If you regularly meditate, you may have noticed that some animals, any resident children and pretty well everyone around likes to have some of the soothing energy which can be generated as a result of meditation.
Some years ago I noticed that on some occasions several minutes after starting a deep and silent meditation, dear little Fizzy Cat, who graces this screen on the left, would race back home from wherever he was on his rounds of the ‘hood and enter very noisily at great speed via his cat flap. He would then plonk himself right in front of my meditation space and just sit there, soaking up the energy.
He rarely went to sleep during meditation, instead he just tended to sigh, purrrrrrrr very loudly and he even refrained from his constant body washing in this time, thankfully as that sound drives me demented. Now he is getting older (he’s 13 I think) he tends to sleep a bit more in the meditation space.
At first I thought it was purely co-incidental. After I while I become suspicious that he might be an ‘Energy thief’…I still don’t know how, when he is away half way up the block that he picks up on a meditation session happening. I am not usually doing it at regular times in the day so that rules out that idea.
I started noting in my diary every time he would present himself for meditation, and it was consistent. Diary findings were pretty interesting – about 90% attendance rate over a 3 week period of daily meditation. That other 10% he was probably catching a mouse, which is his speciality as a hunter gatherer.
A great bonus to Fizzy Cat becoming a meditation junkie has been that he has become much calmer. He used to be a very easy to alarm and difficult to live with. He was a rescue cat and very oversensitive and used to scratch and bite excessively until he became a meditation junkie. Quite quickly he settled down and is now much easier to be around.
After sharing meditation techniques with so many people in clinic time, when running workshops and retreats, I find that one of the most effective practices is to keep it really simple. I am grateful for having many years of practice loosely following the Soto Zen model which emphasises supportive posture and breath. I started this practice 20 years ago.
Before that I found it very difficult to sit with a practice for more than 5 – 10 minutes as all the other methods I tried involved chanting or doing something else as part of the practice. I realised when I started the Soto Zen practice it was perfect for me as it involved NOT doing anything else. We have so much going on our minds all day every day, it’s really counter productive to add more when meditating. Well, for me anyway. I appreciate that others have different ways which work for them.
It’s good to have an ‘intent’ when doing meditations. A major focus at the start of most of my meditations is to have the intent of being an instrument of peace, unity, empowered living and embody a state of balance of Wise Masculine and Divine Feminine energy for myself and all of humanity.
If we can make a commitment to ourselves to develop a regular practice the benefits can be amazing. From the feedback of individuals and groups I have led in meditation comments such as these are common :
- I feel like I can deal with life with a lot more grace and ease
- Things that used to bother me a lot don’t seem to have as much effect
- I am sleeping better and feeling more refreshed
- The whole household feels calmer
- Noticing that the children in the house are calmer and happier
- Reduced back pain (this is why correct posture when practising is so important)
- I feel more energised and not so tired at the end of the day
- My mind seems to be more focused with work
- People have commented that I seem to be calmer
- I really notice that my pre-menstrual/menopause symptoms are alot better
- I feel less aches and pains and generally more happy
- My relationships have improved.
If we extend our practice location to outside in nature we also have the benefit of being grounded on the earth and among the beauty and energy of plants and animals. There are some meditations in my Enterprise with Soul book which go into this in more detail.
A word of caution. I often meditate in nature and find that it’s not only cats which like to get some of the vibe. I have also had a beautiful black snake curl up just behind me, skinks sit in front of me, a goanna stop and look close by for a while, foxes and other animals sit close by, including kangaroos, dogs having a run tend to come and want to sit with me, birds perch very close by, butterflies sit on me.
That’s all lovely (make sure the potentially dangerous creatures are contained!) except I also experience the occasional annoying human who asks ‘what are you doing?’ bringing me right out of my state of peace sooner than I would have liked, sigh!