To Learn from Animal Being by John O'Donohue, in 
"To Bless the Space Between us: A Book of Blessings".

Nearer to the earth's heart,
Deeper within its silence:
Animals know this world
In a way we never will.

We who are ever
Distanced and distracted
By the parade of bright 
Windows thought opens;
Their seemless presence 
Is not fractured thus.

Stranded between time
Gone and time emerging
We manage seldom
To be where we are: 
Whereas they are always 
Looking out from
The here and now.

May we learn to return
And rest in the beauty
Of animal being, 
Learn to lean low,
Leave our locked minds,
And with freed senses
Feel the earth
Breathing with us.

May we enter
Into lightness of spirit,
And slip frequently into
The feel of the wild.
Let the clear silence
Of our animal being
Cleanse our hearts
Of corrosive words.

May we learn to walk
Upon the earth
With all their confidence
And clear-eyed stillness
So that our minds
Might be baptized
In the name of the wind
And the light and the rain.

I’ve been trying lately to walk with this poem held in my heart.  Trying to ‘feel the earth breathing with me’.  It’s not so hard to do, when I slow down enough to let my animal self simply be.

Try taking this poem with you to a favorite outdoor spot.  Read it slowly, and look around you with eyes ‘looking out from the here and now’.  What do you notice?  How is this way of looking different from our typical human way of approaching the world?

Read it slowly again.  Find a phrase that resonates and feels alive for you.  Embody it.  Make it come alive.  Maybe you feel moved to ‘lean low’, closer to the earth.  Or maybe you’re called to lie on the ground or against a tree or stand straight up in the breeze to ‘feel the earth breathing’ with you.  Maybe if feels like a time to practice what it’s like to ‘walk upon the earth with confidence and clear-eyed stillness’.

Be curious and explore.  What’s different in your body and heart and mind when you’re approaching all from your own animal being?