Meditation is like a puppy.
If you Google the benefits of Meditation you will find a lot of information that, in sum, describe a daily meditation practice as a way to stay healthy, avoid multiple diseases, become happier and improve your performance in any task. Sounds pretty good, so why don't more of us do it? Because we think it's hard, and no fun--not the best motivator for most people.
A student just recently shared an "aha" moment with me. She tried approaching meditation as a chance to simply spend a few moments with herself. This gentle attitude guided her now, whereas before she was trying too hard for a profound experience, ultimately feeling like a failure. I thought about this and wondered more about how to make meditation more appealing.
What if we looked at meditation like it was a puppy?
First and foremost we can't help but love this adorable creature. Could we look at ourselves and our meditation practice with this kind of easy adoration? Maybe.
Meditation is like a puppy. Start with the LOVE, the JOY. Picture the puppy if you need to. We all know we have to train a puppy or we will be quite miserable watching it poop everywhere and destroy the living room couch among other things. Yoga often compares the human mind to an untrained puppy dog. We have to put a leash on it, train it, and then we will all get along quite well!
So, a puppy learns to SIT. In meditation, we learn to sit. Zen meditation focuses almost solely on this point, “just sit”. Then a puppy learns to STAY. In meditation we learn to stay...in the moment...even when we don't want to (do you think any dog wants to stay?)...because, as the popular phrase goes, "meditation is not about what you think". We stay in each moment. We watch the mind as it wanders, and according to recent research, every 3 seconds (used to be 6)! We get to know our mind very well. The puppy has run off and we say COME and have to say it like we mean it.
I often find myself teaching this command "Gently and lovingly call your mind back to the practice”. And the puppy comes back, looking at us adoringly, waiting for the next guidance, purely in the moment.
Unconditional LOVE and PRESENCE. Now who wouldn't want a few moments of that each day?
Love to all,