Last week I was taken by a post from one of my friends on Facebook, Renee Porcellini.
“The consequence of civilization has taken us far away from our natural way of existing ~ not surprising there is much confusion, anxiety, depression, addiction, and a general disconnect from self. When I watch animals interact, I see them as living in the purest state of the moment – as if there is nothing else and I wonder – Is this what our distant ancestors experienced – how can I reconnect with that part of my being?”
I wanted to devote a post about this, because I believe these are the things we should ask ourselves in life and in doing something with our horses. I realize this is a website on trailer loading (… or is it). But when teaching horsemanship, including trailerloading, I find myself talking less and less about techniques. Although ‘techniques’ is what most people want the most – a trick to get the horse into the trailer quickly – more and more I am talking about the psychology of trailerloading like in my Ebook. And in my daily life I find myself more and more pondering about the truth behind all of this. What is life, what makes it possible, what should we be doing…and why. Actually, it is the science of how to be happy.
First let me make clear that I am in no way an expert in this. I have studied the subject of happiness very intensively for four years now. Many spiritual books, CD’s, DVD’s and retreats all over the world have brought me to a point to where I can say I understand it completely … intellectually. But that doesn’t mean a thing, Wisdom is doing it. I love writing and talking about it, because it keeps me on track. The habit to look and react to what is (or seems to be), is very strong. By writing about it, I keep myself on track to override the habit. I have started to dislike the word ‘teaching’. I’ve been an instructor for 8 years and when you say you ‘teach’, people expect to learn something. And there’s no guarantee that you’ll learn anything from any teacher. You learn by experience depending how open your mind is. Again, intellectual knowing doesn’t mean a thing. Learning is when you are able to do it afterwards.
So, back to the question that Renee brought up:
“When I watch animals interact, I see them as living in the purest state of the moment – as if there is nothing else – how can I reconnect with that part of my being?”
This was my response on Facebook:
Empty the mind ,stop thinking Every thought is about the past or the future, so the mind is active. To be in the Now – don’t think (easier said than done)
I understand what Eddy is saying and I would like to add that although you have to try not to ‘think’ to be in the moment, I find it helpful to tune into what is going on in the present, particularly…what I see, touch, feel in my heart/soul, hear, smell…and I do think about that as it is happening.
Yes, enjoy the present moment. But what’s there to think about. Just ‘be’, that’s what animals do.
Thinking is just a habit, a very strong habit. And they come and go automatically. Just be in the present moment and observe what’s happening. It’s not good, it’s not bad, it just ‘is’.
But what if you don’t like what is happening at the moment? Then there will be many thoughts and it is almost impossible to not think about it. And even saying to yourself “I don’t want to think about it” is already a thought. That’s when you pay attention to your feelings and let go of resisting them. If something is happening that you don’t like, you’ll have an unpleasant feeling about it. Feelings is just stored energy, a collection of many thoughts from the past. And when not resisting, as you just notice them in the present moment, they will leave/evaporate/dissolve. Thoughts and feelings go hand in hand. You can have up to 50,000 thoughts a day, so trying to control them will seem impossible. But one feeling can produce thousands of thoughts. So by releasing a feeling, you quiet many thoughts. They just won’t come up, because there’s no reason. Now of course, the next moment, you will have other feelings come up. It depends what is happening around you in the moment.
I’ll devote another post to what you can do in situations where you are afraid or frustrated. And it doesn’t matter if this is with horses or any other situation.
One more thing on releasing your feelings. We tend to hold on to feelings for different reasons. But most people seem to believe that we should have feelings and emotions. Because when you let go of them…what is left? Will we be like a zombie? I’ll tell you what is left, and this is the message of many masters: What will be left is You, the real You. Happy, peaceful, loving, enjoying the present moment and everything in it.
Animals and also children have this ability to just be and enjoy the present moment. Adults are too busy thinking about how to control 5 billion people and save the world. But all this thinking is what got us into the trouble we’re in. We could learn so much from our animals to live in harmony with nature.
Thanks for posting Renee.