I’ve been hearing a lost about meditation lately. How good it is for you. How it’s the best way to start your day. I gotta admit, my mind is a crazy place to be. It’s like a cafeteria full of 8th graders, barely contained chaos on the verge of exploding into a full-on food fight. I guess meditation is the cafeteria lady with a whistle calling time out.
The Bible, my personal go to self-help book, mentions it too.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty— and I will meditate on your wonderful works. Psalm 145:5
"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." Philippians 4:8
The simple definition, and the one listed first in the dictionary is: to engage in thought or contemplation; reflect.
Ok, so I need to take some time, probably at the beginning of my day, to sit in thoughtful contemplation about what is good in life. Hmmmm. I pondered this as I watched fresh brewed French Roast dribble into my mug. I dumped a spoonful of sugar, yes, real sugar, into my coffee and raised it to my nose to breath in its comforting aroma.
The sun had just lifted over the trees, still hidden behind blankets of clouds. Its muffled rays poured over the edges and sneaked out in long spotlights reaching down to touch this or that tree, saying, “Look at how pretty this is. Look at how wonderful that is.”
Out in the field in front of my house my two horses munched on grass, side by side, so close their hips touched and they swatted flies off of each others backs with their long tails.
“Now, that’s good,” I said.
Ah ha! I’ll go sit on the patio, watch the sun rise, still by thoughts, focus only on the beauty and my gratefulness for seeing it! That will be my meditation.
I opened the door to the front patio and was greeted by four smiling, panting, furry faces.
“Cool,” I thought, “I’ll sit with my dogs, who I love and am grateful for also, and we’ll all meditate
together. That will work, right?”
Um, well. First, every single one of the fur kids couldn’t understand why I would want to sit on the patio and not pet them, so the all, and I do mean all, stuck their heads on my lap. I ignored this, sipping my coffee and staring gratefully at the rising sun searching my head for that one quiet spot to sit.
Vera, my red healer mix, was having none of this, surely I just didn’t see her. She bumped the bottom of my elbow with her nose sending my coffee sloshing over my cup onto my pj pants.
“No,” I told her.
The sound of my voice set all of the tails in motion.
“She spoke,” they said, “She spoke. Yes! She wants us here. Everyone, pile onto her lap!”
I stood up to stop the literal dog pile.
Once the pack got a grip on itself I sat back down and thrust a leg out in front of me, waving it back and forth, pushing bodies back to claim my space.
“This is my space,” I said, “that is yours,” I pointed to the rest of the 30-foot-long patio.
Sad eyes, sighs and flops as four dogs acknowledged my decree and resigned themselves to temporary exile from the human who pets heads. All except for Elvis, the 100 pound Mastif mix, his head, the size of an NFL football rested on my thigh, pressing down like a 20 pound bag of flour. His deep brown eyes looked up saying, “Not me right, you didn’t mean to send me away. Look at how soft my head is. It needs pets, you want to pet it.”
“Yes, you too,” I said.
He sighed like a deflating balloon and dramatically dropped to the floor, his giant head resting on my foot.
Ah, peace. Now to simply look at the beauty of the sunrise and be grateful.
What’s that sound? Traffic? How weird, we’re over a mile away from the freeway, I almost never hear traffic. I guess it’s because it’s so still today, no wind. Wow, that’s actually kind of loud and…hold on, I don’t think this is meditating. This sounds like the cafeteria kids getting wound up.
Ok…mmmmmm (that’s the sound of me clearing my mind). Focus on the sky, just the pinkness of the sky, now just the soft chirp of the birds, that’s it.
For a moment, really a matter of seconds, the veneer of life peeled away, the landscape before me shimmered and my heart connected to everything. God is good radiated from me to creation and creation radiated back, all the time, God is good.
The horses had spotted me on the patio and walked up to the fence, Vera shot off the top set barking at them. The rest of the pack jumped up and the patio shook with their enthusiastic jostling as they yelled at the horses and then at one another and then bounced over to me to see if
I was over this silly sitting around thing and was ready to give out the pets.
So that was it, that small moment of connection, that glimpse of eternity all around me, that feeling of love and acceptance. OK, I can try this again…next time without so many dogs.
I don’t know how people do goat yoga.