My Dog Got The Tao

Our dog was forever barking. We’d tried everything, but to no avail.

One day he heard the words of the Buddha —

“Life is suffering.”

He thought to himself, Oh, that must be why I’m forever barking — I’m suffering! 

The humans in his life would often say to him “who’s a clever boy?”  He had no idea and wondered why they were asking. But seeing himself acquire this understanding of Buddhism, he thought to himself, I must be the clever boy! I must be a real thinker.

So, when he heard the famous words of Descartes, the Cogito,

“I think therefore I am,”

he saw that this must mean “I am.”

This really blew his socks off.  It led to his discovery of the work of Indian guru Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, and his book, I am that. He wasn’t sure exactly what ‘that’ was, but didn’t let it bother him.

He appeared to be a genuine seeker making real progress on the spiritual path. So a spiritual teacher offered to give him shaktipat, the direct transmission of divine energy leading to spiritual enlightenment.

The teacher called him over, “come here boy,” and touched our dog’s third eye. He wagged his tail, barked happily, and trotted off. 

The teacher commented,

“There’s not much going on in there, is there.”

“Probably not,” we replied.

Undeterred, our dog continued his study of Nisargadatta. He particularly liked the quote, though he hadn’t a clue what it meant —

“Love says: ‘I am everything’. 

Wisdom says: ‘I am nothing’. 

Between the two my life flows.”

Finally, our dog discovered the Tao Te Ching. He found he couldn’t put it down. He carried it everywhere between his teeth. 

One day, he read —

“He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know.”

I don’t know if he got enlightened but he never barked again after that.