I recently led a “Heart of the Horse” seminar with people and horses, at the Teveton Center, in Byron Bay, Australia.
Many thanks to wonderful Kerry Johnston, the happy owner of the Center, for hosting the seminar, as well as actively participating in it. Amanda Savill organized the event and its 12 participants, in exemplary fashion. Other friends in the area, Linda, Julie, Jacqueline, and Alexandra helped with the venue set-up, lunch and snacks.
I also want to give a big thanks to the five amazing horses whom we came to know, just a little, through this weekend.
During the Sunday lunch period the group engaged in a lively, heart-felt, consideration about life and death for non-humans and humans.
These new seminars are quickly revealing a remarkable potential. They are specifically not about ‘training’, or riding. They about the horse being recognized, and heard, as a person, embodying full person-hood, in the explicit manner of horses and directly in relation to humans. The way I relate to each of the horses can be healing for them, and they may go through an observable process, sometimes quite profoundly, experiencing for the first time a new sense of themselves and of humans. So many horses have lived lives in neglect and abuse, being regularly bought and sold, deeply suppressed, and so on, from their very first days. Even otherwise loving owners often care for them from a disposition of superiority.
While the seminar horses are gently drawn into a deeper sense of themselves, this is simultaneously witnessed, and felt, by the human participants. Sometimes there are tears, mild crises, and deep relief, as participants go through an unfolding parallel process with the horses. The seminar provides a platform, where both have permission to simply be, and feel, with intelligence and integrity, in support of everyone’s connection with the natural contemplative process. This also allows for the positive integration of, and exchanges between, human and non-human cultures, each increasingly understood as being equal, at Heart.
What these seminars offer is the beginning of an honest way of relating to all non-humans, to each other, and to Reality. And we are finding that the people showing up are ready for the consideration!
Absent of this kind and quality of understanding we are entrapped by our merely self-contracting, life contracting, ‘ego-spheric’ relationship to the world, and our still unexplored ego activity lies at the core of all of our behaviors and actions.
The seminar reveals and directly touches the attitudes and patterns existing in humanity toward the natural world and, to some degree, heals them. I am continually humbled by the responsibility I feel in guiding people and horses through this; the availability of the horses to this approach, and the intimacy and understanding that occurs in everyone toward the horses, and simultaneously themselves.As the weekend came to a close, participants asked for a further event, so conversations and planning are beginning for the next seminar.The day following the seminar I also gave private sessions for two participants, and their horses.
While in the Byron Bay area, I visited the amazing Crystal Castle Shambala Gardens. I was very impressed by the place and what they are doing, and simply wanted to mention them here. I highly recommend a visit for anyone going through the area.