Meditating with your pet can be a special experience for you both. As sentient beings, we feed off each others’ energy. Cultivating and committing to a meditation practice with your pet can create a calmness and centeredness that is beneficial to you both.
The therapeutic value of pets has been recognized for many years. Hospitals and nursing homes routinely have visits from “comfort” animals. Multiple sclerosis patients are often taken on horseback riding outings. For those of us who have experienced it, the pleasure and mutual sense of contentment gained by stroking the belly of a dog or cat is a reality not to be denied or ignored.
According to research by WebMD, 74% of pet owners say their mental health improved because of their animals. Owning pets can relieve stress, lower blood pressure, and just simply improve your overall mood — some have even discovered the added value of meditating with their pet. The communication shared by quiet meditation supports both partners — two- and four-legged.
During her many years working with animals, Almeiri Santos, a Certified Reiki Practitioner (who also volunteers at a large-animal refuge and has pets of her own), has seen the way animals positively respond to meditation. “Pets feel the shift in the flow of energy, in the flow of breathing, and they regulate with you,” she says.
Pets not used to seeing their owners meditating may try to create distractions for attention, however, since they are creatures of routine, they can become part of the meditative process and benefit from it as well. For instance, if a meditation session starts with music, frequently even a high-strung pet will calm down immediately and become a meditation partner.
A good first step toward this new connection with your pet is to watch this short video, Should you Meditate with Your Pet, presented by Ms. Santos and offered by RoundGlass Living.
about the author
Brandie Ahlgren is founder and editor of CityDog Magazine. She, and her team of dog-loving editors, dig up the best places for you to sit, stay and play with your four-legged friends. Brandie, 12-year-old boxer Thya and Mexican foster failure Pancho, reside in West Seattle and can often be found hanging out at Westcrest Dog Park.