Tuesday, February 7, 2012


As you know if you follow many of the wonderful dog blogs that enliven this community, our friends at PittieFullove lost their beloved Knox this week. 

I never met Knox but just to look at his pictures and hear the stories about him is to feel what a special, happy, velvety man he was. If you haven't already, stop on over and read the beautiful tributes Jess has been posting about this sweet boy, and send her a virtual hug and Knox a blessing, or a prayer, or a wink and a belly scratch as he traverses the bardo of becoming between this life and the next, or the peaceful time of merging with all that is, or whatever it is that dogs experience
and we will all experience, one day, when we leave this realm.

As I've read some of the sad posts that have come through Blogville over the past months, and contemplated how to say something that could possibly be helpful to someone who has lost a beloved dog, I've realized that there's really nothing you can say. 

I've had the same feeling when close friends or relatives were suffering from some affliction of mind or body. Often they won't tell me how bad they are feeling, but I know. And there's nothing I can do. At these times, well-meaning advice is misplaced and any words of comfort can feel hollow. 

The only thing I have found truly helpful is a Buddhist practice for healing I learned years ago. 

Visualize the person or animal who is suffering, and visualize that person's physical pain, emotional distress, or other limitation as a black smoke surrounding him or her. 

As you inhale, imagine that you are breathing in the black smoke so that the suffering person or animal has less of it to bear.
Medicine Buddha
As you breathe it in and it fills your chest cavity, it transforms into white light that nourishes you and cleans your cells, clearing any confusion or unhealthiness. 

As you exhale, exhale the white light back out into the universe and especially to the person or animal who is suffering, so that her or his pain is alleviated.

I find that this practice makes me feel less helpless when people and animals I know and love are suffering, and when I feel less helpless, I can offer better support. 

And although I don't know for sure, I think it's very possible that sending out intentions for peace and healing ultimately does have tangible results in the world. 


  1. I think that it is possible as well. Thank you for sharing it!

  2. We did not know of this healing practice. It is soothing for everyone. Thanks for sharing.

    Nina, Myshka, Sasha, Betsy, Lucy, Phoebe and Lily

  3. What a great idea. Very soothing!

  4. Thanks for sharing the healing practice with us. What a beautiful idea.
    Big nose Pokes
    The Thugletsx

  5. I love that process and believe completely in it.

    I learnt something similar decades ago in a visualisation/healing class where we would "find" the area of pain/illness then visualise green healing light around it. Recently, I met someone I used to train capoeira with. For some reason, this man has always been uncomfortable for me. I left that meeting hyperventilating, anxious and weepy even though we didn't even exchange any words! Anyway, after feeling bad for 2 days, i called a Buddhist friend for advice. He said to wish light and happiness for the man, only good thoughts and best wishes. I did that, and before the day was over, I was at peace again. Amazing eh?

    Shall check out your friend now x

  6. I love this. I often tell family members visiting their loved ones that, even though they may be sedated and on a ventilator, they still know love is there in the form of their family. I will remember to try this both with patients and dogs.

  7. Oh, yes...we very much believe that our thoughts and intentions have an effect on what happens in the world.

    And I luved how you called Knox 'velvety.' He was very much velvety, both inside and out!

    Wiggles & Wags,

  8. That is an awesome idea. Thanks Kirsten.


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