Leslie discusses her condition with Dr. Raja & Vishwa.
December 11, 2014 Unedited - Straight from the Heart
Dear Ones ...
What a blessing it is to be able to lift suffering from even one creature. What a blessing it is to experience the blessing of being able to do it.
Meaninglessness. Alienation. How does one make it back from total alienation?
During difficult passages if one loses all connections with life, with themselves, how does one make it back? Do they look for one thing with which they can connect? And if they can find that one thing, then thru that find other things. And on and on back into life.
But that's an illusion that you have to find one thing. And go thru doors and doors to again find meaning. There is no transition. There aren't doors and doors to go thru. In a moment, one can go from being connected with nothing to being connected with everything. It is a question of one's inner state. But what is everything? Is it everything outside oneself? People. Things. Causes...One can be totally connected outside, and yet be lost. Almost non-existent.
What is the connection that affirms? What is the search for meaning? What is the communion one seeks?...I believe the connection, the thing we yearn for, the thing that will give everything meaning, is the connection with one's own Self - one's own Heart.
Loving. Caring. Having deep compassion. Lifting suffering. These are the things in this last stage of life I'm traversing which have become all important to me. They are the natural expression of being connected with the Heart.
When first I was consumed by this endeavor that envelops me...I refer to it as being consumed because I made no decisions. I made no choices. Things just happened and I was drawn into it. There was no point at which my life as I had known it ended. It was just gone. I have no idea of when or how it happened. It was just gone. And I was drawn into this other thing. There was nothing noble about it. I had no choice... Blessing of blessings.
But I knew at the beginning that there would be much suffering. I knew that just as my Baba had taken on a lot of the parabdha karma of his disciples and burned it off for them. In the same way, not as a Great Being, but simply as a worker, a servant, I would have to take on a lot of the parabdha karma of the animals and burn thru it for them. These two beautiful beings with whom I am connected - I refer to Vishwa and Dr.Raja - a lot of what they are doing is the same.
It is such a moving experience to sit in the Shelter. Just sit and be quietly open to what's going on.
The Staff...The relaxedness of the Staff. How close they are to each other. How connected and loving they are to these voiceless creatures surrounding them. How their work flows from one thing to another. There's no structure. There's no list of things to do. It simply is a flowing. If something is happening that requires two or three of them, then in the most natural way there are two or three of them. If something is happening that needs attention somewhere else, then they immediately are somewhere else... It's amazing to see them feed the dogs. You'd expect all kinds of fights and conflicts. But there are few. I mean we're talking about several scores of dogs, running free, that are all fed together. It's a simple happening. And it goes off beautifully. There's a miraculous quality about it.
The voiceless creatures...To see the life in them. Moving. In repose. Sleeping. Eliminating. Walking. Running. Playing. Fighting. Together. Alone. What a joy to see them in their lives. They're not in captivity. They have a life. A life of engagement. A life of choices...Off alone. Sitting. Lying. Sleeping...
Together. Playing. Snuggling. Chasing... Solitary. Or social. Friendly. Or unfriendly...No sameness. Always the possibility and reality of change...Bless you dear ones. Bless you. Bless you. Bless you.
Dr.Raja. Vishwa. Supervisor Raja. The Staff...See their closeness. The intimacy and aliveness in which they pass through the day. Nothing ever seems to be the same. It, too, is so alive. And so real. So flowing. And so the day unfolds with all these interconnected relationships and happenings. And suffusing all of it. Permeating it. Is the caring and loving of these dear, dear voiceless creatures we are so blessed to have. There is no sacrifice. In the sense that's all there is. That caring. It's all that's important. There's no giving up of anything else. That's all there is......And, how these creatures love back. The warmth and quiet feeling of worthwhileness that they imbue us with. And we say, sometimes, that we are doing it for them. Well. How strongly it comes back the other way.
There was virtually no planning involved in what has manifested here as the Shelter. At the beginning I had no idea of what a shelter was. I knew that it was involved in birth control. But I really had no idea. I didn't contemplate what it was. Things just unfolded.
The motivation was pure. I knew the admonition of my Guru that the physician heals with the Heart. And so it started. I have been on the Spiritual Path for almost forty years. And amazingly enough I have little attainment. But I have gone through intense purification of unimaginable intensity. And the blessing that I have been given is spaciousness of mind. And an open Heart. It is with that spaciousness and the Heart that everything was dealt with as it arose.
So things just unfolded. And what happened is the way it is. If we look at any one thing as tho' it were planned and structured thinking that it can reproduced by doing the same "structural things".... Like you can look at how beautifully open, spontaneous, and caring the Staff is with the voiceless ones. You can see it in the dogs....
To digress for a moment. Dr.Raja and Vishwa are now running the Shelter. For a number of years they were my devoted students. But no longer. They're on their own legs now. With their own array of strengths. Not doing my bidding. Rather doing their own thing with their own Hearts. Each time I'm in the Shelter the vibration seems to be higher and higher. The happenings freer and freer. The dogs happier and happier. It's so humbling. I think it's higher than I could have brought it myself. Even in my prime. I can start getting feelings of inadequacy. Then I try to remember that it's not like that. It's all one happening. And I am a big part of it.
Back to looking at one thing as tho' it were planned and structured...So the Staff is so loving and caring with the dogs. But they aren't doing my thing. Vishwa's thing. Or Dr.Raja's thing. They, too, are doing the work as themselves with their own strengths...I mean they know that it's vitally important for the animals to feel safe, loved, and cared for. This has been stressed to them again and again. And they know that it isn't me that the voiceless ones get this love from. It isn't Vishwa. It isn't Dr.Raja...It's them. The Staff...Day after day. And no one can tell them just how to do it. It has to be an expression of their own Hearts. Everyone does it differently. I personally am a smoocher. A hugger. A kisser. A holder. But that certainly isn't The Way. It's my expression. They have to find their own way of relating.
They've been told again and again that they don't have to look busy when I come in. They should just do whatever they're doing. They can go to the kitchen and have a cup of tea. Whenever. If they look worn out or burdened. I ask them. Often they take a day or two off to replenish...But when people visit the Shelter they're often struck by how focused our guys are in the work. How hard they work. How beautiful they are with the dogs. How the dogs love them.
So then I might be explaining to someone that has asked about this. I might comment that in order for the Staff to really give caring. To really be into the work. They have to be truly valued. They can't be exploited in any way. They can't have things done just to "improve their morale". There's a dignity in being valued and doing things their own way with their own strengths. Not just following a set of instructions. Now one might hear this and set about trying to create the same thing in another facility. And think to themselves, "Oh, right. Let's value our Staff and not exploit them". But that won't work. It has to be real. They truly have to be valued.
It's a joke to call our Staff unskilled workers, doing a special thing. These, our workers, are special, special people with incredible personal qualities doing this amazing work. All you have to do is watch them for an hour to see that....I often just want to hug them. And I do. I'm so, so grateful they're with us.
Now what is the point of my going on and on about this stuff? The point is that no decisions were made to set it up the way it is. It wasn't just observing that they have to really be valued...etc., etc., etc. It's just that as each thing arose, it was handled with the Heart. The implications of the decisions weren't analyzed, and analyzed. It was just done with the Heart.
Now what does that mean? Well I'd mentioned that I've been on the Spiritual Path a long time. And tho' having no attainment, the blessing I got was spaciousness of mind and an open Heart. By spaciousness, I'm almost meaning emptiness. Not a lot of knowledge on how to do things. But...Emptiness. Emptiness. Emptiness. And in that "empty space" ideas "appear". Intuitions. Insights...Not ideas, intuitions, or insights that are the result of analyzing something. Just ideas, intuitions, and insights.
And I believe in a Supreme Being...Many of you do, too. And many of you don't...I believe that these ideas are given to me. Instructions you might say. Guidance. Knowledge.
Those of you who don't believe in a Supreme Being might say. Leslie, those are not instructions being given to you. Those are your own ideas coming from your unconscious mind. Fine. You guys believe what you want to believe. And I'll believe what I want to believe. If things are the way you say they are, then I have built an extraordinary shelter.....But that is not the way it is. It is true that I gave up everything else. And worked very, very hard. But all the important things happened magically. Through Grace. And I had nothing to do with them. So without any false modesty. I swear to you that I have no emotional connection with having put this Shelter together. Because I didn't.
Occasionally people say to me you must be very proud. And I can honestly say. No. I don't experience anything like that. I don't even know how much of a connection I feel. BUT I am very, very grateful for the way it has turned out. I'm as grateful as anyone else. I'm so thankful, that in this the last stage of my life, I have been given the chance to be involved in something that lifted so much suffering.
On the other hand, it is also true that it is supremely important to me. And if I had a choice, at any time, I would trade the rest of my life for the ongoing security of this endeavor.
Putting all this babble together. You can't create this kind of thing by trying to replicate the structure of it. First the totality of all the things that are happening is endlessly complicated. The whole, whole thing is simply an expression of the Heart. A unique expression of the Heart. So when I'm being interviewed and talking about our core policy of demonstrative love. And then go into aspects of how we are functioning. And perhaps spew out a collection of statistics, which are impressive. And talk about the effect the work has had on the community. That is not the underlying essential thing. It is all just one multi-faceted expression of the Heart. It can't be replicated by planning and organization.
If another Shelter were set up with the Heart it might not look anything like ours. It might be radically different. I don't know. But it would have Joy. Love. Spaciousness. And the energy that transforms.
That's not to say that the knowledge that we have been given here is not important. It is. It can help lift suffering from hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, across the country. Perhaps in other countries. I'll leave it for another Diary Entry to be explicit of what knowledge I'm talking about.
And now for an apology to you out there. I have been communicating little these last seven or eight months. The Shelter has been unfolding and operating beautifully. But it would be a cosmic understatement to say that I have not been especially expanded. I talked earlier about having to take on some of the parabdha karma of the animals. And burn it off for them. It's not an empty exercise. You can see it getting lighter and lighter for these beautiful, vulnerable, voiceless creatures. Thank God. They have such a heavy hand to play.....Burning it off for them has to do with inner practices I was given by my teachers. If I don't burn enough off as it's coming, I can get psychically heavy. And the darker forces don't pass right thru me.
There are a lot of negative energies these voiceless creatures have to deal with. Indifference. Outright malevolence. Political. Bureaucratic... Bless them. Protect them. Give them joy. Happiness. And Grace.
And so I wasn't able to burn it off fast enough and it accumulated. But...Yes. Yes. Yes. I'm beginning again to see Light.
The Shelter was going beautifully. And I, still going, but having to traverse a difficult inner crossing. Carrying darker energies which had not been fully burnt off. And so here I am once more...Light. Blessed light. How good it feels to have made it across. This diary entry is a sign of that.
May our beloved voiceless creatures fully benefit. May their journey be a bit easier.
To those of you out there...Thank you. Thank you. For the support. For the caring.
From me. From Dr.Raja. From Vishwa. From the Staff. But most of all...From the Voiceless Ones.