Successfully Meditate While The Dog Barks

barking dogs

So… it came to me today while attempting to meditate in the hot tub (don’t think me pretentious, I live where the average low temperature for January is -7). We often aim for an unrealistic setting when it comes to meditation.  We take this time to prepare our space… turn off our cell phones… disconnecting from the outside world.  We snuggle up on our comfy bolster in the most quiet of quiet spaces and then we breathe. We get comfortable with the thoughts that may happen to drift through the mind and we find peace. But what about when your neighbor has a basset hound who when outside, continuously barks (sometimes for hours at a time)?  What if your external is filled with unrelenting barking? Then what? As you sit there listening to the monotonous bark you begin to squirm.  Your frustration levels rise and your mind takes charge.  “My neighbors must hear him” or “why don’t they do something about this”. You are yanked out of your concentration and your thoughts then turn to the laundry, that email you need to send and so on.  Do you scrap it and wait for your calm space of serenity to be available? 1.  Take a step back and take a moment to appreciate the noise. Notice and appreciate all the noise around you. 2.  Send out loving thoughts (yeah I know it sounds cheesy but try it).  You love that dog. In your heart of hearts you love all dogs.  Sympathize with the distraction. He barks because he’s bored.  Their house is better insulated than yours and they just don’t realize he’s making such a commotion. 3. Accept the noise as part of your practice. Don’t look at it as something negative but instead as a welcomed addition to your practice today.  Aside from your breathing this noise is a secondary anchor for your mind. Its actually helping you meditate. Make that noise a part of your practice.  Thanks noise! 4.  Still annoyed?  Ask yourself… is the noise going to go away because you fight it?  Most likely not.  Whether its a leaky faucet,  the noise of traffic, a loud upstairs neighbor or a barking dog no matter what you do that noise is probably not going to stop so let go of your preoccupation with it and accept it. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could embrace this approach with all things in life? What we used to perceive to be a problem is actually just enriching our current circumstance? Hmmm, maybe through a consistent meditation practice this could eventually be achieved. ~Leia Morrison ©2015

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