Willow is a diminutive 18-year old Russian blue cat, who I looked after for some friends in Mississauga. When I first met Willow, she responded with reticence--like all smart discerning cats. She appeared so delicate, I was scared to pick her up. I soon realized that this was a fallacy. That not only could I pick her up but that she loved to be held. I just needed to learn how.
As soon as I did, we became best friends. And it all came together with the Purring Cat Meditation.
It starts out with her finding me "doing nothing terribly important" like typing on the computer, or something. A soft but decisive tap of the paw on my leg and I have to smile at her intense look up at me with those guileless emerald eyes. I abandon my work--how can I ignore such a plea?-- and pick her up. After all, I know what she wants...And so starts our journey toward "nirvana"... the meditative state that will centre our beings and ultimately save the world.
I wander the house with her. We check out each room and make our silent observations. We end up in the bedroom upstairs, where she normally sleeps (except when she's decided to join me on my bed to sit on me and purr in my face in the middle of the night).
|Willow teasing me...|
In her sanctuary, we drift to the window that faces the back yard, now in the bright colours of fall. The window is slightly open and a crisp breeze braces us with the deep scent of autumn. I breathe in the fragrance of fallen leaves, mist and bark...
Willow settles into a feather-light pose in the crook of my arms and I hardly feel her. More like she and I have joined to become one. We are both purring ...
|"Time to pick me up, Nina!" she says|
Cats--well, most animal companions--are incredibly centring and can teach us a lot about the art of simply being.
I write about this more in my article on my coaching site entitled "Wake Up Your Muse: How my Cat Taught Me the Art of Being". Whenever I run across a bout of writer's block or need to stoke my muse, instead of trying harder, I stop and reach out for my cat-friend.
And practice Cat-Purring-Meditation...
Nina Munteanu is an ecologist and internationally published author of novels, short stories and essays. She coaches writers and teaches writing at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. For more about Nina’s coaching & workshops visit www.ninamunteanu.me. Visit www.ninamunteanu.ca for more about her writing.