My personal adventure with my dog started after a visit to an astrologer in Amma’s ashram. He told me many interesting things about my life, past and future, and many issues about myself that were so personal that I would say it had taken me a lifetime to realize from myself most of the things he said to me in barely an hour.
I apparently had some karma related with animals, which is congruent with my feelings and love towards them since childhood. When he suggested it was positive for me to feed animals, specifically dogs, I made a decision to have a dog myself—always present but postponed. I thought: How could I find a better way to feed a dog than having one myself? I started to pray to Amma so that the situation became suitable to have it by my side. The image of a white dog of small size came to me.
Soon after this, I went to the animal shelter and adopted a small white dog. I just knew it as soon as I saw her looking at me, calm and serene—no barking at all—with her small dark eyes. At the beginning, I felt like an astronaut, not knowing what to do with that living creature at home, but soon we were getting used one to another and a nice relationship was getting established.
I live near the countryside, and the best moments of the day are the long walks with her in the nature, surrounded by trees, mountains, birds, astonishing views that make me feel so connected with God and creation.
She is a wonderful and loving dog, obedient, always ready to do what I ask her, always wanting to be by my side, close to me, longing for my presence, my care and attention, at any time, any moment, no matter what. I feel she is a very pure soul, a real angel by my side. I cannot express with words how grateful I feel for all the love and valuable teachings I have received through her: patience, discipline, perseverance, detachment, responsibility… and, most importantly: unconditional love.
After observing her carefully, I started to consider that many of these attributes are also desirable on the spiritual path. Sometimes we experience ups and downs; we are not always connected with the same intensity. The feeling of being less connected makes me suffer. I say to myself: How could I let this happen? How could I lose my connection? What did I do wrong? And I start praying and praying and longing for God so badly, so the equilibrium may be restored in my mind with the help of deeper meditation. This yearning, this desire is present in many moments in my life, but it appears to be stronger when I feel I am a “prodigal son”. This distance from God is just apparent, because He is already by our side. It is us who are not able to notice Him. And we yearn for something that we already have in our essence…but we have forgotten it. We have a veil in front of us that blinds our senses, and we keep longing so that again we are One with the Divine, our true nature, our birth right.
When observing my dog, I notice that she always has that yearning towards me. I can see it in her eyes looking at me with a craving urge, a first order necessity. She can sit for hours, patiently waiting for me. I take her as my example of an ideal longing. What a grace if we could feel that enormous longing for God in our lives every day! Make Him the unique and most important goal of our lives! And not get lost into the senses and the distractions of Maya (illusion).
It does not matter if we live in the world or in an ashram. The distraction is in our mind. We can live surrounded by monks and monastic life and yet have a restless mind. We can live in the roaring noise of a city and have an altar of peace installed in our hearts. If we have God in our mind, no matter what we do, we will succeed.
There are many distractions around us, but the main challenge is cultivating that presence of God inside us, that immense love of the Divine Mother permeating all our accomplishments.
Let’s love God for the sake of it, without expectations of visions, miracles or special treatments.
Let’s love Him for the sake of Love itself, because that is the thing we most importantly can feel in our hearts: a sincere, unconditional love for God.
May all have this real longing for God… like a dog for his owner.
Author: Silvia Hidalgo Daya