What surprises me this morning, as the cat invites itself into my zazen practice, and seems to want to find all possible distractions to thwart my plan for a session before sunrise : he roams the room in all directions, makes phenomenal noise, pulls on the slightest bit of string that protrudes and climbs my torso in search of attention.
All this amuses me and I end up giving the satisfaction in the form of a few strokes because, after all, he is really too cute.
If such interruptions had been initiated by one of my children, I would never have accepted it. Why then does the cat benefit from such a preferential treatment and the child gets a reprimand when in both cases, we are dealing with beings with a spectrum of consciousness limited by its (animal/childish) nature and unable, at least from my vantage, to grasp the great importance I give to my morning practice.
The difference is that the degree of consciousness, while restricted on both sides, is nevertheless different in nature. The sphere of correctibiliy –– the possibility of being understood by the cat, is much less.
The stakes of the practice are real, on the other hand, the nearness that I have — by nature — with the child, whatever his age, in the end, makes him the recipient of a whole series of projections on my part.
This desire to correct his behavior locks me up into a deleterious spiral: that of dialogue with myself… would I be able to make myself heard? Respected? Obeyed ?)
In the case of the child, the interaction takes place on the register of assertion.
In the case of the cat, the interaction does not bring into play (or to a much lesser extent) any recognition (adult), of my status, of my approach (meditation), of my role (father).
From then on, the cat invites me to the very heart of the practice since it points its tail to the assertive component of human interactions as a source of suffering.
This same pattern, with a child, would have given rise to multiple interruptions, reprimands, frustrations. All possibly sprinkled with tears, and a cascade of relational consequences, involving other possible actions.
With the cat, I do not seek to assert myself since he is not able to adapt his behavior in accordance. That last sentence is cruel.
It also reveals that the narrowness of the conscience spectrum is not necessarily on the side that we believe, if only from a situational and unintentional point of view, which remains to be proven, the cat teaches that what constitutes the very heart of many interactions and the origin of relational knots can tighten until they become unbreathable.
©FJ July 2022 —
Groupe de Pratique
Recueils — Participations
Merci à tous
I wonder if the cat knows and understands more than you credit.
Perhaps the cat was seeking to correct you?
J’aimeAimé par 1 personne
He certainly has some sort of direct access I don’t.
(This post is a purposeful act of flattery…towards the cat.
He has been insisting for years now to appear somewhere on the blog and he sure has leverage.
J’aimeAimé par 1 personne