Pets as Meditation Teachers

          Sometimes it seems as though your pet can read your mind. Have you ever been sitting around thinking morbid thoughts, and have your dog come over and put her head on your leg, as if to comfort you? Your dog is acting as a healer at those times.

          A friend of mine suffers from occasional panic attacks at night. During a recent episode, he awoke with his thoughts racing. As he tried to still his mind, his usually non-affectionate cat came in from the living room, jumped up on the bed and sat on his chest, right over his speeding heart. How is it cats know when you need their soothing energy?

          The human level of development is a mixed blessing. Our conscious awareness of ourselves can help us connect with the world in deep ways. That same self-awareness can also cause seemingly endless mental agitation! Animal friends don't have the sort of ego that helps/hinders us. Because of this, they can serve tirelessly on a selfless level. They provide mounds of love and loads of attention, without asking much in return. The relief this brings to you helps you be even more open to the love they radiate.

          People often think meditation is complicated and stress out trying to find the right methods. Ironically, your pet could be the best meditation teacher you'll ever find! The purpose of meditation is to train yourself be in the present and enjoy it to the fullest extent. Since your cat, dog, fish, bird, or snake is not bogged down in an ego, they can't help but be entirely available to the moment at hand. Taking time to honor this different level of being can do wonders for your spiritual growth!


— Make it a practice to sit quietly with your pet. Observe them just being themselves. Even if the critter is not quiet or still, be quiet and still yourself. (If you aren't a pet owner, try gazing into your yard and checking out the squirrels, rabbits or birds.)

— Close your eyes. Gently breathe in and out. Just be there with your animal pal.


          Dogs and cats respond especially well to your peaceful "vibes". They know when you're afraid. They know when you're angry. They are also subtly aware of your quest for inner peace. 


— Your spiritual breaks with your pet will enhance the rest of your time with them. You'll notice you get into that same peaceful place when you're playing with the cat, feeding the fish, riding your horse or walking the dog. 


          Pretty soon you'll find yourself practicing "cat mind" or "dog think" during stressful situations at work, in traffic or with family. You probably think your need to have to rack your brain for solutions to your problems. Actually, when you relax and stop forcing ideas, they flow in. With your mind rooted in the moment, your decisions and choices will be clear and balanced. Enjoy!

© Aluna Michaels 2014