You may be meditating with your cat (and not know it)
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
Onward to Part 2, Do cats have healing powers? Research says yes.
I have recently subscribed to your Natural Cat newsletter and really enjoying the connection. My Feline Soulmate, Tigger, died on January 30th 2012. I had returned home from a trip Toronto from our home on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. on January 28th. Tigger and I were delighted to be together and she followed me everywhere.
The next morning I was meditating and she lay on my heart with her nose resting on my chin. The connection between us was stronger than any other shared meditation and I sensed something deeper was happening. A while later we sat on a recliner and again she lay on my heart chakra … this moment felt so special that I pulled out my cell phone and took a photo of her lying thee. I soon got up and started vacuuming, but something pulled me around and Tigger flew into the room looked straight at me, spasm a couple of times and then lay down and died. Even as I tell this story now,my heart is breaking with the loss. I felt so honoured that she had waited 2 weeks until I got home, and that she came into the room so that we could be together as she passed over. On February 3rd 2013 I was “guided” to visit the SPCA website to find a rescue kitten and there we found Chumlee our deliciously cuddly siamese cross. On January 30th I brought Tigger’s ashes into the living room where she died, lit a candle, said a prayer and sprinkled a few of the ashes on the carpet where she had lain. All the time Chumlee was sitting by watchng and listening. After I had finished the prayer I looked at him and thanked Tigger for guiding me to our new friend, and Chumlee with a wee mew, went over to the carpet looked at me and rolled himself in the ashes. Spiritual connection? Divine Intervention? I choose to believe so, and that very act brings a smile to my face and my heart.
I feel blessed, Tigger had been around for the 4 weeks since bringing Chumlee home, at that moment she let go and left. Chumlee has now “come of age” and is was okay for her to leave…also knowing that I have a friend and soulmate too.
Lovely post. I really appreciate it. Now Bugs is mrowing about something so I better go check — Eckhart will just have to wait.
Thanks Anita! I checked out your blog and was so charmed by Bugs and your writing that I just subscribed to your RSS feed.