How Dogs Teach Us #Mindfulness

I have always been a dog lover and they have played a very big part in our lives, especially the rescued ones we have had.

Through patience and love they blossomed into happy and contented creatures where the past had no meaning to them, just the being here and now was all they needed to make them happy.

Meal times were never worried about until the rattle of their dish heralded the fact “Grub” was up! In that single moment in time hunger took over and a meal was eaten and enjoyed then gone and forgotten, without a single thought or worry about the future possibility of where supper was coming from.

Dogs are the epitome of the “Here and Now” . One minute they can be fast asleep then the next they can be barking at the ring at the front door, terrorising the postman and seeing off any unwelcome strangers,  once they have gone its over and forgotten…until the next time!

Dogs are very adept at sensing and reading our emotions. When you are happy they are happy and when you are sad they try all they can to cheer you up. This observational ability has been learnt over many years making them “Mindful” of our emotions.

Every walk is a new experience to be enjoyed in that moment. The smells, things they see, and interactions they make, are different and new every time. Even though you might do the same walk every day they always enjoy it, never getting tired or bored of what we might think is repetition.

Dogs may not eat in a way we regard as being mindful by slowly savouring every mouthful but the mere fact they may have had the same food for years yet every meal is eaten with relish as if they have never had it before, enjoying and loving it in the “Present” moment regardless.

If a dog is tired it will show itself “Compassion” and rest.   We sadly keep going until we are dropping from exhaustion not listening to what our bodies are telling us and battling on, leading to physical and mental health issues.

When our dogs get poorly they rest and recover. They seem to have the most amazing ability to bounce back even when they have suffered debilitating limb injuries. We have all seen pictures of dogs who are running around happy and enjoying life on just three legs enjoying the “Moment” not thinking or worrying about any pain they might be experiencing.

Mindfulness is all about learning to focus on the here and now. Enjoying what you have in this very moment, not worrying about the past or the future for “Now” is all we have…. Dogs have mastered this technique beautifully!