“Be the dog”

From The Mindful Dog Owner: What Your Dog Is Teaching You About Living Enlightenment:

Study the (Dog) Bowl

Observe, attune, “be the dog”

Before you study Zen, a bowl is a bowl and tea is tea. While you are studying Zen, a bowl is no longer a bowl and tea is no longer tea. After you’ve studied Zen, a bowl is again a bowl and tea is tea.

We humans have such a strong tendency to humanize our dogs and imagine that they think like we do, but imagine trying to get “into the mind” of a goldfish or a centipede. How can you tune into the mind of another species? Extraordinary athletes sometimes talk about the Zen-like state when they “become the ball” or “become one with the hill.” What does it take to “be the dog”?

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