Zen serenity as taught by a little dog
Our 10-year-old wonderful Shih Tzu named Zap is a perfect example of calmness & serenity except when he is asking to go out for a pee or when time for food is around the corner which is quite normal .
He is showing so much serenity that I asked him his secret. Since Zap does not use human language, I learned to read his non-verbal skills such his eyes. Here are his answers.
My brain and mind is only 7% of yours, which is a gift because more thinking induces more suffering.
I will explain that later. Here are the main reasons why I am more serene than you or Cathie or anyone coming for meditation in our home.
Shih Tzu were bread around 3,000 years ago in Nepal & China where the practice of meditation was already the rule.
I am practicing mindfulness on the go, all the time:
To be mindful is to pay attention, to be aware, to focus to something without any pre-conceived ideas, opinions, belief, judgment or decision. It is pure contemplation. You, humans, are victims of your mind-set built over the years and from over-thinking even when no decision is required. Human mind is very powerful in both ways: to think which is necessary but also to control you thru over 90,000 thoughts and feelings every day. Zen calls it the “monkey mind” in which we are trapped 24/7.
1) I am mindful the present moment, the only one which exist & is real:
I am living moment to moment with no nostalgia/resentment of my past nor expectation/worry for my future since both past and future are, in fact, just mathematical inventions. They are very useful in our day-to-day life but they do not exist except in our mind. Only the present moment exists and is real, and only now I do exist. My past dog & future dog are totally virtual beings that is the products of my immaterial thinking. I am always trying to bring my wandering mind where my body is. This is the best way to control it rather than being controlled by it.
2) I am mindful to my thoughts & feelings:
Like in meditation, being mindful to a thought & feeling is like having one thought on the top of the other. Despite its enormous power, the mind/brain cannot handle two thoughts at the same time, being mindful to one thought or feeling is a great way to control them rather than been carried for hours and be slave of it.
Being mindful to my thoughts is helping me to realize that they are just that and I don’t have to believe in all of the.
3) I am mindful to my body, what I am doing, seeing, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling in the moment:
This is very important since our 5 senses are the only tools to connect to the absolute present reality or truth, the only real one. Again it means bringing mind and body together in the same space-time rather than having a slip personality.
I am mindful to my environment and all living beings inside it.
I am trying to control the major causes of suffering such as my desire/clinging, what I hatred/dislike and my illusions.
Illusion, delusions, also called ignorance in Zen Buddhism scriptures, are all mind-made and mostly ego driven. Ignorance is not being able to differentiate concrete reality from virtual reality.
Among these illusions and delusion:
1) I am controlling my life: not so
2) I am a permanent, unique, independent and separate self-entity
with a self-sustained life: on the contrary all living beings are transient, interdependent and interrelated.
3) Past & future are real. The former is dead and the later not born yet. By definition only the present moment exists & is real. You & I are living only, in this current space-time.
4) My thoughts & feeling exist & are real: Yes, they do exist but they are not real so I do not believe in all of them.
5) Happiness can be achieved from the outside such as accumulating goods and power: think twice.
6) I am indispensable: Graveyards are full on indispensable people. 7) I behave & believe that I am permanent.
Desire and its opposite, dislike, are endless. It is important to control “I want” & “I don’t want” before becoming neurotic.