The Year of the Dog ... Meditation

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2006 is not only the Chinese Year of the Dog, but it's also the Year of Dog Meditation. A new bestselling book sounds quirky, but shows a simple practice that is one of the most relaxing and mutually beneficial activities dog lovers can do with their canine companion. "How to Meditate with Your Dog" has been featured on Jay Leno, Leeza Gibbons and has garnered great reviews in The Washington Post, LA TImes, New York Post and dozens of other publications.

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On January 29, 2006 firecrackers and dancing dragons will ring in the Chinese Year of the Dog. But this year, they might also be ushering in the Year of Dog Meditation.

Dog meditation, canine contemplation, pooch prayer -- call it what you will -- but according to James Jacobson, author of the bestselling book "How to Meditate with Your Dog: An Introduction to Meditation for Dog Lovers," (Maui Media, $16.95; Hardcover, ISBN 0975263110, http://www.dogmeditation.com) dog meditation is being lapped up by dog lovers everywhere.

Chinese astrologers say that people born in the year of the dog have the qualities of loyalty, faithfulness, and honesty. According to Jacobson, they may also have an edge over those born in the Year of the Horse, Rat, or Boar in another canine quality: meditation.

“Dogs are natural meditators,” Jacobson says. “They live fully in the present moment, and spend an enormous part of their days in ‘hound-lounge,’ the canine equivalent of human meditation.”

But the author cautions, you shouldn’t feel trapped on the wrong side of the doggy door if you were born in a year other than dog.

“Dogs are natural meditation gurus, and just living with a dog can serve as a great introduction to meditation,” says Jacobson.

In fact, the author of "How to Meditate with Your Dog," says most people with dogs already meditate with them, they just don’t call it that.

“It happens in those moments where you sit down with your dog and relax,” says Jacobson who has been meditating with his maltese for over 13 years.

He teaches introductory meditation classes in Hawaii and says that during meditation, the breaths become longer and less hurried.

"After a few moments, your thoughts slow down until it seems like you are not thinking at all.”

Jacobson says most dog lovers already share moments like these and meditating with a canine friend is a natural next step.

Meditation isn’t just for when you're dog-tired at the end of the day. Jacobson says that the benefits make it worth setting as a daily Year of the Dog resolution while claiming that meditation improves a dog’s health and well-being.

"It helps excitable dogs become calmer, aggressive dogs become more loving, and dogs that once whined and howled for attention become quieter and more content," says Jacobson.

He continues, "Meditation is great for humans, too. It relieves stress, lowers blood pressure, and sharpens mental focus."

The author attributes the success of the book to the fact that dog lovers will do almost anything for their pets.

“People are willing to do things for their dog that they wouldn’t do for themselves—and that includes meditation.”

So what does the dog meditator recommend to usher in the Year of the Dog?

"Celebrate Chinese New Year with a dragon dance, fireworks -- and a howl at the moon. Then settle in for a moment of meditation, with your dog."

Download a sample chapter of the book or audio book at http://dogmeditation.com.

HOW TO MEDITATE WITH YOUR DOG:

An Introduction to Meditation for Dog Lovers

By James Jacobson

with Kristine Chandler Madera

Published by Maui Media, LLC

October 2005

0-9752631-1-0 / $16.95 / Hardcover / 200 pages

http://www.dogmeditation.com
http://MauiMedia.com

"How to Meditate with Your Dog" is available at book stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com.

Members of the Media may visit Maui Media's online newsroom for this book at: http://www.dogmeditation.com/media.html.

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