Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Bitten by a Zen Dog

I felt inspired by something Tuesday morning and it sparked a small flicker of hope during what has been a long health storm. Because it inspired me I shared it on Facebook and very shortly after I shared it someone attacked it in a very negative way, multiple times. I found that I was repeatedly  defending something that I originally posted to inspire me. Suddenly I felt as if I was being dragged down by a lead anchor tied around my neck. I was being drawn down beneath the surface into the dark. I spent the day drowning in my tears, asking God questions....no, demanding answers is more like it. I was swamped by grief, the loss of my life as I knew it, closing my art business, my husbands depression over my illness and just plain feeling sick and being in pain all the time. All I could see was what was wrong with my life when the day had started out hopeful.

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.

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