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March 30, 2009

Zen and Cat Poo

I’ve been reading a book called Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert which inspired me to try to attain inner peace through meditation. She describes her search for peace and balance so hilariously and so well that when she finally attains it, you kinda go: AAAWW I want some of THAT!

The premise is that we (humanity) are far too distracted by external things and circumstances and our emotional states vacillate like a pendulum depending if our situations are good or bad. This rang VERY true for me. My two extreme states of being are either ‘YAAAY life is so divine’ or ‘BOOHOO I HATE my life’, and hardly ever any middle ground in between. So, the book states that if we can attain inner peace, a relationship with God (or higher power or whomever you would like to call him / her / it) we can always rely on that centredness to help us through ANY circumstance that comes our way and remain calm and happy no matter what.

GUHRATE, I thought, am going to start meditating immediately. I am usually up with the birds at 5am anyway so what have I got to lose? I did some research on a website about meditation recently and discovered the simplest way to start the process, is just to sit quietly, still your mind, breathe and concentrate on your breathing. Let thoughts go in and out but don’t hold on to them – let them go. Wonderful. So, there I was at 6.10 this morning trying to do just that. I was sitting in my pj’s, legs crossed, breathing for about uhm 3 minutes, when I heard a screech from the bathroom.


I tried to ignore it and centre myself to no avail. Eventually my door burst open and I gave up. Dragged sorry (un-centred) self into the bathroom to go and survey the damage. It WAS disgusting. I won’t go into detail, suffice to say I spent the next 10 minutes cleaning up cat poo and cursing the feline members of my family. There goes my Zen attitude. Clearly God is having a big laugh at me today. Sigh. I shall persevere and try again tomorrow morning, however.

PS: Scott - you HAVE been warned!


  1. True enlightenment is found in part through finding God in the mundane things. Like shopping for a burlap sack.
    Let she who has never pooed in the bathroom cast the first rubber glove!

  2. Mental note to self: Add burlap sack as item on shopping list. Check.

  3. Maybe it's all in how you look at it. Suppose nobody had interrupted you -- you'd have achieved inner peace on your first try, only to have it completely destroyed when you inner-peacefully walked into the bathroom and stepped in cat poo.

    Plus, if you got it on the first try, would you really value it? That's what my parents used to tell me about why it was important I not get stuff now. I suspected it was b.s. then, but I use it on the kids now...

  4. @briane p: Yeah dude ur rite. Now I am finding Zen in a lovely red. Hmmm wine.. hmm peace n quiet. Yay. :)

  5. glad you are all doing well

  6. well you have gotten to the "ying & yang" of zen.
    on one hand you are reaching for the spirit by meditation and the on the other the real life still is here.
    so you may have something with Zen & Cat Poo

  7. Cats do not want their servants to achieve contentment. If we become too relaxed, we become less inclined to wait on them.

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  9. I read that book sometime last year and loved it. I think that my favourite passage in the book is in India where she decides that she will no longer harbour any negative thoughts. I loved that passage and continue to read it again and again.
    This book actually inspired me to try yoga which I have never been interested in. I LOVE my yoga. It has changed me completely.
    I still struggle with finding time on my own to practice (much like you having peace and quiet to meditate) but that class that I attend once a week has made such a difference to my life and I would highly recommend you try it.

  10. Eeeuuuuwwwww... I swear nothing stinks like cat poo or pee!!!