“Dogs emanate a goodness that people respond to. One of the joys of walking your dog is that often people come up to you and immediately their hearts open. They are not interested in you, of course. They want to pat your dog.” – Eckhart Tolle, from the book Guardians of Being
In a delightful collaboration between spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle and Mutts comic strip creator Patrick McDonnell, the book Guardians of Being combines the Now-centric words of Tolle with the whimsical drawings of McDonnell, illustrating the oneness of all life, the joy found in simplicity, and the profound truths conveyed by our furry friends.
Frankly, I dare anyone to read this book and not have at least one belly laugh at best or several wide grins at worst (as if that’s really a “worst”!). I read Guardians of Being yesterday, and I can honestly say that joy and stillness overflowed from within. My 10-year-old son wanted to know what I was chuckling about, so after I was done reading the book, he read it! (And he actually erupted into laughter several times.)
Here are but a few gems from Guardians of Being (although the meaning is magnified by McDonnel’s adorable comic strips):
• “When you pet a dog or listen to a cat purring, thinking may subside for a moment and a space of stillness arises within you, a doorway into Being.”
• “I have lived with many Zen masters, all of them cats.”
• “You just watch the tail…with some dogs you just look at them—just a little look is enough—and their tail goes… ‘Life is good! Life is good!’ And they are not telling themselves a story of why life is good. It’s a direct realization.”
• “Give yourself completely to the act of listening. Beyond the sounds there is something greater: a sacredness that cannot be understood through thought.”
• “The one life, the one consciousness, takes on the form of a man or woman, a blade of grass, a dog, a planet, a sun, a galaxy… This is the play of forms, the dance of life.”
Perfect for animal lovers, Guardians of Being reminds us that all is one, God resides in stillness, peace is our core, and that we’re all connected by the same precious life force. Those who resonate with Tolle’s teaching will also treasure this lovely book, as would anyone needing a good dose of inspiration, gentle humor and uplifting wisdom.
It’s not only a wonderful book for adults, but also for children—and waiting rooms, doctor’s offices, libraries, coffee tables, churches and daycares would be the richer for having the Guardians of Being close by.