Sunday, January 10, 2010

I have the best dog in the world! Hands down... no contest... Max takes the trophy. I know everyone thinks theirs is the superior pet. Fine, I won't try to disavow you of that notion. Every pet is special. But does your dog meditate? Yes, meditate. Max does. He joined me this morning in a ten minute session of quiet breathing to contemplate the day.

I call 2009 the "Year of tremendous loss"... loss of income, security, relationships, health, innocence, affection, yes, even life... all the things I'd come to know and count on were challenged. The year started with the loss of an esteemed colleague who died suddenly and seemingly unnecessarily at the tender age of 50. At a memorial gathering of family, friends and colleagues, I learned he was an aspiring jazz guitarist, and a doting Uncle. I only knew him as a talented photographer dedicated to his craft and his clients. Things took a downward turn from there. I count it a victory to have survived 2009, still alive, but not unscathed by all that fell away. Meditation has become a coping mechanism to keep me grounded and focused in the moment.

My week-end rituals now begin with preparing Mom's breakfast, and then lining up something for her lunch and dinner. It's the new order of things since her health crisis. Her vision loss makes it necessary to have someone assist with daily routines. That pushes everything back, including walks with Max and the morning meditation. Max can sometimes get anxious waiting to get his day started.

As I settled in with the disc that guides me into my mantra, Max quietly took a seat in the sun streaming through the window. I closed my eyes to begin, and ten minutes later when the chime rang, I looked up to find Max unmoved, in the same position, sitting quietly, looking blissful.

Now you'd have to know Max to fully appreciate the moment. Max is not a sit still kind of dog; he's in constant motion. Give him a ball or Mr. Jack, he can entertain himself indefinitely. He just goes from room to room, running up and down the stairs playing. When he does stop for more than a minute, it's to fall fast asleep. So to find him poised in the seated position, back straight and head upright in the classic meditation position, eyes gazing off into the distance... was an absolute revelation. I live for these moments. Told you he's the best dog in the world!

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