Channeling Our Inner Dog

What do you say, Percy? I am thinking
of sitting out on the sand to watch
the moon rise. It’s full tonight.
So we go

and the moon rises, so beautiful it
makes me shudder, makes me think about
time and space, makes me take
measure of myself: one iota
pondering heaven. Thus we sit, myself

thinking how grateful I am for the moon’s
perfect beauty and also, oh! how rich
it is to love the world. Percy, meanwhile,
leans against me and gazes up
into my face. As though I were just as wonderful
as the perfect moon.

“The Sweetness of Dogs” by Mary Oliver from Dog Songs

I’ve had many wonderful teachers in my meditation education - Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, CMP community members and facilitators, and so many more.  One teacher who I learn from daily is ….. my dog, Bodhi.  

Many of us have had the good fortune of benefitting from the unconditional love of a canine friend: the utter lack of judgement, the patience, the forgiveness, and the loving presence in the present moment.  Dogs have this way of letting us know, “I see you just as you are, and you are exactly enough.”  This unconditional love isn’t offered out of a sense of obligation or servitude:  it’s just the innate nature of Bodhi and other dogs.

It’s also, I believe, the innate nature of human beings - a state of open-heartedness that we can tap into with practice.  And it does take practice.  The habit of constantly, reflexively, even unconsciously, judging others is a tough one to let go of.  When we sit and bring to mind ourselves, loved ones, strangers, and people who challenge us, and we offer an unconditional wish for their and our own well-being, we are tapping back into that innate open-heartedness that is our birthright.  

We hope that you can join us this week as we tap into our capacity to offer unconditional kindness to ourselves and others.

May all beings everywhere, without exception, receive and feel empowered to offer unconditional kindness,
Your friends at CMP

This Week’s Community Sessions

Monday 6:30 PM Ridgefield Library, 472 Main Street, Ridgefield
Monday 7:30 PM Sama Yoga 45 Grove Street New Canaan
Tuesday 1:00 PM Ferguson Library, 1 Public Library Plaza, Stamford
Wednesday 12:00 PM New Canaan Library, 151 Main Street, New Canaan

We hope you can join us at one of our community sits this week.  All sessions are free and open to the public (though CMP is sustained by donations), suitable for new meditators and people with an established practice.  There is no need to bring or wear anything special, and all sessions offered in libraries are done in chairs unless you prefer to bring your own yoga mat or meditation cushion.

Upcoming Events
Darien Library Thursday Night Sessions @ 7 PM starting May 2nd!  
Spring Silent Retreat!  Saturday May 4th.  First Congregational Church of Stamford.  Registration and information here.

Recorded Discussions and Meditations:

Click here for guided meditations and discussion of Loving Kindness.

See our website for other audio recordings.