I was asked the other day why I continue to guide workshops and classes on meditating with animals, given that to some of my client group it may seem a bit ‘strange’. Here are a few reasons to consider why meditating with animals is of great value, with a short practice at the end to try it out…
We’ve been doing it a long time
Prior to the transcendent spiritual traditions of Buddhism and Hinduism in the ‘east’ and Chrisitianity/Islam in the ‘west’, human beings practiced an earth based spirituality where communion, learning and interaction with animals in the inner world as well as the outer one was a main part of our path to awakening and enlightenment. Our ability to do this type of meditation is long forgotten, but it is in our ‘dna’ so to speak, so most people find they can do it and have significant experiences without too much difficulty.
It re-connects us to parts of ourselves we have lost touch with
Meditating with animals connects us with our animal and instinctive nature in a benevolent way. It encourages us to use our imagination and capacity for inner visioning, and it encourages us to learn in a right brain creative, intuitive and visual way, very different from the way most of us use our minds and brains during the day.
It connects us to environmental awareness
Living in urbanized environment as many of us do it is very easy for us to lose touch with environmental awareness and a love for nature. Meditating with animals helps us recover our relationship to the natural world in an experiential way without literally having to travel outwardly to do so.
It can lead us into deep meditative states
When I lead meditation workshops and classes on meditating with animals, one thing that is always remarkable is the deep states of meditation that people go into during the sessions. People often remark that their sense of time seems to take on a completely different quality. Meditating with animals, landscape and nature can take us into these deep states very quickly and powerfully.
Imagining playing and adventuring with animals is the sort of thing children do all the time. Meditating as an adult with animals can have an appropriately rejuvenating effect on our playful and spontaneous side! Meditating with animals helps us to get out of our mind and into a renewed contact with being alive.
How to meditate with animals
A very short but in some ways quite complete methodology for the basics of meditating with animals:
1. Sit down, calm your mind for a short time and set your intention to connect in the spirit of love to animals in the inner world with whom you have a meaningful connection
2. With this intention, imagine yourself in a landscape within nature that you know and love, build it strongly in your inner vision.
3. After a while an animal will come to meet you in this environment. Connect to this animal in whatever way feels appropriate; s/he may want to take you on a journey in the landscape, engage in a communication of some sort, or simply hang out and enjoy the peace and calm with you.
4. When you are ready return back to your body and your outer awareness, seeing the inner environment where you have been fading away.
Related article: Wolf Therapy
© Toby Ouvry 2015, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com
Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in August
Saturday 15th August, 9.30am-12.30pm – Going From Over-whelmed to Over-well: Meditation for Quietening the Mind – a three hour workshop
Saturday 15th August, 2.30-5.30pm – Mindful Self Confidence – Developing your self-confidence, self-belief & self-trust through mindfulness & meditation
August 19th, 7.30-9pm – Integral Meditation Class – Working with our imagination, & the doorway between our inner and outer worlds
August 26th, 7.30-9pm – Integral Meditation Class – Working with subtlety, gracefulness and the inner feminine
Saturday 29th August, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing and Creating High Levels of Energy
Saturday 29th August, 2.30-5.30pm – Mindful Dreaming – Meditation Practices for Integrating Conscious Dreaming into Your Daily Life
Integral Meditation Asia