- A Cats View
Meeting Lord Buddha
long time ago in Northern India, I had an unusual adventure.
I met a prince who didn't live in a palace, didn't have big
feasts and didn't have fancy clothes. In fact, when I met
him, he was sitting under a tree dressed in rags.
When I saw the prince sitting very still under a tree, I sat
down and watched him for a while, but he didn't do anything
but sat. When the wind blew, he sat. When it rained, he sat.
When the sun beat down on him, he sat. Days went by and although
I rarely ever left the area, (I only took a little time
off to eat, drink, sleep and occasionally chase my tail —
it is fun!!!), I never, ever saw him move.
After many days, some really strange things started to happen.
Strange sounds started coming out of nowhere. These sounds
were so loud I had to cover my ears, but still the prince
just sat. The earth moved as if someone had grabbed and shook
it, but he just sat. Weird beings that looked like demons
and beautiful female humans appeared out of nowhere and seemed
to be talking to him or yelling at him. Honestly, although
I am a very brave cat, I was getting a little scared. But
he just sat. Mounds of gold and jewels appeared and then disappeared.
The man just sat. Nothing could make him budge an inch. Then
something really weird happened.
A strange, soft, gentle glow seemed to come from him. Still
he sat. The glow grew brighter and brighter until it completely
covered him. He just sat and sat. The light became brighter
than the sun itself and he just sat. What was going on here??!!
I didn't move either — even chasing my tail wasn't as
interesting as whatever this was.
the glow couldn't get any brighter, a beautiful smile spread
across his face. He slowly opened his eyes (which also had
a glow in them) and said, "Hello, Indy cat. I am Buddha."
What???????!!!!! I was pretty sure that the entire time I
was watching him, nobody had said hello to me and we'd never
been properly introduced, so how did he know my name? But...
being a polite cat, I said "Hello, Mr. Buddha, pleased
to meet you."
"Indy, you can simply call me Buddha, not Mr. Buddha,"
laughed Buddha. "Of course I know your name. I have awakened
from the dream we call life to the deeper truth that we are
all one. How can I not know you? We are all God, all one."
Now, two things were bothering me. First, what did he mean,
"we are all one, all God?" I Truthfully, I was thinking
that this guy had sat in the sun for a bit too long. Secondly,
since I knew that I hadn't said anything except hello, how
did he know what I was thinking?
Again, he seemed to respond to my thoughts.
"Indy," he chuckled, "I haven't lost my
mind, just the part of my ego that kept me separate
from God, from everything. You are God, I am God, everything
is God. I know this and you know this but you've forgotten
your true identity. As to the second thing that is bothering
you, your thoughts are as clear to me as your words would
This Buddha guy could read my mind. (I had better be careful
of my thoughts!) If this guy can really read my mind, which
seemed to be true, maybe he wasn't nuts. Perhaps he knows
something I don't know.
"Not exactly, Indy," Buddha responded before I could
say anything. "Like I said, you've forgotten your true
Self, while I have just now awakened to truly knowing my Self.
This experience gives me a deep sense of peace and tranquility.
I feel God in me and around me. Everywhere I look I see nothing
but God. By the way Indy cat, you are right, that is why I
seem to be glowing."
It was weird to have him answer a question before I even knew
I had thought it. Quickly I said, "Buddha, this sounds
like a truly wonderful experience. Is it possible that I,
I mean could I...."
With a twinkle in his eyes, Buddha said, "Of course you
can have this experience, Indy. All are destined to have it
sooner or later. All it takes is right practice, perseverance
and patience as well as the grace of God."
Practice, practice what??? I had practiced things like chasing
my tail and sneaking up on my brother and sister cats and
stuff like that, but I had a feeling he meant something quite
different. I quickly asked, "Lord Buddha, what is this
practice? Will you teach me? Can I learn it? How long will
"Indy, Indy," Buddha chuckled, "Relax, relax.
I will teach you and you will learn. It is the simplest of
things yet the most difficult. It can take a moment or it
can take lifetimes. It is all up to God's grace and your practice,
perseverance and patience."
I couldn't think of anything that seemed as neat as this!!!!
And certainly, I had nothing more important to do —
not even chasing my tail or playing with the other cats. So….
"When can I start, Lord?" I asked.
"There is no time like the now," Buddha replied.
"Sit here next to me, Indy cat. There are many ways to
do this. I will teach you one that is very ancient and very
easy to learn. It has been taught since the beginning of time
and will be taught by many great ones yet to come. First,
sit comfortably. Now gently close your eyes and listen to
the sound your breath makes as it goes in and out."
I did as he said and closed my eyes. I started listening to
the sound of my breath.
"Now Indy cat," continued Buddha, "Imagine
that your breath makes the sound SO on the inhale and HAM
on the exhale. Gently allow your attention to rest on the
SO HAM. If thoughts come, fine. Don't try and force them away.
Gently bring your attention back to SO HAM."
Doing as Buddha suggested (after all I am quite good at following
directions when I want to), I began. SO...HAM......SO......HAM...............SO................HAM.
My breath started slowing down and a feeling of peace started
to fill me. Suddenly, my nose started itching. No matter how
I tried to ignore it, I couldn't. All I could think about
was my itchy nose. SO HAM... my nose itches...SO HAM.-.my
nose itches. It really ITCHED!!!!!!
"Indy," laughed Buddha, "You don't need to
struggle so. Scratch your nose. This can be done easily and
without effort. Patience, perseverance and practice will win
the goal. Do what you need to do, then gently and effortlessly
bring your attention back to the SO HAM."
"Wow, that feels better," I thought after scratching
that pesky itch. SO HAM SO HAM SO HAM SO HAM SO HAM SO HAM
SO HAM SO HAM SO HAM SO HAM. That warm peaceful feeling came
"Allow yourself to go deeper and deeper," suggested
"SO HAM SO HAM SO HAM SO HAM SO HAM SO HAM SO HAM SO
HAM SO HAM SO HAM." I felt like I was floating. This
was neat!!!! As good as cat treats. Cat treats...hmmmmmm.
Suddenly all I could think of was cat treats - how they looked,
where they were hidden, and most importantly, how they tasted.
Oh, how I wanted one even though I wasn't hungry.
SO HAM CAT TREAT SO HAM CAT TREAT SO HAM CAT TREAT SO HAM
CAT TREAT SO HAM CAT TREAT. No matter what I did, I couldn't
shake the thought of a cat treat.
Gently Buddha said, "Notice the thoughts and feelings.
Don't try and push them away. Allow them to be there but don't
hang on to them. Notice them but don't focus on them. Almost
effortlessly drift back to the sound of your breath. Do this
by just gently leaning into it with your mind.
SO HAM CAT TREAT SO HAM CAT TREAT SO HAM CAT TREAT SO HAM
CAT TREAT SO HAM CAT TREAT SO HAM CAT SO HAM TREAT SO HAM
CAT SO HAM
"Stay with it," encouraged Buddha. I could barely
SO HAM SO HAM SO HAM SO HAM a light started shining from somewhere
SO HAM SO HAM SO HAM SO HAM it got brighter and brighter SO
HAM SO HAM SO HAM SO HAM SO HAM SO HAM SO HAM SO HAM SO HAM
SO HAM and then...nothingness - a velvety darkness that was
soooo peaceful, no sound, no thoughts, nothing.
After some time, I slowly opened my eyes. I noticed that everything
— the trees, the flowers, the rocks, the bugs, the earth
itself— seemed to shimmer and glow. It was all alive
and sparkling. Everything appeared to be almost transparent
yet unique. Everything seemed to merge and separate, merge
and separate as if it were really all one and the same - as
if it were the bearing of one heart. There were no words to
describe the sensation or the feelings that were arising in
me. All I can say is that it felt GREAT!!
All too soon, this experience came to an end and things returned
to the way they were before I sat down. Yet somehow everything
was different. I knew that everything was one, yet I no longer
had the direct perception of it. I was both happy and sad.
I still felt wonderful but missed what seemed to be lost.
"Indy cat," Buddha explained, "In your past
lives you have been blessed by being with many wonderful teachers
like Krishna, Rama, and King Janaka. In your future lives
you will be with many other divine teachers. You and I will
have further adventures together in this life. Now as a result
of all your past deeds and by the grace of God, you have been
granted a taste of the true reality of existence. You have
directly experienced oneness; you know now absolutely that
we are all God, all are divine."
I thought to ask if I would ever have the experience again,
but before I could even get the thought clear in my head I
got the answer from within myself— "practice, perseverance
and patience will take you to the goal." I knew I would
eventually be able to live in that state of oneness once I
was ready. I knew that all are destined to experience this,
sooner or later.
I smiled at Buddha. Buddha smiled at me. Then with a little
fur rub, a couple of pats and a laugh, he turned and started
walking away slowly while I sat under the tree.
"Oh Indy, one last thing," Buddha said. With a wave
of his hand he tossed something to me. I caught it and....it
was a golden, glowing cat treat.
"Thanks Buddha," I said. "I look forward to
seeing you soon."
With that, I looked again at the cat treat. Time to become
one with it, I thought, as I gently munched it. It was delicious,
almost as delicious as my time with Buddha, the Awakened One.
From Sai World, Summer 2003