Tag Archives: writing

Meeting profound change together at the very core of relating ~ Communing With Animals

Testimonial ~ Communing With Animals ~  

I first met Janice when I was out on a walk with my dog. I took Dennis out into a snowy field to avoid an unpleasant interaction because my dog used to pull and lunge toward other dogs when he was on the leash and Janice was walking down the road with her dog Blue.
Although I was way out in the field, Dennis who weighs 90 pounds still pulled me down into the snow, as I was trying to stop him from lunging toward Blue. Janice and I were able to talk a bit over the commotion and she told me she works helping people and dogs communicate better.

Dennis with his ball cropped

Dennis with his ball ~ photo Cindy Brown

Dennis and I have met with Janice several times over the past months. We have walked together and practiced working with Dennis when he is approached by other dogs. To my amazement, the very core of my relationship with Dennis has been impacted in a profound way through our work with Janice.
She has given me practical techniques for working with Dennis in high stress situations, including using the leash in a different way and getting his attention to me when he is distracted by another dog, person or squirrel. As a result, the whole nature of my walks with Dennis has changed. Rather than pulling me, Dennis now walks beside me and is even able to walk calmly off the leash quite often. When we pass by another dog, I know how to give Dennis a gentle, but firm physical touch to remind him to pay attention to my directions.
Just as important as the physical techniques, Janice has introduced me to new ways of thinking about my relationship with Dennis and how we communicate and make agreements on working together. For instance, I no longer see Dennis as “misbehaving.” I see that he is acting out of some deep desire to protect me and himself when we are approached by another dog. I feel I am more able to see the situation from his perspective as animal, dog, Belgian Malinois, and Dennis. I find that there is a stronger and more loving connection between us now.
Of course, there are set backs, but now when something goes wrong, I know that I will be able to address it in a positive way, using the knowledge I’ve gained from working with Janice. It has truly been a life-changing experience for me. I worry so much less about the trouble that Dennis might cause. He seems very aware of my state of my mind and also more relaxed as a result. 
Cindy Brown
In response to Cindy’s wonderful testimonial: First off, I’d like to say to Cindy, your commitment to expanding in a sustainable way beyond current limited habits and beliefs is highly commendable. You are a true pleasure to work with. Thank you.
How the opportunity came up to work with Cindy and Dennis was a beautiful example of right timing. I’ve recognized over the years of working with individuals in their personal growth and expansion process that the potency of the work has a lot to do with right timing, as well as having sufficient resources to meet the needs or challenges that those individuals may face at that time. Cindy’s story of how we met that snowy day, Cindy and Dennis in the field and Blue and I on our road taking our morning walk together, reveals how the right timing was indeed at hand. The right timing was not only for Cindy and Dennis but for the four of us, to meet for the first time in that way, initiating our collaboration.
Our work together, over a series of three sessions, gave us opportunities to draw on a range of different resources, both inner and outer. Cindy engaged our sessions fully and willingly. Her receptivity to guidance and seeing new ways of relating with herself and Dennis were key resources that I could also draw on as a facilitator. Cindy also drew on internal resources that she embodies, such as her mindfulness background and practices.
A resource that I draw on frequently is the power of perceiving the felt sense present in the relating between human and animal, as well as animal and their environment. Listening to the intelligence available in that felt sense (using all the senses), I am able to feel into the energetic connection the person shares with their companion animal. (We all do this, often unconsciously more than consciously.) I also draw on the transparency innate in animals to communicate their experiences directly through signals portrayed in their body language.
Another resource that I drew on with Cindy and Dennis was years of experience in spontaneously accessing and implementing practical ways to either trouble-shoot or enhance the situation at hand, as we encountered those situations. As an example, Cindy mentioned the different ways of working with the leash; there are so many more possibilities with leashes than how we tend to use them!
Clearly, the emphasis is not just on me as facilitator of the sessions to bring the necessary resources. These sessions are truly collaborative! When a client can find within themselves ways to be self-revealing, even when it feels risky, the capacity of the working relationship expands exponentially. Cindy modeled that beautifully, such that she stepped into a place for herself and Dennis to mutually benefit from this work, on multiple levels for each. The more shared resources made available, the more transformative this work has the possibility of becoming.
Some particular gems that came up in our sessions were about attention, both fixed attention (something that Dennis was getting waylaid by and Cindy caught up in, sometimes literally) as well as how to shift to more receptive or fluid attention. Again and again, I have been shown by all sorts of animals that I have had the opportunity to commune with, what fluid attention and receptive awareness can look and feel like. I often credit my Permaculture training (I was certified in 1995) as the beginning of cracking open my own capacity for a different kind of attention, one without so many fixed notions or ideas of what is “better” or “worse” and one that ultimately can restore us to our innate receptivity, vitality, and capacity to be at ease in our bodies, our lives, and our relationships.
In one of her examples, Cindy mentioned something I can expand on about Dennis and seeing from his perspective “as animal, dog, Belgian Malinois, and Dennis.” A change in perception, such as in this example, brings the possibility of immediate expansion into a wider lived reality. The inspirational perception I drew on in this particular session with Cindy & Dennis is that our companion animals are much more than just the one we mean when calling them by name or relating to them through their personality. We love our animal companions and their personalities, yet what often gets overlooked in this predominantly affection-based relating (literally repeating a dog’s name is a stimulation, sometimes affectionate, sometimes confusing or even punishing) is the rich array of internal resources our companion animals actually bring to our shared relationship.
Our canine companions experience interrelated realities of their breed along with their simple dog-ness. There is also a very essential aspect of their reality, the more primal experiencing of mammal or animal (one which we share in through our limbic brains). We can choose to relate with our companion animals including all four of these aspects: 1) their primal animalness, 2) their species of animal (i.e. their dog-ness), 3) their breed/genetics they carry (wow, what differences!), and finally 4) their unique personality. We know that our animals so easily mirror things about ourselves back to us, but the exploration and depth of new ways to relate really opens up when we begin to tap into the resources found at all four of these levels of being and perceiving.
Thank you again, Cindy, for this opportunity to share the benefits of our sessions together with a much wider audience. The cool thing is that each person and animal that steps together into a fresh or newly vitalized way of relating and communing can become The Model for what is possible in this awesomely expanding, shared consciousness field of inter-species relating. Namaste, I bow to this awesomeness in you! 
~ Janice Sandeen
If you, the reader, have questions about or interest in further elaboration on any aspect of what was shared here, please write your question in the comments below. I will answer or elaborate further. I will be creating new blog posts dedicated to some of the themes mentioned only lightly here. You are welcome to suggest topics or themes, as well. Thank you for reading this blog post!
To learn more about Communing With Animals or to talk with me about enhancing and expanding your inter-species relationships through an interactive consultation (can also be with wild animals or any life forms that you encounter somewhere in your life), please visit my CWA pages on my blog or on Facebook. A link to my Contact page is here.
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Outlines

As I sit here it becomes clear

I need to create an outline

for a poem

that is ready to be written

 

Funny how a poem

can seem to need an outline,

to mark out everything

it could and would say

 

i) All That Is

ii) What now is becoming Known

iii) What is no longer necessary

iv) Reversals of figure/ground

 

Perhaps it is the space

between outline and poem

that I’m really interested in,

the visible reaches between

 

Wondering, will anyone else

see what I see there/here

as I map out the bridging

between seen and unseen?

 

Good thing I’m prepared for this step:

my new footwear is designed

for multidirectional levels of grounding

in body/mind/spirit and beyond

 

I have socks with holes in them,

but wait, these are black holes

and wormholes, as time disintegrates

& even temperature is refigured

 

Pants are no longer restrictive

nor all they were once worked up to be;

who wears the pants when domination

and control crumbles all around us?

 

Keep your shirt on (or not) but

find your colors amongst the

rainbow, as well as infrared

and ultra violet ~ all fluid light

 

Speaking of light, the naked eye

sees so much more than once upon a time,

marrying the inner eye & embarking

together, seeing expansion everywhere

 

The outline becomes omnidirectional

Just as time becomes No Time

Things are no longer what they seem

It is now easier than ever to Let Go

Tomorrow here in Taos, New Mexico, we will be having our January edition of The Spoken Word Open Mic Series. If you happen to be close enough to join us in person, please do!  🙂

screenshot-2017-01-05-13-35-21

 

Facing East

 

 

 

ah na ne ah ne 

ah na ne ah ne

ah na ne ah ne

ah na ~~~ ha ha ha

 

 

Perhaps not what comes to mind

when I say “facing east”

but I am facing east as I write

 

I’ve returned to facing east this morning,

within my small abode, mi casita,

within the place my body rests at night

 

There are three windows facing me,

facing east ~ even from the north

window I also look east

 

There is an unbroken line formed

by ridges, ancient rock, many footsteps,

& raven calls over ages & millennia

 

We can think we know of these,

of these ages, of these open wings,

of these breathing hearts

 

The call of the dove filters in

with the early morning sun fall

certain things are lit just so in the morning light

 

For me, facing east is just so,

taking in a perspective not quite my own,

but one offering nuances now welcomed wholeheartedly

 

And for as much as it is worth, I am in my own retrograde it seems

I find the inner landscape (here) filled with my own footprints

once traveled and laid by me to see (now) from this vantage

 

The gentling calls of the magpie to her mate

or her young & sometimes to me

soften these inner reaches

 

qua lia mia mo, qua ta te ah mo

qua lia mia mo, qua ta te ah mo

 

And now hummingbird joins, her wings one of the most

exquisite percussions that sounds, like a long awaited remedy,

breaking up the tightness of the heart, my heart

 

I say, “I have returned, my friends!”, facing east.

“While tending to the southern fires, I did miss you!”

And we rejoin now bringing calming & homecoming within.

 

If you have never tried or tested out

the malleability of time and timelines,

I heartily recommend it so. Move within.

 

This morning, before waking or parting the curtains to welcome the day,

I washed my earlier self, the one with certain struggles & bumps in her road, with a vibrant mix

~ the perfect spectrum of light and tonal vibration to let her know I am with her all the way.

 

Don’t take my word for it, you too can meet your own selves,

those that now seem long forgotten or destitute in that timeline of Ago.

For we each have such perfection of unique remedy and resolve,

 

Some of which we can share. And some of which is so precise

and unique to each one of us that it may be for us alone

to steep in, to take in, to sing openly.

 

[ sing to this moment now ]

 

This morning, before waking or parting curtains to welcome the day,

I washed my self, the one with certain struggles & bumps in the road,

with a vibrant mix: the perfect spectrum of light & tonal vibration

 

Letting myself know ~  I am with you all the way.

I am with you all the way ~ facing east.

 

 

Aperture

[This poem is #1 in a series dedicated to revisiting poems that were written by me as part of my participation in a collaborative and experimental poetry blog: IMUNURI.blogspot.com. Aperture was written and first published 31 December 2014.]

 

These that are things and not things both
They pepper the landscape
The landscape that is so and not so both
I walk amongst them
The I that is not an I after all, yet somehow is

It’s not that I wonder about this apparent conundrum
As in feeling troubled or some kind of loss
Rather it is there or with it that I belong
Nothing of this casts me aside
All things that I am and am not Rest here

Whose favor would I garner
To look upon this any differently
Seeing is a communion after all
That each and every one of us
Has within the very fabric of being

Ultimately there is no such thing as compromise
And yet how often is there a sensation
Of All of This somehow tangled
Around my ankles that I possess
The I that has no counterpart

As we see through this aperture
Closure is a function of clarity
Focus celebrating the visual spectrum
Saturating this field in the unseen
An exposé of brilliance and crystallization

Virtual Blog Tour and the Sometimes Perhaps

Welcome. Thank you for following the thread that brought you here.

The notion of a virtual blog tour landed here upon being sparked by my dear friend and colleague Daniel Ari, who made the initial suggestion that I might like to participate in such a tour, following his blog tour post (a poet friend and colleague had invited him.) I felt the spark land and since then the question has been did the spark become an ember and did the ember survive? Or perhaps another question might be was it a virtual spark and does it, now, have what it takes to light this contemplative, virtual fire? Perhaps. Shall we see?

What is not a perhaps is the whole-hearted conspirator I find in Daniel Ari, the person, being, and creator afire. I invite you to visit his blog Fights With Poems, as long as you have more than a moment to explore and drop in. Daniel’s projects are a many (writing, publishing, teaching, collective blogging and more), his stretch is broader than most and not confined by his idea of himself, if I can say so. One project of note is his forthcoming book, One Way to Ask, a book of querons, a poetry form of Daniel’s originality, inspiration, and making. For this book, he is collaborating on many levels with artists and other co-conspirators, which has Daniel’s signature of ever-ready-to-remake-oneself with each sitting, writing, and re-versing. It has been my honor and stimulation both to be included in amongst the co-conspirators included in this book. I look forward to the publication of One Way to Ask. 

And thank you, Daniel, for inviting me once again into territory that I may not otherwise find myself in if it weren’t for you and our connection! (Another such invitation from Daniel brought numerous years of my participation in his collective blog, IMUNURI. Currently Daniel has 131 submissions there, I have 57, and ten other poets have submitted their works/poems there, as well.)

 

A photographic interlude as the blog tour continues…

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The Virtual Blog Tour comes with these party-c-pant questions (putting on these party pants is one way to participate!)

1) What am I working on?

I don’t know what I am working on until I am working on it. Even then, while I am “working on” something, it is more precisely working me or opening out through me or pondering within this persona/non-persona. It doesn’t seem to be my way or mode (at this time) to know what I am working on. What does come, at times, is some kind of knowing being expressed through words on paper or words being typed on a computer or iPod screen. Question #4 seems to be creeping into #1.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Similarly, I am not aware of my poetry and writing being of a specific genre type. If you know otherwise, please let me know! Ha! What comes through as poetry seems to be unique to itself. I will say something that does come to say around this question: the poetry I write comes from or via direct experiencing, an internal voicing or somatic experiencing as the words present themselves. I would not say that I don’t think about what I write, but something like that. It seems to me that I am ready when something seems to come through and have easiness of expression as words in some kind of structure close to what we call a poem. Poems as awareness as felt sense, perhaps.

3) Why do I write what I do?

“Why do I do what I do?” as a question seems to come out of some unseen or unconscious motivation to seek security (or need to know) when security of that kind is simply non-essential. So, for me, there is not an need to answer such a question. The poems ponder enough on their own and simply get written (or not.)

4) How does my writing process work?

There are tastes of this question in the previous answers 1, 2, and 3. What else I might share here is that there is some kind of seeding and then a gestation period and then, perhaps, a kind of birthing in the writing. The writing usually takes my full attention and is something that moves through and I respond in the now. Often there is the anticipation of something before it finds its form as words on paper, mostly as poetry, sometimes as contemplative writing in prose, sometimes in photography or a combination of the aforementioned.

The writing is a kind of direct experience, as in I am present for something as it is felt and expresses as words. The photography, too, is a kind of calling or marking of direct experience and has a numinous quality within it. What gets expressed, conveyed, felt, or sensed through the sharing of these, I also do not know what that might be. It is like breathing for me. Or at least that is how it comes today to write about such things.

IMG_2205

Monsoon skies in El Rito north of Questa, New Mexico ~ July 2014

And finally, the blog tour may continue in a similar fashion to above, if I have other bloggers to invite for you to check out with blog tour posts of their own. However, I found that I did not have currently active bloggers to invite!  So I invited both a poet/artist and a songwriter/musician/poet to start their own blogs such that they could be included with accolades in this Virtual Blog Tour.

Perhaps they will do just that and at least one new blogger will be featured here in short time. I will update this entry with their URL and some of what inspired me to invite them to participate. Perhaps.

 

A Stand In As Myself or Something Else

I have sometimes written a poem without having to be aware of the writing

You see, the poem aside from its writing or typing is an entity of its
own. It is seen, heard, felt, paused,

And squeezed out from behind the corner of the eye, the eye that is not
an eye

.

One where seeing comes in a whole other spectrum than

The usual one –not one you can manufacture here –one that exists already

It comes of its own accord like twilight or dawn, nothing can stop it or begin it

.

When you pause in the words, you’ll see a whole shift of light

It can easily be blocked, consciously or unconsciously; but if you let it be, everything takes on a different tone

For that time when things look as they do in between

.

The poem appears, it comes into its own, and recedes as if it has breath

[those reading and writing access it equally yet different]

It cannot be said even which comes first, the one who reads or what writes

.

And being is like that, too –am I myself or something else

What moves this now, not such that it is a hall of mirrors

But the something else continuously speaks itself as if I were the pen and paper