To have a relationship with a wild creature, first you have to have a relationship with yourself. You have to know who you are because these animals are not going to automatically trust anything. They’re out there living in the wild. These animals have to worry about survival and they have to worry about being eaten and eating and accomplishing the task of new babies to perpetuate the species.
I was up in Yosemite Park a few years ago hiking in the trails and I walked off the trail about 20 feet and sat on this log and went into a meditative zero space with my eyes open and all of a sudden what I thought was just a landscape started becoming full of all these critters. These little critters started coming out to eat the leaves and the birds started coming out to eat the insects and there was this multitude and incredible activity going on around me that wasn’t happening until I settled myself into that zero state. I was sitting there for fifteen minutes watching all this go on when I heard what sounded like a father and his son walking down a trail and talking. As soon as their voices were heard, all these little things scattered away and camouflaged with the environment as if they didn’t exist.
When we go out into nature and we sit there, a lot of people will want animals to come to them. In their mind, they’re saying, “Come here, come here, come here.” If you went to a shopping mall and you saw someone attractive that you wanted to start a conversation with, would you walk over to them and say, “Come here, come here, come here, I love you, I love you, I love you?” No, you would be the biggest creep in the world. Why do we think that’s all right to do with the animals outside? If we’re always pushing and domineering the landscape with our presence, these other living beings are just going to move away from us. They are not going to want deal with our arrogance or the energy we’re putting out there. They will just ignore us or go off and do their own business.
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.
To have a relationship with a wild creature has a lot to do with respect, understanding the living being that’s in front of you and that it is alive, so it has all the rights that it needs to exist. It doesn’t need a manifesto so that humans can prove that it has some sort of benefit to humans so we can keep this animal alive. These animals are extremely aware and conscious animals for what they have to do in this world. They’re not aware like humans are but we’re not aware like they are.
When they 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. When they smell, some of them smell hundreds of times better than we can, some of them can’t smell at all. They all have their own input of senses and their own sense of being who they are and how they react to the world around them. Then we as human beings have the ability to reach out to them and they have the ability to reach out to us and when the being of that wild animal and the being inside you is yearning for a relationship and it touches, that’s the magic.
With my wolf Cheyenne was alive, she really helped me with a meditative, mindfulness practice because if I was in this wolf’s enclosure and I started to think about something else, immediately within seconds that wolf knew I was not one hundred percent with her. And she would lift up her lip and start growling at me, telling me, “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.”, 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 you’re 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. 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 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.