Contrary to popular belief, a meditation practice doesn’t aim to guide us anywhere or give us any insights. What meditation really aims to do, is to offer a moment of silence. I don’t just mean silence in the “your phone is away; the kids are at school and you have time to think” kind of way. I mean silence in the “everything is so quiet, even your thoughts have stopped.” If you’ve ever experienced a moment of true, inner quiet, you know what a huge relief it can be.
We’re always busy, always thinking of something. Oftentimes we have a million thoughts racing through our heads and we can barely make sense of what it is we’re trying to do. The best things in life are the opposite of that, they are focused, quiet and uncomplicated. Consider your favorite song-when’s the last time you really listened to it? Not as background noise, but rather allowing yourself to get lost in the music. This is the type of silence we’re talking about. You’re not thinking about the song, rather you are experiencing the song. Meditation is practice for this experience. When we sit and meditate, we learn to be with whatever is going on in the present moment. It takes consistent effort over time.
When it comes to our dogs, the ultimate goal is to be truly present with them, rather than to be thinking about being present with them. We want your relationship with your dog to be a meditative experience. People often comment on the environment at BDB, saying it’s surreal seeing so many calm dogs just laying around. We can achieve this because we have fulfilled the dogs needs and created a sense of calm. We’ve given the dogs the ability to find their own inner silence. Consequently, our dogs give us the same silence back, if we let them.
Take some time to truly be with your dog, don’t feel like you need to do or say anything in particular. Just sit them on their bed and sit next to them. Leave your phone behind. Take a deep breath in, then a deep breath out. Notice what it’s like to be with your dog, rather than thinking about the next thing you need to do. If you’re lucky enough to catch that moment of silence you will realize immediately, what a huge blessing our dogs truly are. The secret is all in the silence, it’s in the doing, rather than the thinking-about-doing. For our dogs it’s instinct, but for us it’s a greater level of consciousness: one that comes from the heart rather than the mind.
Breathe in, breathe out.