From the Desk of Linda Tellington-Jones

Posts tagged ‘Animal Ambassadors’

Upcoming Book, The Chimpanzee Chronicles, Reminds me of My Time With Chimps in Zambia

I have been communicating with Debra Rosenman, a certified Rubenfeld Synergist, and Jessica O’Donoghue, an animal behavior consultant, about my work with chimpanzees in the 1990’s. Debra and Jessica met at Kindred Spirits Animal Sanctuary in New Mexico during one of my trainings there this year, and began a conversation about Debra’s upcoming book, the Chimpanzee Chronicles. I find it so inspiring how wonderful people meet and share ideas at our trainings.

This exchange reminds me of my time in Zambia and New York City TTouching apes and monkeys. I spent only a few brief moments in passing with a beautiful baboon female under the streets of New York City at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where thousands of animals are kept for research. I can see and feel her beauty and her desperate eyes as though it were yesterday. The consciousness that was present was so clear that I wonder how we humans can be so unaware. I was at Sloan-Kettering research at the time discussing the fate of 6 pig-tailed macaques scheduled to be sold to a biomedical research center by Hunter College. I met with the veterinarians in charge of the Hunter College apes to convince them that we could offer a worthwhile life in retirement instead. (more…)

Kaja & Grom Ranch, Slovenia: Inspiration

I awoke around 5 a.m. with in inspiration. In 1984 while working as a Citizen Diplomat with Esalen Soviet/American Exchange, I found that animals created connections in the former Soviet Union that brought new understanding and communication. It was at this time that I conceived of the idea of Animal Ambassadors – acknowledging animals as ambassadors to open new doors for communication as well as we humans taking the responsibility of being ambassadors for the animals – to protect them with our hands, our hearts and our voices.

I know that animals play a much more important, often understated role, but I could not find words that seemed appropriate for the feelings I had. This morning I awoke before dawn and the following words seemed to flow onto the computer screen, as though dictated by my guardian angel.

Animal Ambassadors and the Tellington TTouch Training programs teach a basic philosophy of kindness rather than domination of animals and yet leads to a much deeper spiritual level – a recognition of Oneness with All.

Our purpose is to promote understanding, compassion, and caring of our fellow beings by learning to treat animals with care, compassion and understanding. In this way animals become our teachers to help us become more caring, loving human beings with the intent to make a shift– from competition to cooperation, from reaction to action – from aggression to compassion – to shift our individual molecular makeup – our DNA – from survival to intelligence. In this way we can learn to be guardians on this precious planet.

This work is about communication: Communication with our own species, and with other species on many levels; verbally, non-verbally; equally from the mind and from the heart.

TTouch takes the understanding to another level: to the universe within our cells so that we awaken the ability to connect with the divine mind within our selves.

With self-applied TTouch we are able to reach a new level of intelligence according to the first definition in the Merriam.-Webster Dictionary: “the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations.” In other words, to develop our skills and our ability to adapt in this rapidly-changing world. Not just to adapt for our own survival, but with an open heart and caring for the collective whole. By TTouching another being – whether it is an animal or a person – we connect at a cellular level beyond words. In this way we learn a new form of communication and we honor animals as our teachers.

Fog fills the valley and the horses are like ghosts in the mist. I worked on my Animal Ambassador statement and at 8 a.m. when Roland and Andre and Darja woke up we sat in the courtyard enjoying sweet Slovenian coffee in the quiet. Between conversations I was photographing the spider webs and the peacock who came for cat food. Heavenly!

Roland was delighted with my Animal Ambassador statement, which I have been waiting to write for ten years. I can only wait for the muse – or the angels – and it always comes to me out of a deep sleep. This was perfect timing because Darja had another unexpected press interview and found my Animal Ambassador purpose helpful for explaining the work with the children that they do here.

Sheep Ambassadors at Kaja & Grom

Sheep Ambassadors at Kaja & Grom

We spent part of the morning helping Darja feed the horses and sheep and goats and pig and chickens and then we just hung out and worked on our computers for most of the day.

Goat Ambassadors at Kaja & Grom

Goat Ambassadors at Kaja & Grom

In the late afternoon Simon (the symphony conductor) and his wife Andrea came out and I spent some time helping with their stallion, Maj.

© Linda Tellington-Jones 2008

Kona, Hawaii to Lubjanja, Slovenia

We’re off on another three-month teaching tour of seven countries and even though I packed my suitcases the day before (what a relief!) we still rush out the door at the last minute. We left Rayne in the expert care of Kim Carneal, a TTEAM Practitioner-in-Training, and the angel who is responsible for reviewing many of my videos and getting them onto YouTube. She’s also taken on the responsibility of getting a separate Animal Ambassador website up. Mahalo Kim!

We had a bit of a shock arriving at the airport to discover our plane was leaving 30 minutes ahead of our printed schedule and we were told we were too late. However, with a typical aloha attitude, the United Airlines employee at the check in counter made an exception and hustled us on board. Whew! Were we grateful. Our 5 suitcases even made it.

We stayed overnight in San Francisco and climbed aboard the almost 10 hour flight to Frankfurt rested and thoroughly delighted to discover we had been upgraded to business class on the newest United plane with seats that lay flat like a real bed. Plus we were upstairs which is our favorite. It’s like being on cruise ship with individual large video screens and many bells and whistles. The seats are so comfortable that I worked all night on my computer and Roland spent most of the night listening to Pavarotti and some of his favorite opera music, and I found some exquisite classical music to keep me inspired.

We had a short layover in Frankfurt and then on to Slovenia. This is our second trip to Slovenia and we were eager to meet our friends, Darja & Andre Znidersic who have organized a dog and a horse demo for me, to highlight their weekend of “open door” celebration of their new TTEAM, TTouch and Animal Ambassador Center.

Flying into Slovenia gave me the impression of landing in a fairytale. Spectacular mountain ridges, lush valleys and small villages lay beneath us like something out of a children’s story tale. The airport in Ljubianja is small for a capital city – something I prize in this age of gigantic airports that look alike no matter what country we’re in.

Darja met us at the airport with her friend Simon Dvorsak, who is the conductor of the Symphony Orchestra Domzale-Kamnik and will be opening the Saturday evening program. with a concert at the ranch. Driving through the Slovenian countryside through small villages – with every house surrounded by flower gardens and garlanded with flower boxes – between fields of ripening crops – and through mountain valleys with steep tree-covered slopes – was a welcoming feeling, like entering a magical kingdom in a former time.

A narrow winding road leads through the woods to the Kaja and Grom Ranch. And what a treasure is this newest center featuring TTouch and Animal Ambassadors programs. My first visual impressions were of the horses grazing peacefully in pastures on one side of the road and on the other side a pair of sheep and a pot-bellied pig. And then the most beautiful wooden houses with window boxes and gardens of flowers with flagstone entrance, framed by forest on one side and a distant mountain range beyond, the forested rolling hills. The love with which Darja and Andre have built most of this with their own hands, can be felt from afar. Their daughter, Manca, graciously turned over her upstairs bedroom to us, where we have cable internet and the sweetest view from the curtained windows. Sleeping in a totally wooden house that has been built with loving, caring hands, deep in the forest where the only sound at night are frogs and the occasional night bird, is a luxury I have seldom experienced.

Darja and Andrej moved this house board by board from their former location. its the library and teaching room for the summer camp and daily visits by school children who come to learn how to be with horses, sheep, potbelly pig,  goats and chickens and walk and often sleep in the woods to listen for the fairies and creatures of the forest. TTouch has been an integral part of the learning for more than 2000 children a year over the past decade.

Darja and Andrej moved this house board by board from their former location. its the library and teaching room for the summer camp and daily visits by school children who come to learn how to be with horses, sheep, potbelly pig, goats and chickens and walk and often sleep in the woods to listen for the fairies and creatures of the forest. TTouch has been an integral part of the learning for more than 2000 children a year over the past decade.

his peaceful morning scene - the stone walkway to the library and the mascot Lippizaner behind the bush take me back to the magical feeling of the new TTEAM/TTouch Center Slovenia at the Kaja & Grom Ranch.

this peaceful morning scene - the stone walkway to the library and the mascot Lippizaner behind the bush take me back to the magical feeling of the new TTEAM/TTouch Center Slovenia at the Kaja & Grom Ranch.

Arthur, a 32-year-old retiree rescued by Darja and Andrej to live out his life, roams the property freely during the day and grazes on the lawn in front of the main house. The white Lippizaner is huge, and I dreamed of exactly this horse the week before I visited their former center and when I saw this horse in the yard I knew we had much work to do together.

Arthur, a 32-year-old retiree rescued by Darja and Andrej to live out his life, roams the property freely during the day and grazes on the lawn in front of the main house. The white Lippizaner is huge, and I dreamed of exactly this horse the week before I visited their former center and when I saw this horse in the yard I knew we had much work to do together.

I am blown away by the organization for these two days of my demos. Darja has made up notebooks with pens attached for each of the 200 participants. I signed 200 printed Certificates of Completion – with each person’s hand-printed name. The certificates and the program are all printed on recycled paper, as are the bookmarks, with photos of the ranch animals – with a famous poem on the back – which are gifted to each participant.

Darja arranged for the translation and printing of two of my books into Slovenian – TTouch for Dogs, and Let’s Ride. I have to change all my bios now, to show books in 13 languages.

The Ranch is designed especially for eight-week summer camps for children who come from nearby European countries and as far away as America and Russia. The international blend of participants is part of the valuable training given to the youngsters in the summer program.. There are two bedrooms for the children who range in age from 7 to 18. One bedroom has 9 beds and the other 3 beds.

two thousand children a year come to Kaja & Grom Ranch to be with Darja and Andrej and their animals. Roland enjoying an early morning moment of peace.

two thousand children a year come to Kaja & Grom Ranch to be with Darja and Andrej and their animals. Roland enjoying an early morning moment of peace.

Darja (squatting) and I with teenagers who have been coming for many years to the magical summer camp at Kaja & Grom Ranch

Darja (squatting) and I with teenagers who have been coming for many years to the magical summer camp at Kaja & Grom Ranch

During the rest of the year, children come for the weekends as a part of an official school program. They learn about conservation, work with horses and other animals, caring for each other and TTouch. Andre takes them for an overnight survival course where they learn to track and catch fish and cook over a fire.

I am waiting for the chance to get enough time online to post all the beautiful photos taken here at Kaja and Grom Ranch. Check back!

To visit the Kaja and Grom Ranch website: Go to TTouch.com and click on TTouch and TTEAM in Slovenia. You will find the English version of Darja and Andre’s website, KajainGrom Ranch with many photos of their activities and Animal Ambassador Programs.

© Linda Tellington-Jones 2008

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