REVIEW: The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Art of Purring by David Michie
“What makes you purr? Of all the questions in the world, this is the most important. . . . . Because no matter whether you are a playful kitten or sedentary senior, whether you’re a scrawny alley Tom, or sleek-coated uptown girl, whatever your circumstances you just want to be happy. Not the kind of happy that comes and goes like a can of flaked tuna, but an enduring happiness. The deep down happiness that makes you purr from the heart.” His Holiness’s cat is back—older, a bit wiser, and as curious as ever. In this book, the Dalai Lama sets for his lovable feline companion the task of investigating The Art of Purring.
Whether it’s the humorous insights gained from a visiting Ivy League Psychology Professor, the extraordinary research of a world-famous biologist, or the life-changing revelations of a mystical yogi, His Holiness’s Cat encounters a wealth of wisdom about happiness. And what she discovers changes the way she sees herself forever. With a much loved—and growing—cast of characters from the local community and His Holiness’s residence, as well as encounters with intriguing strangers and celebrities from far and wide, The Dalai Lama’s Cat and the Art of Purring will transport readers in another unforgettable story. Along the way they will come to understand how elements of contemporary science and Buddhism converge. And, once again, they will feel the warmth of compassion and nonattachment that radiate from the heart of the Dalai Lama’s teachings about our quest for enduring happiness.
Dear Mr. Michie,
I was so enchanted with little Snow Lion, aka “The Dalai Lama’s Cat,” that I eagerly got the next book of her adventures in self discovery. Petting a cat is soothing for humans and I discovered that reading about HHC (His Holiness’s Cat) as she tries to learn the answer that His Holiness sets for her is just as good for my health in these stressful times.
The Dalai Lama is leaving on a seven week overseas visit but before he goes, he asks Snow Lion to spend her time finding out what makes her purr. After a horrifying encounter with two slavering dogs that sends her dashing through a spice shop and ends up with her stranded on top of a fence, Snow Lion and the cast of friends from the last book – plus a few interesting new people – begins to think about and ponder what makes up happiness. Are we all capable of being happy and can this be increased? A British scientist avows that we’re all sem chens with the ability of panoramic understanding while a revered yogi helps The Most Beautiful Creature Who Ever Lived grasp that we’re all “consciousness capable of human, feline, or even canine experiences.”
“Swami” also gains some a new name when she attends yoga classes with one of her human friends and begins to see that she’s had several past lives that intricately connect her with others. And there’s a hint of where she might have originated before being catnapped along with her litter mates which lead to her becoming HHC. An equation for happiness yields the possibility of raising it by adjusting one of the components – which is something His Holiness is sure to approve of. But she also discovers the depth of her connection to the people she is closest to and that by giving more purring happiness to others, she gains happiness for herself. Ah, I feel more at peace. B