Buddhism for Pets

Thursday June 15, 2006

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, a couple of days ago there took place what may have perhaps been Australia’s first ever Buddhism for pets event. In an inner-city park, Lama (only one “L”, note) Zopa Rinpoche from the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition blessed one hundred animals including cats, dogs, mice and mudcrabs, the latter rescued from the fish-market that very morning and delivered from their fate.

At the event Lama Zopa gave some advice on pet-care, and it appears that we are seriously falling short in our spiritual responsibilities to Bodhicattva. It’s really not good enough that we feed him, indulge him shamelessly, play fetch with him (yes! we have a cat who plays fetch!). We should also be whispering holy texts into his ears, making sure that he hangs around holy objects – whatever they might be – and blessing his food before he eats it.

Given that Bod (Bodhicattva is his religious name, used only for formal occasions, whilst Bod is his everyday name) could die at any minute, in spiritual darkness, without ever having heard the teachings of Buddhism, it seems to me as if there’s not a moment left to lose. I’m going to finish this blog entry here and go and track him down to wake him from his worldly slumbers and read him some inspiring passages from the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā

# · Elee

Do you think we can get away with blessing the whole bag of food in one go, or do we need to bless each individual bowlful?

(Bod’s other owner/human companion)

# · Will

Hmmm… good question, Elee. I suggest we bless each individual cat biscuit, just to be on the safe side. Time-consuming, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.


# · Jayarava

The one ‘L’ lama, ‘e’s a priest;
The two ‘L’ llama, ‘e’s a beast.

# · Will

W ;-)

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