Meditation is becoming popular among people because research shows that meditation calms the mind to focus on one’s surroundings and inner thoughts.
The ability to meditate is a skill that humans have cultivated for thousands of years, but many people wonder if animals in the wild are capable of this. The short is YES; many animals spend daily engaging in various forms of natural meditation but not the same as humans.
Animal consciousness, sometimes known as animal awareness, is the characteristic or condition of self-awareness in a nonhuman animal or the awareness of an external object or something within itself. Sentience, awareness, subjectivity, qualia, the ability to experience or feel, senses, having a feeling of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind have all been identified as aspects of consciousness in humans. Despite the difficulties in defining consciousness, many philosophers things there is a generally shared underlying sense about what it is.
Animals vs. Humans: Grey Matter is Essential
Humans differ from animals in their ability to regulate and control emotions and the hippocampus area. Animals do not have the same prefrontal cortex that humans do, which is at the front of the brain and responsible for rational thought, decision-making, and other executive functions.
Studies with an electroencephalograph (EEG) have shown that the best philosophers, thinkers, inventors, and artists use both sides of their brains simultaneously and the higher activity prefrontal cortex.
Human More Primary Use Two Brain Lobes
Each hemisphere has a primary function. The left hemisphere is for logic; the right is for creativity. Left hemisphere controls language, math, and science. The right hemisphere controls spatial vision, music, and body awareness.
Meditation keeps the two hemispheres balanced, moving them to work together. Long-term meditation can improve the human “grey matter” in the brain, but animals do not have that opportunity like us.
The importance of grey matter has been highlighted recently due to its relation to cognitive functions and intelligence.
Scientists call this “whole brain synchronization,” When it happens, your brain’s blood flow and chemistry (Serotonin, GABA, Glutamate, Oxytocin) change in ways that are very good for you.
That shows us Animals cannot meditate like us, but they can find ways to reduce their stress. When stressed, animals release cortisol, the hormone responsible for breaking down the “grey matter” in the brain.
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Einstein has more grey matter than average. The same applies to very long-term meditators.
Humans Have More Grey Matter Than Animals
Humans have more grey matter than animals.
It is not just because we are smarter but also because we have more neurons in our brains. The human brain has about 85 billion neurons – far more than any other animal’s brain. This makes humans ten times as intelligent as chimpanzees and three times as intelligent as dogs.
Grey matter is mainly in the brain’s cerebral cortex, which is responsible for higher functions such as thought, awareness, and consciousness.
Comparison Between Humans vs. Animals
|Animals cannot have the same thoughts and philosophy as humans because they are incapable of reasoning or making logical conclusions same as a human. Animals can only have instinctive thoughts, which is limited to their survival.||Animals are more primitive, but it doesn’t mean they’re not in a meditative state. All mammals have some version of basic emotions like fear and anger since our limbic systems are very similar.|
|Animals cannot visualize, imagine, or passion things like humans, or they are not powerful as imaginations more than us. However, this makes them live peacefully and less egoic-centered.||Humans have unlimited desires, thoughts, and passion for the things they want.|
|Animal nature is more natural than humans because there have no living cultures, religions, or other things.||Human genes, thoughts, beliefs, cultures, and chemicals play a role in personality development. The same principle can be applied to chemicals: two individuals with identical genes with the same thoughts and beliefs could have different personalities due to the chemicals they were exposed to.|
|Spiritual people believe animals’ blood follows a third eye chakra center, which opens the spiritual world. Animals’ collective minds and genes give them strong intuition, feelings, and danger-protection mechanisms.||Evolutionary psychology believes” Consciousness” is itself likely an evolved adaptation.|
Animals can have meditative experiences but can’t regularly meditate like humans.
Trees are the largest and most spiritually advanced plants on Earth. They are constantly in meditation. Subtle energy is their natural language.– Mantak Chia is the founder of the Universal Healing Tao System
Grey matter is distinguished from white matter in that it contains numerous cell bodies and relatively few myelinated axons,
Why It’s Hard To Be Meditative For Humans?
Humans have evolved to have larger brains than most energy-spending thought processes. This is mainly because we need to be more intelligent than other animals to survive in the forest.
The human brain can do so much more than just process thoughts and emotions; it can also make decisions, solve problems, and even plan for the future.
But the problem is: Our prefrontal and analytic skills constantly try to control outside and overwork, leading to chronic stress, overthinking, and anxiety.
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That’s why we are trying to find “what kinds of activity make us calm, relaxed, and lower stress?.” Meditations are one of the tools we choose to use. Why should animals use it if they have no issues?
Some types of meditation can help slow down our brain and make us feel connected present moment and body.
In the modern world, things make us disconnect present moments, inner nature, and authentic ourselves.
Animals Are More In the Present Moment
Asking yourself, ‘What am I doing right now?’ is a great way to live a mindful life. But the answer itself isn’t mindful.
The act of not judging your past or worrying about the future makes you feel alive, alert, and grateful. But it doesn’t mean “don’t think.” It means being mindful of what you think, observing it, and not labeling yourself.
Our brains are programmed to plan for the future by thinking about what we want to happen and what we don’t want to happen. Yet, animals tend to live more present because they don’t plan the future like us.
That’s why practicing meditation, reminding yourself who you are and what you are doing, focusing now, and controlling your anxiety and panic are important steps to cultivating and nurturing yourself.
Living in the present moment can help you find more happiness, greater self-awareness, and live a fuller life.
What Kind of Ways Do Animals Meditate?
Depending on your view of meditation, they have more “stillness” moments for most people.
Animals can meditate, even if they can feel human capacities far beyond them.
What does it mean?
We know when, how or why we need meditation practices. But they don’t. Most of them don’t have control of their environment like us.
For example, cats can not go to the cave, learn energy medicine, qi, prana, or other things and implement their life.
Question: Human can control their breathing with intention. Can animals control their breath like us?
A human can choose “where,” “how,” and other questions which optimize their environment.
For example, you can make yourself more calm using some supplements such as optimizing magnesium levels, using adaptogens, learning meditation, and practicing mindfulness, self-hypnosis, etc.
Now, Animals can’t find ways to meditate like us.
Last Thoughts: Let’s take a close look.
|Humans can do a body scan and progressive muscle relaxation, which lowers stress levels; animals can’t do it like us. (Sure, they have the skill to make calm, but not like us.).A human can even become calm when dangers happen if they have high control skills. Most animals can’t control their intuitions.||Animals can’t optimize the “grey matter” in their brain like us. The neocortex is a part of the brain of mammals. It consists of grey matter, neuronal cell bodies, and unmyelinated fibers.|
|A human can use Analytics skills combined with intuition||Animals live in the present moment, but animals’ knowledge mainly comes from intuition.|
|Human can improve their grey matter via long-run meditation, which leads to control of emotions, mood, and other aspects.||There are types of meditation that advantage Taoist use, such as five-element qigong, dark room, and other things mainly focused on energy and other techniques that animals can’t do on their own.|
I believe some animals can do meditation but not the way we think.
You can see the lion’s eyes and the wisdom. Plus, animals enjoy nature more, the sound of the wind, the sunlight, and other things. So, it’s the same kind of meditation.