Practising Well

Training, experience, continuing professional development and time will all contribute to our personal ability to provide better veterinary advice and services to the public. Holistic vets like myself will also be more aware of the need to broaden the suite of veterinary services in a modern and discerning era.

An area that is attracting more attention in all professional employment fields and that is the one of character development. This cannot so much be taught as it can be developed from our own personal values and individual attributes.


Apart from academic scores, character development is increasingly becoming a major selection criterion for admission to tertiary courses as well as successful job applications in a wider world.


This shift is taking the focus away from how clever you are to how well you apply your skills and knowledge based upon what kind of person you would like to become.

In the health and welfare sectors of society particularly and arguably all sectors of society ideally, these attributes of compassion, fairness, respect, integrity and genuine care are highly valued. Interestingly however is that these traits are not ones that can be well learned through book studies or with an over focus on academia alone.


In my current practice of homeopathy I also find that the colleagues I have more difficulty with are the ones who are unable to bridge the gulf between their overdeveloped minds and their good hearts. Contempt, disrespect, animosity and ridicule are not qualities of a good heart. I wonder why anybody would want to be like that.


Coming back to my original topic, I recall my boss many years ago suggesting that my chosen direction in life and my way of practice ran the risk of attracting a ‘holier than thou’ mentality. That made me think and it prompted me to consider ways to avoid falling into that trap. It also revealed a depth of character that most of the vets I know possess, a reflective countenance and an awareness that some things ought to be valued above knowledge.

Medicine is an art as much as it is a science and to practise to our optimum will require developing both sides of our brains as well as expanding our hearts.


Knowledge is imperative for providing sound and accurate advice and for developing experience in the professional practice of medicine but it is not solely responsible for determining how we best practise our healing art.

Personally, as can be supported by many of my observant clients and their pets, my daily practice of meditation and my spiritual retreats renew my ability to practice veterinary medicine well and deepen my understanding of how to help animals in the best possible way.


Meditation, the highest form of listening, brings clarity, insight and peace into the situations we face against disease and the challenges of living together. In a world that does not yet value meditation above more persuasive activities and diversions it can be hard to maintain our enthusiasm for our profession or sometimes even for our day to day existence. Combined with the limitations of the conventional medical tool boxes and ways of thinking that we currently have available to address these issues I would not have the ability to provide a quality integrative veterinary service if I did not regularly meditate.


It is our heart that speaks to the animals and it is their hearts that communicate with us through the limited capacity their minds have to project pictures into our own minds. The heart is a much larger, wider, unlimited and unbounded space in which to operate and if our mind, with all of its abilities, can be brought into this space and learn to comfortably function there, then our capacities are significantly increased.


Needless to say, without my homeopathic dispensary and the insights into how to best use these medicines, very few of my patients would enjoy the quality of life they have at present.


Practising veterinary medicine well therefore requires much, much more than a university degree alone.


The mind’s frustration
Eventually gives way
To the heart’s poise.

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, part 36, Agni Press, 2004


I always prefer
The heart’s purity
To the mind’s brilliance.

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, part 43, Agni Press, 2005


The mind’s ego
Is helpless
Before our heart’s smiles.

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, part 47, Agni Press, 2007



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