Lots of people talk these days about “being mindful” and “being in the present moment” – those phrases are used so often now that, if you’re not sure what they even mean, it can be easy to write them off as hippy-dippy new-agey psychobabble.
If you’re new to the idea of meditation and mindfulness and aren’t exactly clear on what it means to be in the “present moment” – here’s the easiest (and most enjoyable) homework assignment in the world:
- Find a dog
- Observe the dog
- Learn about being in the present moment from the Masters of the Present Moment
If you’ve spent any time at all with a dog, you can probably already start to understand what I’m getting at: dogs always seem to live in the present moment. Even many dog trainers teach that dogs don’t have a sense of past and future like we do – they live in the present – which is why punishing them after the fact for a “bad” behavior simply doesn’t work.
As Cesar Milan wrote: “Dogs, on the other paw, live only in the present ‘ in the moment. Living in the moment means dogs are only concerned with what’s happening to them right now, not what happened to them last week or what’s going to happen next Tuesday… We can vividly see this in dogs that have lost a limb, hearing or sight. They don’t lament or mourn the absent abilities or wonder where they went. They deal with the abilities they have right now and move on with life.”
By practicing being more in the present moment ourselves (one way is by using Mutt Meditation techniques) we can emulate the furry buddhas sitting right by our feet.