Screaming Meditation with Dogs and Cats

October 9, 2009

My husband went out with a friend last night. I was exhausted and decided to stay at home, do a zazen (sitting meditation), and go to bed. Since hubby was absent, once the dogs were crated, I turned off all the lights but one mission lamp at my bedside, then brought my zafu (meditation cushion) and zabuton (meditation mat) into my bedroom (bedroom) and set about sitting (zazen). I don’t have a proper meditation timer, so I set my cell phone to play Carol King singing, “You’ve Got a Friend” to end the session. My elder cat, Nala, settled down a few feet away on the rug, looking rather like a shiny black Zafu with whiskers.

Ready, set…

My knee was really aching, so I didn’t start right away, and worked on adjusting my zafu and sitting in such a way that it wouldn’t hurt so much. Pretty soon I realized that, shut up, this is part of it, just sit. I don’t even pretend to have the flexibility to do a full lotus pose any more, I just sit cross legged with my zafu supporting my butt in such a way that my back feels right. As long as it wasn’t, “I need to go to the hospital” pain, the method is to just sit with the pain. Okay, good. There’s the pain. Here I am. Just sit.

“Seriously, if I sit like this I can see the clock on the DVD player.” I grabbed a dog sweater off of Pan’s crate and covered the time. I sat back down. “Okay, eyes, just stay in one place, please.” (I meditate with eyes open to incorporate all the senses.) I selected a knob of a cabinet to focus on, so that my eyes were looking slightly downward. “Okay. But, really, my knee really hurts, and I think my foot is going to sleep.”

Sit, Meditator Tot, sit. Just sit. Here. Now.

Finally, finally. I’m sitting. I’m being here now. Here I am. Oh, good. I can do this. It’s only 23 minutes. I’m not going to have to sit here forever. Stop thinking about it, just sit! Okay… good… here I am…

Then suddenly, the loudest, most staccato bark I ever heard from Aero’s mouth burst forth. “BARK!” and almost before the bark ended, I screamed. Loudly. The kind of scream the people laying on the steel autopsy table on CSI probably screamed just before they became just so much meat on a steel table. Nala vanished under the bed. Yoda emerged from the other side of the bed. I whipped around and saw Aero standing in his crate, hackles raised, head low. “LIE DOWN, AERO!” I screamed. If I had truly been there then, I would have just been with him, but my heart rate had jumped 500% in an instant. “Okay, sorry boy. Lie down, Aero. Everything’s okay.”

My son, Micah’s bedroom door burst open and I heard his footfalls, but by then I had dissolved into very silly laughter. He didn’t knock on the door or come in. He went back to his room. I decided to finish sitting. I had no idea how much time I had left. So, I sat, and while occassionally I managed to get a moment of here and nowness going on, mostly my whole right leg went into spasms of pins and needles, my hips hurt, and I kept breaking into giggly laughter.

Finally Carol sang. I got up, tripped over my zafu, and went to explain to Micah what caused me to scream in blood curdling terror and then giggle uncontrollably in the night. He said at first he planned to help me, or save me or something, but when he heard me laughing he didn’t really know if I wanted saving.

Just another night with the Meditator Tot,

2 Responses to “Screaming Meditation with Dogs and Cats”

  1. Laurel Says:

    Hi Kellie,
    Dolores sent me to your blog, it was great, I had so many chuckles reading it. I really identified with the lazy ass lying down under the covers meditation, I “invented’ a similar lazy ass way of coping with too many absentee Reiki treatments for too many horses :-).

    I’ve been having a conversation this week with an author who does a horse thing called Zen Connection, and we were both struck by how much it has in common with CAT, both in the method and the effect on the horse. Synchronicity again….we were also happy to have something like CAT with a science label as we can reach so many more people with scared horses, who would run a mile if you mentioned Zen ;-P.

    Thanks again, great blog,

    • Laurel, thanks for your response to the blog! I love it that you see the CAT connection! I have been kind of laying low in the CAT world while I got my personal life calmed down a little, and because I feel like so many people don’t get CAT at all. So when I started this zen practice, it was pretty obvious that CAT fits and I need to knowledge criticism, feel it, and let it go even when it isn’t easy. 🙂

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