Conscious Cat Sunday: Meditating With Cats

meditating_with_cats

There is no question that meditation is good for us: it helps us handle the stress of daily life, it has numerous health benefits, and it is a wonderful way to get in touch with our true spiritual nature. 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.

If you need inspiration to get started with a meditation practice, 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?

I try to meditate for at least 10 minutes a day, usually in the morning, after I have breakfast and get dressed, and before I sit down to get my work day started. I tried meditating first thing in the morning (after I feed Allegra and Ruby, of course,) but I found that it’s almost impossible for me to even try to shut down my mind before I’ve at least checked the email and blog comments that have come in overnight. Instead of fighting it, I just found a time that works better for me.

Most mornings, Allegra and Ruby “participate” in my mediation practice. And while in theory, meditating with your cat sounds like a wonderful thing, the reality for us sometimes looks a little different. Some mornings, they’re both very zen about the whole thing and either sit by my side, or on the window perch behind my meditation chair. Other mornings, things get a little more interesting, and my meditation gets disrupted by one or more of the following:

  • Allegra brings her favorite toy into the room, complete with a soundtrack of chirps and trills.
  • Ruby climbs up on my lap and tries to get comfortable. Since I meditate in a cross-legged position, she’s not thrilled with the odd shape of my lap, and it requires much maneuvering before she can find the purr-fect spot.
  • Allegra sits on the arm of my chair, and leans into me and rubs her face against mine. Do I care that this completely breaks my focus? You bet I don’t. It’s such a precious moment, I just go with it and enjoy it.
  • Ruby sits on the window perch behind me and chatters at the birds. Highly distracting, but how could I not smile at that sound!

None of these “distractions” will make me give up on meditating – I simply continue to sit for the amount of time I’ve committed to. There was only one time when I interrupted my meditation for a feline distraction: Allegra sat on the back of the chair  behind me. By the time I heard the tell tale heaving sound, it was too late: she had projectile vomited all over my back… She occasionally vomits after eating too fast, so I wasn’t too worried about her, but I just couldn’t continue to sit with – well, you get the picture.

Most mediation instructions will tell you to find a quiet space away from any interruptions, and I would bet that most meditation teachers would consider cats a distraction. Since I would never consider banning the girls from being in the same space I’m in, I’ve learned to meditate despite some feline challenges.

Do you meditate with your cats?

14 Comments on Conscious Cat Sunday: Meditating With Cats

  1. Caro
    January 18, 2016 at 3:48 am (4 years ago)

    Apparently Maharishi instructs meditaters to keep pets, especially cats out of the room during meditation. Does anyone know the reason for this?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 18, 2016 at 6:09 am (4 years ago)

      I have seen this advice in many different meditation instructions, Caro. I assume it’s because the instructor wants to limit distractions – or else, it’s because he doesn’t know what amazing meditators cats are? 😉

      Reply
  2. Esme
    February 19, 2014 at 12:30 am (6 years ago)

    I do not meditate with them-but we stretch and do yoga together.

    Reply
  3. Sue Brandes
    February 16, 2014 at 5:44 pm (6 years ago)

    I have never tried meditating before. Does sound peaceful.

    Reply
  4. Kate
    February 16, 2014 at 5:26 pm (6 years ago)

    I adopted my cat last year and noticed she loves to get involved when I do yoga, which is cute and fun but also means I feel like I can’t do proper yoga practice, ie. she goes underneath me in a bridge so I worry about sitting/lying on her, or she tries to sit on my stomach or chest purring loudly in my face! Like you said I love her interactions, I just need to find a way to incorporate her into my yoga so it’s a little less disruptive. I’ve recently starting meditating, and the first time I did it she just sat peacefully in front of me purring with her eyes closed, like she knew it was meditation time, very sweet.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 16, 2014 at 5:53 pm (6 years ago)

      Sounds like your cat loves the energy of meditation, Kate.

      Reply
  5. katie
    February 16, 2014 at 4:42 pm (6 years ago)

    I also do yoga and meditate with my cat around. I have about a 50/50 chance of cooperation – but I don’t mind. I find his antics too cute for them to bother me! Plus the idea of meditation is to become aware of the present, to focus on the now, and I feel that the cat distractions just kind of heighten my appreciation of the moment.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 16, 2014 at 5:53 pm (6 years ago)

      Katie, that’s such a great point: it’s all about appreciating the moment.

      Reply
  6. Margaret
    February 16, 2014 at 3:13 pm (6 years ago)

    I cant find a part of my house that is off limits to a cat! My three legged Tuxedo, tPod, is my meditation buddy. The minute the chime goes off, she comes hopping and chirping. I added 5 minutes to my 30 minute timer so she can get settled in. She does need a bit of a chin rub you know!

    Often when I come out of my meditation, every cat is in the room and relaxing into it all. One on the back of my chair, one on the ottoman, a few on the floor. My bombay, Gus, likes to join the group every great once in a while. He quickly learned that tPod wasnt sharing space – so they all now understand their roles in the process. They are a pretty chilled group so not much disruption.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 16, 2014 at 5:52 pm (6 years ago)

      I love how all your cat come into the room and relax when you meditate, Margaret! I’ve had that happen when I do a Reiki treatment for a cat in a multi-cat home: usually, the other cats will end up coming into the room and end up stretched out next to me.

      Reply
  7. Deborah Julian Cat Art
    February 16, 2014 at 10:10 am (6 years ago)

    I’ve been trying to fit meditation into my daily activities for quite some time. Your post inspired me to meditate. I got into a comfortable position and closed my eyes…and soon felt paws in my lap and a wet nose on my cheek. Meditation…or how to attract your cat. So I took your advice and just enjoyed a few minutes with Sam in my lap. I may not have cleared my mind but it was very pleasant.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 16, 2014 at 5:51 pm (6 years ago)

      That sounds like a meditation to me, Debbie! Sounds to me like Sam was encouraging your practice. 🙂

      Reply
  8. Priya
    February 16, 2014 at 3:36 am (6 years ago)

    Hi Ingrid,
    What a lovely post! Not only do I meditate with my cats, I often do yoga with them as well (not by choice mind you!). They love lying on my mat and don’t care that means I have to do a pose on the carpet next to them.
    But like you I cherish the time with them and would never dream of locking them out.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 16, 2014 at 5:50 pm (6 years ago)

      Yoga and cats also seems to be a natural fit, doesn’t it, Priya!

      Reply

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