by Joan Ward 2008

How does it feel to be an animal communicator? How did it come to be your path?
I donít see myself as an ďanimal communicatorĒ The term implies communication from one being to another What takes place is more of a merging of myself with the other being. Meditation practice is flowering and am able to make myself 100% present to animals. Iím not in the mind at all, but in a quiet internal space, dedicated to assisting animals however I can. This happens in all sorts of different ways. Chronic illness in an animal isnít ever really the core of the matter. When I am in the still space, light is shed on whatever wants to be seen.

Communicating with other beings is not mysterious. When entering into the pristine inner space with the intention of bringing clarity, speaking happens. The communication comes through as direct knowing. Itís not visual or emotional, but is a transfer as thought. It happens through a universal language that we all speakÖ.a language of light. Whether the being that needs to speak is cat, dog, plant, or human being need not be identified for all is One.

Itís very spacious with a dissolving of spaces and edges. The I- thought relaxes. The communicating isnít ego based, it is more accurately a communion. Especially dogs and cats have rudimentary egos, but that is by-passed in a merged state of oneness just as it
Is when communicating on a soul level with humans.

How are you clear that this is your path? Will it change?
Iím clear this is my path because it is what shows up each day to attend to. I avoid the ďnormalĒ world to support its full flowering. In many ways my life is like a monkís life, but it isnít ďspecialĒ. It is simply a calling. The calling calls for solitude and to sit in meditation, to dedicate myself to going into that space of inner stillness. Meditation is the support. It is from this space of meditation (oneness in the moment without thought) that
I open to the animals.

Some people say ďwhy devote your life to animals, when there is so much human suffering?Ē It is a matter of calling. Some are called to work with ill and dying people, or aids patients; others are called to work with children and infants, some work with the unborn and others are called into the service of the environment. No calling is more important than another. All calls come from within and must be heard, acted on and honored. In the still space of meditation one can hear the call.

My initial connection with the animal is through the voice of the person, probably from years and years of phone work. Then the animal clicks in to speak. People may talk a lot
at firstÖ.everyone needs to have their story heardÖ but itís really the vibration of the personís voice that keys me in to the animal and into the situation as a whole. Animals and humans share so muchóneuroses. I hold a still space of presence and soon --who is who dissolves and separation quits. Then the real issue shines through...and beneath the issue is always a great gift; the Ďpearl of great price.í

When the phone rings I come fully into the process and offer myself 100%. Iím not the doer. I just get out of the way. I rarely take notes unless there are a lot of animals and then only sparingly like doodling. I let it flow and trust that in future communications we will pick up what is needed because of the timeless nature of connecting on the soul level in the moment of Now, the only moment there ever is.

Each day I have ďimpersonalĒ contact with the animals in my meditation. I dedicate the meditations to all the animals and people who have reached out to me. Many others do this also; we raise the consciousness for one another, we give satsang for everyone.

I never think of a person or animals as being sick. I just raise my own frequency and that raises the frequency of others. The intention is very, very simple. I see each being and each situation as perfect and then hold that frequency of wholeness and perfection. We are all one. There is only one life, one health and that life and health are Godís/the Divineís life and health. How could that life or health be anything but perfect.

I mostly help people with subtraction. Most life's challenges are greatly complicated
by too much of everything...too much thinking, too much much input from family members and friends, too many emotions. Whatever the situation is it becomes complicated to such an extent that we cannot see with clarity what the situation calls for, what action needs to be taken and we certainly can't hear our animal companion speak from such a state of complication. When over-complication is the case, which it almost always is, I help the client strip away all the unnecessary "noise" so his or her own intuition shines through. This is very empowering to the client and is almost always reflected as a new level of calmness in the animal, renewed health, changed behavior and, if death is approaching there is a relaxing into the process for all concerned. This is nothing that I do. It is grace pouring in to the empty space created by letting go of complication. The magic of the work is to be completely naked, to have no agenda at all and let the energy go where it needs to and not be too fixated on the animal. Many animals are made sick by over attention and worry directed toward them.

How Does Information from the animal come to you?
I get information in many ways. For example, many times the plants in a personís environment will tell me if there is something toxic involved. I ask the animals and person to really empty and trust the higher good. Sometimes I will offer a spontaneous prayer before I begin, but mostly there is not agenda, no wanting to change anything 
or make better. I just want to shed light, and help simplify the inner and outer, to help people let go, surrender. Itís just the Divine working through us. My understanding of viruses and bacteria, for example, is that the higher the frequencies we are living in, the less they will grow. They can come into the energy field but not necessarily enter the physical body. They can enter and exit the body, give and take information, and take it back out. I think they are here as little communicators to inform the DNA. As our vibration rises, so does theirs. There is no disease in the Now. Healing occurs without time and space being factors.

Raising the vibration is beneficial for all beings. The Now is perfect and nothing needs to change. The great American mystic Joel Goldsmith likened grace to electricity--itís all around, but unless you wire the house, it doesnít light the house. The grace of God is always flowing.Vibrating at the optimum helps the flow. Meditation is the wiring of the house so grace can flow into us. We live by grace by being empty. The empty space is
Filled with grace

I see animals as equally important and magnificent as humans, no difference really other than the outer form. The animal feels my equal regard of them. They have a sense of being truly seen and they melt into this. Their behavior, if that is the issue, may or may not change. I donít really focus on changing behavior. I trust the behavior that doesnít change is supposed to be there. Cats and dogs, especially, will pick up the neuroses of humans and act accordingly, sometimes mirroring the neurosis of the person. As long as the person needs the mirror, who am I to try and abort the lesson. With openness and
simplicity we can explore what the lesson is. There is a misconception that an animalís behavior will change if we can simply communicate that a change is desired, but it is not so. Some will try to co-operate, but find they canít drop the behavior easily, just like humans. And sometimes they just say, ďNo I am going to do what I want.Ē The most interesting approach is to look deeply into the reason for the behavior, not in an analytical way, but just through holding the intention of clarity lightly. The underlying state is meditative; the words are on the surface. In holding space, reasons for neuroses are made clear or sometimes disappear.

As domestic animals become more like people, they take on human traits, including physical and mental disease. Thought forms are made up of the collective consciousness. Cats are beginning to pick up more on this. Dogs have for a long time and even, just like people, some fear death.

What about elephants and other wild animals?
They have a vast emotional life, both individual and collective. Emotion is the elephantís bodily response to thinking. They can make a story out of their emotions, a dramatic story, and they also can come to a place of peace and ease, especially if the once who have been captive in circuses and such are given adequate outdoor space, 
like at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Elephants and great apes have a tremendous collective pain-body as a result of the tremendous suffering they endure because of human ignorance.

Not all species or individual animals are willing to share their thoughts with us. Foxes, for example. Or crows and ravens, although they may bring messages. They are avid observers of human behavior but often-reluctant communicators. They want to test our intentions and arenít interested in superficial interactions. Dolphins and whales vibrate at a very high frequency of consciousness. I experience a merging with them, but they donít tell me a lot I can put into words. If you are really sincere, they can raise your vibration. At the highest frequency, communion arises and no words are necessary.

Companion animals will sometimes tell ďmistruthsĒ or tell us to ďBuzz off!Ē Like us they will sometimes lie to protect a friend or because they donít trust us with the truth. And sometimes they are in a situation and just donít know what is going on. One client had a overly domesticated pure bred cat who didnít know she was pregnant. She didnít know what the kittens were when they were born, and didnít know what to do with them. The confusion is just like with humans.

Misunderstanding can occur around issues of pregnancy or dying. Right after death, animals like humans, may not recognize they are dead. For this reason I like to observe a respectful period of time to allow the departed soul to make the necessary adjustments and I often decline to try and contact the dead. Often the greatest gift we can give them is to leave them undisturbed.

I have a profound respect for life and for what comes through during a session. I simply receive and pass on. Sometimes I donít understand what the animal wants to share, but it usually makes sense to the person if I just relate it the best I can. The communication comes into words without effort. All living beings speak a language of light. There is no forethought, I just speak what is received.
When communicating with an animal itís useful to not get too fixated words, or visual aspects, but rather to just enter into the silence and trust what comes. People can drive animals nuts trying to talk with them!

What about missing animals?
Sometimes animals want to go missing, and so will distort the information they give if they are pressed for information.. Or, if I inquire, ďAre you in your body?Ē, in the first three days or so after the death they often wonít be clear they arenít. Especially cats who spend much of their embodied life in communion with other dimensions so they often donít know if they are ďdeadĒ or ďalive.Ē Really there is no death. We perceive of life and death as opposites, but it is not so. Birth and death may be opposite, but animals know there is only one life occurring in the moment of now, whether in body or not. It often doesn't fee appropriate for me to act as a liason for animals on the other side. The soul has its own path or calling. They may or may not be able to communicate. Mostly, I see people do this out of fear of death. I donít want to draw the dead back into this realm through communication unless it will somehow benefit them and allow more freedom. If we cut them free, they will often communicate of their own accord, even if its years later.

Say something more about the fear of death
In our Western culture a profound fear of death is held in the collective consciousness and we are condition to believe that we must grieve when someone we love dies. I believe grieving is optional, somewhat of a conditioned response. It is ego based because it is our response to what we perceive we have lost. It gives us an opportunity to rehearse our own fear of death and belief in separation. Through meditation we can learn to be as free of ego-based ritualization. Death truly understood is the very reason for life; that to which life points all of us. It can and should be a celebrated of a life lived and the great journey into the Infinite Invisible. When a loved one dies we have the choice to celebrate their passage and wish them well. If we practice meditation we come into the now where no prior conditioning exists and it has great benefits when dealing with the death of a beloved friend. We should always serve the process of release of the one who is dying. Much of my work is helping people release their beloved animals in joy and celebration. I think itís best to raise our vibration to meet our departed friends in their new life rather than trying to call them back to this denser plane. This is one of the animals greatest gifts to us. I often mark the 49 days after death, the time the Tibetan Buddhists say many will take to go through the state after death. I notice that people get a clear message from the animal as that time period concludes. Not always, but often.

Say something about re-birth
We humans often forget there are countless dimensions in which beings can incarnate. We should let our animals go free without strings. My darling cat Lily is very close to her transition and I think it will be to the Pure Land. In Buddhism the Pure Land is a dimension in which beings can study great teachings and evolve toward enlightenment without all the hassle we have on earth. For animals it means no predators, no pray, no people to take care of. I have no inclination to insist Lily come back here for incarnation. I love her deeply and I want her to move along on her own path. She has been fortunate to have met many great spiritual masters and have their blessing. I know she will be well cared for when she crosses over. Each day I play and say mantras to her to direct her soul toward the Pure Land and I put written mantras under her water bowl so the water is charged with good intentions for her.

What would you like to leave people with today?
What I see as most important, Is to allow animals (living or dead) to have their own independence as much as possible. Though they are our companions and often have important work to do with us, they also have their own independent lives. Rather than insisting that animals join us in our human lives let us give equal time being curious and learning about their lives, and their culture. People often regard animals as their children. This diminishes the strength of their purpose in our lives. Sometimes of course they do need mothering, but any sensitive person can also see the many ways in which animals mother and teach us. There is a sacred relationship to relax into that goes both ways. We can be all things for one another. My mother held me in her lap when I was young, and then I came to hold her in my lap. The Beloved is not limited by one role.

On my altar, I have photos of teachers and masters, but I put photos of my ancestors in a box so as not to stimulate emotional attachment, either my attachment to them or theirs to me. In this way we are all free.

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