Spiritual inspiration can come from many aspects of daily life, and our pets are a prime example. Animals are naturally in touch with their mindful nature, and we can learn much from them. The following are five of the top teachings and lessons from our pets:
1. Embracing the Present Moment Animals are naturally filled with curiosity and gratitude for “the Now,” enjoying each moment to the fullest. Whether they are eating breakfast, going for a walk, playing with a toy or taking a nap, they savor every moment of every day to the fullest. They can’t be bothered with regret about the past or worries about the future, and we would do well to take the same approach to life.
2. Single-Pointed Focus The technique of single-pointed meditation is a pathway to mastery of the mind. Watch as your dog focuses on the stick or ball he is fetching, or as your cat patiently watches a mouse hole. It’s as if nothing else in the world exists for them. This laser-like focus can be applied to mindfulness meditation and our commitment to the path of Enlightenment.
3. Dedication and Loyalty Pets are loyal and dedicated friends we know we can count on. They are unwavering in their commitment to us and to being part of the family. They may wander from the yard from time to time, but they always strive to find their way home. We can apply the same loyalty and dedication to our spiritual practice.
4. Faith and Trust Animals live each day with a trust in the Universe to provide for them. They trust us as their human family to meet their basic needs each day, and we are happy to oblige. Animals are naturally aligned with the forces of nature. We can cultivate this same faith and trust in our destiny of Enlightenment.
5. Compassion Our pets seem to have a sixth sense about when something is bothering us. When we are ill or under the weather, they stick closer to our sides and take naps with us until we feel better. When we are emotionally distressed, they become more attentive and loving. We can strive to be more attentive toward the needs of others as well, and extend help and compassion whenever possible.
There are true spiritual masters among us on earth, and some of them happen to be our pets. Animals are natural adepts, living in alignment with the benevolent forces all around us. We can take a page from them and strive to cultivate these same qualities in ourselves. Find inspiration in these five teachings from pets.