What is this place? It’s dark. I stare into it. As my eyes adjust to the darkness I begin to notice the jagged texture of the surrounding walls. I’m in a cave that has seemingly come to life as the shadows and the candle light dance together. How did I get here? Am I alone? No. I sense its presence through the darkness. There is something else here.
Emerging from the shadows, the first thing I noticed were its peering eyes. Intensely yellow with pupils deeper than the darkness of the cave itself. A gaze so terrifying it passes through all mental defenses, piercing my Heart so sharply. How can something reach me so deeply? How can a simple stare so utterly destroy me? How could I get lost in those eyes all those years ago? The physical eyes mean nothing to it. It instead gazes into my spiritual eye, the Eye of the Mind, or what many traditions refer to as the Third Eye. It is through this eye that the Heart is truly reached. It is how humans connect with other sentient creatures on a spiritual level, through an unlocked capacity for empathy. We are able to see our spiritual Essence in others, their existence resonates with our own, which is an immense gift, but it comes at a cost. In Hinduism, the Third Eye chakra is a called आज्ञा (Ajna), and is the sixth body chakra. It signifies the subconscious Mind and is linked to Brahman, and thus allows us to see through the illusions of the world. In Buddhism, the Third Eye is the symbol of spiritual awakening that arises out of non-attachment and true knowledge of Nothingness and Emptiness. The awakening of this eye is entrance into more profound levels of consciousness through which the higher realms of Reality are perceived. In Islam, this spiritual eye is called بصيرة (Basirah), the initial awakened spiritual state arising out of divestment from this world. It is a state through which we acquire true perception about the transcendent nature of our own Reality in relation to this world as a lower level of reality. Passage through this state leads to the awakening of فراسة, the Eye of Firasah, which manifests a powerful spiritual intuition, true vision, understanding, and discernment, that allows one to progress further along the hidden path towards the enlightened Heart. The Prophet Muhammad said to be aware of the Firasah of spiritually awakened people because they see with the Light of Allah. This is an important point that relates to the concept and nature of pain. It’s not clear now, but later on it might become clearer.
Right now, in this moment, it feels like this being before me perceives me in this manner. I feel fear, shame, anger, resentment, pain. What is this experience? Am I experiencing myself? Is that what I am? I had no choice but to observe this, I was paralyzed by its glare. It sat before me. Its enormous body, defined and intimating, was refined beyond the limits of the physical world itself. Its orange fur straddled intensely dark stripes, momentarily giving off the illusion of fire. Suddenly its lips curled back, unfurling its fangs. My Heart seized as the pain and anxiety and the fear blasted through my Being. Before I knew it, it sank its teeth into my arm. It dug deep, reaching through the bone as if my muscles provided no defense whatsoever. This pointed to the illusion of the material world. It cannot protect your Soul. It is already dust in the wind. To attach a sense of existential value to it leaves you vulnerable, in a state of need. The Buddha, during his confrontation with Mara, makes a point on how ascribing impermanence to the body his Mind is free, like the wind in the sky.
The tiger returns to its seated position in front of me. I notice that my arms were in the position of the salat. My white robe, despite what just happened, was unscathed. There was no blood. No wound, no damage. Just what is happening? My thoughts are running wild as the fear runs its course through my body. Again the tiger leaps before I could even blink, sinking its teeth once again into my left arm as I try to protect myself. I could feel the weight of the beast, heavy like a mountain. Its gravity could crush me at any moment. I stand paralyzed in its iron grasp. Moments pass and the tension in my arm eases, and the tiger returns to its seated position before me.
Those eyes. Those eyes continue to glare at me so intently. What was it watching? My Heart wavers once again, and it succumbs to the intensity of that stare. I feel like screaming on the inside. Its teeth once again find its mark in my arm. Why? Am I being tortured? Is this the devil? An enemy that I have to defeat?
It steps back and continues to stare into me. Still in the position for salat, I focus my Mind, calming it, stilling the waters that rage within me. The tiger continues to stare. I could feel my anxiety creeping up slowly. Beneath the surface are screams; I can feel resentment, anger, scorn, jealousy, revenge. They are mixed with images from the past and the future. The pain feeds them. Is it the pain of shame? I continue to focus, slowing its ascent. What am I supposed to do? What is the method? What do I focus on? I feel lost, like I don’t know how to process those emotions, those states, those thoughts. Dammit, I lost control as I got lost in my thoughts. The anxiety shoots through me reaching my Heart, suddenly transforming into fear once again. It gives life is given to those evil thoughts. And again the tiger’s teeth tear into my arm.
After a moment, its grip loosens and it returns to its seated position, continuing to watch me. I stare into its eyes, feeling its movements within my Soul. Slowly, I notice more and more the stirring of my own Heart. What is this? It feels like I am trying to navigate through all of the negative states within me, like there is a battle raging on, or a hazardous path. I am learning how to control that stirring, preventing the arising of fear. The tiger is carving deeper into me, its black pupils, juxtaposed against the glowing yellow iris, were like portals into my own Soul. They could not be stopped. My Mind falls into them, and it wavers. Suddenly the beast leaps towards me once again. That familiar pain breaks into me.
It backs off to give me respite as before. Our eyes once again meet as I stand in meditation, guarding my Mind from falling into a state of fear. As I find myself enveloped in its gaze, my own gaze falls upon the pain within me. What is this? What am I perceiving? I see how it moves like an energy within me, like a swirling mass of emotions and sensations, mixed with thoughts, given form by judgement. What judgement is that? It seems so disorganized and chaotic. Becoming more and more familiar with this sensation, with this energy, I try to reign it in to control it. It’s difficult to navigate, like walking along a tightrope, or trying to control the flow of a stream with your hands. We’re so full of thoughts, of doubts, of confusions. But those are just manifestations of the chaotic energy within us, of our subconscious spiritual state. The use of logic has little affect on them. The Soul itself must be tamed, but how? Suddenly I slip, and my Heart wavers, and the swirling mass of energy manifests a stream of anxiety, pain, and fear throughout my body. The tiger grasps my arm once again with its fangs. I am used to this pain now, although it still hurts. I believe that we all experience that internal pain. We accumulate it over our lives, repressing it until it becomes toxic.
“We’re so full of thoughts, of doubts, of confusions. But those are just manifestations of the chaotic energy within us, of our subconscious spiritual state. The use of logic has little affect on them. The Soul itself must be tamed.”
Detachment from the Self-Identification with that Image of Pain
When we get used to the pain within us and sort of stop noticing it then I think it means that we’ve internalized it. And when we’ve internalized it, it means we have self-identified with it, we see that pain as the Self, and that manifests outwardly in our expectations of the world, of ourselves, of our relationships, of our core-beliefs, and so on. In other words, it defines our self-concept. You have self-identified with that image of pain that Rumi describes. You expect to be abused, and the notion of you being of value starts to feel wrong or bad. Almost like you’re not allowed to be strong and independent. When you feel that way because of how social expectations have been dumped onto you, then you’ve internalized those expectations. It almost feels like you’re not a real person, that you don’t exist, that your reality has been erased and replaced with a false image created by others. You don’t see the world through your own eyes. To claw yourself out of that whole takes immense discipline, training, and care. It’s why it is so difficult to simply leave an abusive relationship, for example, or to change unhealthy habits. You’re addicted to them, they are a part of your sense of self, your identity – or rather the false identity. There is a certain comfort in it. We become comfortable with existing in a state of Ignorance, never truly knowing ourselves, our nature, the nature of Reality. We exist in a state of Attachment, clinging and grasping at things, desperately trying to bring life into our Soul. The anxiety festers into resentment, anger, hatred, vengeance, and all other mental defilements that characterize our world – both internally and externally. Is that the judgement I made internally about myself and what I am?
This reoccurring dance between the tiger and myself went on. I’ve already lost track of time, whatever time means in this world. But by now the pattern was clear. I keep going. I keep going inwards. I follow the tiger’s gaze which blazes a path to my Heart, attacking it directly. I don’t want to be hurt again. But that is not my motivation to continue. It is simply in our nature to confront. But why do we confront? We confront in order to grow, to transcend. There is a voice, barely heard, that tells us to keep going, to not give up no matter what. And so it is our nature to grow and to transcend, and so it is thus also in our nature to confront pain. We have to confront it, it’s the only way in. It is the only way to remember. To remember what? I feel like I am trying to remember a dream. Sometimes, we can have a deeply profound dream, but then upon waking it exists just beyond the periphery of our grasp. We know it’s there, but we can’t access it fully. The attempt at remembering is the path towards the Heart.
I realize that the tiger’s gaze does not cause me pain. Its eyes are like windows into my own Heart. The pain I see in its eyes is the pain of my Heart. A strange thing starts to happen. By not judging the tiger’s gaze as the source of my pain I entered into a state of non-attachment with it. I see that it is not a part of me, or rather, my Essence. And in recognizing it as separate from the Self I recognize that it has no inherent reality, and thus recognize that it is something created by my Mind. It seems to be contingent on my internal judgement. Gazing upon the pain in my Heart with this Mind-State, through the tiger’s eyes, the notion of the pain as separate from my Self is becoming a true perception, one that seems to bring a sense of ease and release from suffering. I follow this path. This reminds me of the Avija Sutta on Ignorance in which the Buddha describes the abandoning of Ignorance by the perceiving as separate all themes of pleasure, of pain, of neither pain nor pleasure, of all phenomena. It is the total recognition that ‘All things are unworthy of attachment.’ The Buddha here describes a layer of meaning behind the Divine Statement in Islam, that there exists nothing worthy of attachment, of worship, except Allah. Detachment is how we remove that self-identification with shame, with that image full of pain. There is pain, but it is not our Essence.
“You have self-identified with that image of pain that Rumi describes. You expect to be abused, and the notion of you being of value starts to feel wrong or bad. Almost like you’re not allowed to be strong and independent. When you feel that way because of how social expectations have been dumped onto you, then you’ve internalized those expectations. It almost feels like you’re not a real person, that you don’t exist, that your reality has been erased and replaced with a false image created by others. You don’t see the world through your own eyes.”
The energy dances within me, navigating between and connecting the confusion of emotions and images. But slowly I am gaining an understanding of it. I smooth out its flow, and those images are becoming more organized. They organize around true understanding. Every time the perception that the pain is a part of my Soul, the basis of Ignorance, I fall into a state of attachment with it causing it to grow and disorganize my world. But by maintaining my Mind’s focus upon it, perceiving its lack of inherent reality, as separate from Self, as dependent on the Mind, as something not a part of the Essence, I can keep it still. I can observe it without judgement. It’s like holding a broken vase together. There is a feeling there, in between the fear of punishment and the hope of relief, a feeling of calm tranquility. It’s a middle path, a balance. A feeling of abundance, something soft. Perhaps that is the feeling of my Soul, it’s in between the space of perception and mental judgement. It is comforting and familiar, a positive energy. I focus my Mind upon that sensation, upon what feels like Pure Consciousness, and here I learn that I exist independent of the pain, of the negative judgments, of perceived phenomena. The feeling continues to overtake me until it seems to characterize my sense of Being. I feel more real and whole, not in a state of need. I feel like I am in a dream.
My Mind goes back to the tiger, and I gaze upon it. The gaze of the tiger is no longer terrifying. Or rather, the tiger’s gaze remains as it did before. My describing it as terrifying was how I chose to define it. The tiger simply is as it always has been, and my experience of it was merely determined by how I judged it, how I perceived it. The world is as it is, but how we judge it depends on our experience of it. But that judgement happens on a deeply subconscious level. Now, with these new eyes, I see the tiger in a peaceful state. I observe it as it observes me back. The sensation of tranquility emanates from within me. I keep my gaze upon that sensation while staring into its eyes. I see my Heart. It does not waver with fear, instead it feels abundant and comfortable. Is it because I no longer feel ashamed of myself? When we’re ashamed, sometimes we can’t stand to look at ourselves in the mirror. I feel confident. While my physical eyes gaze upon the tiger, my spiritual eye gazes upon my own spirit and energy. My awareness brings them together in my Mind as one perception, and this is how our conception of the phenomenal world reflects our inward state. The way that we perceive the world is just a reflection of the state of our Soul.
The tiger stands up on all four legs. Yet still towering and powerful, I no longer find it intimidating. It is still intense, but it is not a terrifying intensity. Its ears lower, giving off a relaxed demeanor. It wasn’t trying to intimidate me. When I look at it now, I see a companion, a friend. And now its presence has filled my Heart with Gratitude, its intensity makes me feel powerful. The tiger turns away, its head follows its body, giving me one last long look. The tiger’s eyes seem different. It leaps off, quickly disappearing into the shadows of the cave from where it first emerged.
“But by maintaining my Mind’s focus upon it, perceiving its lack of inherent reality, as separate from Self, as dependent on the Mind, I can keep it still. It’s like holding a broken vase together. There is a feeling there, in between the fear of punishment and the hope of relief, a feeling of calm tranquility.”
The shadows once again dance, smoothing themselves out to give a flattened look of darkness. How long have I been staring at the ceiling? My body is warm, covered in sweat. I glance at my clock, it’s just before dawn. I stare at the ceiling. What was that dream? It felt so real. It was real, it was an experience. I feel different because of it. We don’t experience the world directly or in some sort of objective way that is ultimately explanatory of it. The Mind merely constructs concepts and projects them outwards, and its those concepts that we experience which we then call the world. What is it that determines the way we conceptualize the world? It is the state of our Being, but then what determines the state of our Being? It is a deeply metaphysical idea. The underlying state defines the concepts and thus the nature of our experiences. This was the point that Kant highlighted in his Critique of Pure Reason, where he describes the phenomenal world – the world of perception and concepts as being based on a priori faculties, such as the linear perception of time or cause and affect – the Principle of causation. This was contrasted with the noumenal world – the world as it really is, which is inaccessible to the Mind because of its inherent a priori limitations. But, prior to these a priori qualities there are spiritual faculties. If you can access them then the the Mind will conceptualize the world in a different way that is more authentic, in a way that reflects the Divine nature of the Soul; the world will arrange itself with Beauty, with the presence of the Divine, and then life becomes full of meaning. Spiritual traditions talk about the association between enlightenment and the perception of higher realms of Reality. The way we perceive other beings changes, from a sense of mutual competition where we are neurotically measuring our sense of value into a sense of interdependence and interconnectedness. That we are all spiritually connected as Soul leads to a profound confidence and compassion born out of Divine Empathy. There is a whole world beyond the one that we typically construct and perceive from our normal and functional state of consciousness. There are many different layers of existence, and therefore, of Being.
Reflections on the Dream
This dream was the second dream that seems to have coincided with my own personal spiritual journey and the emotional and spiritual issues I was struggling with at the time. This was about two years ago from the time of writing this. I know there are answers embedded within such dreams, but I didn’t know what they were. However, as time had passed and I continued to travel this path, meditating and travelling inwardly, and arriving at insights and conclusions about the nature of things, the answers stemming from this dream would become manifest in my conscious thoughts and beliefs, as well as in my emotional health. Particularly in regards to God, the nature of pain and suffering, and the Soul. These are all interrelated concepts that are at the core of mankind’s spiritual journey. My initial thoughts on this dream was that the tiger perhaps represented an enemy, someone causing spiritual and emotional problems in my life, and that my focusing my Mind on detachment I could rid myself of them. But I also felt like I was purposely projecting this meaning onto this dream for a particular reason. Maybe I was too afraid to confront something directly, and was using spirituality as a form of escapism. It becomes too easy to judge something as a problem, as bad, as an excuse to run away from it. Spirituality becomes the conscious narrative that we use to validate that inclination of ours. But running away doesn’t necessarily mean detachment and the elimination of unhealthy emotional triggers.
I returned from Spain about one month ago. While I was there I had met a teacher by the name of Muhammad al-Gilani. He is the teacher of a well known teacher in the west by the name of Umar Faruq Abdullah. Shaykh Muhammad al-Gilani’s lineage goes back to the Prophet Muhammad. Aside from that he is classically trained in the 1500 year old spiritual tradition within Islam. When I first observed this man, I noticed that he and his student were always in a state of meditation. He had a calm demeanor to him and everyone felt welcomed by him. A man of few words, but then again he did not speak much English. It felt like his gentle eyes said more about him than words ever could. I had heard from those who know him that he was formally trained in the science of dream interpretation, so I did not want to pass up this opportunity to get his interpretation of my dream.
When I was able to find time alone with him I took the opportunity to narrate to him a number of my dreams that seem to be all related to each other. In regards to this dream, he provided an explanation that was much different than what I had initially thought. It really affected how I perceive the nature of pain and God, and myself.
Interpretation and Insights
He explained that the tiger represented the “Watchful Eyes of Allah”, and that “God is training me” along the spiritual path. That was deeply profound to me. It moved me greatly. Firstly, it gave me a deeper insight into the nature of God. Often in mainstream religion, which often is really a caricature of religion that has departed the spiritual path, God is portrayed as this angry parent. A monster that is just waiting to punish you if you break some rules for whatever reason. That is the nature of sin, that if you make God angry then He will punish you.
But that is not true. A more correct understanding of sin is that it is the devaluation of our Soul, much like the accruing of negative Karma found in far eastern traditions. The basis of sin is the deeply metaphysical judgement of the Soul in which it perceives itself as lowly, as debased, as abandoned, as material. This is the basis of that metaphysical concept called Ignorance. In the Sanskrit texts it is called अविद्या (avidya). In the Qur’an it is referred to as غفلة (ghafla). It causes us to exist in a state of delusion because we have forgotten our true nature. Our Mind becomes lost in the illusion of a world that reflects inward agitation and pain. The wandering of Moses and his folks is a metaphor of this, with the barren wasteland a representation of the barren Heart. We chase after the world, often in manifested behavioral forms associated with the concept of sin such as greed, lust, vengeance, arrogance, and so on. All forms of behavior that cause us to get lost deeper in the wilderness. Our behavior is primarily a reflection of our inward state of Ignorance, being ignorant of the Heart, of site of Divine Manifestation, we know not how to escape this place. This is what underpins the concept of Hell and punishment in the Qur’an as our manifested Reality as a reflection of the state of our inward Reality. Just as our lives can feel like endless nightmares, that can become manifest unhindered by the limits of physical Being.
But this dream demonstrated to me that God is more like a caring parent that picks you back up after you’ve fallen. A witness over you when you’ve departed from the path and gotten lost in illusion, and a guide that appears in your life to lead you back into Reality. A teacher – a hard teacher – that trains you and causes you to grow beyond your limits, to survive in the wild, and to find your way back home. God is a compassionate friend and companion that sustains you and empowers you. Allah is the Beloved to be sought that nurtures your Heart.
It felt very liberating because in this knowledge, the nature of pain transformed from suffering into a means of empowerment. Whenever the pain arises, I follow it to my Heart, and it leads me to the Divine Presence. The tiger felt like a manifestation or representation of God directly interacting with me, and it created in me a new feeling of awe and Gratitude. It was powerfully moving, I felt cared for. It brings to me a sense of comfort that the presence of another being would bring. Whenever I reflect on the feeling and the memory, it almost feels unreal, almost paranormal in that it’s beyond what is considered a normal human experience. And yet it has real effects. When I meditate, sometimes its image appears in the Eye of my Mind, and I see it, and it helps me battle the anxiety and the pain within. From one perspective, perhaps it is a mental tool that my subconscious has conjured up. I feel like this experience has freed me from being scared of God as a tyrant. I felt safe with God now.
Internalizing this concept of Allah is necessary to progressing along the spiritual path that is so fraught with pain, with hurdles of internalized trauma, and prisons made out of fear. We suffer because we have internalized pain and trauma, which festers into shame, and often the concept of God – as this emotionally hungry parent – is used to facilitate and maintain that shame inside of us. It is used as a constant reminder of our state of Devaluation, to break our spirits and control us by corrupt institutions, families, by people. We always feel ashamed, never good enough. Often, religion is used to chip away at our self-esteem. We blame ourselves constantly, and we constantly doubt our potential. It’s a devalued sense of self that manifests a constricted world. It is articulated in conscious beliefs and religious interpretations. The Devalued Self is predicated on a negative conception of God.
At times, when I would close my eyes to meditate, anxiety would overtake me. There would be this invisible wall that I could not pass through. The only way to progress beyond the pain that blocks this path towards the Heart is by meditating upon Allah, the transcendent yet immanent. As we do this, we access the Source of abundance that gives us spiritual power that nourishes our Heart. It is the turning to God for forgiveness, but because God is felt as a subjective experience that is intimate and immanent, we become imbued with Divine Forgiveness, and it erases our shame. It is the power to forgive ourselves thereby letting go of that shame. For instance, the verse “Whoever oppresses their own Soul and then seeks God’s forgiveness shall find God most Forgiving and Merciful” is an expression of infinite spiritual abundance that we, as conscious spiritual Beings, can access. But if you have a negative opinion of God, and fear God with a terrible dread, then the Mind cannot approach God. There is no sense of abundance, only deprivation and abandonment. This concept does not even point to God. We are forced to ask, if the Mind goes where it directs its awareness, then where is the Mind taking us when we focus on God as a monster? It is a caricature, perhaps a disguise of the Devil itself. Many people flee from religion, from God, because they are fleeing from devils. How often does religion communicate to us the Devil under the name of God?
“He explained that the tiger represented the “Watchful Eyes of Allah”, and that “God is training me” along the spiritual path.”
The dream also conveyed insight into the inner world of the Soul, how to access it – or at least to be aware of it – and the flow of our internal energy and its relation to the states of the Mind. By focusing the Mind inwardly, maintaining awareness of the Heart, we can enter into a state of Nothingness; the Mind is no longer distracted by illusions of the world, by nagging thoughts and emotions, of negative judgments. We recognize that all of that emanates from our judgement, that we are the creators of them. As created concepts, they have no inherent power, reality, or value. In this recognition, our energy becomes like calm water that reflects the image of the moon. The reflection of the moon in the water when it is serene becomes like a mirror image of the moon itself. But when the waters are chaotic, the image of the moon becomes diffused similarly reflecting that chaos. The moon is like the Higher Soul that reflects the Beauty of God, and its image in the water pertains to our awareness of the Higher Self, and through it, God. It is as Rumi says, “Just as the water reflects the stars and the moon, the body reflects the Mind and the Soul.” Our internal world can be slowed down much like deliberately slowing your breathing. All of these together, the insights into the nature of God, the narratives that manifest from internalizing this understanding of God, and the spiritual techniques of regulating our energy and mastering the Mind, of meditation on essential Truths and Principles are all necessary for the transcendence of the Self.
I feel like my dream was a manifestation of the workings of the inner world. In one of the dialogues of the Buddha, he describes the process of restraining the Mind for the Higher Aim.
“…when he cognises a phenomenon with his mind he is not entranced in the general appearance or the details of it. He sets himself to restrain that which might give occasion for evil states, covetousness and dejection, to flow in over him so long as he dwells unrestrained as to his mental faculty. He keeps watch upon his representative faculty, and he attains to mastery over it. And endowed with this self-restrain, so worthy of honour, as regards the senses, he experiences, within himself, a sense of ease into which no evil state can enter.”
Awareness of our spiritual Self cultivates True Vision, the ability of the Mind to penetrate beyond the material perception of the world to set our gaze upon a goal, on a ‘place’, on something that we seek that is transcendent to all things. It is a secret, only hinted at in the signs whispered in the perception of the horizons and the ocean of stars above. The greater our goal and the higher our aspiration, then the more that our self-concept comes to reflect this and to be transformed by this. Rumi said that “The value of a human being is measured by what they most deeply want.” Value is a relational concept, and so our aspiration determines our sense of value in relation to the world. Is our self-concept beneath the world such that we exist merely as a consolidation of reactions to it, seeking its validation always, and thus defined by it? Or is our self-concept to be one that is above this world and self-sufficient? Unperturbed by it and existing in a state of equanimity, contentment, and power.
The Concept of Spirit Animals
This dream also makes me think about the concept of Spirit Animals. I’ve never really given it much thought, but it is a concept found in many traditions, especially in Native American religion. Growing up within a Muslim environment, no thought was ever given to this since, as far as I know anyways, it’s not really a specific or codified concept. Many would argue that it is completely outside of the Islamic tradition, despite not really defining it or understanding what it means. However, there are traditions that describe various ways by which God guides a person in stories and parables. I think that a Spirit Animal is essentially a form of an animal that God manifests in to guide you in a way that is appropriate to the nature of your Being and your particular lesson. Just like in the Qur’an where the lightning bolt is a manifestation of God’s strength, God may manifest in various archetypes in order to guide us.
A totem is a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol of a tribe, clan, family or individual. Native American tradition provides that each person is connected with nine different animals that will accompany him or her through life, acting as guides.
Different animal guides, also called spirit guides and/or power animals, come in and out of our lives depending on the direction that we are headed and the tasks that need to be completed along our journey.
Native beliefs further explain that a totem animal is one that is with you for life, both in the physical and spiritual world. Though people may identify with different animal guides throughout their lifetimes, it is this one totem animal that acts as the main guardian spirit.
With this one animal, a connection is shared, either through interest in the animal, characteristics, dreams, or other interaction.
This Animal Guide offers power and wisdom to the individual when they “communicate” with it, conveying their respect and trust. This does not necessarily mean that he or she has actually touched or spent time with this animal, more that, they are open to learning its lessons.
For some, knowing what is their totem animal is almost an innate process. It’s as if they’ve always known, inexplicably drawn to the animal or having a special feeling for the animal’s energy. For others, they wonder how to tell what their animal totem is.