The Beckoning Cats

Around about this time of year back in 2002 the late head of our Order came to Cornwall where I was living at the time. He, along with another monk I work closely with, stayed in a cottage and talked business. We talked business every morning for a week. In the afternoons the late head of our Order wrote and polished his book, Buddhism from Within, sat at a table in my trailer. He worked incredibly hard. Little did he know he would be dead within three months, of lymphoma.

During that week we had wonderful lunches cooked by our host and, with him, set the wheels in motion to establish a charity for the OBC in England, the OBC Activities Trust. (On Monday I missed the AGM of the charity held near Manchester due to more pressing matters here in the monastery. ) Towards the end of our week together we visited a village, it could have been Newlyn, and these cats caught my eye.

Today, a beautiful crisp sunny day, I’d intended to treat you all to some photographs of the monastery clothed in a white coat of frost. However more pressing matters had me driving out of the valley, and when I got back the clouds had already covered the sun. They say we are in for more ‘weather’ in the next few days. Before I left I did manage to catch a quick shot of our cat, Smudge, in the window of the Novices Common Room.


Smudge and tree, with reflection of a Buddha. There is the cult of the Beckoning Cat which you may know about. It’s has an interesting monastic cat origin.

Written in loving memory of Rev. Master Daizui and our day out in Cornwall, one cold and frosty morning in 2002. And in gratitude for those meals, and so much more too.

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3 thoughts on “The Beckoning Cats”

  1. Hi Rev Mugo…I bet Throssel looks lovely with the frost! This morning we had frost along the Main River and the swans swimming looked stunning in the mist. I was wondering if you could give Rev. Fuden all my best! He sent a card and it brightened my day. And I wish you as well all the best for the coming year…thank you always for your kindness and wisdom and also very important, humor!

    In gassho…Jack

  2. Marvellous story! I once visited a shrine devoted to two cats that had belonged to one of the Shimadzu lords, Yoshihiro, at the gardens in Kagoshima. The tale goes that they enabled him to navigate the seas to Korea and in return, he enshrined the survivors as Kami on his return. Googling Kagoshima Cat Shrine turned up a number of accounts and photos.

  3. Jack, Since the Reverend in question is staying close to where I am at the moment it was easy and quick to passon your message, and yes Throssel and the valley in sunshine and with frost are particularly beautiful. Not here for the view though!

    And ‘dad’, hope you don’t mind me calling you that, I have not Googled the cat shrine however I will when I get a moment. Few people realize it however it is cats who rule the world…or their small part of it anyway.

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