I am sometimes asked by some readers to explain the meaning behind the title of my third Dalai Lama’s Cat book, The Power of Meow. Just as the second title, The Art of Purring is a play on The Art of Happiness – a book closely associated with His Holiness – this third title is a similarly feline allusion to a little-known tome by Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now.
No doubt my own book is helping draw more public attention to Eckhart Tolle’s work. While a thank you note from Mr Tolle has yet to find its way up the hill to my home in Dharamsala, I have no doubt that in time it will – accompanied, I very much hope, by a delivery of fresh catnip!
Being ‘in the now’ is a subject of growing interest among humans – as it should be! Not a month seems to go by without the discovery of some new evidence attesting to the benefits of mindfulness. In my book I explore the power of this holistic and transformational practice. If, dear reader, you are among that discerning elite who prefers wisdom to be imparted in the uniquely quirky and adorable way of we cats, you need look no further. You have found your Holy Grail and it is called The Power of Meow! (Shameless self-promotion? Me?!)
By way of a taster of the life-enhancing wisdom you will find in my book, I am happy to share the following titbits:
- Focusing your attention on the present moment is powerful because now is the only time you can ever be happy. Neuroscientists call it ‘direct’ mode when we pay attention to what we are seeing, hearing and tasting, as opposed to ‘narrative’ mode when we pay attention to our inner thoughts. Both clinical research and personal experience show that when we are in direct mode we are far more likely to be happy.
- We can learn to practice mindfulness in relation to many different things. One of the most life-changing is mindfulness of thoughts. Learning to observe our thoughts, rather than become automatically absorbed by them, gives us a tremendous power. We come to see our thoughts merely as thoughts, not as facts or truths. We get better at letting go of them. We stop beating ourselves up about that mouse we once hunted, or believing that some incident that happened to us in kitten-hood must permanently blight our life. We are able to be more self-accepting. Instead of being victims of our thoughts, we become their observers.
- Only by direct experience can we know the true nature of our own mind. Practising mindfulness, we discover that our thoughts are not the only manifestations of consciousness. Like waves emerging from the surface of mind, when we abide in our oceanic nature we find it to be boundless, lucid, tranquil and benevolent. We have come home.
If any of this arouses your curiosity, dear reader, or has your whiskers tingling, I suggest you read The Power of Meow to find out more!
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