Dogs and Zen Meditation
What could be more rhythmic than the trotting feet of two dogs on a bright late summer afternoon? The dogs lead the way on a four-mile hike through the neighborhood, and I follow, mindlessly. I’m getting my exercise and they are getting theirs. I think of nothing. My commands to them are instinctive, “heel, stay, wait, let’s go”, etc.; a running mindless mantra in which my eyes are on the dogs and my hands focus on the tension of the leash – my mind is blank except for observing the movement of the dogs. My steps become unconscious, I just follow the stride of the dogs. They keep a good pace, and my feet follow along in syncopation behind them. The sun feels good on my back, and the cooling breeze refreshes. Occasionally, a neighbor stops us to casually chat about weather, gardens, or dogs. It lifts my mood. But I keep my walk going; the dogs become a little restless. They cock their heads up at me, for reassurance that we will keep moving. Walk, walk, walk, the cadence of their paws and too long nails clicking against the pavement transforms me from stressed to sublime. A walking meditation, with two loving dogs as my guides. Zen bliss at it’s finest!