Dogs Teaching Humans How to Stay


It’s one of those days when I want to run, things feel mysteriously empty, not in a Buddhist way, there’s a gentle ache in my Being.  I could hurriedly say I don’t like this feeling, instead I will attempt to sit with it after I have distracted myself for a few hours with coffee, chocolate, food, writing articles and a few meaningless things that I will give importance to in an effort to make me feel like I am doing something of substance.  Like many people, for years of my life I have struggled with saying what needed to be said and often in most cases I just walked away feeling disempowered and disappointed that I wasn’t heard or have been misunderstood or mistreated.  I am not into power, I find it hideous; the power I am interested in is the Power of Creation, to bring new things into being.  In the world of mice and men I have a tendency to walk away like a puppy and lick my paws after the scraps in life.
I only ever had one puppy, he was a black and white Cocker Spaniel, a gorgeous being who got taken out by a milk truck driver when I was about four years old. I am not a dog person these days but watching my son train his beloved best friend teaches me a lot; how to soften up and also toughen up, not be so uptight, dirt and poo is not as bad as I thought it was, and most of all how to develop discipline.
The D Word
The word discipline is one that every teenager, gypsy, anarchist, rebel, vagabond and village Bohemian gives the finger to.  When I eventually realised that SELF Discipline has no relationship to the big-stick-discipline I headed off on a new journey of discovery; I was reminded that practicing guitar for ten hours a day was a definition of the friendly-D-word. It is obvious that there really is no relationship between the two D words but like anything, until we know it in the totality of our being, (read as: understand it and do it first hand) there is always going to be someone with a big stick standing over us correcting our ways and in response our thoughts will be saying, “stuff you.”
Learning Dog Tricks
Life is meditation with a few thoughts in between, well maybe more than a few, it’s closer to a snow storm or rainy day, they just keep falling into our space, we capture some, others go back into Emptiness. Learning to stay is something that dogs do well, waiting, sitting, focusing, no distractions, what ever goes by don’t follow; we learn to watch the rise and fall of moments and events, knowing that in time all things must pass.
Just Being
Sometimes I am the master of thought, wisdom is easy for me but today I will sit, feel what is in my being, embrace the uncomfortableness, wait  with a slight sense of timidness and wonder instead of giving into fear, I will not fantasise that by speaking up for myself it will bring about turmoil and if it does so be it.  There is a time to step up and a time to retreat and be silent.  For me peace is important, to be understood has always been a critical thing but due to the diversity of human nature this is never guaranteed and is a little fanciful, unrealistic at times but sometimes possible.
The Caravan of Life
I sit and look in the invisible rear-vision mirror and see my past dissolving, before me there are new experiences unfolding and cascading, new people and things, moments I never dreamed of or had even considered.  I seek love, empathy and compassion.

As the SAGE Rumi says,
“Come Come whoever you are,
Wanderer, wayfarer, lover of leaving,
Even if you have broken your vows thousands of times,
Come, ours is not a Caravan of Despair”

I will tie my camel and stay in my tent until the storm passes.

Tilopa 2.0

(image is the property of the wonderful cartoonist Maria Scrivan and is used for educational purposes so we humans can learn from dogs)