Lesson #1 – Mindfulness

Jack Russell

Practising mindfulness

Plenty of others have done this – writing up amusing lessons on life that their canine companions have taught them. What few people have done though, is to try to learn anything about life from a generally dissatisfied and ungrateful Jack Russell X.

While I can appreciate the positive good natures of pups such as Puff the Pomeranian for me it just doesn’t ring true. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve learnt plenty of positive things from my little fella, but I’ve also come to recognise in myself some of his not so positive traits. (If you’re thinking about any of those disgusting things dogs do…you know what I mean…well that’s not what I’m talking about).

I’m going to start on a positive note though, with Lesson #1 – Mindfulness.

Mindfulness n. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Like all good life changing moments, I first came across the concept of mindfulness on Oprah. To explain the concept, a lady came up on stage and was talked through an exercise ‘we could all do at home’. The idea was that you contemplate and fully experience every stage of eating a single sultana, stretching the process out for at least 15 to 20 minutes at a time.

I thought this was ridiculous.

Many years later I was watching my little dog as he lay calmly outside observing his surroundings. I wondered what he was thinking about, and it occurred to me it was probably not much at all. He was just looking at the things around him, the sky, the leaves, the ground and feeling the warmth of the sun on his face. He was in the moment because that’s all he had to do.

I think of this as my mindfulness exercise now, making myself sit quietly like a dog (not literally like a dog) without electronic or any other distractions. I sit and look at the things around me, the sky, the leaves, the ground and I feel the warmth of the sun on my face.

It works for a short time until, just like my dog (and more than likely those ladies who are staring at their sultanas) I start thinking about how hungry I am, and get up to find some food.

If you suspect that this post is just an excuse to put pictures of my dog on the internet, then you’d be correct. Please submit all complaints about this blatant misuse of blog space by replying below or leaving a comment.

6 thoughts on “Lesson #1 – Mindfulness

  1. I think Bonnie must be quite mindful too, until a plane comes over, then she is a crazy barking puppy. Maybe it is not mindfulness at all, but neuroses…

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    • Planes aren’t a problem for us, but thunder is. We have a theory that back when all dogs were wolves one got crushed by a branch struck by lightning during a storm and now the fear is just instinct. Not sure how that translates to planes…

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  2. Pingback: Seven things I’ve learnt from my first six months of blogging | 36 views of Black Mountain

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