Saturday on the Couch – Do you know your pets from a previous lifetime? 1



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The Buddhist view is that those who come into our lives, aren’t here by chance.  They are with us because of a previously created cause.

Perhaps they are drawn to us, or another family member or even where we live.  Some kind of connection, previously established, has given rise to the current effect of them being with us.

Most of us are oblivious to what that original cause may have been. It may have been created in the very distant past, during a previous lifetime. And the kind of relationship we had with the person or pet we currently share our life with may also have been different.

This is part of the reason why we are encouraged to treat animals with all due respect: they may have been our mother, our lover, our best friend, in a previous lifetime.

The way we are together now is not only a result of a previously created cause.  In the way we interact we are creating the causes for future results.

Another reason to practice love and compassion: we are setting up our own experience of reality in the future.

I’ve heard of people who’ve had a strong sense that their pet is a being with whom they’ve had a previous connection.  A cat, for example, who has come back to the family as a cat once again.

Sometimes this intuition is supported by particular evidence of similarities in behaviour or other quirks.

Humans may also come back as animals. Animals as humans. If we allow ourselves an open mind on the permutations, we recognise just how limitless the possibilities are. And, therefore, how important the close bonds we share with other beings in our lives, at any one moment.

I am currently writing a book about animals and spirituality from a Buddhist perspective.  I look forward to sharing much more with you on this intriguing subject when the book is published next year.

Right now I am actively interested in any personal experiences and anecdotes blog readers may like to offer, in the area of pets and reincarnation, which you’d be happy for me to include in the book.

Interesting stories of animal spirituality and human-pet interactions would also be great! Feel free to share your story in the comment section below.


Sincere thanks to author David Michie (whose books include The Dalai Lama’s Cat, The Art of Purring, as well as the non-fiction bestsellers Buddhism for Busy People and Hurry Up and Meditate) for giving permission to Starts at 60 to share this blog.  If you would like to read more of David’s blogs, click here.

Many of David Michie’s books (including The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Power of Meow and Buddhism for Busy People) are available to purchase from Dymocks in either paperback or eBook formats.

Dymocks Click here_online


David Michie

David Michie teaches mindfulness and meditation techniques to a wide variety of audiences and has developed guided meditations to benefit secular as well as Buddhist practitioners. He was born in Zimbabwe, educated at Rhodes University, South Africa, and lived in London for ten years. A student of the Tibetan Buddhist Society, his teachers are Les Sheehy, Geshe Acharya Thubten Loden and Zasep Tulku Rinpoche. He is married and currently lives in Perth, Western Australia.

  1. When I moved from England to run a small hotel in France I left my 3 cats behind with my husband still living back in England. My neighbour had a cat who never came near me but one evening I was taking in the washing and the neighbour’s cat came up to me and rubbed against my legs, I bent down and stroked her. As I was doing so my assitant came out to tell me my husband was on the phone, When I spoke to him he told me that he’d found my oldest cat dead in the garden. I have always believed that my dead cat’s spirit contacted the neighbour’s cat to come and make friends with me. Thereafter the neighbour’s cat regularly came to see me in the hotel garden.

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