Good Dog!

Guardians of Being

“In some ways, dogs are more connected to being than we are.”

Eckhart Tolle
























…Yoda Would Not Approve

Day 21 of 31 Day Painting Challenge (Lisa Congdon –

Too often, we confuse “anger” with power. Anger is fear-based. It is never necessary.

Intelligent, creative action can only arise from calmness.

Whenever I give a knee-jerk reaction, I almost always regret it. Yet I’ve never regretted deleting the impassioned email or biting my tongue until I can address the issue calmly.

Try this: Next time you are offended (which is just your perception of offensive behavior, by the way), do not react. Think about the action or words. Decide if they are true or not. And react calmly (e.g., “Interesting. No, I do not agree.” Or, “I think you might be right!“)


Let It Go Through You


I am practicing something I’d like to share with you. It’s been so effective for me!

Eckhart Tolle advises that you do this in order to stop letting things and people bother you.

When faced with a comment, a gesture, or an event that upsets you, imagine yourself transparent and imagine this offending element going through you. It just goes through you. You don’t resist it, you don’t react, just let it go through you.

Let me know if this works for you.




  1. mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.
    “she accepted both the good and the bad with equanimity

As I study “The Greats” of yoga and meditation, I run across this word a lot. It’s central to the philosophy of yoga. Deep breaths. Space. Equanimity.

For me, it’s connected to the Tao, the Middle Way. No extremes. Don’t over react to either end of the spectrum. This way, you can be happy no matter what.

Beware. Once you decide to be more equanamous, you will be challenged left and right. Just remember, nothing is that serious. Take a deep breath. Allow s-p-a-c-e between your reaction and whatever it is that is happening.

Stay composed.




The Magnificence of Margins (Or, Superb Space)

Pablo Garcia, Mexico –

On a document, we have margins or space to define boundaries between text and the edges of the paper. It’s aesthetically pleasing. It the words went to the edges of the paper, we’d find it a bit distracting and perhaps difficult to read.

Space devoid of things or noise or thoughts can bring joy, calm and purpose.

When you complain to me, if I take the space of time to process it before I respond, I’ll probably come up with something more equanimous than if I reacted immediately.

A room cluttered with things might bring a sense of anxiety or disgust.


If you clean it up and there is physical space to sit, lie down, and walk, it will be a more welcoming room.

When I meditate, I am focusing my attention on my breath. This allows me to not think any thoughts. The more I practice this, the easier it is for me to enter this state of space and calm. This is good. When something bad happens, I do not need to react. Also, when a good thing happens, there is no need to go crazy. “This, too, shall pass” means life is a rollercoaster and the secret to happiness is to not react to the crazy.





Wherever You Go, There You Are


Josie and Ava are members of a Symphony.

This is their second year. The Symphony is made up of four divisions, with Division IV being the most junior, and Division I is made up primarily of 8th and 9th graders, the highest level of the Symphony. They hold chair auditions three times a year.

The girls jumped right up to Division III from the beginning and we were all amazed. Since then, with each audition for a new seat, they’ve moved up. I warned them that this is highly unusual, and that they should be prepared for moving down at some point. After all, they’ve observed this happening to many others in the group. This year, they made it to Division II, Violin I, and I told them that this is quite an accomplishment, that they ought to be proud and keep working hard.

The girls auditioned. When I asked how it went, Josie was quite confident that she did well. Ava was less sure, “I messed up on a few measures. But I think I did OK.” It turns out that Josie jumped many seats up. Ava moved down about 15 chairs. This was traumatic for her. This was her first “fail” (although I didn’t see it that way). For a week, she slumped and was sad. She mentioned a viola player who did the same thing: he was 2nd chair and fell to second to last. “Mom, I noticed this boy, he fell many seats and he used to sit really tall. He was proud and now, he has terrible posture. He is always frowning and he doesn’t look like he wants to be there.” I asked her, “And what do you think of that?” “I think it’s sad.” A few weeks passed. “Mom, remember that viola player I told you about?” “Yes.” “Well, I noticed he’s still slumped and depressed. I even wonder if he’ll quit.”  I expected her to tell me how she was going to cheer him up. I thought she would share with me her plan.

“I’ve decided that I don’t deserve to sit where I’m sitting. I messed up in the audition, but I’m better than 22nd chair. I’ve decided that no matter what happens, no matter where I’m sitting, I will sit as if I am sitting where I DESERVE to sit.”

I was blown away. This is something I learned late in life:  Disregard what others think of me and hold my head up high. She’s only ten years old. How did she know this?

“Wow Ava, I am very proud of you. That is amazing that you came up with that on your own.”
“Well, this boy, he’s very good too and he shouldn’t let it affect him this way.”

Yet another life lesson learned through their serious violin practice.