The Better Devotees: Cats or Dogs?
October 6th, 2012
Caitlin and I walked to school this morning. Just as I was saying goodbye to her at the classroom door, the teacher’s dog Charlie leapt over the barricade and bounded off enthusiastically down the hill. We all ran after him, adults and kids alike, and finally after 5 minutes found him quite a distance away. The teacher called once more, and he came running back with all the zest that comes from being a one year old puppy.
As I made my way back home I stopped by a neighbor’s house to say hello. I noticed her cat who was stalking around outside, and being an all around animal lover I hoped to give him some affection. He wanted nothing to do with me. I was about to walk away, thinking that he wasn’t interested in a meeting, but his owner said “Wow! that’s really good for him—he usually runs away.”
So I knelt down and began the courting process, hand extended in greeting. The cat, alternately looking at me and then at nothing in particular, made his way from one side of the parking lot to the other, inching his way towards me with each sideways pass. He continued to shift his gaze, as if to say, “You aren’t really all that interesting.” As he did so, I kept emanating love and peace outwards to him without attachment. I often practice this with many of the wild animals we have wandering around out here (deer, foxes, coyotes…) trying to emulate St. Francis.
Finally, at the end of 5 minutes, he came just out of reach of my outstretched hand. In one fluid motion he touched his nose to my hand then retreated to a safe distance and was done with me.
And I couldn’t help thinking that my life as a devotee has been way too much like the cat and and not the dog.
How long have I, in this lifetime, courted God and His love from a distance? Given Him little attention, but spent the majority of my time looking away at nothing of particular substance. God’s love was still there when I made some progress, inching one step forward for every 8 steps sideways. When I finally made contact for the briefest of moments I ran away as fast as I could, fearful of opening myself fully to His love.
And how I long to be the dog — errant though this one was — ever willing to come running back: “Yes, Yes, Yes, I was a bad dog, but You still love me, right? I love You! Okay, everything’s good!” Happiness.
Now all you cat lovers out there are going to pipe up about the superiority of the cat in discrimination, stillness, focus, and flexibility (perfect characteristics of a yogi, wouldn’t you say?).
Today, though, I’d rather be the dog. Loyal, energetic, loving, enthusiastic. I’ll try not to bark.
Posts from David Eby
- Become a Singing Spiritual Superhero
- Wishing You a Noble New Year
- The Light and the Bushel
- Also Starring God (as Himself)
- The Moments that Changed Everything
- The Fine Balance of Health and Lifestyle
- The Meditation Experiment
- The Better Devotees: Cats or Dogs?
- Sharing the Inner Presence of Ananda
- Day 5 of filming Cities of Light
- Day 4 on the set
- Day 3 on the set of Cities of Light
- Cities of Light Day 2 of filming
- Day 1 on the Set of Cities of Light
- An Extraodinary Meeting
- The Oratorio Experience
- Renunciation, Poverty Consciousness, and True Prosperity
- An Experiment in Unmitigated Happiness
- Untangling My Karma
- Contentment vs. Complacency
- The Spiritual Benefits of Juice Fasting
- Ananda Christmas Album Preview
- 33 Songs on Video!
- “Never despair, joy’s everywhere…”
- Spiritual Renewal Week Concert, 2011
- Caitlin and the Newborn Fawn
- Bliss in the Midst of Fatigue
- Honoring Good Friday in Dwapara Yuga
- “Open Your Heart to Me…”
- Master’s Market: A true test of community
- A Time of Awakening
- Resonating with Swami Kriyananda
- Leading With Joy
- The Surprising Consequence of Negativity
- Backstage with Swami Kriyananda
- Monday’s Concert
- Chanting Is Half the Battle
- “If you want to get to know me…”
- What Kind of Christians Are We?
- Inner Renewal Week Concert Recordings
- Musical Gems from a Blessed Month
- Living for God…with a Family
- 16 Yogis in an Elevator
- God God God
- O, Master
- Life Mantra
- “Eyes Filled with Divine Love”
- The Sacred Art of Singing
- Winter Renewal Week
- The Choice of Realities
- Tuesday’s Recording Session
- Overcoming a Karmic Bomb
- Ananda Concert Series – Grande Finale
- Living Wisdom School Christmas Concert
- Inner Awakenings: a Concert
- An Evening with St. Francis
- School Begins!
- The Spirit within the Music
- Recording Revelations of Christ Audio Book
- Entering the Aura of Swami Kriyananda