December 22, 2009

How do we do Great Work?

Last week, our black Rottweiler-Doverman mutt, took in a little white kitten. The kitten must have snuck in under our steel fence, only to be greeted by our guard dogs. Why the kitten came, I am still unsure.

Condesa, our female guard dog, took in the kitten like a mother. She licked the newborn like her own. When the kitten would wonder off, we would see Condesa retrieving it with her mouth. The relationship was amazing. I never would have guessed that our guard dogs would take in such a stranger and make it feel like part of the family.

This was an example of true love. Condesa didnt want anything out of the kitten. She only had compassion towards the lost creature. She felt for the kitten, and cared for her well being. When our other male guard dog would come near, Condesa would grawl, reveal her teeth, and protect her new child. Condesa even began to make milk!

The relationship ended after a couple days. The honeymoon was over for the new mother, and the child. The kitten passed away. There was nothing that Condesa could do for the kitten, and it died.

This is a true story, and it is not meant to be a metaphor. But it does have a lesson. The lesson is one of compassion. Compassion literally means to suffer with something. To not notice the differences all living beings have, but to feel our unity. A giant black dog, and a tiny white cat. For Condesa, that was unimportant. What was, is that we are all living beings, and all living beings deserve love. Even if they are not in your family, from your group of friends, race, nation. We are all in this world together. This is the Truth, that a dog can demonstrate.

Secondly, we learn about the tragedies that are rooted in good intentions. Condesa took in the kitten and had the best intentions to take care of it. Condesa failed in understanding the Nature of the kitten. What where its needs? The problem is that Condesa imposed her ideas of what the kitten needs. She wanted to fix the kitten, and could never truly take care of it.

When we are in relationship, we need to have compassion. We need to understand that we all belong to the same human family. This is the bottle neck to so much Great Work (that we are all brothers and sisters), and even my dog can understand this! We are all in this together... Once we get past that and we want to make a change, when we try to help someone, or something, we need to understand its true nature. We need not to impose our will on the world. But we do need to look deeply into relationships and understand the needs of the ¨kittens¨ in our life. Only then, can we truly do Great Work.


margaret said...

First off, this blog is truly inspiring. Keep up the good work because I love to read it! This post in particular melted my insides…. as an animal lover the pictures alone are perfect but the situation is amazing.
Glad to hear (and see) that you are doing so well, it sounds like you are making some great changes. I missed seeing you over my Christmas break, but by the looks of you as Joseph I’m sure you had a break holiday :)
Love, Margaret

Gisele said...

Hi Dan,
What a stunning story!
It was a true testament to the goodness that can be inside all of us--even a rottweiler.
Great insight on compassion. sometimes we can only love and support each other--we can not fix everything. We parents often struggle with this.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
We continue to be so proud of you!
Love, Mom

Yvette said...

Hola Dan!

Feliz ano! 2010 will surely be a most memorable one for you. Your inner beauty continues to glow with every blog. Keep up the fine work and do stay healthy.

Abrazos y besos,
Aunt Yvette & Uncle Tom