Do Animals have a sense of energies that we humans cannot sense? As per many, animals have a sense of perception that humans can rarely have.
Cats, Dogs, Snakes and even fish all have an enhanced sense of perception, specially of energy is amazing.
That is why, I found it very interesting when our new dog, Bella, would come into my room when I started meditating and would lie down next to me. The Kriya / Meditation that I do is said to be a “consecration of the body” to keep it in a certain state of energy so you can go through the day well. Since she joined me in my meditation, now Bella loves sitting and sleeping at the same place where I do my meditation. The energy created by the kriya may be soothing for her. Just as people love to go to a person who is always smiling and happy and one avoids people or groups which are gloomy. Both types of people – those who are always happy for no apparent reason, and those who are sad for no apparent reason and always whining about everything – have a certain energy and aura around them.
When I posted the picture on the right on my FB, I got comments from various meditators who also had similar experiences:
Vijaya P.: Even my cat sits beside me the whole time I am doing my Sadhana
Allison M talked of her experience at the Isha Center in Tennessee: at iii a little stray cat used to sit and gaze longingly through the glass door early mornings when we were doing Guru Pooja
Suzanne S: Every single day, my cat waits until I’m done with my kriya, and the second she hears the OM chant, she’s all over me crazy with affection.
Julia B.: My cat circles around me during cat pose, then sits quietly next to me during kriya. At the end, she often nudges me with her head just before I open my eyes -as if she knows that practice is almost complete
Stephen R talks about his dog’s interest in his meditative practice: …has done this same thing as Bella for years, I find even more beauty and affirmation in my practice from this. When he was a pup I used to do in a closet so he wouldn’t ‘trouble’ me but when I heard him sniff under the door and then plop down right in front of it, I moved my practice back to the open room to see how he’d do. Without trouble did the same thing
Somnath has an even more interesting experience where the dogs wanted to imitate the sound as well: I am happy that so many others share similar experience. Two starving abandoned stray pups were picked up by some of our boys outside our camp and resuscitated. They are growing up in the camp. One morning when I was practicing some Praanaayaam in the open with drawn-out ” AUM ” Sound, they sat quietly with full concentration near me and tried their best to imitate that Sound.
Of course, this cannot be said to be a conclusive research inference that animals, specifically dogs and cats are attracted to meditative situations, but this is surely a good amount of interesting anecdotal sharing.
Snakes and Meditative Energy
A few days back, actually, I did happen to talk to an Isha teacher, who discussed how during an advanced meditative program “Samyama”, the energies were so high that they would attract snakes. After one incident, when the walls of the hall had still not come up, the volunteers would keep a vigil the entire night while participants slept so no snake could enter!
In fact, Sadhguru does talk about the perceptive sense of snakes in this video:
Oscar, the death predicting cat
There is an interesting cat, named Oscar, who by 2010 had accurately predicted 50 deaths in a clinic in Rhode Island. Oscar now patrols the Dementia unit of the Steere House Hospice and the family member understand the significant role that he plays in the life…. and indeed, Death of their loved ones. As Steere House’s website describes, Oscar is an important part of the care giving – because of his uncanny (and until now unfailing) ability to identify approaching death for a patient.
In time, staff at the nursing home began to rely on Oscar as an “early warning system,” announcing to those present that it was time to notify family and increase hospice services for those close to death. For his service to his patients, a local Hospice organization even awarded Oscar with their annual “Hospice Champion” award. When Dr. Dosa’s essay was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Oscar’s story made international headlines. For several days, “Oscar the cat” was the most widely searched term on several web search engines.
These days, Oscar continues to patrol the halls of Steere House’s third floor dementia unit. Though at times, he has been caught sleeping on the job, Oscar continues to hold vigils for departing patients–mostly to the delight of family members struggling to deal with the death of their loved ones. He continues to be mentioned routinely in obituaries and during funeral services.
Here is an interesting account of one of Oscar’s identification of someone close to death.
Oscar takes no notice of the woman and leaps up onto the bed. He surveys Mrs. T. She is clearly in the terminal phase of illness, and her breathing is labored. Oscar’s examination is interrupted by a nurse, who walks in to ask the daughter whether Mrs. T. is uncomfortable and needs more morphine. The daughter shakes her head, and the nurse retreats. Oscar returns to his work. He sniffs the air, gives Mrs. T. one final look, then jumps off the bed and quickly leaves the room. Not today.
Making his way back up the hallway, Oscar arrives at Room 313. The door is open, and he proceeds inside. Mrs. K. is resting peacefully in her bed, her breathing steady but shallow. She is surrounded by photographs of her grandchildren and one from her wedding day. Despite these keepsakes, she is alone. Oscar jumps onto her bed and again sniffs the air. He pauses to consider the situation, and then turns around twice before curling up beside Mrs. K.
One hour passes. Oscar waits. A nurse walks into the room to check on her patient. She pauses to note Oscar’s presence. Concerned, she hurriedly leaves the room and returns to her desk. She grabs Mrs. K.’s chart off the medical-records rack and begins to make phone calls.
Within a half hour the family starts to arrive. Chairs are brought into the room, where the relatives begin their vigil. The priest is called to deliver last rites. And still, Oscar has not budged, instead purring and gently nuzzling Mrs. K. A young grandson asks his mother, “What is the cat doing here?” The mother, fighting back tears, tells him, “He is here to help Grandma get to heaven.” Thirty minutes later, Mrs. K. takes her last earthly breath. With this, Oscar sits up, looks around, then departs the room so quietly that the grieving family barely notices
What does it say about the Human Life and Experience
What is it that we call as “Life”? All that is experience through our 5 senses, right? The sounds, the touches, the taste, the sights, and the smells – all of them combine together to create an experience for us. These experiences accumulate for us and come to us as the experience of life.
Now, think of it – in terms of every one of those senses, we are so far behind the dogs, cats, snakes and other animals that we would be almost an amoeba-like compared to their abilities! Except for the ability to think – which is built on a very low sense of perception anyways, we are able to outsmart all these animals.
The only things worth their while in human is the intellect and ability to move the various body parts in a more balanced manner. The ability to reason, to distinguish and to change is the intellect and it enhances what we do with the body.
Sages and Enlightened Beings have learnt to go beyond the physical limitations of the 5 senses – which are so obvious compared to even a dog – and experience a more complete life. This is not some “hocus-pocus”. We know that humans are able to acquire exceptional ability to perceive. If we could perceive more sharply that what a normal human does, while keeping our intellect intact (or improving it) and also enhancing the ability to use the body – then our entire experience of life will be even more fulfilling!