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Choosing a Dolphin Encounter with Conscious Reflection


There are many things to consider and reflect upon, if called to swim with dolphins. Captive vs. wild encounters require personal and conscious choice.

When choosing a team to work with for the upcoming Reik, Raw Food and Wild Dolphin Bimini Retreat I’m offering this August 19-24th, it was a no-brainer for me that Jenny and her team at the ARC (Atlantis Rejuvenation Center) were most aligned with the conscious heart choices I feel more drawn to, not to mention feeling a deep resonance with Jenny and her work.

I met Jenny in Bimini 2009. In our correspondence before, there had been instant recognition of our connection and that was reiterated when we met in person in this life, for the first time. I can vouch, first hand of her integrity and heart respect and understanding of true dolphin spirit, as she facilitated a journey that I had joined her with then, that was nothing short of magical. I am so happy to be rejoining her and her lovely team (including raw vegan chef, Amanda Russcol I also met in 2009 and enjoyed her amazing cuisine) to co-host this time – offering a collective of empowering gifts to share with others.

A little about the boat and dolphin experience with the ARC team:

The boat we will be going out on each day has been recently overhauled with a new bathroom and decor and includes all snorkel equipment. Each boat trip out affords us the opportunity to spontaneously create the day. The boat has ample space to move around with lots of shade. Each day has its own unique quality and reflects what the dolphins and we bring to it. A celebration!

All levels of swimmers and non-swimmers are welcome. Everyone is welcome from all walks of life 3 months old to 80 years old. We provide support for those who are aquatically challenged, including snorkel instruction and a variety of flotation devices. Some people tune into the dolphins from the boat. Our boat, is very stable and doesn’t roll from side to side so nausea is very rare even for those who are usually sensitive. We have ginger pills and juice on board to help settle the stomach if necessary. Most people who come with a ‘fear’ of the ocean usually manage to move through it and experience freedom from that fear with support and help from the team. Usually we stay in the calmer waters, whichever side of the island is out of the wind.

Your experience will be unique, but we often hear the words blissful, healing, relaxing, meditative and life-changing. Usually we have excellent interaction with the dolphins in the Bahamas. However, this is a wilderness experience. The dolphins are free and it is up to them as to when the connection happens; how and when they may approach, communicate and interact with you.

We are lucky to work with an experienced, fun and responsible captain. We head out to the dolphin grounds five days each week.  Through years of data collection, our captain has terrific odds of finding the dolphins at the times when they are most playful.  While we can never guarantee dolphins, we feel that we can give you the best chances of having the dolphin interaction you are looking for.

Our vision is to provide a meditative and joyful environment to experience the dolphins.

Our experience has shown us that it is necessary to have the optimum conditions to be able to fully experience the unique dolphin connection.

This means: 

1. Free, joyful dolphins that want to connect with us. This happens only when they are treated with respect and not pressured or disturbed by numerous day trip boats as happens in crowded tourist areas.

2. Time. It takes a few days in a supportive environment to have the deep life enhancing experience that we have seen happen to many participants.

3. Warm, clear, unpolluted ocean. Our Bahamas location meets all these requirements. We are usually totally alone on the ocean with the dolphins

Will we disturb the dolphins? 

Like any wilderness excursion it is important that it be undertaken with awareness and sensitivity. All staff are educated and experienced in the practice of ‘minimal intrusion’.

Our intention is always to connect with the dolphins with respect and awareness. We do not feed, chase or do anything that might disrupt their natural behaviour. Only at the dolphins’ invitation do we interact with them. Respectful, educational wilderness excursions like our programs are the preference of people wishing to experience these sentient beings in their natural environment. This is an alternative to captive dolphins that live short and unnatural lives having to perform tricks and provide entertainment for their food.

Where can I swim with dolphins?

It seems that wherever there is ocean there are dolphins of many different varieties. Our experience has shown that the Bahamas provides one of  the best opportunities to connect intimately with dolphins in the wild as these dolphins choose to connect with us on a regular basis. The conditions are also perfect: warm, clear, shallow water and lots of nature and space. In this area over 100 dolphins are in the main pod, usually they are in groups of 2-8 when we connect with them.

It’s magical and profound.

About the Founder of the ARC and her dolphin experiences:

Jenny Yemaya has been fascilitating wild dolphin & whale interactions for the past 10 years around the world.

She began having vivid prophetic dreams and in 1998 she sold everything she owned and set off on a sacred journey traveling the world, visiting ancient sacred sites and connecting with earth energies at vortex points on the planetary grid. The burning questions of “Who am I” & “Where did I come from” needed answering and couldn’t wait any longer. She learnt how to trust in the universe and follow extraordinary signs and synchronicities guiding her on her path. She experienced recollections of a past existence through a  prophetic dream, providing herself with proof for her sceptical nature and cementing a deep inner faith.

Her journey and a string of magical co-incidences and signs led her to the Maya lands of Mexico and Central America, eventually leading to the island of Bimini, Bahamas with its Atlantean legends. Bimini was Ernest Hemingway’s island hideaway and the place that Martin Luther King retreated to in order to write his famous speech “I have a dream”. Many life readings from Edgar Cayce, the sleeping prophet, spoke of past lives in Atlantis and proof of it would be discovered in 1968 off Bimini, which is the exact year the Stones of Atlantis were discovered off shore.

“As soon as I arrived on the island I felt as if I had come home.”

In 2003 Yemaya was swimming with a pod of wild dolphins in the Azores, a dolphin came towards her and pressed its rostrum against her third eye area and sonared right through her. She had been asking for some healing emotionally and felt the dolphins energy vibrating throughout her body. Her understanding is that the dolphins through their sonar rejuvenate our cells memory reactivating energy & producing a natural bliss state. This natural high stayed with her for weeks after the experience. She is honoured to have witnessed numerous times the healing effects of dolphins with people.

Jenny shares: “Swimming daily with the wild dolphins is the most heart opening experience. There is something about a wild animal, voluntarily finding you in miles of ocean, swimming in total synchronicity, spiraling around eye to eye. All time stands still and you are just in the moment, the sunbeams dancing through the turquoise water, silver bubbles glimmering as they rise to the surface, the total bliss and joy of being immersed in such unconditional interspecies love. There is nothing like it.

We had children come, two in particular stand out in my memory…One with autism who said “Mama” for the first time after being in the water with the dolphins…And another with cerebral palsy who arrived in a wheel chair being fed through a tube down his nose. On day two he removed the tube and began swallowing food again and by day 3 with help he was standing and taking steps for the first time in 2 years. Moving does not describe it. The dolphins seem to be able to rejuvenate the cellular memory, sonaring you from head to toe, tuning into to dis-ease and re-attuning you, bringing new life to your cells through total bliss.”

 

Here are some things to consider:

Wild dolphins often travel hundreds of miles across oceans and dive hundreds of meters below the surface
Captive dolphins often live in areas which may only be 4 meters deep and 15 meters wide

Wild dolphins live in large yet close-knit groups called pods which consists of close family members
Captive dolphins are often put in tanks with inappropriate companions and when captured are removed from their family

Wild dolphins hunt for live prey and choose what they want to eat and when
Captive dolphins must perform tricks and then wait until a human offers them a fish which is already dead

Wild dolphins spend very little time on the surface of the ocean
Captive dolphins will spend more than half their time on the surface of the water which may cause their dorsal fin to roll to one side

Wild dolphins have a special way of knowing where they are and where their food is using an ability called echolocation
Captive dolphins find their unique family language which uses echolocation is worthless in a smooth tank with no live fish to hunt

Wild dolphins are free to roam across ocean borders, hunt for their food and live in tight family pods which communicate with their own unique language of clicks and whistles
Captive dolphins can only swim to the sides and bottoms of their tanks, are removed from their family and their lives are controlled by their trainers 

 

OfSpirit.com featured an insightful article I just came across, synchronously as I was writing this post, by Katryn Lavanture – “Conscious Choice-Guidelines For Choosing A Dolphin Swim”. It addresses some of the things to consider in making a personal choice of captive vs. wild dolphin encounters. Katryn lectures on the dolphin-human connection and is also a dolphin swim facilitator herself. Here is what she had to share:

There are many factors to consider when choosing an up close, intimate dolphin encounter. “Intimate” is an important word here, because when you want to swim with dolphins you are asking them to agree to the equivalent of meeting a stranger then immediately spending a few hours with them, touching, hugging, becoming deeply emotional, and maybe even falling in love. Although dolphin intelligence is no longer underestimated, their awareness and consciousness often is. Asking that kind of intimacy with very conscious beings demands an honoring and understanding of who they are and how we can best relate in a respectful way to them.

The most obvious way we might begin that understanding is with clarity regarding the difference between a captive dolphin swim experience and a wild dolphin interaction.

Swimming with wild dolphins means you meet them on their turf, your experience totally dependent on their choice of how, when, and how long they will have an intimate experience with you.What is so wondrous about wild dolphin swims is that they actually do come to swim with people – they make a clear and conscious choice to be with them. I have been out on a boat with a group, anchored, minding our own business, and then looked up to see dolphins swimming straight for the boat like greyhounds, then hanging around the boat until we got in to swim with them.That takes a lot of consciousness. 

There is a very clear wild dolphin swim protocol for participants which does not allow touching, feeding, or any kind of aggressive swimming or boating around them… 

Captive facilities range from research facilities who sponsor Dolphin-Assisted Therapy programs and public dolphin swims, to resorts who offer dolphin swims as a sideline, to theme parks like Seaworld, Disney World, etc. What is curious is that most captive dolphins are bottlenose dolphins who, in the wild, are typically very shy and wary of humans. The conditions in which the dolphins live vary from saltwater lagoons with nets blocking their exit, to concrete tanks with no “live” water or sea life in them.  How the dolphins are treated within these facilities varies as well, but all captive dolphins are trained to perform stunts, and to interact with humans. That very point makes a huge difference in the kind of interaction one will have with a captive dolphin compared to a wild one who is free to make it’s own choices.

As with all creatures forced to live outside their natural environment, captive dolphins do not live in accordance with their own natural rhythms. They cannot range as far and deep as they normally would or catch their own fish, they cannot mate according to their natural rhythms, or live within a pod social structure, and  are required to interact with humans, up close and personal, on a regular basis. This leads to the issue of aggressive behavior in dolphins. Dolphin trainers warn swim participants to behave in a certain way should the dolphins show any signs of getting “pushy”. Pregnant women are not allowed to swim with captive dolphins because the dolphins have been known to get very excited about the new life-force energies in the mother and get more physical than the woman might be comfortable with. Some people have in fact been crowded, bumped, or pushed by captive dolphins.

My take on the issue of dolphin aggression is this: If you squeeze a very highly aware and conscious being, with holographic awareness, and sonar frequencies that can theoretically alter cell structure, into a tight energetic and spatial structure you will have aberrations in the behavior of those beings.  Whether those dolphin beings have “chosen” to be in captivity as part of their karma or dharma as some people believe, makes no difference. They have to deal with confinement that would create stress on anyone, causing them to be testy and off center with their reactions and responses at times.

It is true that many people have amazing, life changing experiences with captive dolphins, their essence after all isn’t changed in that environment. I support Dolphin Assisted Therapy, in fact, as I have seen the extraordinary healing that disabled children have experienced with captive dolphins.  I wonder though, if a person is strong and healthy might they not have a responsibility to meet these beings on equal terms, where both human and dolphin have free will to decide in any given moment how much intimacy they are willing to give and receive. This, then, would be a win-win situation for all involved, one that reflects “spirit of change” thinking. 

This is an important issue to reflect deeply on – what will you support with your time, energy, and money when considering a dolphin encounter?

Another dolphin swim dynamic to consider is the choice of facilitator…Facilitators who have been “called” to this work have usually quite literally been called by the dolphins.  They most likely have some combination of life changing dolphin experiences and synchronistic events that led them to it, and so have a deep understanding of the true dolphin spirit.

Other interesting factoids: 


·         It is illegal to swim with dolphins in the U.S. due to the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which requires boats and people to stay within a certain distance from dolphins and whales. This is pretty strictly enforced in Hawaii where it’s swim at your own risk. Boat operators in the Keys work more in concert with authorities to let swims happen, but with state and federal awareness. The Bahamas have no such restrictions.

·         The research group Aquathought has found that 80% of people who swim with dolphins have a change in brain wave patterns from beta to theta states of consciousness. This explains why many participants experience states of bliss, ecstasy, deep peace, and a sense of well being.

·         Dolphin brains are always synchronized between left and right hemispheres. Human brains are not – but are found to become synchronized after swimming with dolphins. This phenomena has been known to support altered states of consciousness, and even out of body experiences.

·         Dolphin sonar is 4 times more powerful than the ultrasound used in medical diagnostics.  It is sometimes used to stun fish when feeding, and is thought to be able to alter cell structure.

·         It is believed that dolphins “see” holographically and so experience themselves as part of a whole, instead of the individuated identity that we have. That means they also see us in our wholeness.

With all these dynamics of mind, body, emotions, and spirit being potentially altered into states of expansion, it is easy to see why dolphin swims are life changing. If you factor in the effects of the ocean, sun, moon, other group members, and the fact that many intimate dolphin interactions happen in high energy places on the planet, you have a very potent  brew in which to be immersed. Dolphin swims are not vacations. The more consciousness you bring to your choice of where and how to swim with dolphins the more empowered all of us involved in the dolphin-human dynamic will be – especially the dolphins.

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