Here’s what my meditation practice often looks like with my 2 crazy dogs:
I sit on my meditation mat, on the floor.
Dogs realize that I’m sitting on their level, which, to them means playtime. WOOHOO!
Dogs run over to me to play as I close my eyes, and attempt to settle in.
I fold my hands, and place them in my lap.
Weenie , my dachshund, nudges my hand for me to pet him. (yes, that’s a link to HIS Instagram…you should follow him…he’s adorable!)
I keep my hands still.
Weenie nudges me again….and again…and again…
Frustrated, Weenie goes to find a toy in his toy box which is near my seat.
Weenie shakes his toy violently…not across the room, but RIGHT next to me.
Weenie removes stuffing from toy.
Weenie gets tired, and when he gets tired, he licks his paw.
Weenie continues to lick his paw for at least 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, Lilly, my terrier, tries to curl up in my lap.
Lilly makes circles in my lap, in attempt to get comfy.
Lilly decides to lie next to me quietly…
Something happens outside that only the dogs can hear.
Both dogs try to alert me to the outside noises by barking…
and barking and barking and barking…
In spite of all this craziness, It’s totally possible to practice mindful meditation with crazy dogs!
Mindfulness is paying attention in the present moment, without judgement….So, as I sit on my mat, I acknowledge what is going on as it’s happening.
Sometimes…there’s a LOT happening!
Finding an absolutely silent place to meditate isn’t always possible, or necessary. I change my focus from my breath, to sounds and sensations. I listen to the different sounds my dogs are making…and the body sensations of them in my lap, licking my leg, nudging my hand (or whatever their attempt to get attention du jour is).
I also pay attention to emotions as they come up…sometimes frustrations (why can’t they just lie quietly…UGH!)…sometimes joy (the nudging of my hands warms my heart)…sometimes anger (the BARKING!!). I can sense what it feels like in my body when these emotions come up.
Every day is different meditating with dogs in the house. Every moment is different. Sometimes there is silence and calm, sometimes they want more attention, some days, less. It’s a beautiful flow of life!
Do you have massive distractions when you attempt to meditate? How is that for you?