Swami ji Pranam. Om Namah Shivay. 

I have read “A Million Thoughts” a couple of times, I have the “Black Lotus” app on my mobile for the past 2 years AND I have also sat in the meditation pose a few times. But clearly I do not know how to meditate. Koi idea nahin hai !!

I can however confirm to have a 6 month old puppy, who I routinely take out for morning walk. Infact even on this statement I am slightly doubtful as the puppy (white Labrador, Theo), might assume that he is the one taking me out. 

Anyway, I have found strange correlations between both the activities. Let me list a few.

– Theo believes he is my ‘mun’ (hindi wala) and keeps stopping me during the walk ‘meditation’. He will stop suddenly to smell something on the road (mostly other dogs poop), sometimes even lick it. He makes it a point to meet everybody on the road, with special affection for dogs of opposite sex, so everything gets acknowledged. Fact is that he is interested only in stopping and not walking, just that one distraction is not good enough for long and he shifts regularly. 

– If I try to pull him out of his distraction, he pulls me harder. Clearly there is a tug of war happening here and he seems to win mostly. The only way I can get him to walk is by giving in to his breaks OR showing him something ahead (mostly a patch of green grass, which he enjoys to roll into). 

– I need to constantly have him on a tight leash, if I let go he distracts easily. However a very tight leash is also not working, because that means that I have to drag him constantly, and it is not a pleasure to walk like that. I am figuring that the best way is a leash with very light pressure, so that he is also aware that I am holding him, and I can also sense when he withers elsewhere.

– With the latest COVID lockdown orders our walking circuit has been curtailed by Police barricade on the road. So after we finish our smaller walk, instead of taking the lift to the 25th floor (our flat in Goregaon, Mumbai), we take the lift to the 15th floor and climb the stairs from 15th to 25th. This has not gone too well with Theo !! He refused to accept this initially and I had to drag him all the way up the stairs. Afterall there was no friend to meet in the stairs, nowhere to stop, and so much work for what ? But I persisted, and infact today is the first day (after a week of stairs) that we climbed 11 stories non-stop (and no dragging). I guess he realized that I am not going to give in. I am sure he is thinking of dialling up Maharashtra CM and asking for relaxation with the COVID lockdown norms.

If anything, it is easier to tame Theo than one’s mind, so no wonder I am a gross failure so far. But I am not quitting and with Swami ji’s blessings, would like to tame the other one as well. 

Om Namah Shivay. 

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Gaurav Sharma

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