Cat Meditation

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Cat Meditation

Postby LightSeed » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:54 am

I've been taking a secular mindfulness meditation course, and it has been incredibly helpful so far, if frustrating. I'm still quite new at it, so I drift off probably every two breaths or so, but I'll keep working at it.

It's been harder at home, so I purchased a guided meditation cd and book (Quiet Mind) which has various meditation traditions on it. If I'm having a difficult time on my own, I'll play one or more of them.

I meditate in what my husband and I affectionately call "the library" though it's actually the extra bedroom with a bookcase in it. I put up a little gate across the door which prevents my dog from coming in, but through which our two cats can come and go.

When I meditate with a particular track playing (Sharon Salzberg's Metta meditation), it never fails that my tubby cat climbs up on my lap in the middle of meditation, curls up there, and fills the room with purring like he's a motorboat. I can't help but break into a broad smile, blowing my concentration right out the window, while filling my heart with love.

Cat meditation. It might not be a prescribed type of meditation, but I highly recommend it.
"Monks, a statement endowed with five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people. Which five?

"It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will."

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Re: Cat Meditation

Postby Wesley1982 » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:17 pm

I think people can meditate in many different ways. Whatever you feel is your way should work for you
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Re: Cat Meditation

Postby Josef » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:21 pm

Get rid of the gate.
Let the pets come and go with your thoughts and breaths.
An authentic state of mediation is not about restrictions or elimination.
Just relax and let it happen.
Don't worry about the breaths either.

Once you start to relax you will recognize the difference between meditation and post mediation quite clearly and the need to restrict will go away.
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Re: Cat Meditation

Postby LightSeed » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:22 pm

Oh I'm not ready for the dog yet. I'm having lots of problems focusing and my instruction so far is completely based on breathing. Our dog is a basset hound, he makes this constant whining noise that's common with bassets, and can drive me bonkers on the best of days. Actually the practice is helping that, where before it would immediately make me anxious/frustrated, lately I've been able to just sit with it. I'm not sure I would have much success right now with 60lbs of whiny dog-goober in my lap, though I would love to work up to that point. Today I had both cats, and that was lovely. :)
"Monks, a statement endowed with five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people. Which five?

"It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will."

— AN 5.198
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Re: Cat Meditation

Postby Josef » Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:49 pm

LightSeed wrote:Oh I'm not ready for the dog yet. I'm having lots of problems focusing and my instruction so far is completely based on breathing. Our dog is a basset hound, he makes this constant whining noise that's common with bassets, and can drive me bonkers on the best of days. Actually the practice is helping that, where before it would immediately make me anxious/frustrated, lately I've been able to just sit with it. I'm not sure I would have much success right now with 60lbs of whiny dog-goober in my lap, though I would love to work up to that point. Today I had both cats, and that was lovely. :)


I have a French Bulldog.
He farts and snores all the time.
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Re: Cat Meditation

Postby LightSeed » Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:04 am

:rolling: You must be very strong in your practice if you can meditate through bulldog farts!
"Monks, a statement endowed with five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people. Which five?

"It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will."

— AN 5.198
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Re: Cat Meditation

Postby catmoon » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:54 am

You might want to look at the Cat Meditation thread, and a thread titled "Meet Lily" over at FreeSangha. It has pix of my current tubcat.
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Re: Cat Meditation

Postby LightSeed » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:43 pm

OK, I'll go check it out! :thanks:
"Monks, a statement endowed with five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people. Which five?

"It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will."

— AN 5.198
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Re: Cat Meditation

Postby Jikan » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:47 pm

ha! I have cats in my lap & on my shrine ( :shrug: ) most days. Right now, Lenny the cat is prrrring away and looking up at me...

PS for catmoon: three cheers for Lily the kitty!
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Re: Cat Meditation

Postby LightSeed » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:48 pm

Thanks catmoon! Lily is adorable!
"Monks, a statement endowed with five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people. Which five?

"It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will."

— AN 5.198
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Re: Cat Meditation

Postby Zenda » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:20 am

I have 3 cats and they take turns on my lap. I used to have two large elderly dogs, who would walk in, stare at me, let out a big exasperated dog sigh, and flop on the floor for a bit. (A farting bulldog is way above my pay grade though... wow!)

Kids are also excellent additions. :P
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Re: Cat Meditation

Postby TaTa » Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:44 am

Haha thats strange. I dont have cats of my own because they give me alergies but i have a friend who has a very active cat, he doesnt stay still for one second. The strange thing about it is that the times that i have meditated in my friend house for a long time the cat just stayed stilled, and when switching from sati to metta the cat always came to sit with me.
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Re: Cat Meditation

Postby kirtu » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:02 pm

LightSeed wrote:When I meditate with a particular track playing (Sharon Salzberg's Metta meditation), it never fails that my tubby cat climbs up on my lap in the middle of meditation, curls up there, and fills the room with purring like he's a motorboat....

Cat meditation. It might not be a prescribed type of meditation, but I highly recommend it.


Cats are very attracted to meditation (also to taiji). I don't know about dogs.

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Re: Cat Meditation

Postby dharmagoat » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:32 pm

LightSeed wrote:Oh I'm not ready for the dog yet.

"When the student is ready, the dog will appear."

It is really heart-warming to hear how you are applying love to counter distraction and potential frustration. I agree that pets provide all sorts of unique opportunities to practice the Dharma. Our animals, like children, test us constantly. But because we love them unconditionally, we will always find what it takes to accommodate their ways.

LightSeed wrote:I'm not sure I would have much success right now with 60lbs of whiny dog-goober in my lap, though I would love to work up to that point. Today I had both cats, and that was lovely. :)

I like the way you describe it as a progressive path: first master the "two cat meditation", then progress to the "whiny dog plus two cat" meditation.
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Re: Cat Meditation

Postby odysseus » Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:31 am

I had a little positive day when I saw this cat lying peacefully in the garden with his paws together as in meditation. He really looked enlightened. Nice!
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Re: Cat Meditation

Postby Nemo » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:47 pm

I don't like the cats around when I do deeper forms of meditation or pudga. They are like sponges and absorb too much energy. It would not be good for them to do things like protector practice and such as it would likely shorten their lifespan.
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