A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing

August 10, 2009

Something happened a couple weeks back that made a deep impression on me. I was walking a very familiar route I take around my neighborhood. I rounded a curve where I habitually speed up to get past a home where a dog barks loudly at me from a patio hidden by bushes. The barking is invariably followed by a gravelly woman’s voice telling the dog to stop barking. This would be enough to make me want to hurry up, but the additional irritant of cigarette smoke wafting out to me adds to my scurrying. Sometimes I avoid that route altogether, but I like other things about it and on the day in question had elected to go that way.

Here’s what happened on that day and here’s why I titled this post “A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing”. As I was hurrying by, I heard a voice call my name and turned to see a woman I know sitting in the patio. She was obviously there chatting with the gravelly voiced woman. Turning to say hello to my acquaintance, I heard the dog’s owner say “Let him come out and see you so he’ll get to know you and not bark next time”. A few seconds later, “Bandit” emerged from behind the bushes.

Bandit was a most surprising, and welcomed, sight. Such a soft presence, he approached me gently and silently. He had the nicest, softest coat and I was sure he was a puppy (although I later learned he’s 15 years old). He was the kind of dog you can’t resist petting and seemed to have the sweetest disposition. I was stunned!

I accepted an invitation to join the two women on the patio, and there behind the bushes was the gravelly voiced lady, smiling and warm, and not at all like I had imagined. Hidden in the bushes was a birdbath surrounded by a skillful arrangement of beautiful plants. I felt I had entered a lovely little retreat. I stayed and chatted a bit, then continued my walk knowing my little neighborhood world would never feel the same.

The memory of this event has come back to me so often. I’ve wanted to blog about it and on my walk today pondered how it might relate to meditation. What occurred to me is that in meditation we have the opportunity to discover the sheep in wolf’s clothing as ourselves. Do you ever feel like the “big bad wolf” when you are stressed? I do! And when I do I know I need to meditate. Meditation can bring out our inner sheep even in the most wolfish of times.


10 Responses to “A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing”

  1. Rani on August 10th, 2009 5:14 pm

    Hi Mary,

    I’ve been enjoying your Podcast for the last year or so and really enjoy them. Do you happen to happen to have one you’d recommend listening to for insomnia? I’ve been having much trouble sleeping lately.



  2. Fekona Moonlight on August 10th, 2009 10:37 pm

    This is a great post I always believed and tried to instill into my children do not judge a book by the cover some of the best people I ever met was the ones that others looked down on :)

  3. Nicole Urdang on August 11th, 2009 7:05 am

    Hi Mary,
    What a lovely re-framing of a pre-conceived idea.
    Just goes to show how our entire view of something/someone can change in an instant.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Mary on August 11th, 2009 8:57 am

    Rani — Glad you’re enjoying the podcast. I would imagine the Deep Rest meditation would be the best one in the podcast for insomnia, but you can experiment with a few and see what works best for you. I wouldn’t use ones with a focus like the Inner Child Meditation, but rather ones like Simply Being, Letting Go, etc. Our Sleep Easy album (available for purchase as a CD or mp3) was very specifically designed for sleep and some people have gotten good results with that.

    Fekona — Same here. So often something can trigger an initial response in us — some unconscious association — that is way off…

    Nicole — You are welcome. This event was a great reminder for me, and I’m glad I could share it with others.

  5. bart on August 11th, 2009 11:11 am


    Much of what we fear has it’s origins in things we don’t know, don’t understand or don’t want to understand. As you’ve more or less said, we’re all too often our own worst enemies.

    Keep well…

  6. yournontoxiclife on August 16th, 2009 12:58 pm

    Absolutely I feel like this sometimes, especially when I am angry! I really then get down on myself, when I really need to take care of the “baby” that really is my anger.

  7. Mary on August 16th, 2009 4:53 pm

    bart — yes, so often our own worst enemies and imagining it’s someone or something else!

    yournontoxiclife – nicely put…

  8. Nina Bandoni on September 21st, 2009 9:24 am

    These times seem so complicated and yet are so very simple. It has now been a year since I found Meditation Oasis and worked through several losses and the grief that accompanies loss. I can’t tell you how much your podcasts have soothed, opened my heart and helped me to heal. Each time I listen, I find myself so centered and calm. I just want you to know how much beauty you are bringing to the world with your soft patient voice and insightful wise guidance. The words thank you don’t seem adequate to express my gratitude.

  9. Mary on September 21st, 2009 12:02 pm

    You are welcome, Nina. It’s so moving to hear from people like you. Thank YOU for being so open to the meditations and allowing them to give you so much.

  10. Jeanette on October 15th, 2009 10:00 am

    This is so inciteful!

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