It is an honor to be included in the ranks of the authors reviewed in Wisdom Notes. The Feline Zen Master joins The Prophet, the Tao Te Ching, Eckhart Tolle, Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and other masters, taking his place with his usual dignity and wise reserve. Me, I’m hopping up and down and doing a little happy dance.
You see, I know this is hard to believe, but some people have a little trouble accepting wisdom from a talking cat. As you might imagine, this has been a bit of an impediment in getting people to take Choosing to Be seriously. I was delighted when best selling author and radio show host Thom Hartmann said that Choosing to Be was one of the best books on meditation he had ever read. Thom is a long-time meditator and is very knowledgeable about all forms of meditation, so praise coming from him really means something.
Still, it remains an uphill climb – and since my goal is to reach millions of people with this simple story about learning to meditate, I obviously need to find people of considerable wisdom who will help me spread the word that Choosing to Be is not just a cat book.
The author of Wisdom Notes gets it. And not only does he get it, he decided to tell the world in the best possible way – by putting Choosing to Be in his Collection and writing a very thoughtful and serious Wisdom Note in which he pulls out the nuggets of wisdom for his readers. And, in a marvelous and brilliant moment of inspiration, he decides not to mention to his readers that the teacher is a cat.
Perhaps now the people who cannot seem to get past the cat thing will appreciate the lessons in Choosing to Be, lessons which are, in fact, very similar to those they might learn from Eckhart Tolle, Soygal Rinpoche, Jack Kornfield, Pema Chodron, Thich Nhat Hanh, Sharon Salzberg, and others, including my own very well respected human meditation teacher, Jason Siff.
The wisdom in Choosing to Be has its roots in all these and many other teachings. I just decided to attempt to demystify meditation by writing a story about my own journey, and used my very wise cat Poohbear Degoonacoon and his kitten brother Catzenbear as my teachers. Think Star Wars and Yoda, or Alice in Wonderland and the Cheshire Cat, or Winnie the Pooh and his friends.
And the author of Wisdom Notes got it. Maybe because he hangs out with so many wise teachers, he recognized the wisdom of what Poohbear Degoonacoon was teaching, and managed to overlook the fact that he is, after all, only a cat. (I love saying this, because I can imagine all the cat lovers half rising from their seats and saying “Harrumph. Why, my cat knows more about meditation than most so-called masters!”)
If you meet with resistance from your family and friends regarding the wisdom to be learned from a cat, you can now pass along the Wisdom Note for Choosing to Be so these humans might gain respect for the wisdom therein as Colin presents it, without pulling away the curtain and revealing the true teacher — Poohbear Degoonacoon, who was in fact named after another very wise philosopher, Winnie the Pooh.
Here is a download link for a copy of the Choosing to Be Wisdom Note.