Figuring \w+ out

Lessons from my dog on meditation


I recently read about three meditation practices, the purpose of which was to help calm the brain by paying attention to the body in the present. That got me thinking about the my dog.

First, dogs are focused on the present. Whatever the moment brings is what they're completely immersed in. Whether is is time to eat, play, sleep, or be on squirrel patrol, that is where he fully is. My dog excels at meditating to be present.

Sometimes I'm focused on the present but often I'm reliving the past or running scenarios about the future. As an example, this morning I woke up two hours early. I laid there knowing I would not go back to sleep, but hoping. I eventually got up and wrote this post. Initially I was concerned about the future, how I'd feel today. I'm still concerned. But eventually I cajoled myself to get up and take action on some of the thoughts running through my head, this post being one item. It was only while I was typing this that I realized by typing this I was being present. I am presently doing what the reality of the "now" actually is. I need meditation to help me do what the present calls for.

Second, when an exciting event occurs my dog has great difficulty restraining himself. When we have guests come to our house my dog is instructed to sit on his bed and wait. He mostly can do this. But as he waits he still whines with excitement and dances his front legs, raring to go say hi. There are many other scenarios he also experiences significant challenges restraining himself, and unfortunately is only able to do so for so long before he is overcome and fails. My dog desperately needs mediation to bridle his reactions.

I am also overcome. I can restrain my body but I have great difficulty in restraining my mind. I realize I need a very similar training as my dog. To not unhealthily be focused on something, which only consumes us to our own determinant. Both of us need meditation to help us let go.