The Dalai Lama’s Cat teaches us living in the moment makes us happy. Living in the moment is what cats do. It’s also a fundamental principles of Buddhism. And if anyone has ever gone through therapy, it’s also a manta of how to shed ourselves of our demons and become happier people.Living in the moment, as cats do, prevents us from obsessing about the past or future. To be happy we need to shed ourselves of the could haves, should haves, would haves, what ifs and what’s next blues, and enjoy today, because it’s the only today we’re ever going to have.
Cats live in the moment, and do not obsess about the past or the future. It’s also a guiding principle of Buddhism, and The Dalai Lama’s Cat draws on an unbelievably number of similarities between a cat’s psyche and Buddhism, all which can make us better and happier people.
At Paws for Reflection, we are delighted to tell how The Dalai Lama’s Cat teaches us living in the moment brings happiness. We purchased this book some time ago, and have received no compensation, either through a complementary copy of the book, or financial compensation, for writing this blog post.
Published in 2012, the book is a novel, not a biography, and when Paws picked it up – we figured it would be a ho-hum book. Were we ever surprised! The Dalai Lama’s Cat kicks in as one of our all-time favorite cat books, and Paws will definitely be searching out other books in David Michie’s cat series, including The Power of Meow and The Art of Purring.
The Dalai Lama’s Cat teaches us living in the moment makes us happy
Paws is writing a series about the powerful connection between cats and humans. We are writing about:
- Cats make us happy
- Cats make us healthy
- Cats can help us learn about finding happiness and inner peace, without the use of drugs.
We can learn a lot from cats as they don’t dwell on the mistakes of yesterday, and most of us humans have lots of those. The issue is we can’t change the past, we can only change the way we react to the feelings generated from our choices. Anger and guilt only drag us down. If we are mired down in those emotions, we’ll never be happy. They also take their toll on our physical health. There’s tons of evidence that points to better emotional health leading to better physical health.
Additionally, cats don’t obsess with worrying about the future. They live in the present – set a course of action like hunting for a mouse – and stick to that goal until the task at hand is finished. Couldn’t we humans learn from that tenacity? Think of how many things we could accomplish if we didn’t get pulled aside by all the doubt and fear of failure.
Through the eyes of the Dalai Lama’s Cat, Mousie-Tung, readers are given an insight on how to find happiness and discover the meaning to their lives in a busy materialistic world. She learns through the diverse – but similar – advise given to the stream of Hollywood celebrities, philanthropists, self-help authors and others that come to the Dalai Lama for advise. As one of the world’s greatest spiritual leaders and a Nobel Peace Prize Lauriette, we get a rare view into Buddhism from the eyes of a cat.
As we weave through the book, we get a deeper glimpse into karma, another principal of Buddhism. Karma is the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences. It also can be defined as a destiny of fate, and in this life, the end can be the same even if you take different paths.
A starving kitten, Mousie-Tung is about a meet a dreadful fate in the streets of New Delhi as a group of unruly kids had found no buyers for this mud-covered, scrawny kitten, with sapphire blue eyes. While they didn’t realize these cats were of the Himalayan breed they knew they had some value and had been able to get money from selling the rest of the litter, but there was no interest in this tiny one who could barely move – until…. The Dalai Lama’s entourage just happened t be returning to the Himalayans from a trip to the United States. He instructed one of his attendants, who just happened to have two $1 bill,s to pay for the kitten and bring her back to the car.
The kitten went to the streets of New Delhi to the Sanctum is Dharamsula, nestled in the tranquil Himalayan Mountains. We learn of the strong contrast between life up the hill (medication and striving for inner peace) and down in the village where the focus was on materialism and seeking happiness from outside oneself.
Mousie-Tung learns about the life of a Gishi. For the 12 years of the course, they spend 20 hours each days following a rigorous schedule of study. Despite this, there are way more applicants than spaces available. She questions why, and gives us some good reasons for striving to be a part of this special community.
The Dalai Lama’s Cat teaches us living in the moment makes us happy
Other mantras observed include:
- The Dalai Lama’s Cat teaches us living in the moment brings happiness
- Learn from your mistakes and move on.
- Just because an idea is simple, it isn’t necessarily easy to follow.
- Principles mean nothing unless you live by them.
- Sometimes our instinct – our negative conditioning can be overpowering. Later we may regret what we have done. That’s no reason to give up on ourselves.
- Suffering exists, and it arises from the attachment to desires. It ceases when the attachment to that desire ceases.
- We all have the ability to change.
- If we fail to practice generosity, ethics and patience, there is little meaning to the other Dharma activities.
- Understand the nature of reality requires a great deal of listening, thinking and meditation.
From the eyes of cat, who is not excluded from anyplace at the sanctuary. we see incredible detail of the Dalai Lama’s quarters, the temples complex, and the world down the hill from Jokhang. We see the layout of the Sanctum, learns about the monks, the sanctuary and the education requirements, and even the kitchen where meals are meticulously tailored to the pales of those from various cultures. We see the village and meet the visitors who are there for their hiking adventures.
The Dalai Lama’s Cat teaches us living in the moment makes us happy.. We also learn of Mousie-Tung’s struggles to become a better cat. She fights with a weight problem, and despite her delightful purrs, she has a very hard time staying still to learn to meditate. We can all learn from Mousie-Tung, and we highly recommend The Dalai Lama’s Cat to all who love cats, those who want to learn more about Buddhism and those that are seeking happiness in their own lives.
If you enjoyed reading this post, you might also enjoy other posts about how cats make us happy:.
Have your cats made you aDo you think we could learn from our cats? They certainly have lots of tenacity and focus, particularly if they are hunting for a mouse or begging their human for more treats. Please weigh in and share your stories about how your cats have made you a better person.