Single-pointed focus is the state of achieved when a being becomes one with everything. It is also at times called being in “the zone” or many famous athletes, artists, and other exceptional people report achieving and maintaining this state of being when they are performing at their top levels. They explain it as a deep rooted feeling of not having any extraneous thoughts. Just being in the moment of pure contentment and one with the universe.
In Buddhism the goal of many meditations is to focus on one single thought (or even no thoughts) to achieve this state. Not just during meditation, but as a carry-over effect to help navigate everyday life in a calm and balanced way that breeds contentment, rational thought, and an overall peaceful feeling all over. Scans have been done on the brains of Buddhist monks and meditation masters which show a significant difference in the way their brains function and relate to external stimuli. As compared to the brains of average adults.
What I teach my clients is the art of “dog meditation”… That’s it! As with humans, a dog’s mind can become overly active at times he does not know what to do during certain transitions in the lives we share together. As I mentioned in a previous article, “Anxiety and the dominant dog”. The over anticipation of future events that create mental whirlwinds when these events actually do happen is the definition of what makes dogs unbalanced. This is what anxiety is. Even for us. The only difference is that dogs are still animals who port hole to fight or flight mode much quicker than we do. This means that in certain moments where a dog over thinks a situation, they could become tremendously overwhelmed. Far beyond a normal human response to anxiety and over-thinking.
What is the remedy if all dog behavior problems are attributed to this issue? It is the redirection (preventatively and reactively) a dog’s mind and thoughts to a state of single-pointed focus at times where they lose sight of the moment they are in.
This not only synchronizes their mind/body connection to achieve a deep state of focus and relaxation, which replaces the typical discontentment shown at specific times for many dogs I see in my practice. But it also achieves the same residual effect as human meditation does. Through dog meditation we can make a dog feel balanced and in a content baseline state during their everyday life. This is also why I never look at unwanted dog behaviors as being on the surface. If examined objectively, you will find there is always a deeper rooted discontentment that when addressed, resolves any physical state your dog creates.
I will continue to post dog training and behavior tips/articles in the future that discuss in detail the actual steps to helping your dog become an enlightened pooch.