Great teachers have told us that we are here to learn about the illusion of loss, to understand that duality is but an expression of our human fears. How can we avoid this teaching, when over the course of a lifetime, the mortality of our loved ones must take us to this place over and over again, as the experience of life force departing from physical form leaves us with a deep, ripe opportunity to know the eternity of the soul.

It may even seem that the gift of human consciousness becomes a curse, for once wounded we anticipate the blow, our heartbreak cannot be sidestepped, cannot be buried within no matter how hard we try. And yet is this not the challenge, is this not the power of our awareness rising to its full force, as we dare to witness what cracks us open and then declare, no, I will not lose the truth of my love; the body may give way, but my trust, my faith will not die…

From the spirits of the four-leggeds we hear wisdom beyond our own, as they walk at our side, teachers, lovers of the heart, unquestioning friends. Here is one such transmission from a  deceased dog to her young mistress. The love between these souls leads us where so many fear to go…


Oh I am happy
for this chance to speak with you
happy to be with you
in this way again

Can you feel my joy, girl
can you feel it
just the same
as every time
you came home
and I came home
to you?

The first thing
I want you to know
is that my leaving
was quick
and easy
Sometimes a dog
can get old and weak
stiff and sore
and I didn’t have to go through that
I was young
and happy
right up until the end
so I’m not complaining
about anything now

I miss you though
and I think of you
because I can feel you
reaching for me
wondering about me
being angry about me
and none of those things
are necessary
because I’m right here
and even though you can’t touch me
just now
I am with you
and I am fine

Dogs see things
so differently than people do
and we don’t dwell
we don’t get stuck places
so for me
it was all in a day
and I was done with the experience
nothing to worry about
nothing to carry with me
where I went
I’m still me
goofy and sweet
restless and patient
playful and sleepy
intent on adventure
and something to eat

I can understand
of course
I can feel
your broken heart
how you wished more than anything
you could reach out

and do something

to fix it
to bring me home
once more
And I can understand you
being angry
feeling that I didn’t get
looked after
the way you would have
if I had been with you

But truly
my girl
my friend
it wasn’t that she was a bad woman
she was just afraid
she didn’t know
not like you know things
and while it feels
as if it could all be different
we can’t think that way
because we have to trust
that we are all walking
where we are meant to be walking
all the time
Sometimes it’s a sidewalk
Sometimes it’s grass
but wherever we put our paws
is where they are meant to land

And when I look
into your heart
like I have done
so many times
what I see
isn’t just your sadness
that you wish you could have stopped
my death
but it’s a much bigger sadness
at the unfairness of so many things
at the very possibility
that love can go away
just like that
and leave darkness
where there was lots of light
just moments before

You see your own wisdom
your own love
You see your own knowing
that I wasn’t safe
(and that knowing was real)
so you want your love to be enough
to protect me
and everyone you love
from this kind of harm

And when you get angry
a part of you is angry at yourself
because you loved me
so very much
But my girl
my friend
you did nothing wrong
in fact
you did everything right

Can you see?
You listened to your heart
and you heard a truth
and even though you couldn’t stop
my path from unfolding
the way it did
you showed me over and over
how real
was your love
and I felt you
just like you felt me
so I wasn’t alone
I wasn’t alone when I crossed over
I was always
with you

You must have heard stories
about how dogs find their way home
from so far away
not because they have ever travelled
that road before
but because they just know
where home is
they just know

That is because dogs can feel love
through walls
through mountains
across miles
We can feel
what people are meant to feel
but only some do
like you

So we can feel our girls or boys
our people
even when you aren’t right there
at our side
and I felt you
I felt your love
and that was all
that was important
to me then
because I wasn’t meant to stay
I had a place to go
even though it made me
and you
very sad

I know my leaving
made you think about
all kinds of leaving
It made you remember
that you were safe and warm
with me
and so you wondered
how you would ever
feel safe and warm again
And it’s hard
it really is
but you are so brave
just like me
soft and brave
at the same time
and now all there is
is for you to learn how to come back
to joy
like me
be wagging in a moment
like me
because life is too short
to be moping around
for very long

It will help to understand
that when you feel angry
at everyone who didn’t listen to you
you need to bark
to make a noise
And when you’ve said your piece
then you’ll be ready to walk away
because there are more important things
to be done

You also have to promise me
that you won’t be afraid
next time you know something
the way you did
about me
people get scared about
that kind of knowing
but you musn’t
because it’s very real
it’s what I always did
and even though
not everyone listened to me
I never stopped trying
I never stopped knowing
because we can’t –
once we see something true
it never goes away

Once upon a time
I knew a little girl

and she was my girl

And then I watched her
growing up
bigger than I ever imagined
much bigger than me
And when it was time
for me to go
I watched her
from my knowing place
and I saw her grow
taller than anyone would have guessed
inside herself
because she had to
because she had to learn to feel
the safety of me
even when I wasn’t there
under her hand

That’s the thing about love
it never goes away
it just teaches us to look further
to reach deeper
the way dogs do
every day
It follows us
like a faithful friend
even when we are grumpy
even when we aren’t much fun
to be around

And my love
is following you
right now
past the worry
past the anger
past the feelings of guilt
and despair

Wasn’t I good at that?
Following you?
And why would that change
I’m even faster now
much lighter on my feet
and I’m waiting
I’m wagging
I’m the knowing
in that puppy’s eyes
when you smile at one another
when it’s time
to come home

Joy is so easy for us
if only it could be for you!
But I am forever grateful for your love
and I’ve felt it in your tears
in your angry fists
in your questions in the night
And now
it’s time to be strong in a new way
clearer than ever before
knowing there is nothing to do
but bark
and run
and never stop listening
to a heart that tells the truth

the way yours

has learned to do

And I promise
to always
be with you..

Cynthia Long / 09
photo by Cynthia Long

FINAL ACT – The Innocence of Muslims and Others

FINAL ACT – The Innocence of Muslims and Others


In 2012 Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, an Egyptian born U.S. citizen, writer, producer and Coptic Christian, posted a film on YouTube that came to be known as “The Innocence of Muslims”.  The bizarre, laughably unprofessional video contained anti-Islamic content which had been added in post production by dubbing without the actors’ knowledge. On September 11 the film stirred demonstrations and violent protests in Egypt, which spread to other Arab and Muslim nations and some western countries. The protests led to hundreds of injuries and over fifty deaths.  Fatwas were issued against the video’s participants and a Pakistani minister offered a bounty for the killing of Nakoula.  J. Christopher Stevens, an American diplomat, lawyer and ambassador to Libya was killed in an attack upon the U.S. Embassy.

The transmission which follows was in response to the many questions asked about this event. I shared it on my blog in 2012, but I find the guidance in it so relevant at this time I am re-posting it. Please share.

Tell us about the film Innocence of Muslims, the uprisings in protest of the film and the death of J. Christopher Stevens.  


It has been said that all life is but a stage
and its people only actors
There are times when we can witness this truth
in the dramas of our private lives
but then we quickly resume the play
the very next moment
so complicit are we
with our soul’s agreement
to act out our chosen role
until the very end

One of the great gifts
of our world’s present awakening
is the opportunity to recognize the theatre
in so many aspects of our personalities
our desires and our habits
More than ever before
we are shown the puppetry of our ways
And so it is no surprise
that it would be a piece of theatre
a humorously inept story played out on a world stage
that now engages our hearts and minds
like a suffering worm that squirms
on a child’s fishing hook
a small, powerless creature
sacrificed for larger gains
as the small fish
is eaten by the bigger fish
until all life becomes a game of entrapment
the bait, a piece of nonsense
worthy only of dismissal
that has taken hold of Hatred
and threatens
to make it King

Before the illusion falls
it blows up into mythic proportions
Before the Wizard is revealed as nothing
we must believe him to be everything
in our innocence and trust
for it is the power of this belief
that will fuel our new awakening
when we are ready
when we have spent our denial
and spit it like poison
upon the ground
when finally
we have the opportunity
to become truly free

And so if you look around
you will see that the most unconscious of players
are enacting the most flagrant untruths
and the most empty hearts
are living the most passionate
and destructive lies
And as much as we wish to regret them
as much as we are astonished
and hurt
and righteous
even these ones
even these sleeping souls
have a role to enact
in the theatre that plays out
before our very eyes

We tell you now
there is no hate, blame or destruction
to be found in the search for God
We tell you now
there is no Spirit alive
in the desire to control and condemn
But in the name of religion
godliness has been lost
and in the name of righteousness
we are shown only our most base humanity
the very childish fears
we have sought so long
to transcend

And so cruel suffering and death continue
and the sphere threatens to crack
above the heat of hate’s fire
and yet even here
even in this
we are given the chance to see
more clearly than ever before
the ignorance
the foolishness
the supreme waste
of continuing to play this game

Within these lands
where Muslims, Jews and Christians swirl
in mutual torment
we find the cleansing of the most ancient of fears
attempts to take place
for these illusions are old
so very old
they were born even as our world was born
and so we come full cycle
back to the flaws
that keep us weak
now illuminated in hideous relief
until the dark becomes so black
there will be no mistaking the light
until Love’s opposite takes us so far from Truth
we are left with nothing
nothing but that which was obvious
right from the start
if only we will step down from the stage
and live what is real
with utter fearlessness in our hearts

And do you see
that each man who raises his voice
in defense of a dogma
is on the same search?
Each one
thinks to claim his home
each one
believes in his own honour
each one
measures his worth
by his dominance
by his ability to instill respect
otherwise known
as fear

In this
each one is but a child
who holds a hidden terror
that he is without a home
without worth
without value
yet if he would but dare
to turn his eyes to the sun
he would find there that he has permission
to be a child
to surrender to the mother he has cast away
to sink helpless
into Her arms

And when one man appears to be sacrificed
always know
that he is but the face
of so many others who have gone before
and all those who will follow
His name and his status represent
the name and the status of all those who are at war
and as he dies
he plays the role of the hero
the protagonist in the story of the day
as we are asked yet again
to wake up
wake up
wake up to the violence
that has lived
in us all

It is only when we can stop accusing
when we can turn that angry pointed finger
toward our own mirror
that we have any hope of reconciliation
of ending the circle
of denial and blame
It is only
when the most horrific bombs have dropped
when the most ridiculous rules have been followed
when the most absurd stories are believed
that those who sleep most deeply
may be inspired to give up their slumber
because the act is closing
the curtain is falling
and the grand, grand theatre of life
must surely come to an end

So even as we fear
we must trust in a new world
one we may see for the first time
when the house lights come up
and the actors take off their chosen garb
Even as the voices of ignorance
shout in the daily news
we must welcome the peace
they will leave in the wake
of their bombast
and their lust

And for those of us
who are graced with a seat in the balcony
where we watch the closing scenes
of a story as old
as the beginning of humankind
we must take our cue
from the heroes who fall before us
and walk from the theatre
in complete honesty
never again to utter
anything less than the truth
no matter how great the risk
no matter how high the cost


The days of good guys and bad guys
of saint and devil
of friend and foe
are coming to an end
as the pointlessness of all polarities
is revealed
And the only question that remains
is can you
will you
take off your own costume
throw away your script
let go the need
to play to an audience
and then do your part
in this final act
to lead the way

Can you
will you
wake up from your own sleep
before the theatre

from The Final Act: The Innocence of Muslims and Others

Adi’s interview with Hugh Reilly and Sandra Kyrzakos, discussing the process of releasing fear.


Talk with Adi here: