The benefits of meditation are endless: from helping us handle stress better to getting in touch with our true spiritual nature, meditation has been proven to make our lives better. In fact, there is so much evidence that meditation is good for you that it seems like meditation should be as much a part of our daily lives as breathing.
Once you’ve established a daily meditation practice, you can’t imagine not having it in your life, but until you get there, the thought of daily mediation seems to bring out a long list of excuses for most people. “I don’t have the time.” “I don’t know how.” “I can’t sit still.”
You don’t have to meditate for hours to gain benefits from mediation. Even a 5 minute mini meditation can make a difference. Gradually increase the time. Ideally you want to meditate at least 20 minutes a day.
And if you need more inspiration to get started, look to your cats! Cats are natural meditators. What else do you think they’re doing when they’re sitting with their paws curled under, their gazes soft, and not a care in the world? Of course they’re meditating!
And because they’re such little Zen masters, they can help us get comfortable with meditation. If you feel resistance to getting started with a meditation practice, try meditating with your cat.
How to meditate with your cat
1. Sit with your cat while she’s relaxed. She can be next to you, in your lap, or simply in the same room. Make sure you sit in a comfortable position. If sitting cross-legged on the floor or a cushion is comfortable for you, that’s ideal, but sitting in a chair is fine, too. Try to keep your spine fairly erect.
2. Relax your eyes and soften your gaze. You can look at your cat, or you can look at a spot about in front of you. You can also close your eyes. Do what feels comfortable.
3. Focus on your breath. Don’t exaggerate your breathing, just breathe in and out naturally, and observe how the breath feels.
4. If you find yourself getting distracted by thoughts, simply bring your attention back to your breath. Don’t chastise yourself for thinking – silently say to yourself “thinking,” and return to focus on your breath. Be gentle with yourself – you’re not a failure at meditation just because you can’t empty your mind.
As you relax deeper into this meditation, you’ll start feeling a sense of peace. Your connection with your cat may feel even deeper than it normally does. And in the process, you will reap all of the benefits of meditation. Now why wouldn’t you want to make this a regular practice in your life? I’m sure your cat would want you to!
Do you have a regular meditation practice? If you don’t, what’s keeping you from it?