This is part 1 of a series called Cat time is good for you.
If you spend quiet time with your cat, if you fall into a reverie as you watch him, if you drop into your heart and find yourself simply being, you are entering a meditative state with your cat.
Over the years I, like many of you, have studied several types of meditation practices and they certainly do vary: eyes open vs. eyes closed, walking vs. sitting on cushion vs. sitting on chair, chanting vs. silent, visualizing vs. watching the breathe, and so on.
People can be fervent about what they think meditation should look like, but all of these methods are just ways of getting us into a certain state–a state we tend to naturally enter when connecting with our cat.
The non-judgmental observation of the present moment
I read an interview with James Jacobson, author of a book called How to Meditate with Your Dog, where he summarized the meditative state so well as “the non-judgmental observation of the present moment.”
I have appreciated the great teachers, from Thich Nhat Hanh to Pema Chodron, but I have to hand it to Jacobson for describing meditation so succinctly.
Eckhart Tolle said, “I have lived with many Zen masters, all of them cats.” And you know, he speaks of meditation in the same way Jacobson does.
In the following clip, Tolle describes meditation as:
- not something you do, but rather a way of being
- a sense of alignment with “the all” as opposed to a mental understanding of “the all”
- “a deeper sensing of the life that you are,” of your aliveness
It’s amusing to me that humans see meditation as a highly skillful state and we really work at it, while cats are doing it easily all the time.
I’ve noticed that when we spend quiet, open time with a feline friend we love, their presence pulls us into this “non-judgmental observation of the present moment.” Have you noticed this? Author Ingrid King wrote a post called Animals as a Pathway to Source that touches on this in a spiritual way.
In this post series, we’ll look at:
- how easily we can make time with our cat into a meditation
- what experts say about how cats can improve our health and life