Sunday, March 15, 2009


The lessons we learn from our canine companions fill books and keep emailers busy for hours. I once gave a sermon on the many dog given lessons available to us. But this morning, during my sacred dog walking meditation, I focused on one lesson: marking.

Even my girls want to sniff for information of prior activity and then leave a calling card or a mark letting later walkers know that they were there. And when one walks a little boy -- oy, it is mark, mark, mark, sniff, mark, sniff, mark, mark, mark.

How, you might ask, will I turn dog marking into a lesson from ancient wisdom? (oh yea of little faith.)

Harken back to our days in the wilderness when Moses asked God if he could see him up close and personal. And God replied that one could not see His face and live, but in His love for Moses, He tucked him into a safe crevice in a mountain and said that Moses would feel God's presence and see His back, so to speak.

What this passage means to me is that at this point, Moses saw the world as a divine creation and saw God's presence in everything. Moses then understood the concept of oneness. God had left his mark on the heart of Moses and on his vision of the world.

It is like a hurricane -- after is passes, we see its power, unfortunately in a negative way, but it has surely left its mark. Or on the positive side, after a spring rain, we can see the world is fresher and more vibrant.

Surely the lesson for us, from both God and dog, is: to be conscious of what kind of mark are we leaving. Perhaps it is sufficient to use the medical oath: do no harm. I counseled my son, leave everything and everyone you touch at least as good as it was before you, and hopefully better for having been touched by you.

As we go forth into the world, let us be conscious of what marks we leave on hearts we touch, on places we walk, on the planet as a whole. Marking has a clear duality --- let ours be filled with life giving energy.

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