Coming to Your Senses
Our senses give us a clear experience of the world we live in. They are essential to navigating life safely and creating success in the physical realm. They are also essential to living a fully alive, conscious life in a body – to being embodied physically, mentally, emotionally, and
spiritually. Without our senses, the Divine does not have a pathway to express into the material world, and our soul does not have the capability
to learn from the physical experience.
This Tuesday evening, September 11th, we’ll explore how the Divine expresses through the senses. Tune in at 9pm PDT for Evening Meditation and Inspiration on Awakening Self Radio as we focus on “The Creative Flow” – how a meditative state awakens your sensory awareness and opens the portal for greater creativity in your life.
Animals are masters of the senses, and horses in particular are gifted teachers of awareness, embodiment, and full use of our sensory information to awaken our consciousness. Join me on Friday, September 21st from 1:30-2pm PDT for the Awakening Self Radio Show as we meet with Beverley Kane, MD, founder of Horsensei, who shows us exactly how horses can be deep facilitators of our personal and spiritual
transformation through mastering somatic awareness, the full use of our senses (including intuition).
Dr. Kane has shared with us an enlightening article in this month’s newsletter about our Equine teachers. Horse as a Guide to Conscious Living
(see below) introduces you to the many gifts that horses have to share with us humans.
Come to your senses and listen to what sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell are revealing to you in your world, your body, yourself. There is no
better practice for bringing you into the present moment. And in the present, anything is possible.
- Event Calendar
- Awakening Self Radio Show Schedule
- Featured Article: “Horse as a Guide to Conscious Living” by Beverley Kane, MD
- Spiritual Quotes
Meditation & INSPIRATION returns this Thursday, September 13th!
Thank you for answering my survey – it was almost evenly split between 9:45am and 11am times, so I am keeping it at the same time. Note the dates below (it is not every week).
at Subud, Palo Alto
330 Melville Ave.
Dates for Fall 2012:
September 13, 20, 27
October 4, 18
November 1, 15, 29
December 13, 20
It’s coming October 21st… Spiritual Family!
* A Spiritual Community for young and old, singles and couples, and families!
* Inspiration, community sharing, yoga, chanting, singing, and meditation
* Kids yoga class while the adults have their yoga and inner reflective time
A place to feel your connection to something greater, welcoming all beliefs and spiritual paths.
For details see Spiritual Family
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Evening Meditation and Inspiration – August
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Awakening Self Radio Show Schedule
This Month’s Schedule:
Tuesday, September 11th
Evening Meditation and Inspiration
Theme: “The Creative Flow”
Tonight, we share a quiet and sacred time together. I’ll share some inspiration with you to set the tone, and then we’ll have a semi-guided meditation practice. There will be silent spaces to allow you to deepen in the meditation, and gentle reminders along the way. Join me to support your meditation practice or to start a new one! Let’s Awaken the Divine Within.
Friday, September 21st
Awakening Self Radio Show: Special Guest – Beverley Kane, MD, Founder of Horsesensei
Horses are not just fascinating, beautiful animals, but powerful archetypes of divine energies, and spiritual beings themselves. The horse has much wisdom to share with us, and is expert in modeling and teaching authenticity, boundaries, leadership, and presence. Join me for a fascinating conversation with Beverley Kane, MD, Founder and Lead Mare, Horsensei Equine-Assisted Learning & THerapy (HEALTH).
You can learn more about Dr. Kane at her website: http://www.horsensei.com
Check out the Awakening Self Radio Show archives to listen to over 25 inspiring shows!
Horse as a Guide to Conscious Living
by Beverley Kane, MD
What are your associations with horses? Did you get a pony ride as a child and imagine you were a knight in shining armor or a beautiful princess? Did you fall off a horse and get hurt? Did you feed apples to a horse in a neighbor’s yard or cry into her mane? Or have you only seen horses in pictures, movies, and dreams, where they attain mythical qualities? In the early part of the 20th century, the arrival of automobiles, tractors, and military tanks nearly eliminated the work horse and war horse. Horses are now primarily companion animals for sports, recreation, and equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT). For those not involved with physical horses, the mythological Horse may be all that remains. Horses develop in us the three non-intellectual dimensions of our intelligence — instinctual, emotional, and sensory. They become our guides in many aspects of our lives.
Horses as Spiritual Guides
Horses are sentient beings that operate on the same multiple planes of consciousness as humans and other animals. While “planes” of consciousness, and our mobility between them, are often mysterious, books and anecdotes abound of psychic communication with horses.
Horses guide us spiritually in waking life by revealing themselves to us at the Soul level and in dream life by often appearing in symbolic form.
Horses as Psychological Guides
Horses in EAAT teach communication, teamwork, and leadership skills and help people with conditions such as depression, substance abuse, and autism spectrum disorder.
As semi-domesticated prey animals, a horse’s psychology is different from cats and dogs, who are predators. Horses are large but easily frightened animals whose survival has depended on becoming exquisitely attuned to body language and emotional tone and to the behavior of all objects in their sensory fields. Unlike cats and dogs, a horse’s instinct is usually to shy away from unfamiliar stimuli and from discordant (“incongruent”) or untrustworthy human behavior. Whether horses sense “energy” or other cues, they can read in us signals and intents of which we aren’t even aware, much less aware that we’re communicating outward.
Horse myths from all over the world portray the strength and beauty, the magical, mystical, and even demonic qualities that we attribute to —
project onto — horses. Horses remind us of ourselves, especially when they respond to our unconscious attitudes, moods, and body language. Many people will complain, “the horse is stubborn,” or “the horse doesn’t like me.” But when we acknowledge our projections, and change our own stubbornness and self-criticalness, the horse appears, and even responds, to us differently.
Herds of both feral and domesticated horses rely for survival and peace of mind on a hierarchy of leadership and on a dynamic assignation of roles. Because responsibility for the herd is a stressful position, horses look for strong leaders who convey clear, consistent, wise decisions. We develop leadership and followership skills by just approaching a horse, setting our own boundaries and honoring his.Horses teach us lessons about ourselves that we know intellectually but don’t integrate into our behavior until we see our patterns dramatized in our interactions with them. Horses mirror our personalities, our emotions, and our very souls.
In one EAAT activity, we ask participants to lead a horse over a space blanket. This spangly, crinkly thing is scary to a horse. The task cannot be
accomplished by brute force. You can’t win a tug of war with a 1200-lb animal. You need empathy, compassion, and patience to slowly build
rapport and trust. Where else in our lives do we need to do this? Children, spouse, co-workers? Self!?
Horses as Somatic Guides
We look at horses as archetypes of strength, majesty, swiftness and grace. Indeed they carry us metaphorically on the Hero’s Journey, as described by Joseph Campbell and other psychospiritual teachers and traditions. They also carry us literally, physically, when we ride them or just sit on them and meditate, breathing deeply into our centers and theirs.
In his book, Dream Animals, Jungian analyst James Hillman cautions us about our tendency to mythologize animals to the point of disrespecting how they show up as physical beings. Even in dreams, we must welcome the horse as himself, not just as an archetype.
My relationship with horses emphasizes the physical connection. It began in middle age as I felt my physical capacities waning. Once a marathon runner, mile-a-day swimmer, and solo wilderness backpacker, I began to notice diminished energy, strength, flexibility, balance and stamina. I was attracted to horses as supernatural presences and as extensions of my body, a way to re-experience physical potency in intimate, whole-body, Centaur-like contact with this large, beautiful animal.
Horses have an amazing ability to ground and center even the most active, anxious mind and flailing body. Several years ago, when I worked in a therapeutic riding center, we had a 13 year-old client I’ll call Liza who was diagnosed with autism. She was also psychotic and given to echolalia (repeating what someone else says) and perseveration (multiple repetitions of words or gestures). When she arrived at her lessons, she was agitated mentally and physically. The therapy team evolved a method of saying no words to Eliza but teaching her sign language for feeling her buttocks and inner thighs on the horse. After a few minutes, Eliza’s verbal and physical excess motion quieted into complete silence.
“Somatic” means of the body. In the same way that we project psychological archetypes (Anima, Animus, Dark and Bright Shadow) onto
others, we project somarchetypes onto other bodies. Our Inner Horse somarchetype is a projection onto horses of our subjective notions of size,
strength, balance, grace, coordination, agility, speed, and stillness. When Inner Horse and Bright Shadow (the positive aspects of self that are
unknown or unrecognized) are integrated, our bodies can be rejuvenated into health and wholeness.
Copyright © 2012 by Beverley Kane, MD
Dr. Kane offers private and semi-private somatic horsemanship sessions
at Webb Ranch, Menlo Park, CA. Her website is http://www.horsensei.com and you can contact her at 650-868-3379.
“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”
– John Burroughs
“Purity of speech, of the mind, of the senses, and of a compassionate heart are needed by one who desires to rise to the divine platform.”
“Think you of the fact that a deaf person cannot hear. Then, what deafness may we not all possess? What senses do we all lack that we cannot see and cannot hear another world all around us?”
– Frank Herbert