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Be with the Magic

--by Steve Karlin (Nov 02, 2015)


When animals look out of their eyes they don’t see what we see. Some of them see ultraviolet light, some of them can see very clearly for hundreds of yards, some of them can’t see further than a foot away from their heads, some of them see color, some of them don’t see color. When they listen with their ears, what they hear is not the same as what we hear. When they taste, their taste buds are different than ours. When they smell, some of them smell hundreds of times better than we can, some of them can’t smell at all. But we as human beings have the ability to reach out to them and they have the ability to reach out to us and when those two things touch, when the being of that wild animal and the being inside of you is yearning for a relationship and it touches, that’s the magic. […]

Most of the time we stop ourselves from seeing what’s really going on outside of us. Or we use the filters that we put in place and what we see is only a projection of what we want to see out in nature. What we need to do is sit down and just go to that zero point, that place of quietness inside where we can have relationships and understand what is going on around us. I think that some sort of contemplative, meditative practice is extremely important for us as human beings, no matter what it is. It’s an incredible way to clear yourself out so you can be there in a present state in a relationship.

A wolf called Cheyenne helped me tremendously to cultivate a meditative, mindful practice. Whenever I was in this wolf’s enclosure and I started to think about something else, immediately within seconds the wolf knew that I was not one hundred percent with her. In response, she would lift up her lip and start growling at me, telling me: “Steve, you are here with me now. You be here. Don’t think about other things. Don’t be outside this thing. Be with the magic that is taking place between me and you at this moment.” And that lesson has carried me over because with her, she was physically telling me, “Meditate, be still.”

Meditation is not always with your eyes closed, being remote from humans, and remote from everything. A lot of it has to do with what happens when your eyes are open and you’re walking around in this world. Who are you? Are you out for yourself? Are you becoming a martyr? Who are you? Are you judging everything by standards that you’re not even sure of? Maybe you can just be who you are and not have to worry and change that self-narrative because we all have a self-narrative about who we are but like any story we can change it. We have the power of the pen, which is our consciousness. We have the power of rewriting our own story, which is inner work. And that’s just as important, if not more, as outer work. It really helps clear you out and when you’re cleared out inside, these animals tend to want to look at you and they’re attracted to you.

Steve Karlin is a former National Park Service ranger, renowned environmental educator and award-winning environmental reporter who has appeared on local and national news. He is the founder of Wildlife Associates, where animals that cannot survive in the wild are cared for, and in turn given the space to become teachers.

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7 Previous Reflections:

 
On Nov 7, 2015 cynthia wrote:

 Such magical moments with wild ones have sustained me all my life. These days it is often the very tiny creatures that come to me, insects and spiders are for the most part welcome :)  In order to really see them, I must put my face very very close to them and thus control my breath or they will fly/flee.  This close appreciation seems kind of like meditating with eyes open.  And in a way so does my practice (since May) of sitting outside on the back porch with a lit candle watching the sun rise.  Earlier this week, as I stepped outside the door, I had a very magical visitation...a winter wren! So I wrote a haiku to honor the moment.

Fumbling in the dark
Matches in hand I am struck
By the wren's dawn song.

Thank you Steve Karlin for sharing your wild wisdom and thank you Service Space for helping spread Steve's teachings.  Namaste.



On Nov 3, 2015 JoAnn wrote:

 The wild ones are coming close, very close now. Last evening it was a fox - five feet away. It came up and paused still, I thought it was a coyote. I was startled, he knew I was safe and came closer, walked around a bit, then sat down and we stared into each other's eyes - he had one black ear, black paws and the most exquisite coat and tail....



On Nov 3, 2015 Me wrote:

 Now this IS "magical" (Spiritual) ... !



On Nov 3, 2015 Laura wrote:

Nature is the place that I feel most home at and especially now when I meditate.  A lot has been going on in my life that is transformative and life-changing.  I had been so wrapped up in the place I was working at that I had no time for myself. Then an opportunity presented itself where I could leave and pursue my own business and my life purpose.  I have meditated for years, but very little outside.  This time I found it a perfect and magical way to connect every morning with nature and do the meditation with my eyes open.  It has been amazing and become a regular part of my daily practices. I would suggest it to anyone who is looking for a way to achieve inner peace.  



On Nov 2, 2015 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

 Being with the magic of this  moment means being fully present to that moment. It means focusing on the now rather than ruminating about the past or future. I had an amazing experience at Burning Man this year getting caught in a dust storm that was a complete whiteout. I could not even see my own hand in front of my face. It was the perfect opportunity to be 100% present and to just sit and be. I sat down on the sand. I closed my eyes. I listened to the wind and felt the swirling sand as it caressed by skin. I felt the warmth of the sun. I felt the ground beneath my legs and sit bones. I slowed my breathing through my scarf which protected me from breathing in the dust. It was at least 30 minutes, perhaps more. It was never frightening, it was peaceful. It was a moment to just be and relax. I opened my eyes also protected by pink goggles and I watched as the dust swirled into little clouds around me. I watched whirling dirveshes. It was a beautiful experience. As for medit  See full.

 Being with the magic of this  moment means being fully present to that moment. It means focusing on the now rather than ruminating about the past or future. I had an amazing experience at Burning Man this year getting caught in a dust storm that was a complete whiteout. I could not even see my own hand in front of my face. It was the perfect opportunity to be 100% present and to just sit and be. I sat down on the sand. I closed my eyes. I listened to the wind and felt the swirling sand as it caressed by skin. I felt the warmth of the sun. I felt the ground beneath my legs and sit bones. I slowed my breathing through my scarf which protected me from breathing in the dust. It was at least 30 minutes, perhaps more. It was never frightening, it was peaceful. It was a moment to just be and relax. I opened my eyes also protected by pink goggles and I watched as the dust swirled into little clouds around me. I watched whirling dirveshes. It was a beautiful experience.
As for meditating with my eyes open, I do this often. I do this when I run and when I ride the bus, just being mindful of the moment and enjoying the passing trees.

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On Nov 1, 2015 david doane wrote:

Being with the magic of the moment means to be fully in the present.  The past and future are imagination, while the present is where life is, and being in the present is being alive.  The present is full of surprise, possibility, energy, excitement, life, all of which are magic.  The present is where I find my soul, my spiritualness, which is also magic as I am being with power and potential far greater than when I am in times of non present non magic busyness.  I've been in the magic of the present with myself, with nature, and with others, and it's a peak experience for me, one that I always want more of.  I don't meditate with my eyes open.  I can be present and mindful with my eyes open, relating and responding to what is happening, but at this point I keep my eyes closed when I meditate.  I'm reminded of Paul Gauguin (sp) saying he keeps his eyes closed in order to see.  My eyes closed helps me to be still, tune in, be less distracted, be  See full.

Being with the magic of the moment means to be fully in the present.  The past and future are imagination, while the present is where life is, and being in the present is being alive.  The present is full of surprise, possibility, energy, excitement, life, all of which are magic.  The present is where I find my soul, my spiritualness, which is also magic as I am being with power and potential far greater than when I am in times of non present non magic busyness.  I've been in the magic of the present with myself, with nature, and with others, and it's a peak experience for me, one that I always want more of.  I don't meditate with my eyes open.  I can be present and mindful with my eyes open, relating and responding to what is happening, but at this point I keep my eyes closed when I meditate.  I'm reminded of Paul Gauguin (sp) saying he keeps his eyes closed in order to see.  My eyes closed helps me to be still, tune in, be less distracted, be present.  I imagine that when I am very good at meditating with my eyes closed I will find it much easier to meditate with my eyes open. 

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On Oct 30, 2015 Abhishek wrote:

 I resonate with this! Animals and I did not share a very comfortable relationship till recently - and yet over the last year or so, my comfort and love for animals has really expanded.....I can sense a very primal and pure love and a connection with Life in its rawness....

At the same time, a recent low brought me to the space of what I can 'deep chill'. Deep chill is a space where there is absolutely nothing to do - no pull, no tug, no agenda, no alarm at the end of the hour....just purely and solely sitting with the grief (or whichever experience) that is arising.....

I guess it is easier with grief (other emotions have an action-like quality to them)....

But yes, from a space of deep chill, there is an intimate connection with all of life (extending to plants and even inanimate objects).....Animals were for me a first-step in that way :)