Most of us have had a Pet at some point in our Life, and if we haven’t then we should definitely experience it. It’s a remarkable experience and our lives will certainly be more richer through it. Exactly 2 full moons ago, my Partner and I chanced upon a post on Facebook asking if someone would adopt a rescued Labrador. We had been looking for a Dog and immediately volunteered. By that night, not only had She attended a full moon Meditation session with us, she also had a name…LOVE! Over the next 50 days, she became the centre of our attention and an integral part of our Yoga classes, as she would attend every class that Neetu taught at our Total Yoga Centre. During these 2 months, here are 5 things that I learnt …
1) Life has Multiple Perspectives.
Walking LOVE everyday, I would be surprised at what caught her attention. While we Humans are more reliant on Seeing things, Love would Smell her way, curiously discovering the neighbourhood. I quickly gathered that LIFE CAN’T BE HUMAN-CENTRIC ONLY and that even amongst us Humans, every Environment and Experience pivoted differently depending on our own interests. MY PERSPECTIVE can never be the sole one, in fact everyone sees life differently. That has helped me be more patient and inclusive in my relationships with everyone.
2) Unconditional Love!
Real Love. Unconditionally. It was incredible to be welcomed with the same loving affection every single day irrespective of whether I came late, didn’t walk her in the morning or didn’t play with her. I experienced what is meant by ‘non-judgemental’, and that sort of love is what truly liberates a person in any relationship. To look into her compassionate eyes was worth much more that I knew at that point.
I learnt more about Contentment just sitting around with Love, than any book has ever taught me. It was the most peaceful experience to see her sleep or simply laze around. She was content never leaving home or even the neighbourhood, and here I was leading my everyday life in Bangalore but constantly living in my head, dreaming of doing ‘BIG’ things in New York, London, the Himalayas and every “other” interesting place on earth. I learnt that Contentment from within is in fact a pre-requisite for physical and mental Health itself.
4) the Power of Innocence.
Here was a being so bereft of any trickery or cunningness. In fact that’s what I’ve always craved – a RETURN TO INNOCENCE. And seeing Love, I understood the fragile but very powerful pull of Innocence and Goodness. It’s a thing of the rarest beauty and I always admire people who manage to maintain their Innocence in our Marketplace of a World. They possess a purity of Being that’s almost Saint-like.
5) The Gift of being Human!
While I absolutely loved my doggie and admired her ease in living, I became more grateful that I’ve been given this opportunity of being a Human Being! It’s absolutely incredible what our Mind and Spirit is capable of. From Poetry and Art, to Science and Philosophy….we are the ‘Species Spectacular’. Nature has been kind to us. But yes, while the potential for an amazing experience of Life is given, it’s sad that very often….we manage to screw up the Paradise that our Human Mind is. And we end up in a living Hell!
Exactly 1 week ago, Love left us and the world. She contracted a severe Tick Fever and on the last night, was unable to fight her temperature down. We tried everything we could but it wasn’t to be. Watching her struggle for dear life, and finally succumb after an almighty attempt to Breathe again was heart-wrenching. It was our first, first-hand experience of witnessing Death occur. And it taught us perhaps the most important lesson I’ll ever learn…LIFE IS IMPERMANENT. As beautiful as it is, it’s going to end One unFine Day! So, we’ve got to make the most of Life and put all of it into perspective. That’s in fact the crux of Yoga, of Meditation and the reason we are drawn to it in the first place. If Life wasn’t impermanent, we would have no need for Seeking and indeed no need for Meditation. Hopefully I’ll always remember this lesson and live my Life knowing that I may not be here tomorrow and yet LIVE today to the fullest!
- Manish Pole @ManishPole Bio >>
(Yogi, Speaker & Author, Co-founder of the Total Yoga style of Yoga with studios in B’lore, Pune, Delhi, California & leading Meditation retreats in the Himalayas!)