Saturday, 2 November 2013

BOOK REVIEW : The Dalai Lama's Cat by David Michie

I was in the 8th standard when I had gone on a ten day treck to Sikkim. It was there in the beautiful landscapes of Sikkim that I first got introduced to Buddhism. We had gone to visit a Buddhist monastry on our way to Gangtok and I was just spellbound by the tranquility and peace that was prevalent there. It was a surreal experience for us and the feeling still stays with me. Till date I associate Buddhism with that same tranquility and calmness and a deep sence of peace.
Though I am not a vert spiritual person nor a cat lover, this book appealed to me on some inner level. The author,  David Michie is a well-known author whose books Buddhism for Busy People and Hurry Up and Meditate are bestsellers.
In this book Michie talks about the teachings of Buddhism through the perspective of a cat. The story begins with the Dalai Lama adopting a tiny kitten and taking her to Jokhang, the beautiful sanctuary of the Dalai Lama himself, in Dharamshala. Here the kitten encounters different types of people who through their experience with the Dalai Lama undergo a deep cleansing of their souls and are able to let go of their negativity and embrace life with all its positivity. Michie talks about conquering one's anger or fear of the unknown through the teachings of Buddhism.
I could very well relate to the teachings of Buddhism which are so nicely explained in this book. This book is not about preaching Buddhism but talks about how we can change our lives for the betterment following some simple Buddhist principles. Wish to enjoy happiness and the wish to avoid suffering are the two basic wishes of all beings. So if we can be considerate about the suffering and happiness of others and ensure that none of our actions adversely affects others, we can live a happy and contended life.

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