philosophical mutts and zen master cats

Es­ti­mated reading time is 2 min­utes.

GUARDIANS OF BEING is a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Eck­hart Tolle (words) and Patrick Mc­Don­nell (pic­tures). I have en­thused over it since its pub­li­ca­tion in 2009, and have rec­om­mended it to everyone! The book de­scribes beau­ti­fully and play­fully how philo­soph­ical mutts and zen master cats help in grounding human beings—call us out of our reveries, our wor­ries, and our self-absorption, and plant our feet back on the ground of the here and now. 1

“This won­der­fully unique col­lab­o­ra­tion brings to­gether two mas­ters of their fields, joining orig­inal words by spir­i­tual teacher Eck­hart Tolle with de­lightful il­lus­tra­tions by Patrick Mc­Don­nell, the cre­ator of the ac­claimed comic strip Mutts. Every heart­warming page pro­vokes thought, in­sight, and smiling rev­er­ence for all be­ings and each moment.

Guardians book

More than a col­lec­tion of witty and charming draw­ings, the mar­riage of Mc­Don­nell’s art and Tolle’s words con­veys a pro­found love of na­ture, of an­i­mals, of hu­mans, of all life-forms. Guardians Of Being cel­e­brates and re­minds us of not only the one­ness of all life but also the wonder and joy to be found in the present mo­ment, amid the beauty we some­times forget to no­tice all around us.” (Pub­lisher)

I orig­i­nally posted this as a col­lec­tion of word­less im­ages as a tribute to my sis­ter’s birthday and ti­tled it, “happy birthday, mary alice umperdinker.”

(Yes, it’s an in-joke.)

(Yes, it’s sophomoric.)

(And yes, so are sister and me.)

I have ex­panded it a wee bit to make it a book re­view of sorts. 2


Philosophical mutts and zen master cats

Here then is my book re­view: “It will take you about twenty min­utes to read Guardians Of Being and you will enjoy each of those passing min­utes. The first time. It will take longer the many, many times you reread it and you will savor each mo­ment as it lasts forever.”


GuardiansOfBeing BeachSunset 1000

FEATURED IMAGE: This is the page as it ap­pears in the book. I had to tweak the colors and darken it to make it ap­pro­priate for use as the image at the top of the page. “Ap­pro­priate” in that the white print in the title had to have a dark enough back­ground to be readable.



1   There is a hard­cover edi­tion (2009) and a pa­per­back edi­tion (2011), both from New World Li­brary and very easily found for pen­nies each on Amazon.

2   It may be sopho­moric, but at least I didn’t make any fart or poopy joke!


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thank you, big brother - m. umperdinker