Resting in the present moment and staying with it, isn’t easy, particularly when one is in front of a computer! I get lost in the cyber pseudo worlds as easily as most people. That is where our dog Cheerios comes to the rescue. She is our teacher in terms of being present and loving.
We were out walking late one afternoon, a little over a year ago, when we met her on the corner of Castro and 18th streets. Cheerios was 8 weeks old, with the Northern California Family Dog Rescue group seeking homes for their dogs. Once in Allen’s arms, she did not want to leave. We brought her home two days later, and she has been with us every since.
Sitting at my computer, writing, reading or too often just getting lost, a little face appears and tries to climb into my lap, ‘disturbing’ whatever it is I think I am doing. A lick on the face both brings me into the present, as well as declares her love and need for attention.
Obviously there are times I have to focus on other than Cheerios, so I close my office door. Yet she has quickly adapted to that, quietly waiting outside until I come out. And she is always happy to see me even though I locked her out. No guilt trips or sulking.
Dogs love unconditionally. Perhaps you have seen the e-mail where a 6 year old said his dog defined “unconditional love.” It went something like ‘even though I left him home alone all afternoon, he still greets me with lots of kisses.’
A person who attempts to live a more spiritual life does not need to crawl off to a cave in the mountains or desert. While retreats can be very helpful in one’s spiritual practice, it is in the everyday that our lived values are expressed. It is most useful to have someone or something in our everyday life to remind us what they are.
Do you have someone or something that helps you?