Sunday, June 16, 2013

Meditation and Why Dogs Don't Need It

We spent Saturday and half of Sunday at the seminar.  I squirmed on an exquisitely uncomfortable and ergonomically incorrect chair, while Xingxing slept at my feet.
Primordial Sound Meditation involves using a mantra that reproduces the sound the universe was making at the moment of your birth.  You are given the mantra in a special, private session. You're not supposed to tell anyone what it is.  When you meditate, you close your eyes and repeat it over and over again in your mind.  It doesn't mean anything. That's the point -- to make your mind stop thinking, and slip into what Deepak and David call "the gap" and the Dalai Lama calls "calm abiding", being totally in the present moment. This is also known as mindfulness.
I have been trying to establish a meditation practice for years, unsuccessfully.  But this worked, and nobody was more surprised than me, because after sitting in that (expletive deleted) chair through an excruciating, two hour presentation by a 36 year old divorced, ex-basketball player, my back hurt so much that I could barely stand up. There is a certain irony in going all the way to America's Number One Wellness spa to wipe out your back.
However, I am now meditating twice a day, sitting for 30 minutes morning and evening. That is something I never thought I would do in this lifetime.
Xingxing thought it was all a bit of a yawn.  Dogs don't have to meditate. They are naturally mindful, and usually live in the present moment, except when you do something that makes them think of the immediate future, like opening the refrigerator or picking up the car keys. Dogs don't seem to spend a lot of time fretting about the past, either. In fact I often think that if mindfulness is a step along the way to Enlightenment, our dogs are already ahead of us.

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