SuttaCentral

Why do animals lie down next to me during meditation?


#1

Have you experienced that animals (wild or domesticated) lay down next to you or even in your lap during meditation?
Do they feel or noticed the energy ?


#2

I have had a similar experience when a little rat rested on my knee when I was meditating. My explanation is that they mistake the calmness as devoid of danger for them.
With Metta


#3

Thank you Nimal for your beautiful answer.
Yes as far as my understanding of animals goes, they can feel our energy when we meditate. aAnd as you say, maybe they do feel safe or out of danger then.


#4

Though I don’t have personal experience with this, I’m reminded of a lovely video by Ven Nyanamoli Thero/Hillside Hermitage in Sri Lanka :grin:


#5

I think it’s not a coincidence that the Buddha often taught in a deer park. It wouldn’t surprise me that animals draw near during meditation. It’s nice, isn’t it?


#6

Thank you for your reply Bhante. Yes it is very nice when animals take comfort near me when i do sitting meditation. Even we humans can feel the energy from someone who are in deep meditation.


#7

This is true. Once a meditation teacher said that retreats are great because the group atmosphere in a retreat generate positive energy which benefits everyone.
With Metta


#8

To be clear, I’m not a monk. But thanks, anyways! :sunglasses:


#9

Sādhu. I can’t remember the exact sutta, somewhere in the AN - the Buddha says that one who is virtuous gives the gift of harmlessness to the world.


#10

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an04/an04.067.piya.html

Wasn’t the drunken elephant calmed by the Buddha, using metta? What’s that sutta?


#11

Your question reminded me of the many temple dogs that would hang around the open air sala when I was a temp. samanera at Wat Sri Bunruang in Chiang Mai, Thailand. There were usually 20 dogs that would wander in for morning meditation, and they always loved to sit next to the meditating monks and novices. When I mean “next to,” I mean so close as to you could feel their fleas jumping from their grungy soi dog bodies onto yours. :slight_smile:

When I was training at WSBR, I lived in a dorm house at the wat for all people in training (note the bed, which is a wood table basically…no mattress at all allowed). The monks lived in kutis, some of which were just outside the dorm house. Usually, a few of these temple dogs would find their way inside, and greet us in the mornings. So, this post reminded me of an old video.

“CK” was an older dog, whose name stood for “Chicken Killer.” Say no more. She was not well loved by the neighbors of the wat, all who kept chickens and roosters. These are her pups in the vid.


#12

Thank you for sharing this with us UpasakaMichael. The dogs in your video are lovely :slight_smile: In the home i live in, there is two cats and they lay in my lap during meditation, or sometimes one of them will be sitting infront of me and look at me. until i open my eyes and she can see that i notice her :slight_smile:

All living beings do feel calmness around meditators i believe :slight_smile:


#14

I should like to find that sutta too.


#15

My cats will always snuggle up to me when I meditate, if I let them. If I’m doing breath meditation, I go to a closed room to be alone. If I’m doing metta, they are welcome to join.


#16

The elephant story is related in Jātaka 533


#17

Thank you @AlexM.

Then the Master addressing him said, Nāḷāgiri, you are a brute elephant, I am the Buddha elephant. Henceforth be not fierce and savage, nor a slayer of men, but cultivate thoughts of charity." So saying he stretched forth his right hand and coaxed the elephant’s forehead and taught the Law to him in these words:

2 This elephant shouldst thou presume to assail,
An awful doom thou wouldst erelong bewail.
To strike this elephant would destine thee
To state of suffering in worlds to be.

From mad and foolish recklessness abstain,
The reckless fool to heaven will ne’er attain.
If in the next world thou wouldst win heaven’s bliss,
See that thou doest what is right in this.


#18

I remember that years ago I would practice standing meditation during summer time at a small river here in Hamburg. Regularly ducks and other waterbirds would assemble near the river bank, while I standing silently.

Of course they simply might have expected me to feed them. :slight_smile:


#19

Are we saying this effect is a supernatural one? :grinning:


#20

Well, at the time I certainly liked to think that the ducks were attracted by the meditation alone. And I am quite certain that a really calm human being is an unusual experience for most animals. The ducks however were regularly fed by people, so who knows? Maybe they were just hungry. :slight_smile:


#21

Leopard kills Indian Buddhist monk meditating in forest