Tag Archive: cats


Poem – Landlocked in Fur

gray cat sitting in the sun

“Landlocked in Fur” by Tukaram

I was meditating with my cat the other day 
and all of a sudden she shouted,
“What happened?!”

I knew exactly what she meant, but encouraged
her to say more – feeling that if she got it all out on the table
she would sleep better that night.

So I responded, “Tell me more, dear,”
and she soulfully meowed:

“Well, I was mingled with the sky. I was comets
whizzing here and there. I was suns in heat, hell – I was
galaxies. But now look – I am
landlocked in fur.”

To this I said, “I know exactly what you mean.”

What to say about conversation between mystics?

From: “Love Poems From God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West” (Ladinksy, 2002)

Photo: Shell Fischer

from Tara Brach’s new year talk.

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Today I had to leave the house in a hurry (for a noon meeting… I know, I know) so I didn’t sit before getting started. I took the new kitty to the vet, and when I came back around 4 pm, I had some time to work before heading to a Yoga class. I sat down to read through a manuscript and realized I felt tired and unfocused – and that I felt the need to meditate and quiet down.

I am glad I payed attention to what my mind needed and went upstairs to sit for 10 minutes. It was a short but very sweet session. For a few precious seconds my mind stayed with me and the breath, and my entire being felt light and peaceful.

Of course, this sitting got so much better once Zen master Ziggy decided to supervise. 🙂

Zen master Ziggy finding (en)light(ment) in the Yoga room

Later, during Yoga class, the teacher said, “There is always time for one deep breath.” So true. I’d like to remember that. There is always time for one deep breath and there is always time for a quick 3-minute  meditation, even at the office, to find a bit of stillness and clarity to move on with the day. Funny thing is, the water mug on my desk reads “Breathe.” I’ve become rather skilled at not seeing it…

More kitty yoga

Two kitty yoga videos in a row…

No, I don’t have a problem, please don’t stage an intervention! >’.'<

Kitty yoga

Being a crazy cat lady in training, I could not help but post this video of a kitty forward-fold. Note how the tail works as a comfy prop 🙂

Help #Japan

Sometimes, when a big disaster like the one in Japan happens, even if people want to help, it becomes confusing to choose which charity to donate to.

I can’t claim that I did extensive research, but here are my choices of charities:

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund, on GlobalGiving.org

This project will disburse funds to organizations providing relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake and tsunami. GlobalGiving is working with International Medical Corps, Save the Children, and other organizations on the ground.

Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support (click the arrow on the top right PayPal page to change the language from Japanese to English)

We are a coalition of three groups; HEART-Tokushima, Animal Garden Niigata and Japan Cat Network. We are groups that have been rescuing and rehoming animals in Japan for many years. Our intention starting this group is to keep animal rescue on the agenda, provide shelter space, coordinate some Earthquake/Tsunami animal rescues, and to share animal rescue related news to the public. Like our individual groups, our collaboration will be staunchly no-kill. Any funds donated will be strictly and explicitly reported as well as expenses. Money and resources will be used strictly for rescue, care and support of animals in crisis due to the earthquake and tsunami. And while I first imagined cats and dogs, we can not yet know what animals beyond that we will be in a position to help.
Thanks to all for the support!

My favorite animal/vet blog, Pawcurious, is raising money for World Vets.

Donate to World Vets

 

Nonreactivity

Since I’ve been dabbling into yoga and mindfulness (not always sitting meditation, but trying to always practice it), I’ve tried to cultivate nonreactivity. It has helped me become a better person, I think. I’m learning that, when I feel a wave of anger raising from my heart center and spreading through my body, I don’t have to necessarily speak angry words. It has been a long journey, but overall, those who know me best can tell you that I don’t lash out at them as much as I used to.

Yoga has taught me that even if my heart races, I’m sweating, and some muscles feel uncomfortable (hello, warrior II!), my breath can still be fluid and deep, and my mind calm, even happy. Mindfulness has helped slow down time for me, so I can identify the sources of discomfort early on, “diagnose” them, and make a decision whether to react or not, and how.

I can even do nonreactivity acrobatics, like eating an olive stuffed with wasabi at a favorite Japanese restaurant and not react to the wasabi. Yay, me.

But these days, I’m in a different situation. I have to give weekly injections to my feline angel, Pooky. I hate them more than he does. My heart races, I get startled with every little sound he makes, and I’d much rather poke myself in the eye that pierce his skin with the tiniest needle the vet could find. I know he needs me to stay calm and nonreactive, to be gentle, yet firm, and to a certain extent, I do fake that for him – except for last week, when I gave the injection into thin air and wiped $50-worth of spilled medicine off the floor.

In case you don’t get how I feel, here’s a visual aid:

Pooky

I know, right???

So I’m finding out that nonreactivity is much easier to practice when you deal with negative feelings: not acting on anger, not scratching that itch (see Eat, Pray, Love and the mosquito scene in the Indian ashram’s court yard, though that was stupid: can you say malaria, chikungunya and other viral diseases?!). But when it comes to not reacting to the softest, warmest, mushiest loving feeling, when your heart is breaking, your hands are shaking, and you think you’re about to faint – now, that’s so much more difficult. Even though the mind understands what you need to do, the reactions in the emotional and physical bodies are immensely deep and very hard to control. If you’re a parent, you’re probably much better than me at practicing this kind of nonreactivity… So, any tips? I have two more injections to give!!!

Zen Master

Making good use of those meditation cushions 🙂

“In my life, I have lived with several Zen masters. Most of them have been cats.” — Eckhart Tolle