Dharma Cats

Via Jay Winston
on May 13, 2010
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Cheshire Cat John Tenniel

…was sitting a couple mornings ago…that mindfulness meditation thing…cushion, incense, trippy music on the ipod…trying to be totally conscious…the usual drill…and the landlady’s cat, Zeke, started meowing on the stairs just below my door…since, apparently, she wasn’t home and he wanted to go outside….but I’d just started…had nearly half an hour to go…and am trying to be somewhat disciplined…so, kept sitting…for a minute…then two…and the cat kept it up, too…in a bland yet persistent rhythm…until, after some time, it occurred to me: I’m using meditation as an excuse to be less compassionate…got up, opened the door, went downstairs, and let the cat out…

*…an earlier version of this story appeared at Yoga for Cynics…*


About Jay Winston

Jay S. Winston, founder and proprietor of Yoga for Cynics (http://yogaforcynics.blogspot.com), has a PhD in English, making him the kind of doctor who, in case of life-threatening emergency, can explain Faulkner while you die, is currently (semi-)(un-)employed as a freelance writer and editor, teaches creative writing to homeless men, tutors recovering addicts in reading, was recently certified as a Kripalu yoga teacher, gets around mostly by bicycle, is trying to find an agent for his novel, resides in the bucolic Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia, State of Mildly Inebriated Samadhi, U.S.A. and, like most people who bike and practice yoga, used to live in Boulder.


9 Responses to “Dharma Cats”

  1. Sevapuri says:

    Hey Jay don't leave us hanging, what did you do after letting the cat out- back to the cushion? played with the cat? went for a chai ? enlightenemt ? 🙂

  2. dying to hear more..

  3. tamara says:

    Love it. it's all about bringing our practice into the everyday moments of life isn't it? Nice recommendation to go for a chai, lol.

  4. Funny…every morning I get up, dog whining to go out, go to bathroom, dog whines, brush teeth, whine, meditate, dog whines…then let him out and we go for a good long romp. Or, I get up, skip meditation, go for walk immediately, and am lost in my head.

    Always funny to be coming back to present moment vs. having that urge to let your best friend out.

  5. Brenda P. says:

    Cats are pretty powerful gurus. Talk about owning your actions and not clinging to the fruits ("Here, you can have my headless mouse, Mama!")!

  6. Joey says:

    Nice…. as I was practicing the Mantra section of my ngondro, my kitty would purr to be let into the shrine room with me, and then proceed to sit on my lap during the rest of my practice. Great companions, and so interesting that they are drawn to meditation.

  7. This is why I don't have pets.

  8. Yeah, it kills me that I don't have a dog, but it would make me less mobile (so, for now, I settle for allowing my friends to be more mobile by dogsitting). And, then, I really want an active, at least medium-sized dog–the kind who'd be perfectly happy going on all day hikes…which'd be awfully high maintanence…but, yeah, I really do need a dog…

  9. […] would benefit from our attention in favor of living “in the now”. Sorry, can’t let the dog (or cat) out now because I’m […]