The Adventures of Lionheart, Temple Cat – Brave New You!

This is a time of year when the theme of renewal, rebirth and second chances is on the “collective mind”. In the doctrine of reincarnation in the Vedas -a living being starts a new life in a different physical body or form after each biological death. And in ancient cultures, each day the sun is newly born at dawn and sets at dusk.

Here we are again starting another year of revolutions around the sun, hopeful for what is ahead and energized to change what doesn’t work any longer. Navigating day to day with some grace and dignity as life delivers daily lessons has been a point of focus for me as a teacher and columnist, not unlike other popular media figures. If each day has the possibility for a second chance, we can look to the present moment for inspiration.
Now in my 14th year I am considered somewhat of a veritable elder and a source of temple cat wisdom. I have come up with some advice to add to my handbook for temple cat “wannabes” based upon what I relearned last year.

1) If you put a temple cat or anyone on a pedestal, eventually you will be disappointed when your expectations are not met.
It is natural for a temple kitten to seek role models in their journey, however, this changes the teacher, a parent, a hollywood star, a politician into an idealized symbol. Eventually when their humanness shows, there is disillusionment. And everything gets thrown out. Sometimes Often the teachings are faulted, or what they stood for. The ending of an illusion can be a painful rite of passage on the path of spiritual maturity. Wise temple cats learn to stay focused on the teaching not the messenger.
2) Strengthen your intuition by using the body as a radar system. Most humans recognize goose bumps can be a way of getting one’s attention or confirming a truth. You can ask your body to let you know when it is important to pay attention. Fur standing on end is one signal for temple cats, spontaneous shedding of hair is another.
3) Spend more time in nature – it balances the body and heals the spirit. Nature is the greatest of all temples reserved for such spiritual activities as rolling in the dirt, climbing a tree for perspective, or being chased by leaves. There are endless opportunities for heightening awareness, developing the skill of one-pointed focus on birds and bugs, for example, as well experiencing sammadhi while practicing shavasana in the sun.

How we are in relationships of all kinds, really counts. The experience of connecting to ourselves, to others, to everything is one of the great gifts of living. We are not our jobs. Being a temple cat allows one expression of dharma which gives purpose and direction to Life but it is your journey through relationships that you take with you. Create good karma with the temple cats in your lives – it will come back around!

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