Wednesday, March 10, 2010
My One Eyed Buddha
Several months ago, I meditated with some friends, and my daughter, who is the eternal skeptic and refuses to acknowledge the purpose or benefits of meditation, poked fun at me. She laughed as she declared that she could never just sit and do nothing while her eyes are closed. "At the minimum I would have to keep one eye open. What if someone stole my purse? What if...? What if...?" She kept joking about it and finally arrived at the conclusion that Buddha should have kept one eye open - just for safety purposes. The one eyed Buddha became our inside joke.
Little did I know that I was to soon meet my own personal one eyed Buddha. Daisy has been with us for about five months. We rescued her from a shelter and know little about her history. She's about 2 years old, has had puppies and apparently a violent past. She's blind in one eye and has several disturbing scars. To me she symbolizes resilience, fortitude, gratitude, happiness, fun and mostly the ability to live in the moment. She has no complaints in spite of whatever happened to her. She is not worried about her future. So, she pays no attention to "her story". She only knows that today she has love and the physical comforts of a queen. So do I, sort of - by 13th century standards, but I have yet to reach Daisy's level of spirituality.
I envy her at times. She has a habit of breathing loudly, deeply and slowly, which makes me wonder if she's in the meditative state that I so often miss. Is she following her breath? Is she aware? No matter. I use her breathing as an opportunity to stop what I'm doing and thinking about and I become conscious of the moment. I've been told that God resides there - in the empty silence of stillness.
Daisy is one of my gurus (read - teachers),of which I have many - but Daisy is special. If I observe her, I learn much about managing life. She makes sure she gets enough rest, play, and a little exercise. She knows what she needs at the moment and demands it with no regard for what I, or anyone else might think of her. "I'm hungry", she states every morning. Somehow, she also says, "I want a biscuit before I eat my regular food." And she gets one. How did she ever get that message across to me without words? She demonstrates no shame in her bodily functions and thus can tell no difference in value between one of her stinky farts or the gentle scent of a delicate flower.
Exuberance abounds within Daisy - when she wants it to. She runs, wags her little stubby tail and her joy gushes out in an infectious manner. Other times, she's lethargic, one might almost say lazy if dogs had a job to do. She's not perfect. She has her faults. Once in a while she's aggressive towards her species and seems to give in to her basic, most instinctive impulses. I doubt she understands herself, or bothers to try. She just is. She just loves being a dog and in spite of my apparent human privileges she doesn't envy me one bit. Why should she? She's so close to God. I can see it in her eyes (well in her eye).
I have so much to learn from this little friend. Effortlessly, innocently, trustingly she is generous without bounds. What I receive from her is the greatest gift of unconditional love. She is devoid of judgment of me, she always accepts me though I sometimes reject her. She forgives my grouchy moods and my shortcomings. I can always depend on her love. May I emulate such love for all. May I imitate her ease of living. May I continue to look in her eye and recognize God's ambassador in her adoring gaze.