How To Let Animals Guide Your Meditation
When we are puzzling over a decision, the best insights can come from our own intuition. But sometimes it can be hard to know which inner voice is the ego, speaking from a place of fear, and the voice of our heart, our inner truth. Visualization meditation can help you find this inner truth.
During a guided visualization, we go deep into a particular point of focus and make gentle inquiries. There are no rights or wrongs in this inner landscape. We attempt to quiet the voice of the ego, the “shoulds” and fears, and open up to the expansive and playful voice of the heart. For this style of meditation, nature can be a perfect inspiration, and animals a beautiful point of focus.
Animals are all around, they share the Earth with us and they can bring important messages. To feel more connected to nature, and to parts of yourself that may have gone unnoticed, try this simple animal meditation.
- Begin by choosing an animal. There are a few ways to do this. Maybe there is an animal that you already feel deeply connected to. Maybe it is your favorite animal or one that seems to show up a lot in your life. Another option is to use an oracle deck or a guide that has many animals to choose from and to choose one at random. This can be a good way to explore new facets of yourself and to really dive into your own intuition and inner voice. A third way is to sit quietly in nature and see if any animals come to you. Finally, a last way is to simply begin the meditation and allow the animal to come to you.
- After choosing the animal, find a quiet place to begin your meditation practice. Begin by connecting with your breath and calming and relaxing your body. After you feel centered and grounded, start to visualize the environment or habitat of your animal. Use all of your senses, see the space, imagine the smells and sounds. What season is it? What time of day? What does a “day in the life” of your animal really look like? What do they eat? What times of day are they most active? Are they solitary or in a group? Spend at least five minutes simply exploring this.
- As you are exploring the habitat of your animal, begin to visualize it there. Just spend some time quietly observing it. You now have two options in your meditation you can either choose to see yourself as your animal or speak to your animal and ask it a question.
- If you choose to see yourself as this animal, allow yourself to fully immerse into it. Then begin to ask what qualities it has that you can incorporate into your daily life, or how these qualities can inform the decision that you are trying to make.
- If you choose to speak to your animal, allow your intuition to guide the conversation. Try not to judge or force any communication with them. Allow it to simply happen naturally. Imagine the animal as a wise teacher. It may communicate with words, but it may also show you with action or feeling.
- After you have received the guidance you desire, be sure to thank the animal for visiting you today. Perhaps offer them a gift and allow them to go on their way.
- After your meditation, spend a few minutes journaling what came to you.
The insights we can gather from deep visualizations like this can be very valuable for our lives. With practice, you can become better at visualizing and better at allowing the answers to come without work. If you are not sure what the message was, take heart. Sometimes the messages might not make sense right away, but after further contemplation, they may become clear.
For example, once during a guided meditation to meet an animal, I came across a deer in my imaginary forest. As I approached it to receive a message, it turned an ran away! I felt disappointed at first and wondered if I should try to find another animal, but chose instead to simply sit with this as my message. I later found out that deer can represent an open heart. The message then became crystal clear to me because during that point in my life I was having trouble opening my hear to what was happening. My intuition was actually telling me to be gentle and compassionate with my own fears.
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