Celebrating Dolphins, Healing Taiji & The Cove; Interview with Joe Noonan on “Its Rainmaking Time” with Kim Greenhouse

by Joe Noonan on July 8, 2015

“In a time when humanity feels disconnected with nature, Joe Noonan facilitates the building of bridges between humans and other species. Because of their gentle natures and seemingly innate benevolence towards humans, he sees dolphins as spiritual beings who simply want to teach us about kindness and help us understand the questions that have always plagued humanity: who are we, and what are we doing here? Join us with Joe Noonan as we discuss these marvelous creatures and what they can teach us about ourselves.”

(From a March 2011 radio interview with Kim Greenhouse of “It’s Rainmaking Time”about dolphins, the Cove in Taiji and spirituality. The recorded interview is here, the edited and abbreviated transcript is below…)

Celebrating Dolphins; Kim Greenhouse interviews Dolphin Whisperer Joe Noonan

Kim: Ladies and gentlemen welcome to “It’s Rainmaking Time”. This is Kim Greenhouse. It gives me great pleasure to welcome Joe Noonan to the show today. He is the founder of Planetary Partners and Dolphin Whisperers. I am very interested in his work. He does so many different things and one of them is custom trips, swimming in the wild with dolphins. His dolphin videos on YouTube have had over 200,000 views. They’re adorable. I have such a profound love of dolphins. I want to hear more about them. I have a great concern on what’s happening in Japan with them. And if anybody can talk to us about the marvel of dolphins it’s Joe Noonan.

Host Kim Greenhouse, Rainmaker for a better world

(Kim Greenhouse, ‘Rainmaker’)

Ladies and gentlemen welcome Joe Noonan to “It’s Rainmaking time.” Good afternoon.

Joe: Oh Kim, thank you. I’m really honored to be on you show and to talk about, probably, one of the greatest things I love to talk about because talking about dolphins is almost as good being in the water next to them.

Kim: (Laughs) first of all, thank you for what you said. I’ve had one opportunity a few years ago. My girlfriend took me to Sea World to just be in the water and touch dolphins. I felt like it was the most profound appetizer and I also know that with my love of dolphins I need to get in the water with them in the wild and that’s something you do that other people don’t often do. And I’d like you to share that with us first if you wouldn’t mind.

Joe: Sure, sure. Well, Kim, I like you (and I think most people) have an instant, joyful reaction to any images of dolphins. I grew up watching Flipper and I think if you take anybody in any part of the world and you show them a photo of a dolphin, they will spontaneously smile. It’s automatic. And I was blessed to have my own direct experience with them in Hawaii. I actually was living in New England at the time and I flew to Hawaii specifically to go into the ocean because I heard that there were places where you could swim with the wild dolphins. And, you know Kim, I got in the water, I went day after day after day and there were no dolphins. And I got… yeah, I got quite…

Kim: (Laughs) you went into a dolphin less ocean. How could that be?

Joe: Absolutely. Well, I have come to recognize that everything in life has its timing. And I thought my appetite to swim with… I thought I arrived with it already revved up. But let me tell you after 5 days of looking for them, on the 6th day I was ready and that was the day they were in the bay.

Kim: Wow.

Joe: And… oh Kim… I get goose bumps just talking about it. I got in the water and these 6 dolphins swam up to me and looked me right in the eye. And when you’re in the water and a wild dolphin or a whale, comes up and looks you in the eye, there’s a transmission that takes place. There’s a connection that people stumble for words to describe. And after many years… I think the closest description I can say is that in addition to this total wave of cellular exuberance and this ecstatic energy of “Oh my god”, there is also a very profound sense of recognition. And it took me a long time to be able to understand it’s a sense of recognition. It gave me a sense of belonging that I don’t think I had ever felt in my life. I was seen by this beautiful creature who was very sentient, very present, very alive and I felt seeing in a way that really opened something up for me.

And I got out of the water that day a changed man.

Kim: Aren’t they considered the carriers, the transmitters of pure love? Like when you’re in the water with them, that that’s the transmission? People tell me that. Is that true?

Joe: Absolutely. And on some levels, so are we. We’re spiritual beings having a human experience and our essence is pure love. And as humans we’re down here on earth playing the game of “good and bad”, “right and wrong”, “light and dark”, dolphins don’t have that same polarity or they don’t have that same intent for being here. I actually believe that they’re spiritual beings having a dolphin experience and out of love and assistance they are happy to help us remember the truth of who we are.

Kim: I think that’s profound and you know, they always have a smile on their face. (Laughs)

Joe: Dolphins throughout history have treated us as a younger cousin in need of support. They consistently come to our aid even at their own risk, such as interfering with a shark attack and putting themselves in harm’s way. And when you watch… if you have watched footage of what’s going on in Japan…

Kim: I have and I can’t bear it. I literally can’t bear it. And that’s the only place I would say that I can’t agree that everything is perfect. It’s in instances like that, there’s nothing perfect about the killing and the violating and the torturing of these animals or any really.

Joe: Well, it’s clear even when the fishermen are in the water and have them in the shallows and on the beach and they’re literally cutting them, slicing their throats and the dolphins, which have… fully capable of self defense… fully, don’t bite. They don’t bite. It’s, for me, another example of their commitment to come from love.

Kim: As you know we humans anthropomorphize so many things and in the years past I probably would’ve said: “We’re imposing our human translation on what they’re doing.” But for someone who spends as much time with them as you have, I can really hear that now.

Joe: You know, Kim, I agree. I mean it is very natural for us, we’ve done the same thing with God. We’ve made God with two arms, two legs and very judgmental, you know? And the dolphins… I’ve had enough experiences that… time and again, I just experience them as having a profound generosity of spirit.

I bring people to swim with wild dolphins and frequently we’ll have a mom and calf come over. And typically, mom comes and the baby’s on the outside of mom. And in the process of swimming with them, slowly, as they get to know you, the baby drops down and she’s under mom and then at a certain point, mom lets the baby come up between us.

I remember the first time this happened. I was in Hawaii (because Hawaii and the Bahamas are two of the main places I bring groups and families) and, you know, I was just in love with this mom and baby and played with them for several hours. When all of a sudden, mom took off and I was left with the baby. And I can remember thinking ”Oh my God, it’s the first time I’ve ever been babysitting a dolphin!”

Kim: (Laughs)

Joe: And I got that, you know, they were totally inclusive. I’ve learned that everything they do is deliberate. I have given them full permission to coach and educate me because in addition to being wild animals they’re also at times incredibly intuitive, incredibly sentient, incredibly spiritually aware beings (just like us).

Kim: Would you explain to the audience the word sentient? I know what it means but maybe some people don’t know what that means. Explain it and then I want you to go on.

Joe: Well sentient is, basically, capable of having feelings. And what humanity tends to do is de-humanize each other. Which is how we’ve justified slavery, you know, we’ve said people different than us don’t have the same kinds of feelings. And we also, you know, many cultures (and particularly scientific communities) say that animals don’t have feelings, that mammals don’t have feelings and that when elephants mourn and stick around the dead body for a week…

Kim: And cry… and cry.

Joe: Yeah, yeah. And people even say our dogs and cats and the animals that we know and love don’t have feelings. They don’t feel, they don’t have compassion, they don’t feel pain and joy and love and… to me that’s just the mind, you know, the ego mind’s objectivity of the world. And the truth is all animals (I mean, even reptiles) have feelings.

Kim: Indeed, indeed. How many hours would you say you’ve spent with the dolphins?

Joe: Not enough.

Kim: Ok.

Joe: (Laughs)

Kim: Would you say hundreds of hours? Thousands of hours?

Joe: I had my first experience 16 years ago and since that time I’ve brought families and corporate groups and spiritual groups to swim with the dolphins primarily in Hawaii and the Bahamas.

Kim: Do they cry? Do you find that people break down crying from their love or healing experience with dolphins?

Joe: You know, it’s quite a variety of expansions. When people get back on the boat some are beaming, some are reflective, some laughing and some are crying. It’s pretty profound. I remember a show where Robin Williams got in the water and they were all pumped and excited and they had this incredibly swim and them Robin get backs on the boat. And the camera is in his face and he’s like: “Give me a minute.” You know, because he’s just had a very, very profound experience.

Kim: You’ve ever touched them?

Joe: Well, in the wild we refrain from physically touching them or feeding them. There’s a line we want to respect. And by keeping arms at our sides and energetically telegraphing, “Ok I’m not going to be grabby”, it allows them to come very close to us. And I’ve had them rub up against me. Particularly in play where free diving and spiraling around each other. It’s quite a magical experience.

Kim: Has anybody gotten in the water and sang to them? (Laughs) I would.

Joe: Well if you listen to my YouTube videos, you’ll likely hear this (hums a song). People would say: “I never heard dolphins make that sound.” And I have to confess that I often sing and tone to them. I’m not even aware I do it till afterwards.

So yes. And my tail wags as well.

Kim: (Laughs) now you know that YouTube video that you got over 200,000 views, how was that filmed? Who filmed that and what did you film it in?

Joe: Well it’s actually a series of videos from people on my trips swimming with the dolphins. I swim alongside and film them with my gopro camera.

Kim: They’re so darling. The dolphins… just darling. They’re swimming all over the place and enjoying themselves. A lot of action.

Joe: Totally. Every species is different and of course every individual dolphin is unique. And their moods change from day to day. In Bimini, in the Bahamas (my favorite place to bring families) it’s primarily spotted dolphins we swim with. The bottle nose dolphins are big… as big as they are, they’re one of the more shy dolphins in the wild. But the spotted dolphins are very playful, they’re very gregarious and that’s primarily the spotted and spinner dolphins in Hawaii that I have footage of.

So yeah, I’ve just got a little handheld camera, I’m free diving, holding my breath, diving down and, you know, when you dive underwater, the spotted dolphins love to swim and spin around us. And that’s a lot of what you see in the videos… and every now and then I remember to point it at somebody else but 90% of the time it’s like right on the dolphin.

Kim: They need to come up for air, don’t they? Can they stay down for a long time?

Joe: They can stay down for minutes but just like us they need to surface. They’re air breathers too. Our common ancestor crawled up out of the primordial soup, onto land and started sucking air and, actually, their anatomy… their ancestors had legs and toes. So their pec fins, if you X ray their pec fins, it’s similar to us. It’s got a row of five fingers, of bones.

Kim: How long do they usually live?

Joe: You know, they’re still determining that in the wild.

Kim: Ok.

Joe: And there’s estimates up to 60 years of age. Unfortunately in captivity they rarely last that long. Having dolphins in captivity really raises a lot of concern. And we don’t treat with the love and respect that they deserve.

So, you know, there’s many levels of concern and… just like my concern when I went to the cove in Taiji.

Kim: How could you stand going to the cove? How could you take it, seriously? Why did you go? I would never go! I wouldn’t know how to handle it.

Joe: I was invited to go by several activists who were there, to see if I could bring some more awareness and communication amongst the groups there, activists and Japanese.

I also went for my own reasons. The footage from the cove got my blood boiling, and I found that I had begun to hate the fishermen. And I saw a lot of hatred and a lot of polarity and a lot of anger at Japan and their culture. Well intended people who want to help but get angry and grow hatred don’t realize that their anger and hatred isn’t going to shift anything. It just creates more hatred.

So I went as a way to integrate this in myself. As Gandhi said, ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world”. I wanted to make a demonstration to the Japanese people, to say: “I respect you as a people and a culture and I disagree with your tradition of hunting and eating dolphins.” And I did a healing ceremony (ho’oponopono) for the Japanese people and for the cove and for all the death that has transpired. But really, I went for myself, to face the fire and integrate the polarities of love and hate that are so evident there.

Kim let me give you another way of looking at it. In our humanness, it’s difficult to see. It’s difficult (to watch) any suffering, any taking of life.

Kim: I also can’t watch any animals being slaughtered. So it’s not different.

Joe: Sure. I just am in the process of writing about that because this world has been setup that we take life to eat, even plants have shown to have consciousness and have really big response to being boiled and chewed and diced.

Kim: Yes.

Joe: So we can look at human existence from the point of view of events, or we can look at it from the point of view of existence, a more transpersonal perspective. And I look at what have the saints all done. They look at the comings and goings, the living and dying of life from a divine, spiritual point of view. And from the view of eternity, the power of these polarities dissolves. It’s not a big deal because we’re infinite. And I believe that the dolphins remember this: that they’re spiritual beings and they don’t have the same kind of veils and forgettings and fears that we do.

When I was at the cove, I was being introduced to one of the management of the fishermen’s union as the boats are driving the dolphins into the bay to be killed. And I was so torn Kim, I want to turn and look and watch the horror that I don’t want to watch. At the same time I’m being introduced by an activist who’s trying to build bridges, to one of the heads of the fishermen’s union. And he doesn’t want to talk to us but in his polite culture he cannot be rude to me and walk away so he is just looking straight ahead.

And I’m wanting to be respectful because I’m there to build a bridge.

Kim: I totally get that.

Joe: All this is going on and in that moment the invitation was for me and my humanness to hold all these seeming polarities in my heart. And to do what I feel life asks all of us to do when we face conflict or polarity; to embrace it all from a place of compassion.

Kim: I can hear that. I’m not sure if I was in the presence of that, I could call that up. I’m not saying it can’t be because obviously you did. I don’t know that I could call up that kind of bridge building being in the space where the horror of it is happening. I don’t know that I could do it. I think that you’re a saint yourself. (Laughs)

Joe: Well, I wasn’t doing it for the fishermen or the dolphins or this and that. You know, we’re all connected; we’re one consciousness having an experience as six and a half billion individuals.

Kim: Absolutely.

Joe: And the opportunity, for me, is in those moments… I mean, you know, I’m an activist in different ways, I will stand up and speak against things. I just choose to do it from a place of love. And so I do the work in the moment to have compassion for myself, for my humanness, for everyone involved. I understand those fishermen. They’re doing what they’ve done for decades, for generations. I understand the activists who are just emotionally torn from watching the water turn red. I understand the fishermen’s union, wanting to make… I mean, it’s all God, having the experience of God. And for me, knowing that, I can have compassion for me, for you, for everybody. And, while I forget it and I lapse and I go back into judgment, my commitment is to time and again come back to compassion.

And we all have within us, Kim, that compassionate loving witness.

Kim: Of course.

Joe: As I say ‘witness’, everybody who’s listening (and reading), you get an imagine, immediately, of a part of you that’s outside your body up and behind you, looking down at you from the corner of the room. This part of us has historically been called ‘the witness’ by many different cultures. It’s this totally loving, compassionate, unconditional loving part of us, of our eternal nature. And it witnesses everything. And so, sometimes, through drama, through intensity, through pain and through inspiration, we’re pushed there or we go there. Like when somebody talks about being in a car accident and it just goes really slow and they have a very cool mind and they just fulfill the functions they’re guided to fulfill, to handle the moment.

Well that’s where we’re all headed. To become more consciously aware and aligned with the divinity in us that’s becoming more and more fully forward in our lives.

Kim: Totally understood. So what ended up happening?

Joe: Well, my translator communicated that I was there to do a ceremony of forgiveness and unification. And the next day I was at the cove and a group of officials, mostly police men and coastguard, came over and questioned me. “What’s this ceremony? What are you doing? Is this protest? Are you going to go in and try and cut the nets?”

From my time there I learned that many Japanese see dolphin activists as terrorists. They think that anyone who loves dolphins also hates Japan, we hate Japanese, and we want to be destructive. And so I said “Look, I’m here to advocate other ways. I’m here to ask you to stop hunting. I’m not going to stop you. I come with great love and respect.”

So, I got to do the ceremony and it was two days after that. And there were some Japanese people there, including a film crew and famous reporter from one of the nation’s largest News networks. She even participated in the ceremony. They filmed the whole thing, but it was never shown because peace doesn’t make the evening news.

And let me share this with you Kim. This was, oh my God, another highlight of my trip. There’s an activist there, a Japanese individual who’s very right wing and he’s known for driving around blaring his message from loud speakers. He came and I got this holy water that I use from sacred sites around the world. And it’s been blessed by thousands and thousands of people. And I invited him to bless it. I had made a circle of stones on the beach, on low tide, and he said: “Please, no cameras.” And he went into the center of the circle and he went down on one knee. And he held that bottle with reverence and he paused and he turned to me and he said: “You are asking me to do what is in the song ‘Imagine’.”

In that moment, that man’s humility, his love, his recognition… it help us remember that we’re one people.

Kim: Yes.

Joe: We’re building, and we’re empowering and we’re strengthening a growing morphic wave of oneness and awakening that’s already going full steam and the emergence into our collective consciousness is just continuing to grow.

Kim: You’re strengthening the morphogenic fields, correct?

Joe: Yes, all of our collective oneness. I actually see Taiji as a place, in the future, where groups might even come to celebrate all that has taken place. That the dolphins who have given their lives there, have given their lives to help wake us up to what we’re doing to them, to our oceans, to each other. I think on some level the dolphins remember that they’re eternal. They’re not so afraid of death, it’s not a big a deal for them to come and go.

Kim: I can totally relate to that. I think though that the way that you go (laughs), you know, it’s a sacrilege and the reality is that you’re probably right, it will be a pilgrimage place. And I think that what you’re inputting into the morphogenic fields is going to have a ripple effect, the question will be “how long?” And by holding peace, by holding love and compassion and bringing it over and calling it forth to be a bridge of communication between whoever is visiting and the Japanese people (regarding this particular practice), will do nothing but eliminate the area. It’s a question of time. It doesn’t mean it’s not heart wrenching to be part of it.

Joe: Absolutely. You know, Kim the dolphins and whales… actually all animals (and I think all of life) is lovingly reminding, inviting and assisting us to lighten up and awaken. These are marvelous times. They’re intense, they’re stressful. There are times where the energies are increasing, and our physical biology is stressing to integrate all of this. We’ve made the shift and now all we’re doing is playing it out.

Kim: That’s beautiful. That’s really beautiful. Do you have any stories to share with us about your water ceremony?

Joe: People have given me holy water from many, many countries and many spots. And I’ve… so I’ve brought this water and I carry it in a homeopathic tincture, then I’ll fill the water bottle and put some of the tincture in it. I’ve spoken at a number of conferences and then I’ll just invite people to put their love and thanks into the water. And if it’s a group of a hundred or less we’ll actually pass it around and ask everybody to just say a word

I put some of this holy water, with love and blessings from thousands of people around the world, into the cove. And I also took some drops of water from the cove and put it into the bottle.

I have a video on YouTube of this water ceremony and many different groups blessing it. And it’s a very fun ceremony. There’s a lot of laughter because at the end, after everybody’s blessed it, well the bottle I’ve got is a spray bottle so we spray each other and when you bring out a spray bottle, it totally brings out the five year old in everybody.

Kim: Indeed, indeed. I saw that. That was great! (Laughs) so you’re on your way to India, when?

Joe: Yes, I leave in about two weeks.

Kim: Do you know when you’ll be back, to do some dolphin trips?

Joe: Well, I have several trips scheduled this summer and of course I have trips that are for families or groups where it’s just specifically for them. But I do have some open trips. And the best thing to do is if somebody wants to know about these trips, is to get on the email list, the Planetary Partners email list.

Kim: Yes, I know. You do coaching and team building and all kinds of other things. When people are coming on these trips, do they have to be trained in snorkeling or do they have a whole suite on or they’re going….are they skin diving? How is this happening?

Joe: I have people of all ages and abilities come, lots of swimmers and non-swimmers. And most of the non-swimmers end up becoming swimmers by the end of the trip. I typically do a five or six day trip. And in Hawaii I rent a house and we stay in the house or sometimes we camp on the beach, literally, right on the sand, in tents, cooking, on a picnic table and swimming with the dolphins right in the bay. And in Bimini it’s typically cottages or a home right on the water.

And… yeah, we just come together and first day we go over snorkeling. And people who are uncomfortable in the water, I teach them how to be comfortable and we get them life preservers or whatever. And basically when people learn that you can float and that you don’t need to exert effort to be safe, that you can literally lay on the surface and float, there’s a shift that takes place. There’s this beautiful, visceral letting down and for me it’s like a rebirth to see somebody relax back into the sea.

I had the executive team of Applebees come and spend four days in Bimini. And I had this one executive who couldn’t swim. I got him on a life vest and a mask and snorkel and we started in water he could stand up in so he could get comfortable laying down, putting his face in the water. And then I just towed him around and over the course of the next couple of days… and this was a man in his early 60s, he got comfortable and relaxed. With a mask, snorkel and fin it’s very easy to be in the ocean because you can just float and watch the beauty unfolding before you and below you. And he learned to swim. And he said it was a very, very pivotal moment in his life. And he quit smoking that day.

So really all you need is a desire for adventure; a desire to connect with the dolphins and to be immersed in the ocean and it’s for people of all ages. I’ve done it with children as young as 6 months.

Kim: Have you ever had people say to you: “I’m so excited to swim with dolphins and to see them and be near them but I’m scared of sharks”?

Joe: I’d say probably about 95% of the people ask about sharks.

Kim: How do you deal with that?

Joe: Well, first of all, it’s rare to see a shark, you’re lucky if you do, and sharks are way more afraid of us than we are of them. I read once that statistically, you’re 18 times more likely to be killed by a falling airplane part than you are to be killed by a shark. And of course, when you’re with the dolphins, there’s no sharks around because sharks don’t mess with dolphins.

Kim: There’s safety in numbers? (Laughs)

Joe: Yeah, yeah. I mean, it’s extremely rare to see a shark (unless we go looking for them). Now we do see the type of shark called a nurse shark and they actually hang out with the bottlenose dolphins because the bottlenose dolphins feed in the bottom and the nurse sharks follow after them and eat their scraps. And nurse sharks have tiny teeth. They’re like sucker fish.

So, you now, people get over that fear. And… most people have some fear of the ocean.

Kim: I do. I used to swim in it all the time and now I’m like: “Oh God.” But actually my love of dolphins is going to bring me in.

Joe: You know Kim I had a fear of the ocean and it was my love of dolphins that got me past my fear. I spent so much time swimming with dolphins that I ended up falling in love with the ocean.

Kim: Well I love the ocean. I absolutely love the ocean and I’ve gone on cruises, I’ve gone out in the ocean and I’ve swam in the ocean but over the years I like to look at the ocean and not to be in the ocean (laughs). But swimming with dolphins would definitely get me back. That’s where you come in (laughs)!

Joe: Yeah, yes, absolutely. Well, I see us in the future and you’re with us on a trip and you’re in the water and we’re just celebrating the fact that, not only do you love the ocean but you’re loving being totally immersed in it.

Kim: I’m very excited about it. I’m very excited about the work that you’re doing and the way that you’re doing what you’re doing and who you are in it. And I know that you have your own show as well on Blog Talk Radio. Talk about that.

Joe: One of my inner mantras is “life is a celebration”. What I’ve learned is our attention is our gift to life, and when we focus on our problems they grow, and when we focus on what we love it grows. And the greatest gift we can give to life is to follow our passion.

Kim: Indeed.

Joe: I just finished a story about taking my son fishing and the connections that we made and the adventures that surprised us. The stories are about giving permission to excite, resonate and follow our joy. I mean, the simplest way to raise your energy and improve your looks is to smile. For me, it really is that simple.

It’s a real blessing for me to realize that we’re spiritual beings having a human experience and that for me the path that calls the loudest, the path that offers the most exuberance and adventure is the path of joy.

Kim: It’s a great pleasure and an honor to have you as our guest today. Ladies and gentlemen we have been talking with, learning from and listening to Joe Noonan, the founder of Dolphin Whisperers at www.dolphinwhisperer.org. He is a champion at swimming with wild dolphins and takes groups and families to swim with them. He’s a wonderful storyteller.

Joe, thank you so much for being on the show today.

Joe: Kim, it’s a pleasure. I love what you’re doing. You just bring us such leading edge speakers and when I hear It’s Rainmaking Time, I smile, because I know that you’re bringing us another fellow human being to remind us of the magnificence of who we really are.

Kim: Thank you, thank you so much. Tell the children, as you go on your trips it’s rainmaking time for me. Look what happens to their faces when you tell them “it’s rainmaking time”. That’s how it started (laughs).

Joe: That’s beautiful, that’s beautiful.

Kim: Thank you so much Joe.

Joe: Ok, I look forward to being in the ocean with you and introducing you to the dolphins.

Kim: Very, very soon. God bless you.

Joe: God bless you. Thanks.

Kim: Thanks again.




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