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Diana at Mystic Journey Bookstore, Venice, CA


Perhaps The Wisdom Of The Ages Is To Shut Up And Listen. 


Can we forgive ourselves and others, and accept death without guilt, blame or judgment?   


Perhaps if we could stay alive, alert and present with our pain we would see the blessings in every experience. If we could live more as our animals do, ready for the unexpected, waking each day in gratitude, with enthusiasm, we might be more willing to surrender to the moment and roll with every ball that comes our way. We would know that life doesn’t always hand us what we want, but it always gives us what we need. Diana Del Monte says, “our animals show us what we need to learn about ourselves. Refusing to listen can have grave consequences.” 


One misty November night, a prolific, self-absorbed artist pulls a little white cat out of the branches of a pepper tree and learns a heartbreaking lesson about love and loss, attachment and suffering, surrender and being here - now. The artist had thought she was well prepared for such lessons. After all, she was a Zen Buddhist meditation practitioner, well trained to stay present with whatever arises in life. However, deeply bowing and chanting about Emptiness, the artist gets caught up in the formality of her Zen training and forgets the heart of the practice;  staying present. She forgets the joy of being alive and loses sight of one significant truth: everything in life is impermanent. Ku Ku delivers the heart of the Zen teachings with humor and tears and takes us down a bumpy road to enlightenment.

Ku Ku Zen is for animal lovers of all ages, readers interested in Zen or cats, and anyone grieving from the loss of a pet. For readers already on a spiritual path, the story veers into the world of telepathic communication, both with animals and nature. For those who have lost a pet, Ku Ku Zen presents a relaxed introduction into Zen meditation techniques that keep us present with our pain and help to heal a grieving heart. For others, it presents an opportunity to consider life with animals as a spiritual path.


Black and white quickly rendered illustrations precede each chapter. Originally in color on tan paper, the drawings reveal the spontaneity and warm-hearted nature of the author’s cats.  


Media: Charcoal, wash, Conte crayon and chalk 




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