There are many fine books & CDs out there which present fine expositions on ’the nature of mind’. They teach much about how mindfulness practices, such as meditation, can make a meaningful difference in an individual’s life, & in the workings of the world at large. But few of them are as beguiling as the chuckle-friendly novels of Spencer Quinn.
His stories are about a pair of private detectives, living in Arizona, & not-coincidentally, have nothing whatsoever to do with Buddhist dharma teachings. Yet they make a compelling case for those very teachings, in a round about kind of way. You see, the stories are narrated by one of them, Chet ……… who is a dog. He is devoted to his ”partner” Bernie, & plays a significant, though somewhat self-inflated role in solving the crimes they are hired to investigate. Chet is one of my very favorite literary characters ……. AND, he has his own blog!
What makes these mysteries so darned entertaining is that the reader is treated to a ringside seat in Chet’s stream of consciousness, & what a fun show it is! Here we are in the mind-stream of the canine, a species noted for its ability to learn & think. Is Chet’s an intelligent mind? Very. Is Chet’s a mindful mind?? Oh, not really. This is where we see some parallels with our own minds —> Cheese, a bouncing ball, the scent of a mule — these & many many other things routinely divert Chet from the thinking he is trying to do. So easily & quickly distracted he is, & how very much like us!
But Chet, attentive observer that he is, has some measure of self-awareness, & occasionally a bit of insightful wisdom too. In the Dog Who Knew Too Much, he makes this cogent observation, which almost exactly mirrors the minds of most of our species, as well:
Is that not one of the best explanations of the ‘nature of mind’ you’ve ever come across?!? And with that, I’ll leave you to these tickling “tails” told from a dog’s point of view. You’ll see what I mean when I say that they present a very good case for why our minds can benefit from working with the Teachings of the Buddha. Oh, & you’ll be mightily entertained too.