Cats are some of the best teachers in nature when it comes to contemplation. They are second only to trees. Dogs, on the other hand, well let’s just say they can’t even spell the word. They’d be happy to eat it if you covered it with macaroni.
There’s a fine line between sleeping and contemplation for a cat. One key to knowing the difference is in the posture. Meditating has little to do with the eyes being open or closed. Usually if the feline’s underbelly is showing in any way, it’s not a meditative state.
One of the surest ways to tell when your cat is contemplating the mysteries of life is whether or not they flinch when you try to tip toe past them without disturbing them. In contemplation, the senses are supposed to be sharp, perceptive. I read that zen masters would approach a meditating student from behind with a flatboard. If the student didn’t duck when he swung the paddle, he knew the student was catnapping – and the student would be more cautious and alert the next time.
When cats contemplate, they actually aren’t considering any external thing. They are looking inward. More answers to life are found inside than they are on the outside. So you’ve got to be looking in the right direction to have a chance to grow wiser.
Male cats have a tendency to stalk their contemplative state while females wait and let the state come to them, which is probably a much more effective way of doing it. It takes males much longer to get to that point. And it usually happens after they stop seeing invisible gnomes skating through the house that cause them to twist and hop around with wild eyes.
Yet, cats instinctively know the benefits to contemplation and that’s why they spend as much time doing it. Peace, maturity, confidence, ability to appreciation the present moment even when there’s nothing to do.
Since contemplation is not an instinctive thing for humans, we need to be taught to follow prescribed steps to enter a contemplative state. Not even cats can meditate when there’s noise and activity going on, especially not when the vacuum cleaner is going. You’ve got to find a quiet place where you’ll be undisturbed for twenty minutes.
That’s the advantage to being a cat. Cats have twenty minutes to spare. It’s usually when the deities have left the house for the day. They practice contemplating and sleeping all day. Then they walk all over you at night, jumping on and off the bed, until 4:30 a.m. comes. Then they think they are the alarm clock.
They might not do that if they understood what this makes the deities contemplate doing to them.
How else can you tell when your cats are contemplating the mysteries of life?