I worked from home yesterday and at lunchtime, I took our dog across the road to the dog park. Before we left I put in my earbuds and searched for a walking meditation in Ten Percent Happier (I also use Calm, neither are sponsors or pay me anything). I came across one for walking your dog so that’s what I started as we walked out the door. It was only 15 minutes so I’d have plenty of time to listen to the wind blowing through the still bare tree branches and the sounds of the recently returned birds.
Before we adopted him, I would often have my meditation “interrupted” by our other dog, the one who recently died. I came to think of those “interruptions” as hanging out with my meditation buddy. Nothing brought me back to the moment better than the feel of her tongue licking my hand as I tried, often in vain, to focus on my breathing.
Right now, as I write this, I’m sitting on our back deck, and my new meditation buddy (he was with me when I meditated on our walk) is stretched out in a chair next to me (see the above image). Seeing him like that as I was preparing to start typing reminded me that he (and his sister) have often been in the same room as me when I’m writing. He is my writing buddy.
Writing and meditation are two activities that we usually do alone. They’re solitary activities, which may feel good and be productive or effective at times, but sometimes, having another living, breathing being next to you can make the experience sweeter, the flow of it all smoother.
If you have a pet, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Whether we like it or not (like when they push the door open to the bathroom just as your cheeks hit the seat), we have companions to share those often solitary moments, and they will never judge you on the quality or quantity of whatever you’re doing unless it’s the length of a walk, the stroke of the tummy rub, or the tastiness of the treat.