I felt a pull on my shirt. It was Charlie . 7 years old kid
who lived next door. He was kind of fond of me. I carried
him on my shoulders to his house, few steps away.
His mother asked me for a coffee. I did say yes but with
an intention to spend time with the lil' kid. He changed his
clothes and with a smiling, amusing face came up to me. Sat
on my lap and asked, "Why do we wear ties?"
I didn't really have an answer but just this morning I went
through a book by Paulo Coelho. So i replied,"I dunno about
the tie but i know about the cat". Surprised he looked and asked,"A cat?"
"Yes a cat",I said.
A great Zen Buddhist master, who was in charge of the Mayu Kagi monastery,
had a cat which was his true passion in life. So, during meditation classes,
he kept the cat by his side – in order to ...view middle of the document...
The story began to spread.
Many years passed. The cat died, but as the students
at the monastery were so used to its presence, they soon
found another cat. Meanwhile, the other temples began
introducing cats in their meditation sessions: they believed
the cat was truly responsible for the fame and excellence of
Mayu Kagi’s teaching.
A generation passed, and technical treatises began to appear
about the importance of the cat in Zen meditation. A university
professor developed a thesis – which was accepted by the academic
community – that felines have the ability to increase human c
oncentration, and eliminate negative energy.
And so, for a whole century, the cat was considered an
essential part of Zen Buddhist studies in that region.
Until a master appeared who was allergic to animal hair,
and decided to remove the cat from his daily exercises with the students.
There was a fierce negative reaction – but the master insisted.
Since he was an excellent instructor, the students continued to make
the same progress, in spite of the absence of the cat.
Little by little, the monasteries – always in search of new ideas,
and already tired of having to feed so many cats – began eliminating
the animals from the classes. In twenty years new revolutionary
theories began to appear – with very convincing titles such as
“The Importance of Meditating Without a Cat”, or “Balancing
the Zen Universe by Will Power Alone, Without the Help of Animals”.
Another century passed, and the cat withdrew completely from the
meditation rituals in that region. But two hundred years were necessary
for everything to return to normal – because during all this time, no
one asked why the cat was there.
So may be the tie began kind of some other similar way".
Coffee got cold. I left for my house and on the way kept wondering upon
the possibilites of how the tie could have begun.