Meet This Buddhist Cat Who Will Find Buddha Inside You
January 29, 2020 8:32 PM   Subscribe

Haetal the cat renounced from the world
full of cat snacks and became Buddhist saint.
The cat doesn't even crave for fish lol
posted by Johnny Wallflower (22 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
h/t soren_lorensen
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:33 PM on January 29 [1 favorite]


...I do hope it occasionally has a mousy snack, because I am pretty sure a tofu diet will eventually result in a blind cat. It does look very peaceful, though!
posted by tavella at 8:45 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


Cat's can't be vegan true- but taurine is present in dairy and eggs. Most monks are vegetarian and not vegan, so I'm sure kitty is just fine!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:48 PM on January 29 [3 favorites]


Do Buddhists have cat-nature?
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:09 PM on January 29 [5 favorites]


Meoooooooom
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:16 PM on January 29 [2 favorites]


There's a Hasidic story about a man who read somewhere that Elijah the Prophet will visit anyone who refrains from idle speech for ninety days, and teach them wisdom. So the man refrained from idle speech - which is a lot harder than it sounds - for ninety days, but he wasn't given any sort of spiritual insight. Disappointed, he decided to visit the Grand Rebbe of Ekvelt.

When he gets to Ekvelt, a bigger town some days away, he makes his way to the Grand Rebbe's house and is surprised to see the Rebbe in the stableyard, dressed in his formal caftan and praising a horse. "What a splendid horse!" the Rebbe says, while stroking the horse's nose, "How fine you are, how excellent your behaviour!"

"Rabbi," says the man, "It's just a horse."

"Just a horse!" the Rebbe tells him, "I'll have you know that for ninety days not one word of idle speech has crossed this horse's lips..."

So the man turned around and went home.

Anyway, I thought this was sort of relevant.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:49 PM on January 29 [37 favorites]


So cute! Cats also like to sleep in Buddha's lap.

I remember when my cats used to sit on my parents' laps while they meditated at our buddhist altar at home.

Also some of the muslims i follow on Twitter have talked about how cats make great muslims because they'll join their owners on the praying mat, and some even give their cats their own praying mat πŸ˜‚

(Of course the party-pooper explanation is that cats just like to sit on cushions and mats and spend quiet time with humans.)
posted by picklenickle at 11:23 PM on January 29 [15 favorites]


Also some of the muslims i follow on Twitter have talked about how cats make great muslims because they'll join their owners on the praying mat,

they do!

and some even give their cats their own praying mat

i just push mine off to the top while i do the prostration. she can deal.
posted by cendawanita at 11:31 PM on January 29 [22 favorites]


the party-pooper explanation is that cats just like to sit on cushions and mats and spend quiet time with humans

Why is that a party-pooper explanation? I like to sit on cushions and mats and spend quiet time with cats. And it was cats that taught me the value of doing that.

People who automatically assume that the human perspective is always superior and/or definitive would be well advised to get over themselves. Which is, come to think of it, one way to express several of the Noble Truths.
posted by flabdablet at 11:53 PM on January 29 [16 favorites]


I'm so impressed with that the monks got their cats to jump through literal hoops
posted by cendawanita at 12:14 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


Neither of my cats crave for fish. Our girl cat will eat canned tuna on a rare occasion, but I can't buy any seafood cat food flavors because they will be snubbed. I don't think fish is inborn for cats. Neither of mine want it, and they are entirely unrelated.
posted by hippybear at 12:15 AM on January 30 [1 favorite]


That cat is like mine in that it only wants to lick the gravy and will eat the solid part only because it is bored
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:30 AM on January 30 [6 favorites]


Buddydharma
posted by thelonius at 4:03 AM on January 30 [3 favorites]


That cat clearly hunts on her own and was trying to help the incompetent monks by giving them easy prey. I am a big fan of cats who join people in prayer.
posted by jeather at 4:48 AM on January 30 [2 favorites]


Eggs and milk don't have taurine -- they're rich in precursor compounds to taurine, so humans can create plenty of it with them. But cats can't -- they need to eat actual meat to not go blind.

Then again, there have been Buddhist monks who have deliberately given up their eyesight in order to help themselves reach enlightenment. If Haetal has decided that her eyesight is a price she's willing to pay in order to not take life, who am I to say she's wrong?

Or she's hunting when nobody's watching. That'd be fine, too.
posted by Xiphias Gladius at 4:55 AM on January 30 [10 favorites]


Then again, there have been Buddhist monks who have deliberately given up their eyesight in order to help themselves reach enlightenment

I thought one of the original ideas of Buddhism was to abandon that kind of radical asceticism
posted by thelonius at 4:57 AM on January 30 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure any cat can get that fat on tofu alone. She probably has a private gourmand life at night, when the nuns are asleep. But she is a lovely cat all the same.
posted by mumimor at 6:12 AM on January 30 [3 favorites]


If you meet the Buddha on the road, skritch it.
posted by curious nu at 7:17 AM on January 30 [31 favorites]


Possibly relevant:
When the spiritual teacher and his disciples began their evening meditation, the cat who lived in the monastery made such noise that it distracted them. So the teacher ordered that the cat be tied up during the evening practice. Years later, when the teacher died, the cat continued to be tied up during the meditation session. And when the cat eventually died, another cat was brought to the monastery and tied up. Centuries later, learned descendants of the spiritual teacher wrote scholarly treatises about the religious significance of tying up a cat for meditation practice.
A famous story, source for this version here.
posted by Aardvark Cheeselog at 7:35 AM on January 30 [3 favorites]


It's also like the story about the woman who cut off the end of a ham when she cooked it because her mother did it. Someone asked why, so she asked her grandmother, who said that her pot wasn't big enough for a whole ham.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 8:15 AM on January 30 [6 favorites]



I thought one of the original ideas of Buddhism was to abandon that kind of radical asceticism


It's a big tent.

Anyway, this cat is clearly a great Bodhisattva not because she's vegetarian (she clearly is chowing down on all the temple vermin at night) but because she allows the monks to believe that she is, giving them joy and inspiration in their practice. Good for you, Buddhist kitty!
posted by soren_lorensen at 8:33 AM on January 30 [16 favorites]


Can't decide whether I'd rather translate the title "θ§€δΈ–ιŸ³θ²“θ–©" as "The Bodhisattva Avalokittyesvara" or "The Bodhisattva Guan-nyan."
posted by bokane at 6:05 PM on January 30 [5 favorites]


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