A lot of people like to think of spirituality as an exclusive path, the nature of our mind is to separate one idea, concept, image etc from another so when it comes to spirituality the way we intellectually understand ‘the spiritual field’ is by placing it into a separate category to the rest of our life. This always strikes me as ironic because the highest concept within the spiritual community is that ‘all is one’ even though many people, by virtue of the world we live in, still separate their spiritual practice from their day to day lives. When you truly grasp the essence of spirituality you see that it is everywhere and in everything and as a result of that, you are not on A spiritual path – you ARE the path. Einstein said that ‘everything is energy’, so, off the premise that he was right, if everything is energy, that means everything we see, hear, feel, think, and do is ONE thing. This includes spirituality. Spirituality is simply a form of understanding, and spiritual practices or commitments are methods of expanding your awareness in a way which ultimately leads to a deeper, clearer and more integrated understanding of your SELF and thus everything around you. This can of course be broken down into a more refined definition and we could include topics such as grounding, the angelic realms, energy clearing, the spirit world, being empathic, meditation and more but even with all those extras in mind you are ALWAYS just expanding your awareness. You cannot remove spirituality from your life as much as you cannot remove the oxygen from the air around you in order to survive. Being ‘spiritual’ is cultivating curiosity with a willingness to exist in your fullest form and that includes your physical body. It can be easy to use spiritual practices to ‘get high’ as Ram Dass likes to call it, but the higher you get the further there is to fall, so in order to maintain balance through your energy it is important to remember that we live in a world governed by the laws of physicality, so living fully, as a human, in your body, going about your day to day life is the most spiritual thing you can ever, ever do. Doing what you love is also the most spiritual thing you can ever, ever do.
So where do Horses fit in with all this? First of all, if everything is energy, then Horses (including the way they behave, feel, act, respond, communicate etc) are also a form of energy. If spirituality is about expanding our awareness, then the more we approach our Horse’s lives with curiosity and a willingness to expand our understanding about them then the more spiritual we are being!
There is also the fact that Horses are deeply connection to the natural world, to the earth. They have the capacity to be as grounded in their physical form as they do to travel off into the higher realms of existence. Their scope of connection is enormous. This could be because of their prey nature which attunes them to their surroundings off survival instincts, but through spending hours watching them in meditative (and other) states I have come to believe that their acute sensitivity coupled with their naturally heightened awareness is what delivers such a deep capacity for connection.
I hear it again and again in Horsey circles, the phrase; ‘there is just something about horses’. So what is that something? Can we put our finger on it? Do we need to? What if we surrendered, in typical spiritual fashion, to the fact that Horses, when listened to, connected with and worked alongside have the power to help us expand our awareness and understanding of ourselves as well as them, others, and the world around us. ‘I’ve been on a big spiritual journey recently,’ as some in spiritual communities might say. I have meditated for hours, had awakening moments, fasted, read self development books / spiritual books / books about angels / books about God and the spirit realm / healing books and scientific books. I’ve been in therapy, out of therapy, trained as a therapist, become a therapist, worked with people one to one, worked with Horses one to one, worked with Horses and people, attended workshops, seminars, retreats, travelled all over the world, been to monastery after monastery, churches, holy places, sacred sites. I’ve broken down, prayed then built myself back up again, but the most profound, life changing spiritual, connective experiences I have EVER had have taken place in a field, barn or in a stable with a Horse. Not doing, just being.
Horses have also played a major role in our global ancestry in both a practical and magical way. Mythological horse figures are seen throughout nearly every recorded civilisation on our planet. From the Indus Valley civilisation to Greek mythology, the Tulpa Horses of ancient Turkey, Kanthatka of the Buddhist mythology, the Al-Buraq of Islam and Uchchaihshravas of the Hindu mythology are just a few to be mentioned. All you have to do is spend time researching the mythos of ancient lands to see how deeply the equine race is steeped into our collective consciousness. Horses have the power to transport us, whether that be through a discipline, from one location to another or from one state of being to another. I believe their capacity to connect with us first and foremost is the driving force of their continual presence in our lives and ours in theirs. Connection is about unification of and attuning (tuning in) to. You FEEL something when you are connected to it, you don’t have to explain it, you just know it deep down that there is a bond establishing within you. Connecting to life itself through whichever medium brings you the most joy is a way of enhancing our perception of why we are here and what is important to us. As I mentioned above, the mind loves to separate which is helpful when it comes to definition and order. This separative tendency also means that when we DO reach a state of unification it is all the more noticeable and impactful. We get to experience both then, the comparative mental analysis joined by the unified heart felt bond of oneness.
To sum it all up, I feel that where you have Horses you have spirituality (expanse) and where you have life you have horses. What is spirituality? At the end of the day it is always what you make it. If you have a desire to expand your awareness of your life, yourself and the world around you, then you are being a spiritual Human, just asking the question ‘why’ will do it. When it comes to Horses: I’ve sat in meditation for hours at a time with my Herd at home, i’ve done shamanic journeying with them and written notebook after notebook of material filled with lessons they’ve taught me. The most profound inner changes sometimes come in the simplest packaging. There are many ways to create a deeper understanding of yourself if that’s what you want and you can do that in a beautiful way through just spending TIME with your Horse(s). Seek to connect, seek to understand, seek to expand because you can and because together, with our Horses or with each other we can create a world where we are truly ONE.