September 14, 2015

Zulu the Guru: Life Lessons from my Puppy.

Flickr/Mike Hayes

Today, the owner of the house bought a puppy.

This cute little fur-baby happens to be a Rottweiler cross-breed.

Her name is Zulu, and she has the energy of a perma-charged Duracell bunny. Like most puppies, her jaws are magnetised to every kind of object she can sink her teeth into, including my ankles.

At the moment, I’m living in an open-air jungle home in Ubud. I’m focusing on documenting my trip across India, and I’m meditating. After much guidance from Indian yogis, I came to Bali to rest and digest the direct knowledge that we are not the mind or the body alone, but we are pure awareness itself.

The seasons remind us that this world is compelled to evolve through a cycle of death and renewal. Plants are a beautiful metaphor for the infinite Creator, with their leaves and petals sprouting from the center, just like the Source. Even the unrehearsed melodies of the songbirds remind me of the purity of spontaneous creation—helping me to trust “the flow” with my creative projects and life in general.

How wise this life is.

But damn—this puppy is disturbing my peace!

We made a barricade at the top of the steps, because she sleeps upstairs, but she has been finding new ways to escape every night.

With the crash from the collapsing fence, a bang as she bounces onto the roof and a boom as she knocks over the flower pots—we wake up at three o’clock in the morning, again.

Every time she escapes, she bolts down into my room, rampages through the mosquito net and jumps into bed with her muddy paws. I am woken from my slumber by her slobbering tongue licking my face and her rabid jaws chewing my nose.

Not at this hour! This is been going on for two long weeks—if only I could get some decent sleep!

All right, all right! I get up to feed and play with her. Within seconds, she jumps and bites into my hand like a chew toy. I have the puncture wounds to prove it!

Giving up, I walk to the fridge to feed this little Houdini. My foot splashes into a fresh puddle of puppy pee. No!

After holding her nose near the yellow water and telling her, “Bad doggie!”—I pick her up by the scruff and march her outside. Her little body hangs passively off my outstretched arm, and her big brown eyes dart around confused, as if to say, “What did I do now? I just want to play!”

After breakfast she runs downstairs to check on Christy, the owner of the house,  who is still waking up. Instantly there is an echo of, “No, Zulu, no!”

She is chewing on her socks and toes again. I stride downstairs and evict the puppy from the room, fuming.

Why am I so angry? This Life is the One Guru, so what am I missing here?

It seems that this little bundle of fun is helping me to purge suppressed anger from my long held resistance against the perfection of the present moment. Thank you is the response for this lesson. “Oh you little devil, I love you!”

The embers of frustration slowly go out, as I stop trying to fight the angry feelings. Instead, I allow myself to feel it, and let it pass.

Nobody should try to control another life form for their personal comfort.

A paternal instinct arose in me, for this lovable Scrappy-Doo, as she reminded me that play, patience and fun are worthy virtues that are often forgotten in this world.

There are many lessons in this dynamic life but only One Guru. As long as you allow the experience to happen without resisting, the abundance of love and wisdom flows.

Remember, there’s always more than meets the eye.

The next day the owner buys a huge crate, with toys and a carpet, for Zulu to sleep in during the night. Looks like my important lesson came just in time.

Thank you Zulu, you little guru, for your puppy power.


Relephant read:

My Dog is my Mindfulness Guru.


Author: Toby Pritchard

Apprentice Editor: Kelly Chesney/Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Flickr/Mike Hayes

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