It's often said that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. And sometimes the teacher is not who or what you expect.
That's been the case during 2020 for Jon Sweeney, who since late April has shared his home and his spiritual practice time with two kittens, Martin and Rosa.
Sweeney is certainly not new to practice. He is a leading interpreter of the life of St. Francis and is the author of forty books including a new biography, Nicholas Black Elk: Medicine Man, Catechist, Saint; he is co-author of a series of books on the poems of Meister Eckhart and author of The Pope’s Cat series of books for children. He is currently the publisher of Paraclete Press, which releases a wide range of books on Christian belief and practice, and in the late 1990s, he co-founded a multifaith publishing house, SkyLight Paths Publishing, where he brought to the public's attention an exceptional collection of books on spiritual practices of different religious and spiritual traditions. He is a Catholic married to a rabbi.
Even with that background, Jon still says today:
"As a spiritual pilgrim for more than half a century, I have practiced with teachers of many different religious traditions. With roots in my own tradition, I’ve gone looking for wisdom, beauty, and truth wherever it can be found. However, this past year, I have found myself learning most of all from my cats. I find that they exemplify lessons and truths that I find echoed in great spiritual traditions and practices, and which resonate for me deeply."
Having embraced these teachers and teachings, Sweeney has identified 12 ways we can imitate the spirituality of cats, such as:
- Surrender to Relax
- Find the Love Inside of You
- Seek Warm Places
- Voice Your Opinion
- Keep to a Schedule
- Watch Carefully
- Play Like It Matters
In emails sent on a schedule of your choosing, he will share what he's learned from Martin and Rosa and link it to such teachings as surrender in Sufism, the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh on love, the Hasidic master Rebbe Nachman on joy, Christian priest Henri Nouwen and the medieval mystic Christina the Astonishing on foolishness, Hildegard of Bingen on God as sun, the witness of Nuns on the Bus and T’ruah’s “Resisting tyrants since Pharoah” campaign, and more.
We won't just learn these connections between feline spirituality and the wisdom of the ages, we'll also engage in spiritual practices to bring these ideas into our daily lives.
To embark on this fun adventure with some wisdom kitties, click on "Subscribe to E-Course" below.
(4 CEHs for chaplains available.)
(choose your own start date and frequency)