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Showing posts from September, 2011

Home is Where the Dog Is

For the past ten years, I have been using The Wizard of Oz to teach mythology, fairy tales, and Eastern philosophies to my college Literature students, sometimes three classes per semester, three semesters per year. In recent years, rather than paying attention to the plot and effects, I have been taking greater note of my students' responses to the Oz journey. Once Dorothy hooks up with her companions and skips along the yellow brick road (surely a symbol of the third chakra, the "I am" of individual existence), we see how each character mistakenly seeks an object like a heart or a brain, thinking it will render him complete. Actually it is not the object but a chakra, an integral part of the whole that the character thinks he's missing. Of course we know that no parts are missing; the chakras are there but the characters have not been fully awakened to them. This pretty much parallels the way so many of us live our lives in the mundane world which dulls the senses …

Surviving the Loss of a Pet: Tips to Get Through the Grief

Your animal has died and you are distraught. You have never felt such deep and prolonged loss and are afraid to share this with others who will minimize and perhaps dismiss your pain as misplaced or trivial. Wrong. All of us who have shared life with (not "owned") animals have entered and emerged from this unavoidable black hole, and we'll likely revisit it as long as we live with animals whose life spans do not equal ours in measure. What can you do with this grief?

1. Give yourself permission to grieve, and give your self permission to grieve hard. Experience it. Embrace it, even. It's real and it's potent. Avoiding grief, burying it, masking it, will guarantee its future re-emergence as a larger and more devastating threat to your well being.

2. Remember. Remember the joy and mischief, the silly songs and the serious training, the intimacy and the frustration, the quiet support and cuddles your dog gave you when he sensed you needed them most.

3. Talk about yo…