Monday, February 15, 2016

Meditating with Pema

Pema the cat joined our household almost ten years ago.  She was a young feral cat, who friends found in their barn, near starvation.  We named her Pema after Pema Chodron, the Buddhist nun who has written several books and made many recorded talks about meditation.  In the past several months, Pema the cat has come more fully to her name.

Pema did know about stillness.  She used to sit in one spot outside and look around.  And as she's gotten older, she's spent more time being, well, still.  But she recently made this a more formal practice.

In recent years, when the television came on sometime after dinner, Pema made herself scarce.  I think it was when we had to put speakers on the floor--something about the sound alarmed her.  But recently Margaret and I revived our after dinner practice of meditating.  At first we went the traditional route, on our old meditation cushions in front of the couch.  But after a knee problem Margaret retreated to her chair.  Not wanting to her to feel out of place (and willing to seize on any excuse), I moved my meditation to the couch, where I sat upright.

Our stillness and silence attracted Pema like a magnet.  She can't get up on Margaret's chair as easily as she can hop on the couch, so she joined me.  With just a little hesitation she moved onto my lap.  And so Pema the cat joined us as Pema the meditation cat.  She has adopted this as part of her routine.

Of course, I am expected to pet her, rub her head, cheeks, ears etc., which pretty much disallows single point meditation.  However I try to stay in the moment.
And there are forms of meditation that this should allow or even enhance, such as the kind practiced by...Pema Chodron, of course.

No comments: