Another Sunday has rolled around and I find myself thinking about religion. Sunday being the sabbath and all. Except that I'm Jewish, at least genetically and culturally, so therefore Saturday ought to bring this question to mind. Sunday does, though, which I attribute to the dominant religion in American culture, to my lack of religious education, and to my attendance at an Episcopal prep school. Faith? Let's see. What can I say? Considering my secular philosophical underpinnings, I have a pretty high percentage of observant, religious friends. Most of them are Christian. Not surprising, I guess, considering the percentage of purported Christians populating the USA, but somewhat surprising to me. More than one friend has a divinity degree of some sort.
Where do I stand on religion? Perhaps a little discussion of my dog will illuminate you -- and me. See, we (the nuclear family) thought about, yearned for, planned for, anticipated getting a dog for several years. Much study of breed types and the pluses and minuses karmawise of adopting versus purchasing a puppy, of temperament, of training techniques ensued, along with much watching of Animal Planet and National Geographic TV shows about dogs. Anyone who has a dog knows about Cesar Milan the Dog Whisperer, and if you are reading my blog (thank you!) and don't have one, here is all you need to know about Cesar Milan: he whispers, dogs obey.
So full-up on information, and happily projecting all our hopes and fears for our future in suburbia onto owning this still mythical dog, we (the nuclear family) began listing names. Okay, I have a history with Eastern religions, yoga, and meditation, that started back in high school when I took yoga for PE. I was not a team sports kind of girl. Thank you Mrs.Wing and your stretch houndstooth slacks. Anyway, back to the future. There I was, coming up with all kinds of names like Roshi (teacher), Satori (flash of enlightenment), Metta (lovingkindness), and Beacon (you know what that is). I was really into the whole Cesar Milan philosophy of the dog living in the moment and teaching me how to live in the moment. Yes, the dog was going to be my guide to equanimity and mindfulness, my compadre on the Eightfold Path. I'm only a very short way along that path. Many incarnations to go.
We chose the name Milo.
And good thing, too, because Milo, cute as he is, at 9 weeks led me right smack into something awfully similar to post-partum depression. Once more, I was excrutiatingly aware of anxiety and entrapment, as I spent day after day locked in the kitchen with him, taking him outside every hour to house train him. Have I mentioned that it rained all day every day for about 6 months after we moved here to Delmar last summer? So, in the rain. Brought me right into mindful awareness of drudge and slog and mud on the floor, of self-pity and aversion, and I certainly had no time to meditate.
Milo. Very cute. Fuzzy, fluffy. Some might consider him a silly dog, more of a muppet. Certainly not DOG=GOD. Lesson learned? No, simply this: life is rainy, damp, muddy, sloggy, something to endure rather than enjoy sometimes, and dog is dog.