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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. March's Theme: "Movement"
Volume 3 Issue 3 ISSN# 1708-3265
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Movement of Being

with Dawn Baumann Brunke

My big black dog Max is a barker. He loves to be vocal and seems to take great joy from barking loudly to all the world. Although I have several times tried to initiate conversations with Max in the hopes of curtailing his barking, they have never worked out quite the way I planned. And so, over time, Max's noisy, vocal ways have simply become accepted in our family as part of who he is.

Although you might think a lot of barking would mean he has a lot to say, Max is not much of an in-depth communicator. When you ask him a question, he answers plainly: yes or no. When asked for longer explanations, he more often than not just walks away. This is why I am so surprised--and honoured--when Max comes to share a story with me. Each time this has happened, I am moved by the simple, yet thoughtful message he has to offer. Although his way of communicating has, to my ear, an almost childlike quality, the subjects he speaks of are always in deep alliance with the very topics I am contemplating. Not only that, his stories have a way of clearing up questions I have long pondered. This makes me suspect that Max is a much wiser teacher than he lets on.

"I want to tell a story," Max told me one morning. "It is a true story about me, Max, and about before I used to be the big black dog that I am today."

I settled back into my chair and gave Max my full attention. Over the years, I had learned that when Max wants to talk, it most often means a full and complete narrative, not much time for questions and answers.

"Here is my story," began Max.

"Once upon a time I used to be a little gold fish. Not a goldfish but a little gold fish who swam in the ocean. I was eaten by a bigger fish and I was scared. But other fish in the belly of this great fish told me not to be afraid. We all swam within the belly of the bigger fish for awhile and then we began to jump out of our bodies and become part of this greater fish. We were like little voices or pieces of ourselves but at the same time part of the bigger fish. We came to know things from this greater fish. So, now we were also the Great Fish!

"We absorbed life and we were absorbed. Soon we became the Great Fish, just as the Great Fish had become from other beings himself--just as we all had! This was an understanding I did not have then, but much later.

"Soon, this fish died and was eaten by other fish. And the essence of all of us had choices: to stay with the consciousness of our new fish becoming, or to pop into another existence. It is always like this--pieces of us staying, pieces going and becoming new things. Even if you stay, you become a new thing. I became greater and greater things. Or, you could say, I put my consciousness into other greater things. I directed my consciousness to evolve into greater and greater beings meaning, larger and larger animals. I was a seal, a whale, an eel, a dolphin-fish, and many other larger fish and marine mammals.

"One time I was a salmon who was eaten nearly fully alive by a bear. What an experience! I went directly into the bear and was so amazed by 'bearness' that I stayed and became part of bear. And, you see, when my salmon essence became part of bear I became part of bear, and so, too, did salmon wisdom become part of bear. This is why it is more important than you realize to pay attention to what you eat, because what you eat is part of what is becoming you and part of what you become!

"I loved being bear and I stayed with 'bearness' for many, many lives. Sometimes bear would die and I would choose to become another bear right away. I also became a bear in other ways, like in the spirit world, in the sense of the way human shamans talk about Bear Spirit. When an ordinary bear dies, part of his 'bearness' also goes to the greater spirit and sometimes I took this ride and became part of the Great Bear Spirit. I also did this with Salmon Spirit, Seal Spirit, and Whale Spirit. Some of these Greater Spirits have connections to other worlds (planets) and dimensions, and there are bear spirit presences on other worlds (as well as other animal spirit presences) and I also became part of them.

"Right now I am spread over several worlds. One is here with you in the big black dog of Maxness, but another part of me is still largely bear and that is why I like to bark, because it is like the bear's roar and that is still a big part of who I am. So, that is my story of why Max the bear-dog likes to roar!"

"That's a great story, Max," I said when he was finished. I laughed and held out my hands to cradle his great big black head. "Thank you so much for sharing that with me!"

"You are welcome," said Max, nudging my hands for a bit of face, jaw and ear rubbing. "And you are welcome to share it with others. I have thought about telling you this story and now I am happy to tell you for you to write it down."

I smiled as I watched Max move back and turn a few times, making his familiar, ready-to-slumber circle. Plopping to the ground, he put down his head with a sigh, closed his eyes and took up his position as my office protector. Good old Max, I thought. Max the fish, the salmon, the seal, the whale, the bear; Max the great, roaring, barking, dreaming dog, moving gracefully in the interconnected flow of all of us, ever becoming.

Dawn Baumann Brunke is the author of Animal Voices: Telepathic Communication in the Web of Life and Awakening to Animal Voices: A Teen Guide to Telepathic Communication with All Life. Both books explore the deeper nature of our relationship with animals, nature, each other and ourselves. For more, see Dawn's website.

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