Petitations: Pet centered meditation 1230pm
Join author Dr. Elisabeth Paige for Petitations: a book reading and guided meditation set to music. The book is written from the prospctive of a quasi-buddhist, scientifically minded dog.
Elisabeth Paige has long struggled with bipolar disorder, and had experimented with many forms of treatment. Medication provided some control of the illness, but she still experiences times of desperation and pain.
Among the treatments, therapists suggested she meditate, which she agrees is one of the best ways to deal with many forms of mental illness, including depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder. But, she couldn’t do it.
“I tried it. I hated it. I couldn’t concentrate and be still and quiet for 10 minutes,” lamented Paige, who holds a doctoral degree in public health. Worse, her difficulty with meditation furthered her feelings of failure.
A research associate in the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, Paige decided years later to give meditation another try. But this time she held her dog in her lap, petted him and concentrated on him alone. She discovered she was much calmer and felt better when she sat and petted her schipperke, Pago, rather than focus on her breathing, as ordinary meditation encourages.
She soon learned, that by petting Pago and relaxing, she was practicing mindfulness. And it worked. Petting her dog for extended periods of time made her feel calmer and more in control — it lessened the tremors she experienced from her medication. And her dogs (she has another schipperke named Pippi) liked it too.