Natalie Goldberg tells a story of being bitten by a "Zen dog" in one of her books. She was very badly bitten by a dog in a foreign country, if I remember correctly. She said that bite was a wake up call for her. My "Friends" unkind comments were said to dash my hopes, she meant to hurt me. But to look at it another way she was my "Zen Dog" and she had bitten me, hard. I fell into the drama of it and flailed around in my grief for a full day and night. Is my faith that fragile? Is my hope and joy so easily dashed?
The bite of a "Zen Dog" can infect your mind with a thousand toxic thoughts unless you quickly recognize it for the teacher that it is. The mind has a ceaseless hunger, but it is up to you to decide what to feed it. I didn't need to buy into her faithlessness or whatever despair she was experiencing that made her lash out at me. I could have stood strong in my faith and kindled that small spark of joy into a steady flame. It would have been a much nicer way to spend my day.
Ok, I hear your WAKE UP call, Zen Dog. Woof!
Watching this little chickadee hang on during the blizzard the other day reminded me the even the smallest of God's creatures are not consumed by the storms that rage all around them.