Cat poo & enlightenment

When slugs attackThis morning I led people in kinhin – walking meditation – v e r y slowly around our garden. 

We stepped through the dew-laden grass taking in the purple spikes of erysimum, the sugary scent of the sweet-peas and the giant red skirts of the poppies. 

If you haven’t had your breakfast yet, you might want to stop reading at this point.

Yesterday we discovered that our cats all had worms. They’ve taken their medicine now, but it had already upset their little tummies. We scooted around the garden last night, clearing up all the poorly-cat poo we could find. It was not pretty. I tried to bury it all under a bush, but it still stank.

This morning, as my unsuspecting Buddhist colleagues followed me in silence, I was on the look-out for any fresh poo. There were copious amounts. My first thought was, ‘it is my job to lead these people away from the poo’. 

And then I thought again. As a Buddhist priest, is that really my job? To pretend that our garden (and life) is all weed-free and fragrant? To protect people from the poo?

At first I wondered if I ought to be leading people towards the poo instead. But, in my experience, there is enough poo in life without having to point it out. They’ll stumble across it themselves sooner or later.

And so, what is my job?

To step gently through the garden. To notice the iridescent water-drops on the white papery sun roses, and to watch the slugs as they drag their slime train behind them. To be present. To connect with the world. To love everything.  

Sometimes we have a mini-enlightenment experience when we truly encounter the twirling birdsong sprinkled through the morning air. Sometimes enlightenment is when we step in a big steaming pile of shit.

Deep bow _/\_ 

(If life has been handing you more poo than usual, you might want to try our Writing Our Way Home self-study e-course Writing Towards Healing. Or, to point you towards enlightenment, 31 Days of Waking Up.)

2 thoughts on “Cat poo & enlightenment”

  1. Oh Satya, I do love you dearly, my tummy is in knots for laughing at your many quotes refering to poo.

    Was a lovely morning service as always.

    Namo Amida Bu

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