12/9 2009

Meditation, dogs and distractions

I would not call myself a meditation expert. To the contrary, I would actually refer to myself as a meditation disaster. So I guess if I were to advocate meditation as a daily practice, you might refute my claim based solely on my admission that I can’t do it very well myself.

I actually did write about the benefits of medication in Finding Life’s Secret Sauce, such as relaxation, rejuvenation and if done properly, probably some enlightenment, too.

Just recently, I admitted to a friend that my goal was to meditate 10 minutes/day. Immediately upon my admission, he looked at me and laughed. Now I realize, by the standards of many others more relaxed and contemplative than I, this goal is not exactly heroic. But why make a goal if it’s not realistic and attainable? Right now, this is the best I can hope to do. That ten minutes/day (if I actually do it at all) helps me relax and slow down.

Here’s a perfect example of how my meditation typically proceeds.

Yesterday afternoon, I took 10 minutes (or at least tried to do so) to sit down in front of the fireplace and close my eyes.

As soon as I sat down (and began to calm my mind, if that’s something I might actually be able to do), Walden pounced on me.

Then he stumbled over to the kitchen, whereby he started to move his dog bowl across the floor, making a rather annoying fingernails-across-the-chalkboard like sound. Then he moved Boedi’s bowl, making an even louder screech. Then back to his. This continued about 6-8 times.

While Walden was frantically moving bowls, Boedi was jumping in my lap and licking my face. Every time I tried to place her back on the floor, she’d jump back up and do the same thing.

Then after Walden stopped moving bowls, he ran back into the living room and nearly knocked me over from my sitting position. He pushed Boedi ever so politely out of the way then plopped himself onto my lap.

Boedi didn’t give up. She tried to nudge her way into my lap for a few rubs, too. It was a little disconcerting to have my eyes closed when two dogs, who have been known to fight for their owners’ attention, literally, were trying to win “love hog” honors.

Nonetheless, I continued to pet both my dogs, with my eyes closed, trying as best I could to take my mind to another place. Any place besides two dogs sniffing, licking and loving me, with all their hearts and souls.

Then, rather abruptly, Walden gets up, goes back to the kitchen, and repeats the dog bowl routine.

Yes, it looks like we’ve got ourselves a ritual.

Despite the distractions, I continued to (try to) meditate. (I keep mistyping meditate as medicate.  Maybe someone is trying to tell me something).

Though I don’t believe I got too much introspection during this “time to myself,” at least I sat still for a few minutes.

Until Walden started chewing one of Luke’s toys (I can recognize the sound from a mile away since it seems to happen every other minute). So…to avoid either 1) Walden choking or 2) Luke’s temper tantrum later, I decided to open my eyes and officially give up.

All I can say is….maybe tomorrow.

(P.S. And just for the record, as soon as I gave up and started back to work, Walden came and laid beside me and fell asleep).

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