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Bow Wow Bliss: Five Ways to Meditate with Your Dog

By James Jacobson and Kristine Chandler Madera

Meditation is as simple as a walk in the dog park.

Imagine sitting down with your dog. As you both begin to relax, your breaths become longer, less hurried. Your thoughts slow down until it seems like you are not thinking at all.

If you and your dog already share moments like these, then you’ve glimpsed the bliss of meditation.

Meditation is great for dogs. Not only does it improve a dog’s health and well-being, but excitable dogs become calmer, aggressive dogs become more loving, and dogs that once whined and howled for attention become quieter and more content. Meditation is great for you, too. It relieves stress and sharpens your mental focus.

Here are five ways to get started on a non-dogmatic meditation practice.

Schedule a regular time. First thing in the morning is a great time, or right after you get home from work but before you get into your evening activities. The more consistent you are, the more you and your dog will be able to ease into meditation.

Develop a ritual. Ritual helps to prepare you and dog for meditation. Light a candle, burn incense, put on quiet music, or sit in the same place and position each day.

Let go of expectation. If you have a pre-conceived idea of what your meditation experience will be, you’ll just get frustrated. Your experience will not be the same as someone else’s and chances are, will be different for you from day to day. Enjoy your meditation, however it turns out.

Connect with your dog. When you sit down to meditate, your dog should be either lying next to you or on your lap. Put one or both hands on your dog. This connection is soothing to him. Your dog may get up. That’s okay. Just stay quiet, and when your dog returns, put your hand or hands back on him.

Conclude your meditation the same way each time. This signals your body and mind, as well as your dog, that it’s time to move on to the next part of your day. The transition should be gentle rather than jarring. Pet your dog slowly, lengthening the stroke from short to long; whisper or say aloud an affirmation, quote, or prayer; or roll your head from side to side.

Meditating with your dog is as individual as your relationship with your dog. Be patient. Try different things. There are few rules about meditation. The perfect meditation is whatever brings you and your pooch bow wow bliss.

See Also:

Golden Years: Nine Ways a Dog Boosts Your Health
What if there was a simple way to reduce stress, prolong and improve the quality of your life, banish the blues, and best of all, decrease the number of doctor visits? There is! Get a dog. Here are nine ways that having a dog can boost your health.

Canine MD: Six Ways Your Dog Can Save Your Heart
Science has finally caught up with what dog lovers have known for years—that having a dog is great for your health. Here are six ways science has proven that living with a dog promotes better heart health.

Active Compassion in Times of Crisis: How Your Dog Can Help
People have a special connection with their pets. This sacred bond of unconditional love is a natural starting place for healing after tragedy, for the victims and for the rest of us, too.

Dogs - Man's Best Friend
Owning a dog can be a positive, enjoyable experience for the entire family. Keep in mind however, that the decision to own a dog is an important one that should not be taken lightly.

If You Want a Friend, Get a Dog!
Dogs as pets date back at least as far as the days of Pompeii, where the remains of a dog stretched out next to a little boy were recovered from the rubble at Pompeii.

James Jacobson and Kristine Chandler Madera are authors of How to Meditate with Your Dog: An Introduction to Meditation for Dog Lovers, which presents a non-dogmatic approach to meditation. To fetch a free chapter from the book (chapter 3 “The Three Un-Dogmas”) and the introduction from the audiobook go to http://www.DogMeditation.com .

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