Choosing to Be: Lessons in Living from a Feline Zen Master
iUniverse, 2008 (2008)
Reviewed by Martina Bexte
hese days Kat Tansey lives in a small California community where she's either coaching others, hosting her Internet radio program or bouncing new ideas off her Buddha Master cat. Fifteen years before, however, Kat wasn't in such a healthy place - she was in fact contemplating suicide due to her losing battle with debilitating depression. If not for the timely intervention of her beloved Maine Coon cat, Poohbear Degoonacoon, as well as his kitten muse Catzenbear, Kat would never have come to terms with the five life hindrances: clinging, anger, restlessness, doubt and sleeplessness.
oohbear told Kat that '
before you make a choice you cannot undo, you need to understand the nature of your own mind ... whether you are a human or a cat, the same technique applies. You must learn to sit and meditate. And I happen to know more than a little bit about this
'. Kat points out that this is when she began looking at the world in a different light. She had to learn to leave behind her workaholic tendencies and focus on simply being rather than doing. She began working toward that goal by unlocking the secrets of Buddhist meditation to find inner peace - with the assured and very patient help of Poohbear and his little brother of course.
s Kat Tansey's fantastical inner journey a sure fire way for everyone to beat depression or chronic fatigue? Probably not. But for the author, her self-realized and practical cure helped her to rise above her depression where nothing else would. It's no secret that pets can have a profound effect in healing, both physically and mentally. Cats especially seem to have a keen sense as to when their presence and their
is needed to encourage calm and promote healing. As Andrew Lang so wisely said, '
Of all animals, the cat alone attains to the contemplative life. He regards the wheel of existence from without, like the Buddha.
hether you're battling a few inner demons of your own or simply want to share Kat's magical relationship with her furry friends,
Choosing to Be
is a charming and enlightening read.
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