|Steven and other participants offering healing energy|
This particular old soul arrived in a young body. Thirteen-year-old Steven introduced himself simply by saying he planned on becoming a veterinarian. He spoke clearly, using an economy of words, but with a confidence that belied his age. Watching him I knew he was not a typical young teenager. He seemed completely at ease with the group of adults and also with the menagerie of animals that reside at Indraloka. He wasn't embarrassed by the "sharing" portions of the workshop. His clear eyes made direct contact when he spoke, and he told his truth without looking for approval. He was so calm, it was easy to forget he's a kid.
Steven had recently celebrated his birthday. His father, Tim, who also attended the workshop, told the group what Steven had requested for his present. The Poconos community in which Tim has a vacation home owns horses, one of whom was being euthanized because his teeth had rotted and were extracted, making him difficult to feed. Steven asked his dad to pay for the horse's care as his birthday gift.
"He never asks for anything for himself," Tim said, his voice nonplussed. I got the feeling Tim was reluctant to take credit for his son's character. But I know that even old souls need the proper nurturing to evolve into extraordinary people.
If I were the betting kind, I'd bet Steven matures into a person who makes a difference in this world. His experiences at the animal communication workshop already bear witness to this destiny. Here's an example that's difficult to translate, but warrants an attempt. At one point workshop participants, seated in a circle, were attempting to communicate with Izzy, a Rottweiler, who lives at Indraloka. We were given a set of questions to ask Izzy, but Steven says he had a hard time concentrating and the only thing he could come up with was the thought, "What time is it?"
Gazing at Izzy, Steven noticed that the dog trotted over to a woman who was sitting in the 11 o'clock position and gave her a big wet kiss. Then Izzy strode over to another woman seated in the 8 o'clock position. Discerning Izzy's motions at if they were a clock, Steven read: 11:40.
"Dad," Steven nudged his father, whispering, "What time is it?"
Tim looked at his watch. It was exactly 11:40.
Rather than announcing this to the group, Steven had shared this very clear communication only with his father. "Dad, stop!" Steven implored later as Tim described his son's academic achievements and snippets of conversations he has with his older brother.
Old souls don't need to toot their own horns. Their actions speak for themselves.
Indraloka Animal Sanctuary, a 501(c) nonprofit, located in Mehoopany, Pennsylvania (3 hours from New York and Philadelphia, 4.5 hours from D.C.) offers year-round workshops and retreats. Tours are available for a $5 donation. Please call ahead: 570-763-2908.
You can also find Indraloka on Facebook.