July 08, 2007


Caption: Neko-Roshi practices an advanced form of meditation.

For first time visitors, this blog normally covers fairly serious topics during the week. Weekends are reserved for various animal commentators in and around Goat Rope Farm.

This week we a pleased to present what may be the first ever Dharma talk by a cat. Our guest claims to have mastered a particularly austere form of Zen Buddhism. His formal name is Neko-Roshi, which is loosely translated from the Japanese as "Cat Master."

It is our hope that features such as this elevate the cultural discourse of our times and promote a greater appreciation of both the humanities and the animalities.


Perhaps you are surprised to be instructed in the Most Excellent Dharma by a cat, but this should not be the case.

Cats are long known to have been masters of meditation, practicing it for as much as 20 hours a day. And the feline form of Buddhist teachings represent the most advanced form of Dharma. Humans who cultivate compassion, morality and wisdom and venerate the wisdom of the Feline Vehicle may hope to be reborn as cats in their next life.

Like most forms of Buddhism, the Feline Vehicle is based on compassion and a desire to liberate all sentient beings from the realms of suffering. In particular, we desire to liberate birds, ground squirrels, mice, moles, voles, some interesting insects, baby rabbits, lizards, and little snakes from this transitory realm.

If we could, we would liberate bigger creatures too. Sometimes, for the sake of practice, we try to liberate strings and cat-toys.

The reason for this is that we cats have discovered through intense meditation that these little creatures suffer more intensely than others in the realm of suffering or Samsara. The only way that they can be liberated from the ceaseless round of death and rebirth in the realms of suffering is through our compassionate intervention. Those little creatures liberated by us are immediately reborn in the Pure Land of bliss.

Those of us who follow this Noble Path have made a vow to postpone our entrance into Nirvana until all such little creatures have been liberated. It is an arduous path which requires much sacrifice yet we willingly embrace it.



Mary Rayme said...

If reincarnation turns out to be a reality, I always thought it would be good to come back as a cat. Y'all just know how to live, though I wish beer was an option for felines.

Also, that photo reminds me of a yoga pose. Upward facing cat, perhaps?

What gorgeous critters you have El C...

El Cabrero said...

There's a line from Counting Crows's song Mister Jones "Everybody wants to pass as cats..."

Me too. However, I would only want to be a female cat if I had access to birth control.

Re: beer and cats. That would be a drawback. I did once have a cat (a Burmese) who kind of liked it.

But maybe cats have evolved to the point they don't need alcohol, although I have difficulty imagining that.

Thanks from Neko-Roshi and me!

Thinkulous said...

I, too, have studied at the paws of various feline masters, particulary Misha-roshi and Simon-roshi. I have learned much, mostly by observation, since their direct teachings tend toward the inscrutable.

In particular, they taught me secrets of an occult art, the little-known Ninth of the Noble Paths: Nap-chi.

BTW, I linked to your very nice oxen post (always one of my favorite Zen stories) here. Good job being inspiring this week -- again.

El Cabrero said...

The feline masters have much to teach us. I am told that nap-chi is in fact a very deep form of samadhi. Thanks!

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Well put, Neko-Roshi-san.

El Cabrero said...

Arrigato, Nick-san!

Juanuchis said...

I posted a link from my blog to the Wisdom of Neko-Roshi-san. All my 9.67 readers will doubtless benefit. :)