Saturday, December 10, 2022

Lessons From My Cats & Dogs: The Importance Of Living In The Here & Now

My other soul dog, Maku, on Mt Kupapey
One thing in life that you learn the hard way is how to live in the here and now.  In the aftermath of the pandemic and personally, having gotten the virus twice, make me think about the adage "Tomorrow is never promised".  Scientists rank cats and dogs as below humans since they seem not to have no grasp of the future, I'm not sure if that's a demerit for them and an advantage for us. 

On a personal level, it can be stressful especially when plans do not go as plotted out on paper.  On a global level, nations get greedy over resources in anticipation of the future needs of the next generation. Instead of curbing unsustainable habits such as yearly smartphone replacements, consumerism is driving even more consumption like there's no tomorrow (a pun in itself If I may say so).  Being with my fosters and other pets have taught me a valuable lesson -- to stop and be in the present.  Only a few people knew I was not expecting to live after getting long COVID and severe reactions to drugs/medicines about two months back.  So it's a lesson in mindfulness I won't forget.

Meditation can help ground and give us the opportunity to savor the present as this meditation by Eckart Tolle does.  Our dogs and cats seem to only know the present (we're not so sure about that one either) but they really revel in each moment.  They don't hold back the mirth, the joy, the playfulness in our presence (even sans our being around, come to think of it).   In his book, Peace in |Every Step, the late Thich Nhat Hanh says "The present moment is filled with joy and happiness.  If you're attentive, you will see it." So who's more primitive now -- the human who worries incessantly about the future?  Or the pet that knows the present is meant to be savored?


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