11 January

Two Therapy Dogs: Isolation Diary. A Wonderful Time To Meditate

by Jon Katz

I sat down in a living room chair and put my feet up on a footstool to read. In a flash, I had two therapy dogs sitting in my lap, Mutt and Jeff.

Bud hops up and can fit into a pocket; Zinnia thinks she’s a puppy and drapes her very long and large body over my lap.

Her feet hang off the footstool and hang over the floor.

Both took up positions as if they were statues on a lawn. They were both sweet to comfort me in isolation, but my leg was going numb from Zinnia’s weight.

I had to get up and shoo them off. They looked disappointed.

I realize they are meditation companions; they love to sit absolutely still when I go into the quiet; they come with me.

I felt guilty about running them off when they were working so diligently to comfort me. The two of them are following me around now; they make quite a couple.

They settled around my feet and on the floor.

Today’s sole excursion was Maria driving me to Saratoga Hospital for my third Covid-19 test of the year. As I wrote below, it made me angry and sad to think of all the people who died alone this year.

I don’t want to wallow in all the disturbing, sad, and unrelenting news. It sometimes seems that we are stuck in a bad place, a place of argument, grievance, and anger. We keep looking ahead to when it might end, but so far, it’s hanging on.

I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. I have the feeling that we need to remind one another that Mother Earth cries out for all of us to contribute what we can, our own personal gifts, whatever they are – to the common good.

I believe that is healing unto itself.

I hope to make a pact of mutual support for fellow humans and a pledge to begin again with a beginner’s mind, hope, and spirit. With as clean a slate as I can create in my mind. We are what we think.

Today I started a new practice of daily meditation, the language of the spiritual and the thoughtful. Meditation is where I go when I desire to reach and realize a higher, purer, and more radiant life. Meditation is important now.

Maria counted the hay bales and we realized we didn’t have enough to get through the winter. Usually, we just call and order more from Sandy Adams – nobody has room in their barns for nine months of hay.

But she was out of hay. For the first time in 15 years, I couldn’t find anyone who had any. I made 28 calls before I finally found a hay source in Greenwich, N.Y. I put my reporter’s hat on and just kept dialing until I scored – 30 first cut bales for $7 a bale.

The trick is to just not quit.

That is a relief. The weather ruined much of the hay crop last summer, perhaps another message from Mother Earth. We have enough. For now.

Lethargy and depression, and indifference are fatal to the practice of self-awareness. The more intense the nature of a human being wrote James Allen, the more readily he will find meditation, and the more successful he will practice it.

Self-isolation is the perfect time for meditation, a gift, and an opportunity to find that higher, purer, and more radiant life.

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