We’re taking the summer off from blogging . . . back in the fall!
In Zen, mu is “no” or “not.” Mu signifies the absence of everything, but it does not mean “nothing”–it transcends the illusory distinction between positive and negative and is sometimes translated as “not two.” It is said that once you have grasped mu, you have grasped Zen.
I’m devoting a lot of time lately to questions of housing, particularly the idea of creating a tiny house community for writers/artists called Sovrana.
Where do you live with your dog(s)? House? Apartment? Condo? Cohousing? Farm? And if you could live anyplace with dogs, where would it be?
Today’s mindfulness walk helped me to remember gratitude.
Stepping out the door, I thought, “Great. Another gray, drizzly, depressing day…”
Then I asked, “Okay, what is good about this gray, drizzly, depressing day? Well, I’m alive and aware enough to realize that it is a day. At this moment, it’s not raining. The sky is gray, but the flowers all around me are vibrant–all different shades of blue, yellow, purple, pink, red, and orange. The neighborhood is peaceful and quiet; the only sounds are birds. I’m grateful for a fully functioning body–legs, arms, eyes, lungs, everything works freely and without pain. In fact, my body feels great all over. My mind is clear, the air is fresh, and my beautiful, happy dogs are by my side.”
Those few thoughts infused the day with gratitude.
It seems to be a universal truth: I meet a dog for the first time on the street, ask for the dog’s name, then the owner’s name. I always remember the name of the dog but not the human!
Does this happen to you? Do you find that you are more focused on the names and attributes of dogs than those of people?
In the last 10-20 years, we’ve seen the use of prescription drugs soar. It seems like everyone, from infants to centenarians, is medicated.
In order of number of prescriptions written in 2010, the 10 most-prescribed drugs in the U.S. are as follows:
- Hydrocodone — 131.2 million prescriptions
- Generic Zocor — 94.1 million prescriptions
- Lisinopril (Prinivil and Zestril) — 87.4 million prescriptions
- Generic Synthroid — 70.5 million prescriptions
- Generic Norvasc — 57.2 million prescriptions
- Generic Prilosec — 53.4 million prescriptions
- Azithromycin (Z-Pak and Zithromax) — 52.6 million prescriptions
- Amoxicillin — 52.3 million prescriptions
- Generic Glucophage — 48.3 million prescriptions
- Hydrochlorothiazide — 47.8 million prescriptions
Just as we use prescription drugs ourselves, we see them being prescribed for our dogs. When a vet wants you to fill a prescription for your dog, what do you say? Do you go along with the advice? (I’ve had instances when I walked out of the vet’s office with three prescription drugs.)
“Zen is practice, experience, life–not explaining, interpreting, investigating, quibbling. All talk, as the Chinese masters of old say, is at best a finger pointing to the moon. The finger is not the moon and cannot pull the moon down.”
Are you practiced at both explaining and remaining silent?
Interpreting and experiencing?
Prodding and refraining?
Do you exercise both sides of your psyche–yin and yang–just as you would exercise both legs and arms? Just as you listen with both ears and see with both eyes?
These 10 issues are the ones most commonly reported by dog owners. Which ones apply to your household?
- Separation anxiety
- Inappropriate elimination
- Jumping up
And these are the top 10 health issues for dogs. Has your dog suffered any of them?
- Infectious diseases
- Kennel cough (bronchitis)
- Urinary tract problems
- Dental disease
- Skin problems
- Broken bones
Today’s mindfulness walk, as it might have been reported by my dogs:
“Oh, look, crushed beer can that was there yesterday. It’s still there.”
“Blue house. Is Lucy stuck outside again, relegated to a cushion on the porch?”
“Look out. The Pug Sisters. Move to the other side of the street, quick.”
“Black Poodle. Hazard.”
“Cat! Quick, chase it!!!!”
“Eww, who left that in the middle of the sidewalk? Don’t step in it.”
“White Husky. Hazard.”
“Rain. Full body shake. Dry the legs by licking them.”
“Now I’ll dry your legs by licking them.”
Then we all came inside, dried off. Cereal and coffee for me, rounded bowls of raw beef and fish for the pups.