You are receiving this newsletter a few weeks later than I would have liked. The month of May was a full one for me: I began teaching a class on the language of the intuition here in Boulder, Colorado; my reading schedule has been busy; and my husband and I have been taking care of our dog Kilika who is having difficulty walking these days. IÕve felt a swirl of emotions and concern for our dear animal friend. Kilika is a Samoyed, a white fluffy, mid-sized dog with fur as soft as silk. Her name means silk in Hawaiian.
As a girl in junior high, I always loved the dog next door in the garden, a white Samoyed just like Kilika with the name "Pretty Girl." Kilika's nickname is Pretty Girl, and I tell her how thankful I am that she came into my life because I always wanted a dog like her.
What touched me most during the month of May was watching our fifteen-year-old dog, Kilika, struggle with walking. She was diagnosed with hip dysplasia when we were living on Maui, and over the last year she has lost most of her ability to walk. Through her eyes, I could see how climbing up one step is reaching for the top of Mount Everest or how moving a few paces across the room must be equal to running the length of a football field.
Only recently, have we begun to see some improvement in her gait after giving her some herbs. She amazes me how she meets each step, and I ask myself how can I do the same in my own life to meet each step of the way with such determination.
The animal kingdom faces some extreme challenges and they usually manage to maintain their gentle dispositions at the same time. I'm in awe of the bird with the injured wing who sings, and the three-legged dog who wags his tail in a body-length smile.
I dedicate this issue of the newsletter to the animal kingdom and I honor their triumphs, the sacrifices they make, and the deep wisdom they bring to our earthly experience.
Animal Teachers -- Deer
Animals are not animal-like; they are not creatures with mere base instincts to hunt and scrape for food, they embody spiritual teachings. The breadth of their spiritual teachings isn't based on their size, a squirrel in a tree in your backyard has as much to share and to give as the mountain lion peering from the rocky cliffside.
In this segment, I introduce you to the deer, a master teacher of gentleness, a guide on how to ease restlessness, and to bask in stillness.
Meditation teachers of the outdoors
If I had a deer to volunteer to sit with me each morning, I might have really learned what meditation is by now. I sat watching a few deer outside one morning as they lay resting underneath a neighbor's tree. I just sat with them at a distance. I understood that their movements couldn't disturb a leaf and if they wanted to they could walk past you completely unnoticed. They had mastered quiet movement and unassuming grace. Is that meditation?
Meeting with the Buddha
I was on my way to pick up my husband at a small airport one November evening when we were living up in Rocky Mountains. He was just returning from a retreat in California. On the drive there, I saw a single deer standing on the side of the road -- beautiful. My husband's plane was due to arrive around 8:30 that evening.
As I pulled into the darkened parking lot of the tiny airport, I found myself surrounded by deer. An entire herd was spread out in the otherwise empty parking lot. No other cars in sight, only deer. I sat there breathless, leaving the truck in idle, and began to count each of them. There were a total of twenty-five deer. For a moment, I began to wonder where this airport was located that I had just driven into, in Colorado or some dream world?
My body shifted into another realm and I'd thought that I traveled upward towards the heavens. I awoke from this visionary, half-sleeping state and realized I'd better go find my husband. His plane must have arrived by now. I parked the car. As I walked towards the airport, I didnÕt see another person anywhere. I entered the main airport building and no one was there! Very surreal! I walked outside again to look around. No people. I was frightened for a moment, then I walked back inside the airport and saw that the plane had landed and people began filtering in the airport.
This experience was a spiritual meeting for me. After this experience, I began reading books on Buddhism. I wouldn't call myself a Buddhist because I'm drawn to many kinds of teachings, but since then I've gained so much from the teachings of Buddhism. This meeting remains etched in my soul, and the lessons are long lasting.
Deer on the side of the road
I saw a deer on the side of the road that had been hit by a car one afternoon on Maui. Deer are not a common sight on the islands, so when you see one it's an event. About that same time, I learned that a dear friend in Israel was undergoing more domestic violence in her household. Her husband had not only hit her in the past, but he was hitting her children as well. Seeing a deer on the side the road injured or dead is like that, an image of unspeakable cruelty.
If you encounter a deer who has been injured, you may be asked to look at a situation up close where there is a lack of kindness. A injured deer showing up can suggest that harshness exists where gentleness is needed. The sound of a deer is no sound. The medicine of the deer can soothe a noisy environment. The movement of a deer is like the leap of a ballerina, soft and light. The deer cools and calms overactivity. The deer reminds us that busyness is overexertion, and stillness still gets the job done.
Thought for the day
"Creative freedom is wearing your socks inside out, a different color on each foot, a hole for your big toe, and laughing shamelessly about it."
The Language of Intuition
The Intellect vs. the Intuition
The intellect takes dictation. The intuition relays information.
The intellect holds and controls. The intuition says let go.
The intellect mulls it over, rolls it over until it's gone.
The intellect weighs it in. The intuition reflects it, detects it.
The intellect refracts and detracts. The intuition pulls it together.
The intellect proves it, rules it. The intuition knows it knows.
The intellect tests. The intuition rests.
The intellect reasons. The intuition listens to the seasons.
The intellect fathers. The intuition mothers.
The intellect hollers when it falters. The intuition mends what halts and hastens the healing.
The intellect lives by the rules. The intuition bends the book and settles in the heart.
The intellect swears and fears. The intuition knows by getting near.