Whether you own one (or more) cats or just appreciate them, our feline friends just might be among the greatest teachers on the planet. Cats embody spiritual qualities and principles in a natural, effortless way. The following are six examples of wisdom from cats:
1. Embrace and Savor the Moment
Most animals are full of gratitude for the present moment, and cats are no exception. Cats sleep when they are tired and eat when they are hungry; conversely, the unenlightened human mind tends to think a hundred thoughts before sleeping and while eating. Strive to embrace and savor each moment without distractions or mind chatter.
2. Make Use of Koans
Some Zen masters have been known to meditate for years on a single koan. The cat’s favorite koan is a simple one: Meow. The definition of koans lies beyond logic, and diligent repetition just might lead you to the gateless gate.
3. Move Mindfully
Cats are known for their ability to walk gracefully over cluttered and challenging terrain. Even if they stumble, they always seem to land on their feet. Remember to move softly and mindfully in your life with each step, and you will be on the road to Enlightenment.
4. Be Focused and Patient
A cat can watch a mouse hole for as long as it takes to pounce at the perfect moment. They embody the one-pointed mind, right concentration and “maintaining evenness.” While waiting, they are alert, still, and present in the moment. Strive to enjoy the fullness of waiting, anticipation, and the gaps between activity – and between thoughts – in your own life as well.
5. Be Unwavering In Your Faith
There are stories of lost cats traversing hundreds of miles to find their way home. The precious jewel of Enlightenment may seem elusive, but it is the destiny of us all. Whether in this lifetime or another, our awakening is assured and progress can be made each day. Be unwavering in your faith in your journey toward Enlightenment.
6. Chant For the Joy of It
In addition to meditation, chanting can be a valuable element of any spiritual practice. It quiets the mind, centers the spirit, provides a focal point and exudes a positive intention. Cats tend to purr when they are happiest, and the sound is at once joyful and peaceful. Strive to bring joy and equanimity into your chanting practice.