My dog BeBe is pretty cute. When we go for walks, people ohhhh and ahhh over him, thinking that he’d like to be cuddled and coo’ed over. To their dismay, when they try to pet him, he’s unreceptive.
BeBe doesn’t like being petted. Not very much anyway. He’s very loving, but made it clear from the beginning that he is not one of those cuddly lap dogs. He is often unruly and sometimes naughty. BeBe is very energetic.
But every morning, when I set my meditation cushion on the floor, BeBe will come running over, plug his butt on the cushion, and lie quietly for the length of the meditation, anywhere from 30 mins to an hour. It is the only time he is anywhere near compliant or affectionate.
BeBe’s meditation ritual is something of an anomaly. I am often amused by it.
I’ve noticed that animals love meditation and healing. They are very sensitive and receptive to energy. Animals are wonderful reflections of spirit, and can often act as guides in our own path. Have you ever noticed the way animals respond and their behavior in everyday situations? Even if you don’t have animals at home, have you observed the way birds fly and how wildlife communicates? I have always found this fascinating. Nature has an amazing way of communicating and reflecting energy in the moment.
I love this poem from Mary Oliver, “I happened to be standing” and wanted to share it with you.
I HAPPENED TO BE STANDING
I don’t know where prayers go,
or what they do.
Do cats pray, while they sleep
half-asleep in the sun?
Does the opossum pray as it
crosses the street?
The sunflowers? The old black oak
growing older every year?
I know I can walk through the world,
along the shore or under the trees,
with my mind filled with things
of little importance, in full
self-attendance. A condition I can’t really
call being alive.
Is a prayer a gift, or a petition,
or does it matter?
The sunflowers blaze, maybe that’s their way.
Maybe the cats are sound asleep. Maybe not.
While I was thinking this I happened to be standing
just outside my door, with my notebook open,
which is the way I begin every morning.
Then a wren in the privet began to sing.
He was positively drenched in enthusiasm,
I don’t know why. And yet, why not.
I wouldn’t pursuade you from whatever you believe
or whatever you don’t. That’s your business.
But I thought, of the wren’s singing, what could this be
if it isn’t a prayer?
So I just listened, my pen in the air.