The Cove

‘The Cove’ is the name of an award winning documentary about the hunting practices of the small fishing village of Taiji, Japan, where fishermen capture and kill wild dolphins for the aquarium trade and for food. The Cove and everything it represents is a highly controversial and polarized situation.

The movie is gut-wrenching.

I was asked to get involved and ended up helping facilitate a series of conference calls of pro-dolphin activists and groups from around the world. It was eye-opening. The situation is much more complex than first appears.

It became abundantly clear to me that the protesting and condemnation of the fishermen’s actions was too polarizing a path for me; anger and righteousness are too bitter for this stomach. Education and compassion were/are needed, and I made the deliberate choice to enter the fray holding a focus of love.

Yes, the dolphins are the inspiration for this focus. As Christians ask, ‘What would Jesus do?’ (WWJD), in times of uncertainty I ask myself, ‘What would the dolphins do?’ (WWDD). Those of us who love the dolphins already know the answer.

I have been leading sacred Water Ceremonies around the world for a number of years, and have been including the ancient Hawaiian art of Ho’oponopono in these ceremonies. I received guidance to go to Taiji, Japan, and perform this ceremony along with Ho’oponopono at the Cove.

I went in January 2011. It was a powerful, heart-opening experience.

The majority of the activists and groups there are themselves polarized, competing for recognition. It was a shocking revelation.

The individual fishermen have their own personal beliefs and agendas, as does the Fishermen’s Union, the local politicians, Police, Coast Guard…

There are many levels of complexity and conflicting agendas; locally, nationally and globally.

The dolphins are in the middle.

While most see the dolphins as helpless pawns and victims, I see them as they have always presented themselves to me; playful compassionate spiritual beings incarnating as dolphins. While on a physical level they fight to flee, on a soul/spiritual level they are fully aware of the sacrificial role they play; offering the rest of us the opportunity to see our polarizations and beliefs.

They know better than anyone what is going on.

I published a post about my experience watching the fishing boats herding the dolphins into the cove for slaughter, and the messages i received from the dolphins. Read it here.

No one is wrong, no one is right. What to do?

Follow your heart.

For me, that means holding it all with loving compassion.



(c) Joe Noonan