Monday, November 27, 2006

Dog Time as Buddhist Mindfulness


Dogs are perfect Buddhists. They are entirely about the moment. A limited memory of the past, no idea about the future unless you rattle their food bowl and they expect they might get fed.

There is basically only now, with now filled with sleeping, eating, pooping, peeing, and being petted. What a life.

Take my three dogs, Thunder (a black miniature Schnauzer), Winston (a gray miniature Schnauzer) and Toto (a brownish Cairn Terrier). Time is essentially meaningless to them. I can be gone one minute to the mail box, one hour in town for a meeting, one day for a business trip, or one month on a vacation and it's all the same to them. They are just as glad to see me after my return from the mail box as they are from a trip to the other side of the world. Their happiness about my return is at about a "10" on a 1-10 scale regardless of my time away.

Seems to me that our pet dogs offer us some important lessons in mindfulness.

Originally posted at on S.D. Watch at

Photo courtesy of Altweibersommer via Flickr (Explore Flickr - subject to the following license: Some rights reserved.

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