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Thread: Zen Master Bella and The First Sitting

  1. #1

    Zen Master Bella and The First Sitting

    I haven't had any formal teachers of Buddhism before - save one.

    Her name is Bella, and she is an 8 pound Maltipoo. She actually isn't ours, she belongs to my brother who at the moment is unable to take care of her due to his work schedule, so it is up to me and my mom to take care of her.

    You will never find a more loving creature. Whenever I take her out, she rushes towards whoever is passing by, wiggles her butt like crazy, and kisses their feet to beg for pets. I have often said if humans were capable of love like her, there would be no more war in the world. I am the lucky person who she has attached herself to, and so she has become my little shadow, with most of my free time spent with her nearby.

    The biggest lesson she has taught me is to always be present. I, like many people my age, have an unhealthy addition to my phone. It is waaaaay too easy to be absorbed in reading things on my phone, and Facebook is the biggest timesuck. I think for this reason, Bella hates my phone. I'll be lounging in my room, and every time I pick it up to look at it, she is there to swat it out of my hand. "No!" she says, "All that time you spend on that thing could be used towards better things - like paying attention to me!" And so, like a good dog parent, I put down my phone to give her lots of hugs and cuddles.

    Now, today I tried to have my first formal sit. A "proper" sit, if you will. I grabbed a large pillow and fluffed it to maximum comfort and placed it before my altar. I lit my stick of incense, set it next to my statue of Kannon, and relaxed into a sitting position. Although...relaxed isn't exactly the correct word; More like awkwardly shifting around and playing with my feet to see how I want to put them. Burmese style? Eeeeh, lets try half-lotus - Wow, my hips are not suited for that! Lets go with Burmese again. M'kay, not digging how my knees are feeling, let's just try regular indian style now and see how long it takes for my feet to fall asleep. Shuffle shuffle shift shift. Trying to focus on just sitting no matter how uncomfortable it is. Im guessing the first one always is, right? The pain in my shoulders reminds me I need to see the chiropractor again. I try to clear my mind, and the moment I do, a soundtrack that has been playing in the back of my mind for the past three days comes blaring. Its Stevie Wonder. Stevie Wonder will NOT stop singing in my mind. Why does his music have to be so catchy? Its distracting! Stop it, Stevie!

    Feeling a little put out that the first sit isn't going as well as planned, I hear a little growl to my right. Bella is looking incredulous. "What on EARTH are you doing?" She has never seen me meditate before. "Pay attention!" she says. (Well, more like "Pay attention to me!" but Im just going to pretend) She keeps growling. I yield to her request and hold her in my lap. She is sitting on top of Barry, the stuffed bear who has been supporting my mudra (only the most professional tools are allowed at my altar ) I try to sit in silence, but she will not relax until her butt is properly scratched. So I must sit there, fingers constantly scratching to placate her. Finally, I relax; I just can't help but smile and giggle at this little pup. I watch the stick of incense burn down to symbolize the passing of time.

    I know there isn't supposed to be a "good" sit and a "bad" sit, but really this could be filed this as "the least productive session in the world". Shikantaza wise, I stunk. But Meta wise, I think I did alright. Kannon looked on me as I was cradling my furry zen master, my good looking posture was completely abandoned as I lounged sideways to get the feeling back in my feet. Always a soft and gentle expression, that Kannon. Her expression said "Hey man, its cool. You gave it a go." And thats a pretty good feeling.

    I just won't be sitting with you guys for a little while, until I figure out how to sit still for more than two minutes.
    Last edited by shiloh24601; 09-07-2014 at 05:48 PM.

  2. #2
    LOL, that is very sweet.
    Keep at it, you'll be doing just fine!

  3. #3
    Thank you, Nindo, for the encouragement


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Nindo View Post
    LOL, that is very sweet.
    Keep at it, you'll be doing just fine!
    Hello Shiloh,

    Nindo has said it so well. =)


  5. #5
    Animals are some of the best teachers ever.

    Thank you, Shiloh.


    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

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