21-Day Meditation Challenge – Day 20: Sit. Stay. Meditate with Your Dog
Many of us have been meditating everyday – all this year! It is exhilarating to be part of such a big community of meditators. There are more than 200 of us participating in Evolution’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge. We have made space for ourselves and are starting to get into a groove. We have definitely overcome challenges – kids and pets sometimes being the biggest.
My kid is off to college, so my current challenge to meditation is a quadruped with a long, wet tongue. As soon as I sit down to meditate, Dewey races over to give me a big kiss and play a game. Any game. Right now. He is a two-year-old Lab-Pitbull mix with a slight attention deficit and a great enthusiasm for anything happening on the floor, on the couch, or anywhere in the room for that matter.
Initially, meditating with an exuberant dog was problematic and even annoying, but we stuck with it. At the beginning, I spent a lot of time on my meditation cushion turning away from the dog’s kisses and demands, but once he got the idea, everything settled into place. Now, several days into our 21-Days, Dewey has become a master meditator. Sure he still races over for a kiss as soon as my butt hits the cushion, but he quickly settles down for our sit together.
Here are a couple things I did to help him (and me) become better meditators:
- I gave him a ton of calm affection as soon as I sat down to meditate.
- I asked him to sit and gave him a tiny space on my meditation cushion – he initially cuddled up next to me, but soon realized that the space was too small for him to be comfortable, so he moved to a more comfortable place – off my cushion.
- I gave him a ton of calm affection after meditation.
(These three steps can also apply to people: give yourself some kudos for sitting in the first place, find a comfortable seat, reward yourself afterward.)
It really did not take Dewey long to catch on. Granted I do not know if he has actually let go of attachment to his thoughts or if he is just taking a nap. But we both seem to feel much happier after meditation.
I’d love to know how you dog-lovers (and cat-lovers) have worked out your relationship with you pet and your meditation practice.
What a good boy!