The Dharma of Animals

September 11, 2012 Christine McDonald Animal ConnectionsEmotions and Animals

Animals like humans have a dharma or a purpose in life. It warms my heart to tell the story of Joey and his dharma with our family as he walked into our life about 15 years ago.

I remember it well. It was a beautiful fall day for a walk. The maple trees were just starting to show golden hues of red and orange on their leaves and the previous day’s rain had a left a clear crisp edge in the air. I had made the walk up Valley Creek many times and each time I passed a horse field with seemingly more horses in it than the previous time I walked by. There was a small barn but certainly not big enough to hold the thirty or forty horses in the field. A few makeshift tarps had been placed between the trees to provide some protection from the coastal rains. I had to wonder where the horses came from and why one person would want so many horses. We had been thinking of bringing a horse into our family and even though I knew nothing about these horses I did wonder if one of them might be a good match for us. Our daughter was ten, loved animals and we had talked about getting her a horse for 4-H.

As I walked by the pasture I would pull a handful of grass and offer it to the horses over the fence.  Some of them would curiously come to the fence and others stayed back in the trees. I enjoyed petting their long necks and rubbing their noses. But this day I did something different as I approached the horses. I sent message out to the universe to show me which one of the horses in the field would be a good match for our family. I did not anticipate one of the horses coming to the gate, opening it, and walking out onto the road just as the owner drove up in her pickup.

I was concerned the horse might run down the County road and get hurt, but this large friendly Appaloosa gelding came up to me, nuzzled my hand and starting eating the green grass near the road. I thought “ What the heck!” as a middle aged women, who I came to know as Alice, grabbed a halter and lead rope from the back a rust stained Ford pickup and greeted me with a friendly smile.

The horses name was Joey, a 23 year old grey and white companion for our family. He came to live with us shortly afterward and taught my daughter about horsemanship and was a trusted and loyal companion until the day he transitioned five years later. He liked kids, could rally up some speed even at his age and had a gentle disposition. As we came better acquainted with the 4-H program we discovered he had been a professional barrel racing horse and was a 4-H horse for many young girls. We had a reason to be together and Joey knew it. Animals, like people have a dharma.

Dharma is a Hindu word that describes your spiritual truth or destiny. It is the essence of who you are and what you came here to learn and contribute for the betterment of all beings. Knowing your animal companions dharma may be as easy as remembering something significant about the way they came to you or it could be hidden. Seeing dharma requires letting go of judgment, domination and control.

Joey had a big heart, a sense of humor and was very accepting of us. We loved him right back right up until the day he transitioned on September 10, 2001.  One of my first intuitive readings with animal spirits was with Joey several years later. Even though it had been several years since he left us, he was easy to connect to. I learned he was needed in a family impacted by the 9/11 crisis. He had a new dharma with a new family. It helped us to know this in letting go and to see a bigger picture of his soul’s journey.

Joey is just one of many animals I have connected to that respond to something more than training and conditioning, or even gut reactions. Dharma is a soul’s perspective unique to the individual and common to all living beings.

I have had the opportunity to connect with several pit bulls recently that were transitioning in or out of shelters. Chloe, a mature pit bull mix was in foster care and had the good fortune of being able to come to the animal shelter every day with her foster family until she found a home. She had been in several abusive situations, yet despite her conditioning she was a loving presence and welcomed other dogs coming into the shelter. Her wounded background allowed her to be empathetic to the new dogs. She had an important role no human could fill.

I have assisted several friends with cats for companions here to help their human companions on their spiritual path. Molly a grey long haired tabby is one of those cats. Molly was a more evolved soul than her human companion and could support Carol when she meditated. Molly also worked with Carol in her dreams. Molly taught me your guides and angels don’t have to look like an angelic drawing. They can look like your cat companion curled up on your lap.

The dharma of animals can vary significantly although when it comes right down to it, there really is just one dharma. It is something we all have in common. When we see something for only its flesh, fur, skin or feathers we miss the essence of who they are. The center of all existence is ultimately the same. Our dharma becomes the path of unfolding the mystery, making the connections and seeing the whole truth.

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