Healing Ourselves to Hear Others

Day 3 of the Intuitive Inter-species Communication Symposium

Bowie Yin Sum Kung
4 min readMay 13, 2023
Photo by Mylon Ollila on Unsplash

Today, the main theme for me was healing. It seems to me that when Intuitive Inter-species Communication (IIC) is talked about, it’s often centred around the mysticism and skepticism. This breeds doubt and judgment, which, in turn, breeds a stance of othering. Othering has caused so much hurt, violence, pain, and trauma in our world. Whether we choose to believe in the validity and existence of IIC or not, we have to start from a place of healing ourselves.

Skepticism and other ways of knowing

In the morning breakout session on ‘Learning about IIC’, Alicia Van Den Abeele, Thomas Cheng, and Dr. Allen Schoen presented their research (scroll to the bottom to see summary) and talked about the skepticism of IIC and using scientific research to communicate to humans about IIC, how neurodivergent people seem to be more in-tune with animals (re: Temple Grandin), and how important mind training is to quiet the mind and allow ourselves to feel other beings’ emotions and communications.

How to be a better (inter-species) communicator

In the afternoon breakout session on ‘How to Integrate and Grow in IIC’, Anna Breytenbach shared tips to be a better inter-species listener and communicator:

  • Notice gut feelings, felt bodily or emotional senses, or other sensations. Work from our strengths when we practice, so that we may develop our IIC ‘muscle’.
  • Whatever we receive from more-than-human-beings may come to us in a form of memory or image from our personal library, the closest match we have in our cognitive mind. Use these memories and images to understand and discern, but be careful not to project all of our experiences onto the being. Distinguish what is ours and what is the beings’. We could do this also by asking the beings for confirmation.
  • Prepare open questions and don’t have any preconceived expectations. Ask for their guidance, suggested solutions, advice, desire. Ask if they have anything else they would like to add.
  • Have self-compassion. Compassion for others may cause burnout if we don’t take care of ourselves.
Photo by Priss Enri on Unsplash

Anna also shared techniques to better discern between our own thinking versus the beings’ communications:

  • Use mindful breathing (without any breathing techniques). Just be aware, by being and not doing. Anything we do will inevitably occupy bandwidth of perceiving. A lot of time during IIC is spent by centring ourselves. (Anna says that it’s okay; other beings are often quite patient with us clumsy humans.)
  • Try to notice any prior knowledge of a species or individual, expectations, or how we’ve been programmed in our education. These can cause blind spots. We need to move towards relationship of acceptance. Pre-existing knowledge have certain qualities; learn to notice them. If we sit still quietly for long enough, the smaller inner voice will become evident and reveal itself — that’s our intuition.
  • Pressure is not helpful. Approach IIC in a spirit of playfulness and fun. Learn and practice with people who don’t try to test you or your accuracy.
  • Be aware of our human saviour complex. Seek to understand with curiosity before moving to the conclusion of helping.
  • Be with things are they are. Strive for equanimity, acceptance, and presence. Witness what’s happening within ourselves and don’t confuse that with the other beings’ truth. Don’t go ‘self-medicating’ with happiness, with dopamine.
  • Heal ourselves

Research from the panel: Learning about Intuitive Inter-species Communication (IIC)

Alicia Van Den Abeele shared her research on horse-human embodied communication within equine-assisted therapy settings. She writes, ‘Horse Nature And Physiology demonstrates that the nature of horses as prey and herd animals makes them highly emotionally attuned to their social environment and provides us humans with an incredible opportunity for intuitive, authentic communication.’

Thomas Cheng’s research showed that anyone, after one day of training, can perform basic IIC with an animal. It also showed that almost all participants experienced and agreed to the existence of IIC.

Allen Schoen developed the Conscious Animal Lovers Movement (C.A.L.M.), a culmination of over 40 years of holistic integrative veterinary medicine through practice, research, publishing, and teaching. The purpose and mission is to ‘harness the healing power of the love of animals into a global movement for creating a healthier, happier, more conscious and harmonious world.’

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Bowie Yin Sum Kung

I write about regenerative practices, climate and social justice, decolonial and alternative economies, economies that heal, and the wonders of nature.