Choosing To Be: Lessons in Living from a Feline Zen Master by Kat Tansey

Stars: ****1/2

Summary: Choosing to Be is a magical story about becoming fully present and achieving the true freedom of enjoying life just as it is. Guided by her inscrutably wise and perceptive Buddha master who just happens to be a Maine Coon cat, and inspired by his comical little brother who is the essence of pure Buddha nature, Kat overcomes seemingly impenetrable obstacles to achieve inner peace. She breaks out of the prison of her ordinary mind and arrives at a place that was there all along, the sky-like freedom of her own Buddha mind. – from website, read rest here.

I’ve always been a little interested in Buddhism and I love animals so I thought I’d give this a try. I really liked it. It’s fun to read and gives some great meditation tips.

It’s a little weird in that Kat Tansey was taught by her cat. You wonder if she learned on her own and attributed it to her cat or if her cat really talked or if she’s just lost it. In the foreword by Patricia Heller, it says:

“Oddly enough, this book is classified as a work of fiction. It shouldn’t be, and I’ll tell you why I say this. I have met the real life Maine Coon cat, Poohbear, the wise and benevolent Buddha Master in Tansey’s story, and know him to be quite a talker.”


I don’t know what to believe. I do believe you can get insight from animals but I don’t know about months of teachings on meditation and Buddhism. Whether it’s fiction or not, the information is helpful and has renewed my interest in learning meditation.

Also Kat Tansey experienced Depression at the beginning of this book which I can identify with and I found the teachings at the beginning very interesting and helpful. I’m sure I’ll be rereading this book a few times and I almost never reread books.

The book is peppered with black and white photographs of the two cats which are absolutely delightful, as most cat pictures are.

I think this book is a good book for those interested in cats, meditation, depression or Buddhism or any combination of those.

Links of Interest: Choosing to Be,

Other Reviews:  Linus’s Blanket, Lesa’s Book Critiques, Socrates’s Book Reviews, Amazing Doctor Zen’s Wonder Blog

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.