The Dalai Lama's Cat by David Michie

- through Francois Leclercq

Published on

Dear reader, admit it, you have dreamed at least once of being a little mouse so that you can discreetly observe what is being said or what is happening in your absence, haven't you? Well, David Michie did. He did it, not in the form of a little mouse who always risks being bitten by a passing tomcat, but in the guise of a feline. And not just any cat, the Dalai Lama, just that! It is this cat who tells us what he witnesses.

Arrived as a kitten, the kitty grows up in the entourage of the one that some consider to be a living Buddha and gives us a mischievous point of view on the daily life of this great master. Each encounter serves as a framework for profound lessons of wisdom, twelve in total (as many chapters), through which the author approaches essential elements of Buddhist wisdom such as love, the relationship of master to disciple, how to free oneself of one's fears and managing one's anger, impermanence, the importance of being present (mindfulness), or how to let go of this "I" that has been poisoning our lives for so long.

Every being aspires to happiness. As our four-legged guide tells us, the work can only be done by oneself, and it is up to us to discover the ways to do it, in coherence with the person we are. Nevertheless, Mister Matou recalls in passing some fundamental principles, in particular the fact that there are two main sources of happiness: the first which consists in cultivating the desire to make people happy, what Buddhists call love; and, the second, the aspiration to help others get rid of their suffering, by developing compassion. He also underlines how essential it is for us to have good self-esteem, because letting go is, ultimately, more a form of inner laziness than anything else.

The testimonials reported by the cat are those that we experience (three times unfortunately…) easily on a daily basis. However, this work is never moralistic, on the contrary, it is beautifully written, full of humor and denotes in its author a deep knowledge of the teachings of the Buddha. He also recalls that Buddhism's only ambition is to give tools to beings so that they can achieve true happiness. It can be read and re-read, each reading allows you to deepen your knowledge of the foundations of Buddhism. In these troubled times when we see intolerance, extremism of all kinds taking more and more precedence over living together, this book is good. A gift for oneself, as for others, a reading that should be recognized as "of public utility"

photo of author

Francois Leclercq

François Leclercq is the founder of Buddhist News, a website which aims to disseminate information and practical advice on Buddhism and spirituality. François Leclercq was born and raised in Paris. He studied Buddhism at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, where he graduated in social sciences and psychology. After graduating, he devoted himself to his passion for Buddhism and traveled the world to study and learn about different practices. He notably visited Tibet, Nepal, Thailand, Japan and China.

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