Meditating With Animals

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Pamela Robins riding Tuxedo, the horse she found solace with while overcoming difficulties in her life.

Helping people manage stress and balance busy lives is a driving force behind the growing practice of meditation and its introduction into the mainstream. A meditation practice typically consists of sitting quietly for roughly 20 minutes twice per day with deep breathing exercises at a minimum. For many people meditation produces a sense of calm and has proven to be beneficial. Now, a Malibu woman has written a book about the benefits of meditating with animals.

Pamela Robins’ book,  “Meditating With Animals: How to Create More Conscious Connections with the Healers and Teachers Among Us,” was written after a difficult chapter in her life. 

In a three-month period, Robins lost her mother to cancer and was then diagnosed with thyroid cancer. After her thyroid was removed and her vocal chords paralyzed, she lost the ability to speak for two months. 

While awaiting surgery and having trouble breathing — and also trying to run her three businesses and communicate with 60 employees — she said the exhaustion was overwhelming. Robins underwent radioactive iodine therapy and was quarantined for a few days when, she said, “Some magic started to happen.” 

 

During her “quiet time” of cancer treatment, alone and unable to speak, Robins said her cats were knocking down the door to be with her. Her doctor finally agreed to let her be with them. Three cats sat with her and on her. 

“It was very quiet, very still,” Robins recalled. “I was in and out of a deep meditative trance. I think my brain was shutting down trying to process all the stuff that happened. I literally saw the energetic exchange that was happening between the animals and myself and I saw how they were healing me. I thought, ‘When I’m stronger, I want to be able to return this energy to them.’ They gave me the animal method and that’s the teaching in this book. 

“It was magic,” she continued. “It was life changing and I look at life through a different lens. I knew when each thing was happening that there was a reason and that there was something that was coming. When you hear the word ‘cancer’ and it’s referring to you, things change.”

During the same period, her husband also lost his mother and then her marriage fell apart. She said while recovering from cancer and the loss of her mother, the end of her marriage made her change her perspective.

“I kept getting the message: ‘Do you know how short life is?’ and I answered, ‘Yes I do,’ but I didn’t,” she recalled. 

She said she moved out of her dream home and sold her businesses, eventually landing in Malibu. 

“My horse got me out of my house to see him and be with him. He had so many lessons for me during this time,” she said. “He is a tough love dude and he kept making me show up for him, no matter how I was feeling. I would leave the barn feeling, ‘Gosh, that was tough,’ but he wanted me to see that I was tough.” 

 

Robins uses the word “animals” as an acronym, with A for “awe,” N to “notice,” I “in the moment,” M for “meditate,” A is “allow,” L is “love” and S is “stay.” Each letter represents a chapter in the book that she backs up with comments from MDs and Ph.D.s on the science and benefits of animal healing power. In one chapter, Robins writes about her friend and 2015 Malibu Dolphin Award winner Victoria Nodiff-Netanel, whose miniature horses provide therapy to patients ranging from children to veterans. 

“Looking at your animal in awe creates an energy and then it’s a recycling of that energy,” she described.

She encourages people to be in the moment with their animals and said when you go on a walk with your dog, don’t take your phone and enjoy the time together. 

“Time, attention and intention create generosity,” according to Robins. The book contains meditations that she describes as anything we do in the present moment: “It’s not just sitting and closing our eyes. It’s being present with them 100 percent.”

Robins and her horse Tuxedo are now doing equine assisted wellness therapy and she speaks at different wellness events, including the Zen Awakening Festival in Florida and a recent yoga event with animals called “Llamaste.” 

The teachings in the book, Robins said, “can also be applied with the people that we love in our lives.”

“Meditating With Animals” is available at Amazon and the Malibu Shaman.