Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Update on HiHo

Little HiHo is steadily becoming more impressed by the guidance and discipline of his older herd members. Gradually, his trust of them is deepening, and his ability to receive pressure and direction from the others is strengthening. He is, through all this, slowly fitting into the herd culture, gradually becoming less eccentric, more conformed to the life being lived around him by the others.

This evening all four camels grazed from the food trough together, with barely a grunt from any of them. Nice and quiet throughout the entire meal. Right near the end of the meal Muffin and Peaceful were the first to leave the trough to go over to where I'd put the the hay. As Peaceful Baba walked by HiHo's rump he turned his long neck back and, in passing, gave HiHo a sharp nip on his backside, indicating to the little camel that "school is still in". HiHo meowed plaintively while continuing to eat the grain remnants along with Jelly Baba.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Getting Closer

My relationship with the young (3 year old) black bull, Jelly Baba, is deepening of late.

Jelly watches me working with our little silver / grey guy, HiHo. He watches and takes in what I'm doing, with and for HiHo, and then he starts doing the same with HiHo. HiHo is kind of a "problem kid". He's very sharp and smart in all kinds of ways, quite a bit smarter than the others, but he is socially impaired in some way. It takes him much longer to "get" what the others get in a few minutes.... In terms of sharing food especially, but also just knowing when to back off and show respect.

For a little guy among these 2000 + pounders he is full of a kind of dominance type behaviour, perhaps based in his fear of not getting what he wants, being small, and so on. It is amusing to see his little guy clear a feeding trough of three BIG camels, each of whom would rather walk away than get into a scrap with him.

But seeing me disciplining HiHo has drawn Peaceful and Jelly into it, and so gradually HiHo is getting served more and more consistently and I see gradual changes in him; he is gradually learning how to be more yielding, softening through it, but its going to take some time with this one before he's all the way with it.

I'm touched by Jelly Baba's growing trust of me. We seem to be herd-building together. I'm feeling more and more a part of their culture. He did accidentally kick me the other day, bounding by me full of exuberance, legs going out like a helicopter, his left hind foot collected with my right thigh and I spun like a top, then as if I was on a spring I spun back and just kept walking almost as if we'd rehearsed the thing.... with hardly a bruise.

One thing I'm finding, with HiHo's "help", is that Jelly and Peaceful and I are forming a bond, a working alliance.... Muffin also a little though not as strongly.

They know I "know" what's going on and they are valuing my helping them out with the HiHo situation. They look at me with different eyes, more connected eyes, faces that are listening, watching and trusting.... and of course I'm only at the very beginning of things.... I can see this going so much further.

Also, watching these guys with HiHo its so clear that these creatures are not by nature aggressive. Even when HiHo is at his worst, and really annoying the big camels, there are times when they could flatten him, and often appear as if they are about to, but they don't. One day Jelly reared up over HiHo. As his front feet came back toward the ground Jelly intentionally placed his feet either side of HiHo, rather than on him. And I've had similar experiences with some of them, including the time when Google Mama chased me across the field.... not to hurt me as it turned out, but to teach me something.

If a camel is aggressive, and some most definitely are, it is because they have really been provoked, mistreated and abused, protecting young, or defending herd and territory... all of which serve a legitimate purpose. There may be some camels who are just outright aggressive for basically no good reason, but I haven't yet met one. I have heard of one, actually, and my hunch is that this bull was the way he was because his owner had abused him at some point.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Fear-No-More Zoo has "chapters" in four locations around the world.

Each location is set within a beautiful sanctuary property for both humans and non-humans.

The Sacred Camel Gardens is part of the original Fear-No-More Zoo chapter at the Mountain Of Attention Sanctuary in California.

These Sacred Zoo's represent a unique process. They are not intended to be "zoos for animals". The processes of Fear-No-More Zoo include the integration of both human and non-human cultures resulting in one, great, diverse culture of living beings, founded in spiritual contemplation.

"It's about 'fearing-no-more', about going beyond the knot of separate self, being in the Condition of the Samadhi of Real-God-Communion, and, at the level of form, participating in the Great Unity." -- Avatar Adi Da Samraj

The Sacred Camel Gardens (and Fear-No-More Zoo) is to become a major aspect of the Mountain Attention Sanctuary. The camel herd will become an integral part of the human culture here, and we will be the richer for it.

Most people don't understand or comprehend this yet, but in time, as it unfolds, they will. It's a process that represents a huge shift in point of view, so it's understandable that it might take a little time...

The beginnings are in place, and day by day the seed is pushing through little roots and buds. The camels will help us get there.....

HiHo Changes

A few days ago we decided to move little HiHo from Everest's herd and move him in with Peaceful, Jelly and Muffin. Everest was constantly chasing and moving HiHo so we wanted to try to change HiHo's experience.

I felt that Peaceful Baba, Jelly Baba and Muffin might be more tolerant of HiHo's eccentric character and so far its working well.

After initial introductions all three of the older camels began "hazing" HiHo all over the place. Luckily HiHo is fast, and can manouver quickly, because a few time Jelly and Peaceful ran down on him like massive freight trains, pounding the earth behind the little guy.

Amid the jostling HiHo is starting to settle into this group much better than he could in Everest's. Jelly, Peaceful and Muffin appear more willing to converse with HiHo and let him find his place with them. I think Everest is still just too young and doesn't have the emotional maturity to let HiHo find his way. Consequently he brought too much force to bare on HiHo, and didn't build trust.

This morning the tiny HiHo stood right in among the towering Jelly, Peaceful, and Muffin, quite comfortably holding his own at the feed trough. Nice to see...

Friday, November 2, 2007

Starry Night

A few nights ago around 1am, I dropped by the camels on my way to bed.

Wandering about the pasture I first found Delaney and HiHo standing together under a tree. Then I came upon Everest, Google and Purni kushed down in a pod of three out in mid pasture.

Walking further I came to Jelly, Peaceful and Muffin. Peaceful was sitting with the other two standing nearby. They were under a stand of trees, gazing out into the pasture and the clear night sky. The moon was close to full and the air was brisk. It was quiet. There was a very slight, intermittent, breeze.

I joined them, standing there, letting time go, letting my mind go, feeling my head open up to the starry, vaulted sky.

It's a bit hard to describe next what arose. As I stood with the camels, hearing their gentle sighs, and grunts, gazing out into the night... I perceived "inseparableness". Meaningless time travelled nowhere. No motion, almost. There was some kind of motion but not in any one direction. There was no strife; no war anywhere, no conflict in the heart anywhere. There were no "results" to anything. There was just this indescribable feeling that I dipped into, that the camels seemed to be bathing in. And there were no, or very little, differences there.

After a while my fingers were turning white with the cold so I quietly whispered to them and made my way across the pasture to my bed of blankets. The big camels shadowy bulks continued to bathe under the trees, under the stars.

Adi Da Samraj once mentioned that, "Camels view the world from a unique point of view." Of course, all creatures are unique in their "view-points", but for Adi Da to bother to mention this in reference to the camels is a pointer for me to take special note. The camels have something I can learn from; that humans can learn from. Something accessible, something transformative if we contact it. This I am finding to be true.

Without even riding on their backs these camels are capable of taking us "places" that we might otherwise never visit, or know. For me, they are bringing me back, healing my heart, taking me right to "here".