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Paws for Meditation

I don’t like meditation. Period. During my Yoga Teacher Training I dreaded the moments we had to meditate. The thing is that with a Yoga and Meditation Teacher Training is that you meditate for (short) periods of time throughout the day. Bummer.

My meditation teacher mentioned at the end of the training that whenever he guided us through a meditation, whether it to be laying down, sitting upright or standing, he always saw me scratching here, or flicking a string of hair behind my ears there. And then another teacher mentioned something similar. And then they even made it a part of my graduation speech. Sh*t, they noticed!

It’s so difficult these days to just sit still, sit up with a straight spine and crossed legs, close your eyes and focus on not thinking. Our bodies are stiff and slouched, our Monkey Minds are over active and we are constantly harassed by notifications, to-do lists and the like. But we are constantly told that meditating on a daily basis is good for us, is healthy and is making the world a better place, because it brings a certain serenity, focus and compassion

His Holiness the Dalai Lama once mentioned in an interview that he could meditate anywhere and he was even doing it on the spot during the interview.

Wait, what? How is that possible?

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Funny Buddhist Monk explains how to quiet the monkey mind

Well, it turns out there are several ways of meditating or finding a meditative state; sitting still in cross-legged position is not obligatory. As long as you are fully aware of that thing you’re focussing on, whether it’s one of your senses, a mantra or your breath, you are meditating.

So I started thinking about what brings me in a meditative state. I feel short of breath when focussing on it and I’m not one for chanting a mantra – it’s only since recently that I don’t break out in frantic laughter while chanting Ohm. But when I’m brushing a cat, I forget about everything around me; I only hear the soft purring sound and the little figures the comb makes in its fur. In short, my cat is my Japanese Zen Garden!

And then I started thinking about all those moments, other people’s cat would come and nestle on my lap, when normally they would observe guests from underneath the sofa/bed/bushes in the garden. Or the times patients of mine in the Cat Clinic would hide themselves from the veterinary doctor by crawling in my lab coat. Or today, when one of my clients’ cat – “she is not a cat who comes and sit on your lap, she’s an observer” - stepped on my belly and started kneading like her life depended on it, before ending up in a blissful state of relaxation, on my rising and falling stomach on every inhalation and exhalation. Maybe I had a thing there… Maybe my aura “screams” meditative peacefulness when seeing a cat, so they come and enjoy being in its vicinity, bringing me in an even more Zen like state, making it a virtuous cycle…

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Anush seems very contented

In the end I am very glad I chose a profession – as a pet carer and yoga teacher at a Cat Café named Kopjes - that is enriching my life, my state of mind and actually makes being busy a positive thing for the wold, myself and all living beings around me. Because sitting still for me seems to be only possible when there’s a fluffy feline on my lap. And quite honestly, I am very contented with the predicament I am in.