Take a moment or two and contemplate this. What is your pet? With your eyes, you see the lovely eyes and nose and lolling tongue. It makes you smile. With your touch, you feel the soft fur, the wetness of the kiss. With your ears you hear the breath, the paws softly moving across the flooring with your nose, you smell the soft coat and the breath. This is what our mind tells us is our pet.
But, what if you were born without vision. Your pet would be different. You would not have the vision to make reference. You would identify your pet with your other senses and you would love it just the same. And, what if your hearing was gone. That would affect your perception of your pet, but you would love it just the same.
If you look out over a beautiful sunrise, you smile with pleasure. If you smell the dinner cooking on the stove at home, you smile with pleasure. If you feel the cool water while swimming in the ocean, you smile. All of your senses can be activated to give you great pleasure. We know this.
Why is it that our pets are different than the other pleasures derived by the senses? Is it our thoughts that they are “our” pet? No, that is attachment and attachment is of the fearful ego and the fearful ego does not bring pleasure. It is the love that we have for our pets. That is what makes them special. We know this at all levels of awareness.
Now, contemplate what I discussed about loss of perception. If by some freak accident, you lost all ability to perceive your pet, would you still love it? Yes, because you would feel the love that you have for your pet and the love that your pet has for you. It is an unconditional love that is deeper than the deepest ocean and can always be felt, far beyond the body’s perceptions.
When you are away from home, away from your pet, can you still feel the love that you have for your pet? Of course, because unconditional love is beyond time and space. It is everlasting. If it is everlasting, which it is, then it is always present, with or without the body senses.
If we contemplate this, we find that our connection with our pets, bonded by unconditional love, is not affected by any of our body senses. We love our pet without the need of the physical body reminding us. We are aware of this when we are away from them if we just take the time and be aware of that love that we have for them.
When our pet decides it is time to transition, to shed the old, tired body, we are no longer capable of perceiving our pet with the body. We cannot see, touch, smell or hear them. This is not love, it is just the body senses reacting to pleasurable circumstances. But, the love is still there, deep below the surface of the body, like the depth of the ocean. We find it when we are quiet and become aware of it. In doing this, we know that that specialness of our pet, our unconditional love that is shared between us, is still with us always as it is everlasting. We just need to take the time to be aware of it as it is always with us.
Ok, let us go deeper into our realization. Think of your morning. You wake up and you realize that the body comes alive. Your eyes look around the room to the familiar sites. Your nose smells the familiar smells. You feel the sheets on the bed. You hear the sound of your pet moving around the room. You taste the bad taste of morning breath. And, at the same time, you are aware of all of this happening. You sense something else, something that makes you feel alive, your presence. It gives you the sense of I am.
We can agree that we are not what we perceive. We see our pet and absolutely know that we are not our pet. We smell the bacon cooking and know that we are not the bacon. We brush our teeth and hair and we know that we are not our teeth and our hair. We can’t be something we are aware of. We hear thoughts in our mind. Are we the thoughts or are we that that is listening to the thoughts?
If we cannot be that that we are aware of, then we cannot be the body, mind or emotions. I am Dennis. Is that true? No. Dennis is just a name, a label that can easily be changed. I am a human being. Is this true? No, it is also just a concept and because I am aware of it, it cannot be me. If you take the time to identify all of the things that you believe you are, you will realize that nothing on your list is actually you. They cannot be because you are aware of them.
Think back on several of your life experiences. Remember when you were a child and something that may have happened. Now, imagine when you were a teenager and something that happened then. What about an event that has happened as an adult. Maybe getting married or having a child or adopting your first pet. You can see that you have had many, many experiences and changes throughout your life. However, there is one thing that has never changed. That is your awareness of these experiences. That quiet, sense of being aware has always been there. When you look at all of the things, labels, concepts that you have identified with and realize that none of them are actually you, you will start to realize that the only thing left is the awareness itself. This awareness is your true self, and is the source of unconditional love.
Your pet is also not a thing, a pet, a name and so on. When all of the concepts and labels are seen as nothing but a description, then you can realize that your pet is actually the silent awareness that has also been present throughout its life. We can also realize that the silent awareness, or unconditional love that is us is also our pet and in this realization we become aware that we and our pets are actually one. Oneself expressing itself as unconditional love.
Grieve the loss of the body and the loss of the pleasures it brought for your senses, but be joyous in the awareness that the loving connection that you have with your pet is still there, alive and beautiful.