Beliefnet
Chattering Mind

This afternoon, I tried to meditate with our fluffy black cockapoo Chester according to the instructions given in James Jacobson and Kristine Chandler Madera’s book ‘How to Meditate with Your Dog.

ChesterI started by playing meditative flute music on the boom box (I don’t know how to operate the kids’ iPod unit yet). Then I sat cross-legged in a sunny spot on the dining room floor. Interested, Chester happily pranced over to me with a tennis ball in his mouth. Then the mailman dropped some magazines through the mail slot. Oh boy. This is Chester’s favorite part of the day. So he barked a lot, and I just sat by myself in the sun, breathing and breathing. When Chester calmed down, I peeked at him. He was chewing some rawhide he’d never touched before. I closed my eyes again. Thoughts were coming, sure. Thoughts I’ve never had before. Thoughts like: “Why the bleep won’t my dog meditate with me?”

Okay, time to change position. I went into the living room and sat on the couch. Chester eventually followed, but he chose to sit in the upholstered chair opposite so he could just watch. I got up and gently carried him to the couch. Then I wrapped my left arm under his belly and massaged his head with my right hand. He relaxed, and we finally got a little something going. Here’s what I noticed when I tuned into his breath. He takes a long inhale and then exhales with a little huff. We sat and sat, listening to the flute music. I think I felt him let go of something. Or go to sleep. Jacobson says dogs spend a good part of their day in a meditative, not-sleeping, not-waking state.

Sounds like I’m making fun, but I actually find a lot of merit in this. It’s good for the dog, and yet another way to get yourself to sit. Plus, it’s really interesting to expand your awareness to encompass another living being’s patterns of breath. You connect with the miracle of it all. The little gasps, the stomach churning, the beats of the faithful heart. Here’s the book’s website.

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