I'm not a very spiritual/zen-like being, actually rather the opposite,
but when I was walking to Speedy's pasture today, I suddenly thought:'My God, is this really how you're going to start the session today?'
I actually had planned to spend our time together in the paddock just relaxing, doing completely nothing at all, but my thoughts when approaching the paddock were in a kind of frenzy: 'Did I put enough hay in the paddock for him to eat? Check! Water? Check? Did I bring my bag for me to do stuff while he's doing stuff? Did I bring the right book? What if I get bored? Is this the right rope?? ...'
So then I thought: I need to stop this. And I invented...The Five Step Horse Meditation
How it's done:
- Walk five steps.
- Take a slow breath
- Count to five.
That's all. Don't try to count or walk extra slow or meditative, don't try to match the speed of the walking and counting: just walk, just count, and observe.
The great thing for me about this is that it involves everything at the same time: body, brain, breathing - while often meditation techniques focus on one and the rest of me goes insane.
I noticed that within the first five steps all thoughts on the paddock were gone and instead I was over-focussing on my speed & counting? At first my walking was fast, and the counting was slow, and then the other way round, and then tried to forece them to be the same but that didn't work,
and then after a couple of repetitions they were coming together without me doing anything at all, and I didn't think about the beathing, actually I wasn't thinking about anything anymore and then I just strolled towards Speedy that way untill the counting stopped and I was feeling completely relaxed and fuzzy in the brains,
not thinking about anything else than being there with Speedy at that moment.
(I have no idea why I suddenly thought of this exercise, but I guess I've based it on the fact that I often see horses do a similar thing when grazing; walking a few steps, then stopping and grazing, then walking a few steps etc. And well, if horses do something, it must be good!
(And, being a very goal-oriented person, of course I liked it also because I could do it while getting stuff done = walking to the pony
New horse book: Mandala horses!
Never stop making mistakes! Natural Dressage