A simple summertime spiritual practice
Take the rest of the day off. Grab a good book, a couple of bottles of wine, some cheese and fresh-baked bread, and a bag of carrots. Head out to a nice green pasture with a few horses in it. Bring this magazine, and tell the owners of the pasture that you are taking part in a huge scientific experiment. Give them a bottle of wine and invite them to join the experiment as well.
Find yourself a spot of shade under a nice tree. Take out your book. Have a few sips of wine, a bite of cheese, and a nibble of bread. Let the horses get over the shock of seeing a human who just wants to hang out in their pasture. Remember, people come through the gate only when they want horses to do something.
Once the horses have returned to grazing, randomly pick one out of the herd. Get up and start walking toward him. Envision yourself catching, collecting, and haltering one particular horse. After you have selected one, don’t change your mind. Keep focused on the horse. Keep walking straight toward him.
Now watch what happens. The horses you did not select will let you roam fairly close to them, but the one you intend to capture may pick up its head and maybe even move off. So what did the selected horse sense that the others did not? A noticeable change in the intensity of your energy state. Just making a selection in your mind produces a change in your chi that is easily perceived by the horse, even across an entire pasture.
Say thanks to the horses by giving them some carrots, and let us know the results of your experiment at [email protected].
Adapted from Zen Mind, Zen Horse: The Science and Spirituality of Working with Horses Allan Hamilton, MD. Storey Publishing, September 2001