The Guru at Your Feet

My dog is a 13 year old 113 pound chocolate lab named Cookie.  Cookie has hips and knees in worse condition than any retired NFL football player.  In fact, these days he has real difficulty just getting up to his feet.   Once he gets up he often times falls if his weight shifts too quickly because either his hips or knees or both don’t support his weight.  However, I noticed when he falls,  he simply looks up at me and wags his tail.  He has never once made a big deal about it.  He has never said “Oh my God my hips aren’t going to last much longer,” or “I am such a burden on everyone.”  He simply gets back up on his feet and moves on about his business.  His unconditional acceptance of himself and his condition has taught me numerous lessons about myself and the human condition.  I have learned as much from him as any spiritual teacher I have been with and his lessons are actual and in real time. One day Cookie is going to depart from his big body and as other pets I have had in the past he will remain present and non-judgmental thru the process.
If you can maintain your emotional balance you may open up to experience that something other than what you perceive is happening with your pets passing.
As  we seek and strives for an understanding of our condition we pursue spiritual virtues and teachers that will liberate us from our own difficulties. These spiritual qualities have been enumerated and are consistent amongst our world religions.   A partial list of these liberating qualities are as follows:

  1.     Being present
  2.   Release of negative judgments on self and others
  3.  Forgiveness and understanding
  4. Appreciation for what you have.
  5.  Loss  of identification as a separate Ego
  6.  Discover and follow your intuition
  7.  Don’t try to figure everything out

Pythagoras may have stated it as simple and clear as anyone when he said:

” All living things should be regarded as akin.”.

This quote from Dr. Vint Virga of the Veterinarian Healing Arts nicely sums up our relationship with animals.

“I believe our sense of kinship with animals comes from our souls connecting with theirs.  In the presence of animals, we feel a sense of belonging.  Alone with them our self-consciousness dissolves.  In place of solutions or answers to our questions, we gratefully welcome their quiet attention and sense their regard for our thoughts and feelings.  And we’re inspired to respond to animals in kind.”

So, if you look and observe your pet you will notice that he or she already posses all the spiritual traits we are all seeking  as a natural expression of themselves.  So before you go in search of your next great spiritual teacher check in with your pet and you will soon realize you are living with your Guru who teaches by example right at your feet.

As for the question of wether or not animals have Souls?  Only a person who has not discovered and experienced their own Soul would ask such a question.

When we look close it becomes clear that our animals are closer to God than us.