I’ve finally found my spiritual leader. After much searching amongst the teachings of many tribes, I have at last found a sage whose philosophy resonates with my own. And I was lucky enough to find her just as we moved to the mountains.
Let me tell you about her. This wise one meets every day with joy, gratitude, and curiosity. She is intensely present to the simple things, and cherishes them. She’s a genuine leader in that she doesn’t try to convert you, but simply in the act of being shines a beacon that lights up the way to enlightenment. Most astonishing of all is that this guru is actually living at our cabin, right now, in the flesh, offering us teachings every day. I am speaking, of course, of Embla – the dog.
We wouldn’t even be sharing house with her unless fortunate coincidences and kindness had brought her to us. I think what’s so convincing about her approach is her complete commitment to it. She utterly embodies her teachings of presence, joy, compassion, playfulness and gratitude. Every morning is welcomed with rejoice. As soon as we get out of bed we are met with intense appreciation, manifested in licking, cuddling, and nuzzling. As we absent-mindedly hurry between our tasks, she’ll be methodically shredding a chunk of wood in total mindfulness.
We don’t really speak the same exact language, but this is how I hear her teachings: “Listen, two-legged ones. You are too obsessed with newness. Observe what I do. Yes, I may have smelled this bush a thousand times before, but I smell it now again as if for the first time. Curiosity keeps me coming back to this rock here and that clump of trees there, to discover anew what pungent secrets they keep. Yes, I’ve frolicked and scratched my back and rolled in this lovely heather before, but I do it now with pure joy and presence of my first time doing it. Certainly, I’ve fetched this stick – or perhaps a different stick – thousands of times in my life. But as it soars through the air I leap and bound, and follow its remarkable journey through the air with bliss.”
This new housemate certainly eliminates the need for any future mindfulness retreats. Perhaps Embla’s only slightly un-zen-like feature is her intense obsession with dog treats. But to be honest, I’m glad – it proves she is one of us mortals after all.
Welcome to Flåten, Embla!