Bengal Tiger

 

Our next ambassador was Katie (affectionally called Kate), a Bengal tiger. She was playful and relaxed. Her energy did not have the intensity of Whoopi's. She was patient and kind with us as we practiced our newly acquired skills as animal trainers. It reminded me of our daughter, Autumn, as she is also patient with me as I develop my "mommy" skills.

 

 

White Tiger

Next the trainers wanted us to meet their white tiger, Giselle. They were not sure, though, if she would let us near her while she worked. I prayed to Babaji to fill me with so much love that nothing else could present itself. I imagined myself as a bright ball of love. It worked! Gisele decided to accommodate us, and we were able to watch this breathtakingly beautiful actress do her work. The trainers seemed surprised, but I wasn't. I felt honored as we stood outside the training arena, and the only word that came to my mind was "WOW!" I was fascinated as I watched the teacher-student relationship and the discipline and respect involved as the trainers worked in partnership with her. The harmony between them felt tangible. As they did their work the beauty of discipline showed itself to me.

The following thoughts presented themselves:
* In discipline the beauty of respect resides.
*Through the gates of discipline shines the majestic field of serenity and the beauty of self-respect.

 

Grizzly BearBambam, our next ambassador, was a flirty, fun-loving, oversided clown - opps, I mean grizzly bear! His open and welcoming energy invited us to come and play. The trainer asked if we wanted to kiss Bambam. Kiss a grizzly bear? This was one experience we have never encountered before. Without a moment's hesitation we eagerly agreed. How do you kiss a bear? With a marshmallow, of course. We put the marshmallow partway in our mouth and left the other half for Bambam to grab. I was amazed at the softness of this gentle giant as he took the marshmallow from my mouth, and I received my kiss. Next we stood on each side of Bambam as he practiced his ferocious growl. In between these growls we cuddled him and fell in love with this charming soul. As our time with Bambam came to a close, I thanked him for reintroducing humor back into our lives. Humor is such a powerful healer, but it seems to be lacking in our day-to-day lives.

Beluga Whale

Our next adventures was at Sea World in San Diego. Here we were blessed to spend time with two beluga whales. The water was a chilly 56 degrees, but the excitement seeped into my flesh, and the chill was soon forgotten, The trainers explained that these whales are timid by nature and that we should keep our movements slow and smooth. It is not uncommon for beluga whales to become frigtened and swim away, but that they would return in a moment. I kept my energy smooth, calm, and as pure as I could. I was delighted that they never swam away! Their skin felt like rubber as we embraced these gentle souls with hugs and kisses. They taught me the beauty of strength through gentleness. The time I spent with them shifted my perception of power. As we said our goodbyes to these gentle creatures I thanked them for this practical lesson.

The following thoughts presented themselves:
* As I swirl into the depths of beauty it is gentleness that guides my journey
* When gentleness shows herself she allows me to pierce through the veil of my humanness to new depths of love that reside in my soul.
* With each new dawn emerges the opportunity to flex our strength of gentleness and embrace the love that surrounds all.
* Through the mosts of gentleness glows the embers of love and the oneness of humanity.

The next day I returned to Sea World for a dolphin encounter. This was my third time in the past two years to swim with dolphins. They express a joy for life that is contagious. As this joy penetrates your aura, new avenues of creativity open. You just can't be anything but happy when you are with them. Between rides around the pool as you hang on to their dorsal fins, priceless water-splashing contests (the dolphin usually wins), and tummy rubs, they put a smile on my face.

After these encounters I shed tears of joy that seemed to come from somewhere so deep inside that familiar and foreign merged into one. I was filled with peace. Words alone can't describe the impact of how these encounters have enriched my life. My thoughs return to Babaji. Was he there teaching me about love, joy, and hapiness and how to heal humanity and myself? All of these animals left an imprint on my soul. It was a soul-to-soul connection which spoke of love beyond words. As I ponder this I realize that "words" seem to get in the way and that the wonder that life has to offer us is on the other side of language. Think of babies. They speak no words but are filled with an innate knowing which allows them to engage life with a passion and zest that few adults have retained.

The wisdom bestowed upon me by these captivating souls has altered my being, and like the great masters they taught me through silence.

 

Kaitlin Fuller
©2009

Published in the Himalayan Path - The Journal of Yoga, Spirituality and Wellness - Volume 10, Number 1, Winter 2010

 

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