Sitting. Dogs don’t get meditation. Cats, they get meditation, dogs, not so much.
This morning I was on my cushion, trying to pay attention when I felt a small dog nose poke me in the back, right between my shoulderblades. So Owen poked at me a little, then went to examine the incense smoke for a moment, then tried to curl up on my crossed legs, but there wasn’t really enough room on the cushion, and he kept sliding off. Eventually, he got bored and went away. Ah, I thought. He’s learning. And tried to bring my attention back to mindfulness.
Then Raymond came in to see what was going on. Same drill, a little whining, a little licking, a little trying to curl up in front of me on the cushion. Not comfortable. A little shifting, a little more whining, some incense watching and then he gave up and went out to curl up in the dog bed under the kitchen table. I tried to bring my attention back to mindfulness.
Now, like so much lately, the dogs in my meditation space can be seen as a problem, or can be seen as just what they are, dogs in my meditation space. Maybe I’ve been reading too much Zen lately, trying to see my way through this ordeal, but it seems to me I could have gotten all bent out of shape because the dogs were “ruining” my meditation, or I could have just let the dogs be dogs and keep trying to bring my attention back to mindfulness. I went with the latter, partially because I love my dogs so it was easier not to be mad at them than to be mad at them, and partially because all affection, even if it is in the middle of my so-called meditation practice, is welcome, especially these days.
But it’d be nice if they’d sort of get with the program eventually. Maybe another dog bed in the room where I sit, so they can have their own cushion.