The Middle Way

Zen Spot #149 - Mindfulness, meditation and Lily crossing over February 3, 2015 23:24

Leave an imaginative, caring and silly ten year-old boy alone with his dog and a digital camera and you can count on weird and wonderful magic. Combine the playfulness with a patient caring companion that is more willing to please than object and a lifetime of love and wonder is captured.

Also captured? Several artful pictures of a dog's butt.

Lily, our standard poodle, and William, our youngest son, have a particularly strong relationship. They walk together, sleep together and, perhaps more importantly, He doesn't remember life without Lily. She has always been there, through the good, the bad and the ugly. Lily is a rock.

Among her most endearing and weird qualities is her ability to smile. Yes, smile. I recently watched a documentary that discussed this phenomenon and apparently only one dog in a hundred can smile. Ironically, Lily smiles when being reprimanded. After having spilled the trash, when asked if she was, in fact, the perpetrator, Lily look ups at you and...smiles. Her eyes make you melt in a way that makes discipline nearly impossible and her smile makes you smile while garbage is...everywhere.

Lily is forever hungry, too. No matter how much food you offer, she is constantly on the hunt. Like a great white shark swimming endlessly, slithering in infinite water, looking for a meal, Lily exists to cuddle, play, be and eat -- and not necessarily in that order. She will stare into your eyes from across the room, or six inches from your face, when she knows food is available. She's been trained well enough and won't intrude on a meal by begging but she will make known, without doubt, that she expects you to share. 

There are pictures of Lily with each family member giving hugs, their faces nestled in her apricot fur. She is leaning against us, we are leaning against her. Graduations, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays - Lily is ever-present and everywhere. A kind, sweet, patient dog.

Given the fact that I believe in lives before and after this life, I often wonder who or what Lily was before this life. She must have been kind and benevolent because her's is a good life. Warm, well-fed and loved completely.

She passed away today and my heart is broken.


About DharmaMechanic

An artist, entrepreneur and writer walking the Buddhist path, his art focuses on the Dharma Wheel. The four wheels shown above are among over 600 DharmaMechanic has created over the course of his career. Each has a unique story. If you’d like to read the story of these wheels or purchase a framed 20" x 20" ready-to-hang print, visit

What are The Four Noble Truths?

  1. The truth of suffering
  2. The truth of the origin of suffering
  3. The truth of the cessation of suffering
  4. The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering

What is The Noble Eightfold Path?

  1. Right view
  2. Right intention
  3. Right action
  4. Right speech
  5. Right livelihood
  6. Right effort
  7. Right mindfulness
  8. Right concentration

What is a Dharma Wheel?