Opportunities to Wake Up with Our Kindred Spirits

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Dalai Lama

A friend sent me this profound quote by the Dalai Lama that stimulated me to ponder about all the opportunities we have to wake up with our kindred spirits, because of them or for them.  The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered “Man”.  He continued and shared “Man, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.  Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.  And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future. He lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” Wow!  There is so much truth in this statement.  In times like these, these comments can be opportunities to wake up.  I think back to how often I have been anxious about the future, thereby not enjoying the present. I think back to how hard I worked, 60, 80, 100 hour weeks helping animals when conventional medicine was not working.  It  felt right to be there as much as I could for the animals, trying to be as much benefit as possible  to all beings.  Yet, somehow I excluded myself from “all beings” and did not take care of myself as well as I could have. When one is younger,  we can tend to  feel like we are immortal, yet, when death approaches, we are confronted with a new reality and some ponder about how they never really lived. What does “really living” look like?  As I return from a sabbatical from my veterinary practice and teaching and re-create this new chapter,  I am grateful for the quiet time that I took in nature, just sitting and being  with the ocean, mountains, wind, sun, rain, deer, eagles, otters, seals, hummingbirds, and all other beings.  I am grateful for the time I spent in meditation, contemplative time as well as nurturing more intimate communication with friends and family.  It has given me a renewed appreciation of life and how I can be of further benefit to all beings, including myself this time.  The more we are in the present moment, the more we can deepen our connection with all our kindred spirits.  The more we deepen the intimacy of that connection,  the more we can enjoy sharing our lives with our animal companions.  When we wake up together to sharing the present moment with our animal friends, the more joy and peace permeates our lives. What are your thoughts and feelings regarding this comment by the Dalai Lama?  Do his thoughts remind you of anyone you know? How can we change these patterns so we can live more in the present moment?  How can this bring us to a greater appreciation of living harmoniously with all beings?