I swear, my dog is a Buddhist

Social Media (or Facebook.)

When we cannot bear to be alone, it means we do not properly value the only companion we will have from birth to death–ourselves.

-Eda LeShan

Remember those days, where “DogBook” or “CatBook” became popular? Yes, that actually happened.

Facebook users frantically had to share their beloved pets to the social media world, but did our pets really care? Most likely not. Facebook, like television, is a cultural tool to project ideas–and remove them–so as to homogenize the world. Why, you might ask? Well, my friend, television–and Facebook–survive with the generous ‘donations’ that advertising companies ‘give them’… In other words, to make a profit.

There are countless articles out there that are dissing social media for its superficial intellectual pull that leaves its members wanting more of what is hardly satisfying: being ‘heard’. That little red notification button and the constant homepage updates is probably the culprit. We crave this because it makes us feel and think that we’re not alone, and that someone is listening–even though, this may not be true. Does activism on Facebook always work? Does every ‘like’ truly mean that the ‘liker’ ‘liked’ your comment, post, etc.? Some would argue both sides of the pendulum. Both are probably right to some extent. Regardless, Facebook (and other social media sites for that matter) is highly addicting and may in fact be sucking up most of our time: our most precious gift.

Humans do not live for long. We can live as long as a turtle, basically. Dogs, even less so. Seven to fifteen years goes by so quickly that one cannot waste any of his extremely valuable time. We see this in dogs. Most, like mine, truly live in the present. Even if they could understand Facebook, I doubt they would waste the moment by letting the whole world know that they hate/love cats, tagging Fido at “corner of light post on high street” for a peeing competition, or stating that they are in a relationship with the neighbor dog. Instead, they would actually be doing these things rather than spending that time and energy letting the whole world know that they are going to do it. Plus, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t have 500, 700, or, 1,000 friends… or would they?

Food for thought: Why are you on Facebook? How much time do you spend on it a day, a week, a year? Is your time on Facebook productive? Is it worth an hour (or more) of your highly valuable time? If you weren’t on Facebook–or the Internet for that matter–what would you be doing?

My dog, at the moment, sits by me staring at nothing, it seems. I can’t help but wonder what he’s thinking about. Is he meditating perhaps? If so, what is he meditating about? Nothing, his stuffed toy, the music that’s playing, smells, food, that peeing competition, or colors? Or is his thoughts simply empty? Either way, he’s not on Facebook–nor is he anxiously fidgeting because he’s not currently holding a piece of technology with all the information known to humanity. He simply is. I swear, my dog is a Buddhist.


Unknown Author

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http://www.minimalstudent.com/social-networking/ (this one has been highly effective for me.)









It isn’t what they say about you, it’s what they whisper.

-Errol Flynn

Have you ever heard a dog gossip? Me neither.

But if they could, would they? I guess that’s besides the point. Humans definitely gossip, even if they won’t admit to it. As Barbara Walters reveals, “Show me someone who never gossips, and I’ll show you someone who isn’t interested in people.” In other words, most of us will, at least at one point in our lives, gossip–whether intentionally or not. Although there are obvious reasons as to why we do–insecurities, social approval, social connection, excitement, etc.–gossip is downright hurtful.

I could go on about how gossip spreads rumors, and how rumors often lead to false or exaggerated ‘truths’, but this is common knowledge. We’ve all been subject and object of gossip, and we know how much fun it is as well as how harmful it can be–both to one’s emotions and reputation.

Dogs, on the other hand, are blessed, in a way, for not having the ability of speech (this could surely be contested.) Other than transfer of knowledge through language, what is the point of verbal communication? Considering that we primarily use non-verbal language to communicate anyway, language plays a pretty small–yet effective–role in our conversations. Dogs, who do not worry so much about language, put more emphasis on analyzing our non-verbal cues (this includes the tone of our voice.) As a result, they seem to decipher our true intent rather than utter bullshit. If we could learn a thing or two from dogs, it would be that we should be placing as much attention to these non-verbal traits rather than verbal diarrhea.

My dog, who lack this amazing quality, does not seem to care much of it; instead, he live his life with utmost appreciation and satisfaction. However, many dogs–and other animals–suffer from this inability as well (i.e., puppy mills, pet stores, etc.) So, why not use our amazing gift to speak up for them and get involved in the beautiful movements in favor of animal rights?  (Side note: I will eventually write a post on this in more depth, promise!) Who knows, you may be allowing other dogs to become Buddhists, like mine!

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Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.

-BKS Iyengar

Now, get into a  Downward Dog. Or, better yet, get your dog to do it!

I wish I was joking, but nope. Apparently, Yoga for dogs–or “Doga”–is the new fad. I’ve posted a few links below that you can check out if you’d like to hear more about it. (If it makes any difference, Betty White and her pooch is in one of them.)

To be honest with you, I’m not sure I’d literally get my dog do to Yoga–even though he is a Buddhist. Maybe I would do Yoga in his presence, or maybe I would give him a few stretches and massages, but… Yoga? He’s got that “down” to a tee!

Seriously, though. Suzi Teitelman, the creator of Doga, even admits that “Yoga originally came from animals… Monks sitting in the forest, watching animals just be” (NJ.com). Whether her information is accurate or not, I think she’s onto something… but I’m not sure we ‘need’ to teach our dogs Yoga. Most dogs I’ve ever met, including mine obviously, does a downward dog as they rise from a nap (which is pretty often, if you ask me.) Needless to say, Doga certainly can’t be harmful (at least, I don’t think.) Perhaps it is actually healing as she claims it to be–who knows?

Personal experience has taught me that Yoga is an effective practice to heal one’s body holistically; my dog has taught me that it can be done anywhere–not just on the yoga mat–and should be done often. I swear, my dog is a Buddhist!

On that note, namaste. Or, should I say “woof?”

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ4UPP1mM7I&feature=player_embedded (Betty White reference)








Everybody wants happiness, nobody wants pain, but you can’t have a rainbow, without a little rain.


My dog is an adoptee. His past is not as bad as some other dogs; however, he did go through some hardship. First, he was taken away from his family (for unknown reasons) and delivered to the SPCA where he stayed for a month. Can you imagine yourself being taken away from [location]–the only place you’ve ever known–and, alone, being placed in a cage for over a month? He was surrounded by other dogs, who were also caged–some for much longer than a month–and who were rarely taken out for exercise (lack of volunteers).  He was out, often in the cold (he is a small dog) and in the rain–(thankfully, this was not always the case.)

When he was first spotted, he was fairly thin (not terribly) and was curled up in a ball as it was raining and cold that day. He remained quiet while the others desperately barked for attention, love, affection, and freedom. At first, he was afraid of men, he flinched whenever there were loud noises, any flailing objects (i.e., news paper), or when newcomers approached him. He was a very timid dog.

Today, he’s a completely different dog. He greets whomever, whenever, wherever (men included.) He is sweet with any animal–especially his ‘sister’ (another awesome Buddhist dog)–and loves to romp outside whenever he gets the chance. Anyone would be blind if they did not see, feel, and know that he transcends appreciation at all times. He relishes his life more than any other human I’ve ever met. Are all dogs this way, or was it the hardship he experienced an enlightening moment for him? Either way, I swear, my dog is a Buddhist!


By Troche

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The Present

It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.

-George Harrison

To be a kid again… *sigh*

As I was playing catch outside with my dog, I observed how absolutely joyful he was in the present moment. Although I was glad to actually be outside, enjoying the sun, and watching him be happy, I realized that I was not so enthusiastic as he was. I was still thinking about the past and the future, about my responsibilities, etc. Basically, I was not really fully immersed in the moment as he was.

Why is that? Is it perhaps our loss of innocence that reduces this joy in regards to the simple things in life? Or, is it instead our lack of appreciation stemming from the push of society, dogma, into certain stressful ways of living? What if I could reduce the amount of responsibilities I have in order to be fully immersed in the present moment rather than constantly being distracted with thoughts of yesterday and, especially, thoughts of tomorrow? Or, is my loss of innocence forever gone, debilitating me from ever fully having fun while being mindful in the present moment?

Food for thought, really. I’m not quite sure, yet, how to answer that question, but my dog certainly does! I swear, my dog is a Buddhist.

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I’m just a simple guy, I live from day to day.  A ray of sunshine melts my frown and blows my blues away.  

-Led Zeppelin

While observing my dog, I’ve realized that–although he may be spoiled–he remains simple. He does not need to read a book, a blog, or hear personal stories to realize that he needs to live simply. He simply does so naturally. He does not feel the need to buy anything or pick up the pace. Nor does he feel the need to purge his belongings or emotional clutter. He’s absolutely content wearing his fur, sleeping wherever, and eating whatever. He does not head to the gym to look fit, or put makeup on every morning. He doesn’t watch TV or buy gifts. He doesn’t try to be anything other than what or who he is. He gives and he receives. That’s all there is to it. I swear, my dog is a Buddhist!


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How many colors are there in a field of grass to the crawling baby unaware of “green”?

-Stan Brakhage

Have you ever encountered a dog that labeled him/herself or even others?

My dog certainly does not. He does not discriminate by gender, sexuality, class, or race. He does not label himself as an environmentalist, a vegan, a fan of anything, a minimalist, a feminist, and so on. He won’t even label himself as a dog or an animal for that matter. Other than trees, lamp posts, or… whatever else he can pee on… he does not label anything or anyone, especially himself.

Instead, he wags his tail to show his happiness, or dances to show his excitement (seriously.) He is quick to forgive (both others and himself) and will remain loyal to those who care for him. He barks when he is alarmed or hides when he’s afraid. He loves unconditionally and does not judge (again, both others or himself.) He does not hate. He has boundless compassion and does not delve in the suffering of others. I swear, my dog is a Buddhist! (But, he does not label himself as such.)

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