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What My Dog Has Taught Me About Non-Attachment


We humans we seem to spend a lot of time worrying about our things. Obtaining the right clothes, car, house and gadgets dominate our time. We feel lost without our smart phones and identify strongly with what we have and own. Attachments run deep, be it to a physical object that brings us comfort or a person or relationship that we use to define who we think we are. We use these external objects to distract ourselves from uncomfortable moments, and the harsh truth that our existence is temporary.

In yoga, part of the practice is accepting that everything in life is fleeting, changing and impermanent. Therefore our attachments cause us pain and suffering as everything we have we inevitably lose somewhere along the way. We try to practice non-attachment (vairagya*) to our emotions, physical bodies and material things. We contemplate, breathe, release and try to let go. Despite our best efforts we all get caught in a cycle of desire and satisfaction. It's exhausting and extremely challenging for us.

However, my dog seems to have it pretty well figured out.

For her, all that matters is right this very second. She will shred her own bed to pieces in a moment of excitement (or boredom for that matter) without a thought or care for its future use. Material things have no meaning or value, all she has is NOW.

She embodies a simple intelligence where love and survival are the dominant driving forces for action, and life is just one chance to play after another. She has destroyed a countless number of my belongings as a curious puppy. My favourite yoga books and journal, my cutest rashguard, bikini bottoms, and every single one of my left flip flops. When I discover another treasured item shredded to pieces and tossed in the dirt my initial reaction is always anger and frustration. I get pissed and scold her, at times almost brought to tears over the loss of a material thing. Then I look into her eyes and she licks my face and I immediately forgive her. None of those things really matters as much as the love and acceptance of what is right here right now.

Love and let go, Love and let go.

*Sanskrit word for non attachment to sensory objects

#dogs #selfstudy #materialworld #letgo #love #pets #nonattachment #practice #yoga #yogaphilosophy