Trish's Book:"The Art of Balance"
work was inspired by my husband’s and my extraordinary
experiences over the last eight years, swimming with the
wild dolphins of Hawaii and our fascinating encounters with
pilot whales and the majestic humpbacks.
True joy exploded in my being on our first trip to the Big
Island of Hawaii, in pursuit of the magical, mystical dolphin
experience in July 1993. We were invited by our good friend,
Joan Ocean, world renowned dolphin communicator and author,
to come along with her on her morning dolphin swim. We met
her at her oceanside home and felt our excitement grow as
we saw in her eyes the glint of glee that the dolphins were
out there in the bay just waiting for us. The thought of
being invited into the pod elicited both extreme anticipation
and some timidity as we hurriedly got our gear together
and entered the water. I have always been a great swimmer
and even had some years as a life guard as a teen, but having
snorkeled just once before, I had a bit of trepidation at
the thought of swimming out into a very large bay in the
middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Doug had many years of scuba experience and loved the ocean
as if it was his natural home. In fact he can free dive
about eighty-five feet. He took my hand and we three gently
paddled out to meet our ocean friends. As we smoothly made
our way toward the middle of the bay where the dolphins
play, we began to hear their high pitched singing ringing
in our ears. It was a delightful sensation and heightened
our excitement with every kick of our fins. They sounded
so joyous and an air of anticipation surrounded us.
The sounds became louder as we approached the general area
where the dolphins swim. I could feel the goose bumps on
my skin vibrate with excitement. Joan lifted her head and
urged us to do the same so that we could see in the distance
the black dorsal fins of the dolphins breaking the surface
as they came up to breathe. They were about 100 feet away
and seemed to be coming toward us. We put our heads back
down into the water and I could feel my heart pounding in
my chest. The water was a deep turquoise blue, clear as
crystal with streams of light dancing below us seeming to
come right out of the sand and reaching upward in shimmering
cosmic waves to the surface. The ocean held us in a warm
embrace and we floated forward as if suspended in the universe.
We could see the white sand beneath us and felt as though
we were entering a world of magic. We knew in our hearts
that this would be an extraordinary experience.
I gazed into the depths and looked all around us hoping
to see the dolphins approaching us. Within just a few minutes,
I began to feel a sensation on my skin that was delicious
and felt as though millions of tiny, soft electrical shocks
were being administered in waves of pulsation to every cell.
At the same time, I could hear a pulsating purring sound
that reminded me of a very happy kitten. From Joan’s
video, I knew that this was the dolphins’ sonar.
Soon, my eyes widened with pleasure at the site of a beautiful
spinner dolphin gliding toward me under the water. First
there was one, then three, then eight or more. Majestic
beings! Their exotic coloring delighted me. Their noses
(rostrums) were long and sleek, unlike the bottlenose dolphins
often seen in the movies, and their eyes were deep and tender,
reminding me of the soft eyes of deer. They felt like old
friends and my heart leapt with joy as they came right up
to us and enfolded us in the pod. We giggled and laughed
till our snorkel masks filled up with water! An explosion
of wonder engulfed our senses and we marveled at the precious
moments that unfolded. More and more dolphins surrounded
us until we felt as though we were just one of the pod.
We happily found ourselves gliding along right next to the
dolphins as the world slipped away and we knew we were in
an eternal moment of bliss.
That first day, we spent hours in giddy play. The dolphins
graced us with their playful presence and opened our hearts
to a deeper level than we had ever felt before. They stayed
with us until we were spent with joy, slipping away to the
end of the bay to leave us breathless and in awe. I knew
that my life had changed profoundly within those few hours.
Little did I know, though, that it would change so dramatically.
The seed of joy was planted in my heart and I knew that
we were being immersed in the deep profound joy of Spirit
to some day, some how share with the world.
Looking into the eye of a humpback whale is an experience
that moved me into the depths of my soul and catalyzed the
unfolding of this work of deep essential joy. Seven years
after the dolphins initiated the process, a whale calf came
eye to eye with me during a group excursion in the Dominican
As our group of ten eager souls, hoping for a fantastic
encounter in the ocean with the enormous cetaceans, excitedly
clamored onto our small boat, the anticipation could be
felt deep in our bones. We happily headed out to sea, breathing
in the salty ocean air and feeling the warm Caribbean sun
lighting up our grins of joy. We bounced along in glee,
searching in all directions for the telltale spout of the
whales. Like excited little children on an Easter egg hunt,
the slightest sign of a change in the ocean surface brought
an inhalation of expectation as we waited to see what it
Finally, we spotted a small spout of water and air about
fifty yards away. This was a baby whale, a calf! Our captain
pulled the boat ever so gently over toward the whale, so
that we were about twenty feet away, and urged us to very
quietly slip into the water. By this time we had all of
our snorkel gear on and were ready to go. Doug and I positioned
ourselves on the side of the boat so that we could easily
and quietly enter the ocean. We gently lowered ourselves
into the water and held our breaths, feeling our hearts
pounding in our chests. The mother whale was hanging about
twenty feet away from us and suspended twenty feet below
the surface. Our eyes were mesmerized by her enormous size,
but mostly by her gentle nature. We gazed upon her, knowing
that we were experiencing something profound and awesome
and felt as though we were in another world altogether.
We knew that she trusted us as she deeply gazed into our
eyes, sending waves of love into our hearts, opening the
doors for universal wisdom.
Her calf was above her floating on the surface twenty feet
away. We were suspended in this profound instant of time,
in awe of each other, for what seemed to be a timeless moment.
The calf, then, turned toward us and gently made its way
directly to us with a grace that was very beautiful. We
wondered how close she would come to us and if the mother
whale would let her come very near. At about an eight-foot
distance, the calf turned again so that she could look directly
into our eyes. At that profound moment, I felt the expanse
of the universe exploding in my third eye. In her eye I
could “see” the oneness of all things; I could
touch the divinity inherent within the matrix of life. I
could feel a depth of wisdom that reached deep down to the
core of my being, to the true essence of connection. It
was sacred and indescribable. I would never be the same.
I knew I was to stop my outer activities and go deep within
to find the deep essential joy to share with the world.