Um, excuse me, that's mine.

Really, I give him a fresh bowl of water every morning.

Where is the insight here? Just because you think something is yours dose not mean the rest of the universe cares.


Barry said...

It would be easier if there were a "self" that could possess something. Or would it? Duh!?

Anonymous said...

The cat thinks it is his. The photo proves it.

SlowZen said...


There is the self that thinks there is a self.

There is a bag of skin that moves matter and water from one place to another. It signs credit card receipts too. It generally does when instructed to by the self that thinks there is a self.

I have a feeling that if I stopped behaving as if there was a self to pay the mortgage I would have some further affirmation that their was indeed a self.

This can also be a nice reminder of interconnection, the self arises when the mortgage is due. Stretch that to everything else in the universe that I bump into that also arises and passes away, and you have a sense of self that arises and passe away like pretty much everything I have ever experienced.

So for the moment I accept that there is something that I call the self that is deeply interconnected with everything that the entity known as me thinks is not the self even though without that self all of that other stuff would effectively not exist... Or would it?

Lots of mental gymnastics there just for fun, I am of the mind that says there is no permanent self, but there is definitely something that is typing this comment.

Wow that is allot of words.

Maybe I should have just said "Nope" eh?
I don't know what the cat thinks, but from observation and careful analysis I can determine that he is certainly behaving as if it was his.

Thank you both for your comments and fellowship.

Lauren said...


I'm glad you captured the windy version instead of just "Nope." When I read your "self arises when the mortgage is due", something clicked...Thanks


MyoChi said...

What is it that controls the self?

oxeye said...

Cats are such great teachers. They never say too much..

SlowZen said...

Lauren, I hope that was not your knee clicking...

That is an interesting question!
But I am too sleepy to get into it right now, it is way after my bed time...

Cats can be excellent teachers, but I cant shut mine up!

Good night all, and thanks for your comments!

oxeye said...

After thinking about this, I believe the cat is teaching you that nothing is truly yours. But being a generous host, he is willing to share it all with you. ;)

Anonymous said...

No I, No me, no mine. Unless you are a cat and then you are so cool you are totally entitled to your ego.

Yamakoa said...

Great Pic Jordan,

As for the cat, he reminds of a famous zen master.
When Hungry, just eat
When Sleepy, just sleep,
and obviously, When Thirsty, just drink


SlowZen said...

I like that. Thanks!


This reminds me of something I read once: A student asked their teacher how much ego they needed; the teacher replied “Just enough to keep you from walking in front of a bus.”
I think that this particular cat is from the chanting school.

Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow!


Thanks for your comments!

SlowZen said...

I thought about your question some more today.

I have come up with some bad answers and one I am comfortable with.

For the bad answers, and my initial thoughts:

1. Me
2. Ten thousand things.

And the answer I am most comfortable with:

Causes and conditions control the self.

Thank you again for the interesting question.

MyoChi said...

There you go Jordan! I think the same - it is causes and conditions. Isn't it amazing how self is so pathetically dependent on causes and conditions and yet it gives rise to ego which make believes that it is in control!!

Carol said...

Love it! Wanchan is such a wonderful cat!
Cats are so wise and self-centered!

SlowZen said...

I would not say pathetically, maybe perfectly?


A wonderfully noisy cat!

Yamakoa said...

You said "Causes and conditions control the self."

Hmmm. I don't think the dharma would have flourished so vigorously to the present day if that is all their is to it.

Of course, the harbinger here is "the self." Ah, that beautiful little construct.

SlowZen said...

Please do tell, how is it for you?

Anonymous said...

Be careful Yamakoa.. you are in danger of being turned into a fox for 500 lifetimes.

SlowZen said...

Hard to tell if caution is warranted before he expresses himself.

Who knows, he might just wake up the world!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jordan--As much as I love my dogs I intensely miss having a cat. So, I get my purrs through the cats of others and love the photos.

Two related book plugs: 1. The Tao of Meow by Waldo Japussy, Enthea Press 1990 2. The Wisdom of Yo Meow Ma by Joanna Sandsmark, pub MJF Books 2005

I'm not sure why both are classified under 'Humor'...perhaps there's a lesson there!

SlowZen said...

Hi Ann,
Glad you are enjoying the pictures, I suspect there will be more.

Can't promise I will read those book recommendations any time soon, unless they make it o the Treeleaf book club list. I am going to squeeze reading Ray Brooks' Blowing Zen in before I start re-reading branching streams.

And I got a few other in the q in various states of being read. too many books. Good thing I am so forgetful or I would not have any room for reading more!
Thanks for stopping in!

Yamakoa said...

Hello Jordan,

When I initially read your reply, it seemed to me that by using the word control, you were giving power to something "outside" of oneself. It is as if we were somehow separate from the conditions we are in. To me, this line of reasoning seems overly restrictive and deterministic. I think you can see for yourself where this line of reasoning leads to.

In any given situation, there are choices to be made. This leads to other causes, effects and conditions that arise, further leading to other cause and conditions that arise; yaddy, yaddy, yaddy.

If you mean by your statement, that their is a "no self" which arises independently from causes and conditions, and therefore these conditions give rise (control) to a self where we are manifesting, which lead to more causes and conditions, then I think we are just agreeing on Dharma principles that we so love.

You ask "how is it for me?" During moments where I am fully present a ring occurs, and their is just this ring. During less clear moments, their is a ring, followed by: I wonder if its work, I hope the patient is OK, is she crashing (dying)?, she really reminds me of grandmother, I remember grandma chasing me around the house with a cleaver once (true story), my best friend was so scared he jumped out my bedroom window, I hope he makes back from the war in Iraq, yaddy, yaddy, yaddy.

Gotta run amigo, Thank you for inviting me Jordan

SlowZen said...

I think you may not have to suffer for 500 years as a wild fox.

Thank you for sharing!

Thanks for looking!