Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mindful or Mind Full

In addition to starting a new job two weeks ago, I'm taking a five day class called TTouch for Companion Animals.

I was introduced to the Tellington Touch method by Helping Paws folks. Some of the basic touches are taught to us as part of our training. About six weeks ago, Helping Paws strongly encouraged the foster homes, the graduates and other volunteers to attend an hour and half demonstration by Linda Tellington-Jones. The Golden Valley Humane Society was hosting Linda and HP staff thought we could learn a lot about the method straight from the horses mouth, as it were. That last phrase was not meant to be flip. Linda herself, learned the method from a horse - specifically, from working around the horse's head and mouth.

The method itself is extremely simple - but the concept behind it, mindfulness and respect, is much more difficult than it seems, at least for me. Identifying what it means to be aware of the animal, what it is feeling, how to connect with the place the animal is in and using touch to gently alter that state. "Being mindful" is a phrase I've heard so often this week. Long after I've learned all the touches; "chimp", "abalone", "python", and "clouded leopard", to name just a few, I have a feeling I'll still be working on just what it means to be "mindful".

Below is YouTube video of Linda demonstrating her method with a horse.

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