There is a beauty in the way we train a puppy. We meet them with a balance of discipline and compassion. We make them notice when they have done something wrong, but we don’t scold them so much that they whimper away with their tail between their legs.
When training a dog, you establish rules. But, that doesn’t mean you get a perfect puppy overnight. You train a dog knowing that it is going to make mistakes. And you love it anyway.
In beginning a meditation practice, people are often frustrated when their mind wanders or if they don’t make it to the mat. But just like training a puppy, you are training yourself to sit and stay. It is hard. You are learning. Just like a puppy in training will try and fail, so will you. You are just beginning.
Train your wandering mind like a puppy:
A puppy is going to break the rules. But you don’t scream at it. You let it know when it has don’t something wrong, but you love it. You forgive it and let it try again.
- Your mind is going to wander.
- Don’t scream at it.
- Bring awareness to it, and meet it with compassion.
- Allow your breath to bring you back.
- Forgive yourself and try again.
Its hard to stay mad at a puppy for long with their puppy eyes and undeniable affection. Just like you shouldn’t hold onto anger towards your puppy, you shouldn’t hold on anger towards yourself either. Show yourself the same undeniable affection and continuous forgiveness. You are only human. You are going to break the rules. You are going to make mistakes. And that is perfectly okay. Every breath is a new beginning.
Meet yourself with compassion and try again the next day. We are simply humans in training.