That’s an awkward title for a post, but I don’t know of any other way to express a profoundly happy moment I had this evening.
Like so many people I interact with either personally or thru the blogosphere, it is so easy to be overly busy, or simply, totally stressed. If you are employed, the demands throughout the work day probably amount to packing 12 hours of work into 8, unless you want to take it home or stay longer. A, B, and C are all options I, and probably many of you, have had to exercise…
And even if you are employed, you may still have to do stuff on the side, in the name of making ends meet, for all the needs of the family. Been there, done that, still doing it….
And if you are unemployed…I will say no more, other than that I know you are using all your forces of creativity to get through these times. My family has been touched by that circumstance too.
“Making a living” can sap a lot of the availability of energy it takes to make time to follow a religious path, whatever label you care to apply to yourself. The ideal of some kind of daily ritual, even if it’s only a few minutes, can be a big ideal to achieve. Even if you do it, sometimes stress makes it seems like just so much going through the motion.
Been there, done that too. I want to have a rich inner experience, I want to develop the personal rituals that will kindle that, but sometimes, despite what I write, plan, and do… it just doesn’t happen.
Tonite, I figured that out. Because for the inner experience to really be real, you have to really be there, in the moment. If you can’t find the mute button for the static noise from all the other sectors of your life, so that you can quench the disturbance, it ain’t gonna happen.
Now, I know there are those of you out there who are going to say “Duh”. I need to practice more grounding, meditation exercises…Yes, you are correct. The metaphysical police right now should pull me over for doing 90 miles an hour in a 30 mile zone.
Ok, so what helped me tonight? My dogs. Yup. My dogs. I belong to a group of dog enthusiasts who periodically get together for “Yappy Hour”. Every so often, on a Friday evening, we pool our resources to rent an indoor facility with all the agility equipment to practice run throughs with our dogs, in preparation for future agility competitions. The group is large enough so each individual’s share of the cost is a bargain, but the group is also small enough to nuture real friendships. We celebrate our dog’s successes on the course, and laugh over their foibles, and in the meantime, enjoy shared food and drink. It’s a happy time for all of us, and we all love the practice.
For whatever reason tonite, my dogs and I really clicked and worked well together on the agility course. I hadn’t expected that to happen. This week has been chaotic, on all fronts, and the dogs did not get their usual outlets, which does not bode well for performing well! I almost didn’t go tonite. But late afternoon, I checked in with my immediate family members, all the burning fires had been laid to rest… so I said, even if we bomb on the course, we’re going.
And then we went, and we did awesome! It was so wonderful, when I came home I gave the pups an extra special supper, and now have a candle burning in thanks to Epona.
And as that candle burns, I am reflecting. Why was tonite so great? Because I was able to be, in the now, on that agility course. Having laid the rest of the family’s needs to the side for the moment, it was just me and the pups. There was no work, no worry, no past, no future, there was only just this run through the obstacles. There was only me, giving direction to my dog, communicating to my dog, my dog understanding and following those prompts and commands.
We were in the moment, together. Even though it wasn’t a competition, it was still a rewarding and heady experience. It’s always awesome when you do something terrific with your dog.
But on the way home, I couldn’t help reflect that those moments with my dogs, when I was totally on key, totally there, totally present… totally in the now….. those moments were also a teaching moment, somehow, for my spiritual practice. I keenly felt the joy of being right there, right then. I can’t explain it well, but I felt that somehow, being able to experience intensely the immediate moment was important. That perhaps we too often gloss over or overlook the immediate moment. That we lose the ability of just being right here, right now.
Dogs are wonderful beings for giving you love and keeping you grounded. They know nothing else but the moment that is right now. I’ve read that they don’t experience time the way we do. That’s why when you return home from work, you get the hero’s welcome, as if you had been gone for a week. All they knew is that you were gone, and wonderfully, now you are back with them.
Ok so you can all call me crazy, but I always love to point out that d-o-g spelt backwards is g-o-d. In a previous post I had cross posted a wonderful story: The Story of Dog.
May the spirit of Dog teach you the joy of now.