Meditating with your Pet. We have most likely all heard that meditation is good for us and how it can improve our lives. Meditation can reduce stress, improve health, create self-awareness, increase happiness and more. But have you considered how mediation can impact your cat or dog?
I adopted a two-year-old cat that had been at the shelter for a few months. There hadn’t been any interest in this cat and the shelter was planning on moving her to their sanctuary. The shelter was a no-kill shelter, so they moved cats that they considered ‘unadoptable’ to a sanctuary. In this sanctuary, of over 200 cats, the cats would live out the rest of their life.
When I applied to adopt this cat, I didn’t know that she would have been moving to the sanctuary. I had visited the sanctuary in the past, and although it was a great place, it wasn’t a home I would wish for any cat. The shelter told me once I was confirmed able to adopt the cat, that she would have been moved to the shelter within the next week.
Honestly, I’m not sure why I choose to adopt this cat.
She wasn’t very friendly. She hid most of the time. I didn’t get to interact with her much when I visited the cats in the shelter. But she was playful and I somehow saw a great personality behind a scared, timid, ‘aggressive’ cat. Yes, the shelter labeled her as aggressive.
I took her home and quickly learned that she didn’t really like to be petted. She didn’t really want to come close to me, but she loved to watch me from a safe distance. She loved to play and enjoyed being in the same room as me. I just couldn’t really touch her or handle her.
I started to meditate around her. Over time, she slowly crept closer to me and started to let me pet her and became more friendly. She enjoyed spending time with me and sitting next to me. She became very vocal and communicative with me. Her personality started to shine through. She started to bond with me and feel comfortable around me. All thanks to meditation.
Meditation with your pet will help you bond with your pet in a way that you wouldn’t be able to experience without meditation. You feel really close to your pets; you feel the connection.
Meditation helps fearful and anxious animals calm down, grow trust, and feel safe. Pets realize that they are in a safe environment.
Just as meditation reduces your own stress, it also reduces your pet’s stress. Your pets are constantly absorbing your energy, like little sponges. If you are stressed, so is your pet. When you are balanced and positive, so is your pet. When you meditate together, you can both achieve a healing, comforting, calm presence.
How to Meditate with your pet:
– Find a comfortable position near your pet or with your pet on your lap.
– Take three deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
– Scan your body, recognizing and feelings any sensations or emotions you are experiencing at the time.
– You may stroke your pet where your pet is comfortable, focus on your pets breathing or heartbeat, rest one hand anywhere on your pet’s body, or simply just be next to your pet without physical contact.
– Focus on your own breathing and calm your mind.
-If your mind wanders, you can refocus by stroking your pet or returning to your breathing or watching your pet’s body move up and down and you pet breaths.
– When you’re ready to end the meditation, scan your body again and recognize any feelings or emotions you are experiencing.
– Thank your pet for meditating with you and spending time next to you.
If your pet doesn’t want to meditate with you or near you, simply just start to meditate in the same room as your pet. If your pet walks away or doesn’t want to stay in the same room, let your pet leave. Do not force your pet to stay still. It may not be the right time of day or your pet may not feel like staying calm at the moment. Try again later or another day. But keep trying! It might take a while, but it will happen. Be patient.
Animals love routine.
If you are able to find a time in the day where you can regularly take a few minutes to meditate with your pet, your pet will begin to expect and look forward to these moments. Only 10 minutes a day would still greatly benefit you and your pet.
You can also meditate with your dog while taking a walk. Walk somewhere in nature, where it is quiet and just be present. While you are walking, pay attention to the sounds that you hear, the air or wind on your skin, the ground beneath your feet, and the smells in the air. Be in the present moment with your dog.
If you do this regularly, you will notice a deep bond and connection forming between you and your pet, unlike a bond you have experienced with your pet in the past. You will feel able to communicate and understand your pet.
Written by Caitlin Gawa. I guide overwhelmed and frustrated Pet Parents to live in harmony, build a bond, and ensure their pet lives a happy healthy life. If you are experiencing behavioral issues with your pet, visit www.cherishedcopmanions.org I’d love to work with you and your pet so that you can live in harmony together and experience that magical human-animal bond.
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