I spent two years in India and some of my dearest memories involve mother cow. From day one I was impressed that amongst the hustle and bustle of the incessant traffic, the cows could remain undisturbed and peaceful as if in meditation. They are a great example for those of us trying to keep our minds fixed on Kṛṣṇa even amongst the chaotic conditions of Kali-yuga.
I was fortunate to have closer contact with many of the cows I crossed paths with. While staying in Shaphura, a small village in Madhya Pradesh, a very friendly cow would visit daily for leftover prasādam (sanctified food). It was always a joy to see her eagerly waiting outside the gate. Once she had finished she always let me stroke her and take her blessings, often licking me with affection.
Once while on a japa-walk with my friend Nitin, we came across a beautiful herd of cows. As I petted one, she started to rub up against me showing great affection. I was amazed at how comfortable she was approaching a stranger with such love. A gentleman remarked that if we show animals love they reciprocate. I had experienced this several times, but this cow was very special to me. This went on for over five minutes and I felt very blissful to receive her love.
A few days later I sat next to the sacred Narmada river to chant. My eyes were closed when I felt something rub against me. Seated on a low wall, I turned and was face to face with a very large cow. I was a little intimidated at first knowing I could easily be knocked into the river. I should have known there was no need to be worried though. She rubbed up against me, letting me pet her for a while and then went on her merry way.
These were beautiful experiences and I felt the great happiness one receives from a cows blessings. They have so much personality and a lot can be learned from them, especially for our spiritual lives.