3 Reasons Animals Make The Best Meditation Teachers

Can I admit something to you? It isn’t always easy for me to meditate. There are so many “human” challenges that can trip me up—an overactive mind that refuses to quiet, difficulty in accepting the present moment, or being so busy my energy is scattered all over the place. I want to share with you my secret weapon to strike down these obstacles and ensure a more powerful meditation: the animals.

Animals make the best meditation teachers

You see, in my work with animals and Reiki over the years, I began to notice something interesting; when I would meditate and my animals would happen to be present, I found myself able to quiet my mind and be present with an open heart much more easily. I began to realize that perhaps I should rethink the way I approached my own meditation practice. Meditating alone is all well and good, offering numerous health benefits that have been backed by science. But when I began to meditate with the animals and follow their lead, all of the benefits of meditation I had always experienced began to improve.

Here are three ways animals helped me become a better meditator:

1. It’s easier to stay present and peaceful in the moment with our animals

If we are trying to meditate but our intellectual minds keep analyzing, judging and interpreting everything (which is just natural for us, really), the animals will often mirror this agitation. The more we feel ourselves shift into a state of quiet, and the more we can just “be,” the more we can see the animals relax. I can always tell what state I am in by how the animals around me are responding to my presence. A peaceful mind and peaceful heart means peaceful animals. In addition, animals have a natural calming presence. So when we have trouble letting go, and we’re stuck inside past problems or future fears, simply sitting with our animals can help to calm our energy, quiet our thoughts and take us to this moment right now.

2. Animals help our hearts to open, so that we can radiate our inner compassion

According to a 2013 study by Northeastern University, those who practice mindfulness meditation feel more compassion for others. But sometimes, compassion can be a difficult feeling to tap into. That’s where the animal factor comes in: Animals show so much unconditional love for us, we just can’t help but open our hearts when we are with them. If we are with our animals during our meditation practice, our inner compassion arises effortlessly because we are already opening our hearts to our animals at that moment. This compassion will radiate out to all animals … and even ultimately to the world.

3. Animals helped me realize an informal meditation can be just as effective

Some people think, “Oh, I have to light a candle and sit on this cushion to meditate.” And that sometimes works well, but it’s also very limiting. Meditation isn’t about escaping the world, shutting our eyes and sitting in a stiff position. The most important purpose of meditation is to bring compassion to our lives, and the truth is we have to learn to take our practice off of the cushion, bringing this compassion with us into the world. What the animals teach us by their compassionate presence is very freeing: That truly any moment in our lives can be a meditation. We can practice peaceful presence while sitting, walking or standing—cuddling our cat, walking the dog or standing in a pasture with our horse. You see, this is how our animals live already, and they can show us how to live this way too.

Meditation is about bringing all of our energy here to this present moment, and opening our hearts to the peaceful power that exists in the now. Animals are always present, they don’t judge like we do, and they live life with an open heart. They are my best meditation teachers: mirrors, reflecting to me how I should be, and lights, guiding me along the path of inner healing.

How have animals helped your meditation practice?

Kathleen Prasad
Kathleen is an animal Reiki teacher, author, spiritual seeker, animal advocate, founder of Animal Reiki Source and co-founder/president of the Shelter Animal Reiki Association (SARA). Learn more about Kathleen
Kathleen Prasad

@ARS_animalreiki

Reiki Teacher, Animal Advocate, Cancer Survivor/Thriver. Shelter Animal Reiki Association & Animal Reiki Source. #HeartYourAnimals Instagram: animalreikisource
Check out my #podcast on Itunes! All Reiki Practitioners and Animal Lovers welcome! https://t.co/BsgCdhYeHo #Reiki #Healing #AnimalLovers - 2 hours ago
Kathleen Prasad

Comments

  1. says

    What really brought this home to me was when I was visiting a wild mustang sanctuary. I was standing near a huge water trough, looking out at the hills that surrounded me. Suddenly I saw herds of mustangs coming over one of the hilsl. They were coming in for water. Herd after herd appeared at the crest and followed the path down to where I stood. One little group of mustangs stood right next to me. There were four of them. They all touched each other, resting muzzle on flank, chin on croup. I reached out my hand and touched the one closest to me. We stood like that for a long time. I have no idea how long. I just let all my thoughts go and stayed in the present with them. Then my humaneness started to creep in. I felt my thoughts coming back. I let the horses go, and they slowly walked off. It is a gift I will never forget!

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