Kusi’s forthcoming guide to training humans

kusi fern (2)

I have a new work in progress inspired by Kusi, who constantly reminds us of some of those tricky lessons along the spiritual path (patience, projection, mindfulness, responsibility, just to start).   Now that her hair has grown out, she looks a bit like an old wise man… so I like to imagine her as the incarnation of an alien being who brings teachings to share. I have been making notes after our walks, collecting ideas about a wide range of themes from mindfulness and communication to curiosity and the power of the nose. Plus, it’s always fun to meditate upon the nature of trees and the life and routines within city parks.

Since her name means joy and happiness in Quechua, whenever we call her we are reminding ourselves to call joy into our lives, even on the grayest, darkest or troubled days. That alone is a good practice to have.

Before we settled on the name Kusi , however, I considered calling her Scout. not thinking of the military scout that goes out to check for dangers, or the clubs of Girl and Boy Scouts, but  more like a salute to the character in To Kill a Mockingbird. Ahead of  or distant from the pack, but also holding witness. Seeing beyond what others see. Confronting fears and finding that what has always seemed scary might have the potential for becoming an ally. Perhaps even friend, teacher, …support. [Yeah, you can tell that I loved the book, can’t you?]

Kusi Morphed

While I indulge myself in imagining the characteristics of a highly evolved being borrowing a dog’s body to provide service and education to humans in support of spiritual and global evolution, I concede that a manual override often kicks in for them. After all, the physical vessel has its own set of rules, and there are many basic physical needs that must be met. Likewise, the constant discipline of maintaining “higher consciousness” would probably benefit from occasional rest. Even so, what may look primitive to a human watching a dog obsessed by smells as it follows its nose with undivided attention can also be a lesson in focus. It collects impressive amounts of data as well as being one of the greatest canine joys and one should not let the host body not pursue its physical purpose – to sniff out opportunity! Potential food or mate. Yep. Scouting.


Being obsessed with metaphors as I am, I confess a tendency to look for multiple layers and levels of meaning which can be found in even the smallest observation or incidence. So, consider yourself warned. I hope you will forgive me for the potential indulgences in wordplay that are bound to appear on future pages.

“Metaphors Be With You!”

I love this bumper sticker! I came across it in Atlanta years back, put out by the group “Poetry Alive”. (The only thing that it requires is a familiarity with the Jedi greeting/blessing)


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