Customer Reviews: Guardians of Being: Spiritual Teachings from Our Dogs and Cats
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HALL OF FAMEon September 3, 2009
"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.

-- Janet Boyer, author of Back in Time Tarot
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on October 9, 2009
I just loved this book!
Patrick McDonnell and Eckhart Tolle make a great partnership of minds.

This tiny, extraordinary book absolutely captures the essence of Tolle's work illustrating his profound concepts using the example of animals, for whom 'being in the moment' is purely instinctual.

I looked at my cat after I read this amazing book and it occurred to me, wow! he lives ONLY in this moment of now! And I do not mean to sound trite here. Literally, he doesn't work on himself, he doesn't work on his parents, his kittenhood, which was spent roughing it on the street, does not exist for him anymore, nor does the future. When he was sick, he was just sick, not worried about the future, not resisting it, not comparing himself, not feeling sorry for himself.

Sunlight on his face, chasing a fly, curled up...I believe, far from trite, this is EXACTLY Tolle's point to us all. It is what living in the moment actually looks like - from a being that is just 'being,' that in fact only knows how to just live in the now.

McDonnell and Tolle have made a great example to their readers with this lovely, illustrated text of how to live in the moment. If you enjoy 'Guardians of Being' - and you absolutely will - check out two of my other favorite books by two of my favorite authors, the awesome Ariel and Shya Kane, Working on Yourself Doesn't Work: The 3 Simple Ideas That Will Instantaneously Transform Your Life and Being Here: Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment Enjoy!
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on August 31, 2009
Guardians of Being is another delightful collaboration between spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle and Patrick McDonnell, the creator of the Mutts cartoon characters. Despite the cartoon illustrations, unless your child is a little Buddha, this is really a book for an adult's inner child.

The charm and quirky humor of McDonnell's cartoons marries perfectly with the deep peace and serenity of Tolle's words, lifting the combination to a new plane and calling you into the moment like an irresistable siren song. It is the perfect book for the bedside, coffee table or "Throne Room," and would make a wonderfully subversive gift for Type A personalities.
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on March 7, 2012
Do you have a low tolerance for Eckhart Tolle, but still think he probably has some good ideas? Do you love animals, specifically pets, more specifically dogs and cats? Do you love simple, eloquent artwork reminiscent of your favorite newspaper comic strips?

Then this is the book for you.

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on October 14, 2009
My twin sister in the US introduced me to Patrick McDonnell's "Mutts" just around the time I discovered Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now. I acknowledged the deep wisdom inherent in Tolle's teachings, but found his book rather dense and difficult to read.

However, when I met Mooch, Earl and the rest of the Mutts family, I instantly recognized kindred spirits, and have been an ardent fan ever since. I receive the Daily Mutts cartoon and monthly newsletter online, and The Gift of Nothing, Just Like Heaven, an autographed copy of Sunday Mornings, and now Guardians of Being are cherished gifts and hold a special place in my book collection.

Guardians of Being is a divinely inspired collaboration. Tolle's insights are bite-sized and easy-to-digest, and are beautifully complemented by McDonnell's uplifting, humorous illustrations. The message is simple yet profound: that the plant and animal kingdom can open our hearts and teach us to be still, to be present, and to just BE. It gave me a renewed sense of appreciation for all the wonders of God's creation, but especially my beloved dog and cat. I will be ordering many copies of Guardians of Being for friends who are both animal lovers and spiritual seekers.

Eckhart Tolle has a large following in Australia, but Patrick McDonnell is relatively unknown. I hope Guardians of Being will help spread his imaginative joy to a wider international audience.

PS: Has anyone else noticed how much Eckhart Tolle and Patrick McDonnell resemble their dogs?
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VINE VOICEon November 18, 2011
Guardians of Being: Spiritual Teachings from Our Dogs and Cats is an impressive volume. It is light, airy (as in light and free), yet, serious and it carries a valuable message.

The book reminds us of what lessons our cats and dogs teach us whether or not we realize they are being our spiritual guides. Artist Patrick McDonnell (MUTTS) draws his playful scenes while author Eckhart Tolle (A New Earth) adds contemplative lines of script that bring to mind the joyous state in which our pets live as we struggle with- well - just about everything.

The book makes me smile and think - a great combination. It would make an excellent gift for young or old, and everyone in between. It's well worth the price; I'm enjoying it, tremendously.
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on September 21, 2009
This is one of those books I would like to purchase for the whole world! I felt that way about The Power of Now and A New Earth, too, however I know that it would be more difficult going for a lot of folks to just plunge right into one of those!

But here we have a Gateway -- our pets. And the drawings are stunning. I will read this again and again.

It is the first book in a long time that I have not bought on my Kindle, this is one that needs to be held and cherished over and over.

Please get this book today!
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on October 12, 2009
This wondrous little book, in only a few hundred words as captions for sweet "cartoons" (so called), to the best of my awareness captures the essence of countless books, audios, videos, workshops, yogas, therapies, Eastern and Western spiritual practices, and gurus. Reading--being with--the book evokes a joyous, knowing, smile. Worth much more than 5 stars!
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on October 1, 2009
The real wisdom in this wonderful new book by Patrick McDonnell and Eckhart Tolle is that their words and images reach deep into the world's religious traditions to truths many of us have forgotten. There aren't many of Tolle's words in this book--but the handful McDonnell selected are glistening gems. You'll find echoes of Zen and also Christian teachings in this book. The truths they're sharing also echo spiritual giants like St. Francis and even Methodism's founder John Wesley, who was an early crusader for rethinking our relationships with animals.
Aside from the wisdom--which has sent me back to the book over and over again since I got my own copy some weeks ago--this book is just flat-out beautiful, imaginative fun.
McDonnell talks about his style in drawing "Mutts" as a kind of scratchy, hand-crafted style. That makes a lot of sense here. Each of us is seeking spiritual answers in our daily lives and the Mutts sketches here come across almost as loving notes from a good friend. (Well, an extremely talented good friend--but there's a friendly homey quality to them that adds to my own affection for the book.)
One last note: I've carried this book around with me in visits I've made to various book groups and classes and discussion circles for weeks now--and I can't tell you how many times I almost lost my copy! People open it up and don't want to give it back! That's further testament to its appeal.
Buy one for yourself now--and you'll likely wind up giving one to a friend soon after that.
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on November 12, 2009
The saying 'Dont' judge by it's cover would apply here." It's a simple book, and yet in it's simplicity it is closer to the 'truth' then most books you could read on truth, being, spirituality . . . AND it left me smiling . . . after pretty much smiling and oooing and awwwwing throughout the whole read. I read it right before I went to bed . . . and then when I got awake I noticed my mouth was smiling and felt my eyes were, too:) . . . and then I remembered this book:) it had lingered with me all night . . . so simple, yet touched me in a deep way, right to the heart. The heart remembers the truth . . . and this book speaks the truth of 'being' in a light 'hearted' way. Sages have said many times over, "the truth cannot be taught, but can be CAUGHT" - and this book was a catalyst for a deeper and yet, very simple way of 'catching' IT.

- Nature can show us the way home . . .
- 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.
- It's so wonderful to watch an animal, because an animal has no opinion about itself. IT is. (I love this !!!)
- 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 . . .
- We have forgotten what rocks, plants, and animals still know. We have forgotten how to BE - to be still, to be ourselves, to be where life is: Here and NOW

This book is illustrated by Patrick McDonnell .... creator of "Mutt's" comic strip and the drawings and captions are very funny, cute, and precious . . . and speak sooo much truth . . .

I do not have any pets of my own . . . however, my daughter's dog, Rooti, comes to stay with me sometimes . . . last year he was with me more than half the time . . . and then I got busy and couldn't have him over as much. Just recently, BEFORE reading this book, I was thinking I need my 'teacher' back . . . he is also still my #1 guy - glad he's a dog, as he'd probably not want to come over again, 'thinking' I left him behind last year for somebody else . . . but the 'master' that he IS - he will likely be as happy and cheerful as EVER to come back and cuddle with me, and take me for some much needed WALKS in the SUNSHINE. He is that 'Sunshine' :)

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