We can learn a lot from animals. I discussed some of the benefits of meditating with pets. Have you ever asked yourself, how can animals be so seemingly calm? They’re not overthinking or carefully examining their thoughts as we do, much less getting bothered by it.
As it turns out, animals don’t need to meditate because they already are in a meditative state. So in that sense, you could say that animals do meditate.
To many newcomers and even experienced meditators, this sounds like a dream come true. I mean, it takes many of us several minutes before we find ourselves in a flow state, without the agony of being fixated on distracting thoughts.
Meditation is an exercise for the mind, it takes time and effort to get into a calm state where we’re able to observe our thoughts without being carried away by them.
Animals Are Great Mentors
They have no choice but to be in a meditative state, unlike us, having to make thousands of decisions daily, which can be either a blessing or a curse.
We’re one good decision away from getting closer to our goals, just like we’re one decision away from setting ourselves back. We can combine the best of both worlds.
Incorporating “animal-like” meditation into our daily routine will streamline the process of making decisions, since one of the key benefits of meditation is how it helps us with problem-solving, and we develop a stronger intuition.
We can model the success of animals when it comes to their ability to remain calm, as their main concerns are usually to have their basic needs met. They have less to choose from, and as a result, are freer.
By meditating for the long haul, you’re able to train your mind to drill down the most important needs you have to bring you closer to your goals or make you overall more efficient in what you’re doing, since the ability to focus is a scarce but rare ability these days, more so with our rapidly decreasing attention spans.
Less Overthinking, More Freedom
When was the last time you heard of an animal overthinking a decision? I’m sure it happens but not nearly to the same degree as with us humans.
To me, it would sound almost like a dream come true to not have to worry or overthink decisions, and it’s usually a stage that’s achieved by most long-term meditators, such as Buddhist monks.
There’s something about the peace and calmness that comes with meditation that nothing else can replicate, which is one of the reasons some decide to dedicate their lives exclusively to meditation.
One of the things we love about animals is that they don’t judge. Due to our imperfect nature when being judgmental, it’s not hard to see why many prefer to spend time with animals instead of humans.
We are judgmental creatures, but we unlearn judgment after meditating for a while. Meditation is reconditioning the mind and changing the brain for the better.
When we judge others, we unintentionally project our flaws on others, but it only leads to a path of misery. Animals already understand this without wanting to, which is why, as glamorous as it is to be human, it comes with its ups and downs.
Animals Are Loving Creatures. Meditation Makes Us More Loving
There are always exceptions, but something we can get from meditation is becoming more compassionate and loving, which generally has more upsides than downsides.
The more we can connect with others almost in an animal-like way in the sense that we let go of judgment and become more accepting of others, the easier it is to form relationships.
Animals at first glance seem like just innocent, cute, and loving creatures, but we can learn so much about them and apply it in our day-to-day life to make it overall easier.
We can take the best of both worlds, by learning the art of staying calm just like animals do and using it for better decision-making and outcomes that align more with what we desire.
How Can Animals Teach Us Meditation?
Simply by being near them and listening to their breathing, it comes with a strong sense of calmness.
One of the first steps in meditation is being able to stay focused on our breathing.
But since it’s our own breathing, it’s easy for the mind to drift away into distracting thoughts.
Therefore, some might find it easier to meditate with their pets or at the very least, emulate the breathing patterns of their pets and start associating their own breathing with the breathing of their pets, mostly for meditation purposes but can also be used for relaxation.
Animals Don’t Know They Are Meditating
In our quest to emulate the ability to meditate without actively trying, animals are already there, and we can reach a similar state by engaging in meditation for the long haul.
Meditation can feel like a chore at first, but like anything, it either gets easier over time, or the mind grows to accept bigger challenges, like deeper, more profound meditation sessions that take our mind to places that would be beyond what can be put into words since meditation allows us to learn more about ourselves.
It takes a lot of finding what works for you since meditation is a bit abstract and there are hundreds, if not thousands of meditations to choose from, just like with yoga.
Not only are animals cute and loving and free of judgment, but they are also always in a meditative state without trying to be.
So in that sense, it’s a good goal to strive to replicate this ability within our meditation journey.
Many set goals like achieving certain material achievements or things that are overall out of our control, but when we meditate, our focus gears more towards what we can control.
The more we focus on what we can control, the less outcome-dependent we become, and while we can’t control how we’ll feel during the meditation, we can control how we meditate and how often, which, depending on the adjustments made, can help someone find the sweet spot that’s ideal for them.