yoga teacher trainingBy Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

The following is a Yoga meditation story and an experiment for pet owners. The common practice is to leave pets aside while meditating. It has been my observation that most pets tend to approach us calmly, while we are meditating. If a young puppy is in this house, this may not always be so, but mature dogs develop a good sense about when humans need space.

In the case of domestic cats, it has been my experience that they were attracted, like magnets, to the human who is practicing meditation. If this disturbs you, by all means close the door to the room you are meditating in, but do not be surprised if your cat lightly scratches or cries on the other side of the door. Sometimes, dogs react in a similar manner.

At one time, we had five cats in our house – three lived upstairs and two lived downstairs. Cats can sometimes be very territorial in regard to their floor or space. Unlike dogs, cats do not usually have a pack leader or a collective social network. Some cats prefer their own company, but usually acknowledge the humans who feed them.

Although I practice meditation in many places, I usually meditate on the living room floor in the morning, at night, or both. There are no doors to the living room, so the cats have free access. Since the beginning of practicing meditation on the floor, the cats sit on the floor within arms reach.

When we had five cats, it was not uncommon for them to declare a truce and park themselves next to the meditating human. Interestingly, they would begin to purr in unison.

For cats, purring is their sign of pure contentment. After the meditation session was over, everything gradually went back to normal and their territorial boundaries resumed. It seems that our meditation practice affects everything around us for the best.

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