Sunday, January 20, 2008

Meditation and the nature of cats

Photo by Cynthia Burgess

I've just found a new meditation blog that you might like to explore. It's called Sayuri. I found this wonderful passage in the archives:

...I was living in a little hut, about six feet by seven feet. It had a canvas flap instead of a door. I was sitting on my bed meditating, and a cat wandered in and plopped down on my lap. I took the cat and tossed it out the door. Ten seconds later it was back in my lap. We got into a sort of dance, this cat and I. I would toss it out, and it would come back. I tossed it out because I was trying to meditate, to get enlightened. But the cat kept returning. I was getting more and more irritated, more and more annoyed with the persistence of the cat. Finally, after about a half-hour of this coming in and tossing out, I had to surrender. There was nothing else to do. There was no way to block off the door. I sat there, the cat came back in, and it got on my lap. But I did not do anything. I just let go. Thirty seconds later the cat got up and walked out. So you see, our teachers come in many forms.

--Joseph Goldstein

When I was studying meditation in Cape Town, the resident monk shared his life with two cats who had the run of the meditation hall. I learned early on not to react when either of them wanted to sit in my lap or rub up against me. No human can win a contest with a cat who's determined!! And, of course, now I have three of my own. Cats love meditation energy, by the way.

Thoughts that arise are just like cats. If we try to get rid of them, they persist. If we accept them without judgment, they may stick around for a while but eventually they will just wander on off.


  1. Anonymous9:53 PM

    Great story. Marilyn

  2. As I read this post, the Mu-man entered the room and curled up in my lap. He shows up many times when a cat story is in progress. Just one of the mysteries of life with a cat.
    Thanks for the story.

  3. Anonymous11:22 PM

    Cats also LOVE anyone they can irritate!!!!


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