Thursday, January 27, 2011
I recently listened to a speaker talk about compassion and how we human beings can learn a lot from animals about being compassionate. Animals (especially the dogs and cats that live with us) never judge us based on our looks, religion, nationality, abilities etc. They just love us because we exist in their world. Eoin Finn, in his blissology program talks about love as the "ultimate renewable resource" on the planet. Animals are full of love and want love. Love is what guides their lives.
I was happily surprised (still on the surprised theme in my life), when 2 of my lovely students brought their cat, Maggie, to class today. Maggie was in her crate, and was on her way to the vet for a checkup, and so came to the qigong class en route. One of the things I love about being self employed is that I can be creative, spontaneous and flexible when I need and want to be. When this lovely little cat came into the studio, I immediately thought of her as teacher and a fellow being on the planet and what we had to learn from her, and then proceeded to guide the class from that perspective. The cool thing about these ancient practices (like yoga and qigong and tai chi) is that they were developed and are based on such a deep connection to all of nature and all beings that share the planet. We are connected to each other, and to Maggie, through our breath. There are many forms of qigong and one of my favourites is about doing movements that imitate animals - creating a sense of lightness and ease in the joints, spine and muscles. We cultivate the feelings of being full of inner spaciousness and letting love be the force that guides our movements and then our lives. I lead some qigong movements and we talked about how animals always stretch before they get into their day. We did some of the movements and offered them as a prayer and a blessing for all the beings on the planet (we did the turtle pose from the yoga practice and thought of the turtles all hibernating and cozy in the earth, we did the "Great Blue Heron Flys Over Haliburton" and were appreciative of all the birds on the planet, we did "Goldfish Wiggles it's Tail" and thought of all the fish).
During the class Maggie quietly mewed and watched us very attentively and then towards the end we were very quiet, peaceful, focused and calm she was too. She mirrored our energy. She was one happy kitty and so were we. A person can have all the toys in the world, but there is nothing like the feeling of peace and ease and love in the body. After the class all of the beautiful qigong students talked about the impact that the animals in their lives have on them. They bring so much playfulness, joy, good company, compassion and love to them. Thanks for bringing your beautiful energy to the class Maggie. You are welcome anytime! (P.S. Maggie's owners did ask permission to bring their cat the week before, I had just forgotten until they came in the door with her).