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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Monday, June 15, 2015

Paws in the moment!

The Dalai Lama's Cat and the Power of Meow (The Dalai Lama's Cat #3) by David Michie 


HHC (His Holiness' Cat), a Himalayan, a cat of many names amongst them Snow Lion, Rinpoche and  Little Sister is a wonderful character. Life in Dharamsala is viewed through this important little personage's eyes. A cat of consequence, although humble, HHC is working on becoming more 'mindful' cat, on exercising the power of the moment, the power of meow as the path to enlightenment is trod. A cat who 'couldn't change the world but could change how he experienced it.'
Today 'Mindfulness' seems to be a buzz word cropping up all over the place. In 'The Power of Meow', we see this concept discussed between the Dalai Lama, Serena and Mrs Trinci,when they talk about the exercising of meditation cultivating awareness and creating space of the mind, 
'Little by little, you become more mindful, more aware of every action of your body, speech and mind. Not just when you are meditating. This is most useful, because it is only when we are awareness what is happening that we can change.'
Life around the Dalai Lama as seen through his cat's eyesight is insightful and humorous with a huge dose of love. 
I enjoyed HHC's discovery of catnip. The further discovery of how it came to be in the garden is even more illuminating on several levels. Also HHC's discussion with the Dalai Lama's driver who is also the gardener. I loved the gardner's statement, 'The mind is like a garden...you choose what to grow: weeds or flowers.'
Throughout this gentle story of life in Dharamsala we are treated to the wisdom of being in the moment, of meditative practices presented in gentle terms, pertinent to the lives of the people involved, and to us.
Gems of "how to's" trail across the pages.
Observances about love and compassion are thought provoking. Someone said in previous reviews of earlier books that they'd highlighted many gems. Well, I have joined that club!
I will surely be reflecting on them for some time to come. 
I found the discussion between Serena, Oliver and Tenzin about meditation and healing and the research into this area particularly significant and thought provoking for dealing with my own health. 'Meditation has a major impact on every biological marker of stress. It brings down high blood pressure. Slows hardening of the arteries. Boosts endorphins and the immune system. Increases the production of melatonin, a powerful antioxidant that destroys free radicals.'
The discovery of treasured (terma)writings from the time of the Great Fifth (the fifth Dalai Lama of the 17th century) is of great excitement for the Dalai Lama and his acolytes with possible relevance to research around quantum science, energy and healing.
All this is enfolded into the enjoyable daily look at the happenings in this community, the interwoven lives of HHC and His Holiness, and HHC's friends, including Serena, Sid, Zarah and Mrs Trinci through the eyes of HHC. Meow!
A jewel of a book instructing life. This will be re looked at, rediscovered and re treasured.

A NetGalley ARC

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