Friday, March 6, 2009

Becoming Dog-Present

Paula's comments on "Say What?" gave me a unique way to make a post about my forthcoming book - "The Conceptual Dog: Liberating the Indigenous Canine." Thanks Paula. (To read her comments or leave your own, click the topic title or the word “comments” at its end.)

I find that more and more people are beginning to deliberately express loving-kindness – that is, when we become awake and aware enough to actually choose what we will think and how we will feel. The human mind is feeding thought to us 24/7. Sometimes, we follow our thoughts and get lost in the labyrinth to which they lead. Oftentimes, they chatter away in the background as we interact with daily experience through a variety of cognitive efficiencies. By relying on concepts, beliefs, and what we think to be knowledge, we can engage the mind more readily, multi-task and process more than one idea at once. But this type of consciousness actually results in unconsciousness. It detaches us from the dynamic wholeness of the moment, serving us a conceptualized version of it instead. Without even realizing it, we are distracted and inattentive.

Nearly everyone has had an experience that suddenly catapulted them into acute awareness. Remember the time you reached for your wallet and found that it was not in your pocket. Or, the time you realized that someone had left the gate open and the dog was on the loose. Yes, we panicked, and we were acutely aware. We know the difference between everyday attentiveness and hyper awareness but we don't know how to purposefully get from one state to the other…without panicking.

"The Conceptual Dog" explores ways that we can habitually bring critical awareness forward while we interact with the dog in our life. When we fix our attention upon him, the dog is wholly there and completely ready to engage us. We can learn how to give him the same, how to be dog-present.

Once we begin to engage on this level of consciousness, we will not want to return to chattering distractedness while interacting with our dog partner. The rewards will be hugely obvious. And we will find that what can be known in a single moment of complete awareness is far greater than that which we can come to learn or believe in an entire lifetime. If we really want to know how dogs think and why they do what they do, consult the master in your home. He probably has his eyes fixed upon you right now, hoping that you will awaken and that the wholeness of you will come out to play.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have read so many dog books and have never found advice as natural and authentic as yours. I can see my own disconnection between the real dog and the one I’ve learned about in books or the one I’d like to have or believe exists. From now on, I’m going to try to do what you suggest. I’m going to ask the dog what she thinks and feels. And I simply can’t wait for your book to come out. I’m going to e-mail you separately to see if I can be put on a notification list.