Animals are fully conscious, sentient beings just as we are. They have the full range of emotional life that we have, and they have spirits or souls and spiritual lives just as we do. They don’t have the kind of busy, chattering minds and tendency to always be thinking of the past or future or making all kinds of stories in their minds about the things that happen in their lives, as we do. As a result, they remain open to the present moment and to Grace in a way that people generally have to work pretty hard to achieve. There’s a quotation from Eckhart Tolle that I keep on a sort of inspiration board in my office that I’d like to read to you because it really speaks to this: “I sometimes say animals are closer to God than humans. They are closer to the source. The humans are more lost in the mind forms. Being is more obscured to the human because of the overlay of ego and mental formation". I call animals “guardians of Being,” especially animals that live with humans. Because, for many humans, it’s through their contact with animals they get in touch with that level of being. We are destined… to return to being by going beyond thinking. The animals are at a level prior to thinking. They haven’t lost themselves in thought. We rise above thinking and then we meet them again, where we’re both in no-thought. There’s a deep connection.