Awake in the World

Dolphins are considered a healing force and a powerful symbol by many. They were revered by sailors as dolphins would accompany ships for long distances playing in the wake of the waves. They seem to exude joy and they look as if they’re always smiling. Dolphins have become spiritual symbols because they live in water, a spiritual element, but they also breathe air. They swim like fish, but they’re mammals, like us.

They live in groups for protection against sharks and predators. Dolphins also have an interesting show of cooperation. On the beaches of South Carolina near Seabrook Island and Kiawah, they “strand feed.” At low tide they swim to the shore at an inlet and collectively, they herd fish onto the shore and the dolphins jump onto the shore to gather the fish. I watched them yesterday as they worked in groups, circling closer to the shore until they jumped out onto the banks with their full bodies out of the water on the beach. The fish flapped to get away, but the dolphins were so fast and scooped them into their mouths in an instant. Then they slid back into the water or completely turned around, tails wriggling and mud and water splashing.

The birds waited on the shore to take part in the boon. Pelicans and great herons knew where the dolphins would come up and stood waiting patiently. The act of cooperation of the dolphins benefited the birds as well as themselves. The most powerful feeling around them was one of joy and harmony. Together they worked to bring in lunch and then they swam off as the tides came in.

The fish is often a symbol of spirituality and the dolphins’ example of joy and cooperation may be the answer. Imagine what we could do if we managed to work together in harmony like they do?! Will you consider being a little playful, joyful and more dolphin-like today?

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary, dreamer and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at

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