July 29 – Live Humble as a Dog – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

Live humble as a dog and the world will come alive in your mouth.

The day I brought my golden retriever home as a pup, I had no idea that she would become my teacher. She was seven weeks old and slept in my shirt the whole way home. I could feel her small rhythmic exhalation like a tiny animal wind warming my heart. Day by day, I came to understand her sheer, complete, and constant presence. I never knew anything to be so thoroughly involved in the moment at hand, so innocently devoted to whatever was before her. If she was rolling in grass, the world was the grass and the feel of the roll. If she was circling the rug to lie down, life was solely the want to curl and sigh. I came to envy my puppy’s ability to be completely wherever she was.

I also came to understand how she knew the world through touch, primarily through her mouth. Without the hesitation that plagues humans, she stuck her snout in everything, and this immediate knowledge of things gave her joy.

This little dog, incapable of words, taught me that there is an inexpressible feeling of foundation that comes from staying directly connected to the earth, a humility that comes from directly touching whatever we are experiencing. This direct connection helps bring things alive; it is refreshing. In this way, the energy of the world floods through whatever moment we dare to enter fully.

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