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October 22, 2014

Dog-on-it! My Pet Won’t Let me Meditate.

dog lick

Have you ever noticed how much pets love meditation?

I mean naturally pets sit quietly, take in the world as it goes by without judgment or opinion, do a yoga stretch whenever the moment calls for it.

Pets also love it when we’re meditating. Something about us quieting our energy, changing our vibration or maybe they’re just curious about why we’re sitting still on the floor?

But just because the pets love our meditation practice that doesn’t mean we love having them barking at us or climbing all over us when we’re trying get our Zen on.

Because really getting down to our meditation practice can be challenging enough without having our pets barking at us, climbing on us or begging for a walk just as we’re trying to settle into the cross-legged position.

What I tell the students in my meditation classes is that we need to set ourselves up for success if we’re going to have a successful meditation practice. Our procrastinating mind is enough of an obstacle in itself, we don’t need other things getting in our way.

If we have to clean-up the kids lego, vacuum the carpet, walk the dog or move furniture just to find a quiet place for our meditation practice then it’s just not going to happen.

Here are three things you can do to prevent your pets from getting in the way of your meditation.

1. Close The Door.

Yes, we love to be with our pets—but we’ll be even more level-headed pet owners if we have taken our time for ourselves. Now, this step might not work if you have a dog that is going to bark at the door the whole time you’re connecting with your inner quiet. But for that cat that keeps crawling all over you while your meditating or the dog that will just sleep outside the door then I suggest for the ten or twenty minutes that your sitting and following your breath that you close the door and take the time and space for yourself.

2. Let Them Sit in Your Lap.

Okay, this suggestion is the opposite of the last suggestion but different strokes for different folks, right? If your pet is going to be calm and still while you meditate (like my twelve week puppy is right now curled up on the couch next to me while I type) then make them part of the practice either in your lap or beside you. Having one hand on an animal is very grounding and can help you feel connected to the larger world while you connect to yourself.

3. Meditate When They’re Asleep.

Maybe you have a high-strung pet that finds you anywhere in the house and wants your attention no matter what. Well, they have to sleep sometime. Why not let your pets nap time be the cue for your meditation time.

 

But as many hours as there are in a day there are opportunities for the meditation experience. Walking your dog or snuggling with your cat are great opportunities to pull your attention away from the busy mind and come into the experiential moment. That’s where your pet’s attention is, so yours might as well be there, too.

These suggestions are meant for the times we want to formally meditate, in which I mean sit in a certain position, still, for a certain length of time and practice a specific meditation technique.

 

 

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Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: flickr

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