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Our Pets, the Spiritual Teachers

Updated on September 10, 2015
I am Sir Munchie!
I am Sir Munchie! | Source

“An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.”

--Martin Buber

“Lots of people talk to animals…Not very many listen, though…That’s the problem.”

--Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

Professor Cairo.
Professor Cairo.

Our Animal Friends

We, humans, tend to think that we are wiser than the animal kingdom; however, our pets may disagree with us.

One night, my friend had a dream in which Cairo, my beloved cat that has now passed on, told my friend that humans are stupid. My friend asked him why he thought that. Cairo responded:

“You humans complicate your life!”

Thinking about this, Cairo’s statement made a whole lot of sense to me. Why do we complicate our lives? This brought up a quote by Gandhi:

“Live simply so that others may simply live.”

Even though this quote holds tremendous wisdom, many people in our society live a complicated life. Some do not feel content unless they have every high tech gadget in their possession, while a great many in the world live on less than two dollars a day. Even in this modern age, there are a lot of humans that are still dying of starvation. Why? Is life too complicated for us to figure this out?

Years ago, I had a social geography professor at the community college that said if we ate vegetarian meals for just two days a week that starvation could be eliminated. Personally, I do not think that being a vegetarian for two days would be a difficult task; however, the difficult task is convincing the majority to undertake this small request “so that others may simply live.”

In reflection, there was a vast amount of wisdom in Cairo’s eyes. He was a feline Buddha. From his point of view, it was pointless in being stressed out. He would look at me and say that everything is okay. Cairo would then make his way to me and shower me with love. I immediately felt a wave of relief. I then thought, “Why did I let myself get stressed out? It was nothing.”

The love we share with the world is what it’s all about.

Chai posing for the camera.
Chai posing for the camera.

We were blessed to have a gifted teacher in our presence. We, humans, often forget what unconditional love is; however, our beloved pets remind us that unconditional love is what we are.

We were born from a loving Creator that loves us unconditionally. There are no requirements for unconditional love. Our pets, the spiritual teachers, love us unconditionally as well. Yet many people give their love in a conditional manner. We may not necessarily speak this, but our body language and actions do.

Chai, our Siamese cat, teaches me about the importance of a soothing and loving touch. She informs me that it is important to be affectionate and loving with one another.

What a wonderful feeling a hug is! What better way to reassure our connectedness with one another.

Chai also taught me about the importance of giving love to myself. We are often taught that it is better to give than to receive, but I believe that it is also important that we spend quality time with ourselves. As a former life science teacher from the community college once shared, “You need to be able to hang out with yourself.”

I enjoy my “me” time. It is very special to me. It is wonderful to get to know myself. It is sad that some people do not engage in alone time. I had a former co-worker that was terrified to spend time alone. She always had to have people in her presence. I also know individuals that are afraid of the silence; they always have to have some type of “noise” in the background or they will go crazy. Personally, I enjoy the silence. It is a way for me to make the connection to myself and the divine.

Munchkin with his pig friend.
Munchkin with his pig friend.

Animals and Soul Contracts: Unconditional Love

We can also simplify our lives by not taking life so seriously. We, humans, have to take time out to play and laugh.

Enter into the equation Munchkin.

From out of the blue, Munchkin will run up to me and tap me on the leg and run down the hallway. What is that all about you ask? Does he want to be fed? No. Does he want me to turn on the bathroom faucet? No. Does he want me to pop in a video for him? No. Munchkin has just initiated a game of tag.

“Tag, you’re it!”

P.S. Munchkin says to check out TK's hub entitled "Spiritual Motivation." It is an awesome article and has a cool picture of his cat Jack "chillin' with his Buddha buddy." In the above photo is Munchkin chillin' with his pig buddy.


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    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks mcleodgi for sharing that beautiful story with me. My brother-in-law is autistic. He, too, is a very kind soul.

      I totally agree with you. We can learn a lot from autistic individuals. I have also met other so-called mentally challenged individuals that were also teachers of love, kindness, and compassion. From my perspective, they are not stupid or slow, but enlightened masters that have come to teach us about unconditional love.

      Animals are great teachers of love and so is nature. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

    • mcleodgi profile image

      Ginny McLeod 

      7 years ago from Overland Park

      This reminded me of a longtime acquaintance of mine who has ADHD and also displays some symptoms of autism (consecutive verbal repetition, etc), is always going, going, going though is high functioning enough to drive and hold a job. And yet he is one of the kindest, souls I've ever met in this lifetime. He is literally never bored and doesn't easily see bad or wrong. When you look into his eyes, you see almost nothing but a positive gleam. I realize that it puts him at a disadvantage in many situations but I personally believe that people like him have so much to teach us.

      I used to wonder how he did it. Could be so happy-go-lucky all the time, almost never getting upset. When I brought this up to my father (who has a Master's in Psychology and has been a school psychologist twice), he said that it's probably because he doesn't have the intelligence to get upset. I realize that this is probably true but I have also marveled at how much simpler and more peaceful this world could be if only we would all be like him.

      I realize that your cat probably had a very similar influence on you and I think it's wonderful whenever anyone has an opportunity to really get to know great teachers like them.:)

    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      Tk, I'm glad to hear that you keep it simple too. Thanks, again, for the positive support. It's great to be supportive of others. Every kind thought and gesture is making the world better.

    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks tebo. I appreciate the comment. I agree. Animals are amazing. We can learn a lot from them. I'm glad you enjoyed the photos. I enjoy taking pictures of animals and nature.

      I'm sorry to hear about your cats that have passed. Our cat, Cairo, has passed away a few years ago. He will always be in our hearts. It's good to hear that you have a loving dog. We, humans, think that the animals are the lucky ones; however, I think that we are lucky to have these amazing beings in our life. As you have said, they are masters of living in the moment.

    • tebo profile image


      7 years ago from New Zealand

      Great hub Terry27. Animals are just amazing aren't they. They live in the moment. Lovely photos - you have a great array of cats. Unfortunately my two cats of recent times have passed, but I still have my loving dog.

    • TKs view profile image

      TKs view 

      7 years ago from The Middle Path


      I always try to keep it simple too. I bet your children's story would be great.

    • Terry27 profile imageAUTHOR

      Terry Fatland 

      7 years ago from Southern California

      You're welcome TK. Your photo of your cat inspired this article. It is the simple things in life that inspire me.

      My pets give me a lot of good ideas. I have a children's story in my head based on my cats. And I also see a metaphysical dialog that I would love to develop using Cairo and Munchkin.

      Yeah, it's funny that kids are in such a hurry to grow up, but when they finally do, they want to be children again. I think this goes back to adults living complicated lives, while children lives are much simpler. I still try to see the world through child-like wonder. I also suppose it's the curiosity in me that wants to explore the world.

      I like your sentence, "In the silence, we are ageless." Very poetic and meaningful.

      Thank you. I'm glad you like the pictures.

      I will have to check out ChristinS and Lucky Cats.

      Hey, what's that over there!

      Made you look.

    • TKs view profile image

      TKs view 

      7 years ago from The Middle Path

      Hey Terry,

      Thanks for the recommendation to your other followers.

      Our animals are great teachers indeed. Sometimes it's easy for us to forget it's okay to still be a student when we look at the world around us. Perhaps when we're in school, we want so much for it to be over because then we'll be grown-ups and then we'll be able to do all the fun stuff.

      Once we become grown-ups, how often do we look at kids and say, "I wish I was young again."

      In the silence, we are ageless.

      Your pictures are awesome. Beautiful animals.

      and now, to play along, I recommend ChristinS for great wisdom and Lucky Cats for being the most devoted animal lover I've ever met.

      Tag you're it.


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