“Guardians of Being: Spiritual Teachings From Our Dogs and Cats”

Text by Eckhart Tolle, art by Patrick McDonnell. New World Library. $14.95.

Take a look in the mirror. What do you see?

If you’re viewing stress and recognize, like most of us, you are always in a hurry-up mode, this engaging little volume is pause for reflection.

A stimulating, yet whimsical, look at how our dogs and cats can be our psychological guardians as well as our best friends, “Guardians” produces smiles and laughs with “Mutt” comic-strip character McDonnell’s complementary illustrations to Tolle’s insightful passages focusing on nature, dogs and cats.

We can learn from our dogs and cats, Tolle emphasizes, to savor the moment, enjoy our surroundings and don’t take ourselves too seriously.

Here are a few of his gems:

“It’s so wonderful to watch an animal, because an animal has no opinion about itself.”

“Just watching an animal closely can take you out of your mind and bring you into the present moment, which is where the animal lives all the time – surrendered to life.”

“The dog is still in the natural state. And you can easily see that, because you have problems and your dog doesn’t. And while your happy moments may be rare, your dog celebrates life continuously.”

“Dog 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.”

“Guardians” is an earthy celebration of life – as our dogs and cats live it. It isn’t saccharine but it is rather simplistic. And a sobering reminder for us to relax, revisit our priorities and enjoy the journey called life.

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