Thursday, August 11, 2016

Beagle in China Meets Amitabha - by Brian Chung

I was emailed this week by a very nice practitioner of the dharma named Brian Chung who has a very nice story to tell about his Buddhist aunt and her beloved pet beagle who died a couple weeks ago that he wanted to share with me - his name was Micky - and he's published a story about his passing on Scribd where he has a lot of other dharma titles published that are also very good that you could also check out - they are there free for downloading - although to do it you have to pay Scribd a monthly membership fee which I'll forewarn you about.

Brian said that all of his dharma offerings are free and in the public domain - so because you have to pay Scribd that monthly membership fee I'm going to publish his beagle story here in it's entirety so that we can benefit from it's teachings because it's really quite remarkable.

Brian's Aunt believes that her beagle "attained Pure Land rebirth after five days of supportive chanting - with the chanting for the last day and night being continuous....Clearly, this was due to Amita Buddha's inconceivable merit and compassionate blessings".

What is remarkable about this is that according to this Brian's Aunt believes that through her chanting and the auspicious circumstances surrounding the death - Mickey "will be forever freed from the sufferings of the Samasara and he will become Enlightened Bodhisattvas of the Western Land of Ultimate Bliss".

I have never heard that this was possible for our household pets.

I have heard from Dharma teachers that our pets could be pretty much assured of a human rebirth in the next life because they had been around Dharma rituals and teachings their whole life - and doing dharma rituals at their death was very good for them - but to say that they had the possibility of being freed from the sufferings of Samsara and becoming Enlightened Bodhisattvas due to the fervent efforts of our Buddhist practices - that is completely awesome - and gives us who loves our companion animals as much as we love our human compatriots - such hope for them.

I have posted below the 6 page document that Brian sent me in JPEG format so you can read it in it's entirety - it is a very beautiful thing to read and I hope that it gives all of us pet owners great comfort when it comes to the time of death for our pets.

There are specific things to do at the time of death for our pets that we've never heard before - things to do AFTER the time of death that I'd never heard of before - I have always performed rituals BEFORE the death and at the time of death - but never AFTER the death - so the instructions are very helpful - and also I have done things 49 days after the death.

Some things I have done before the death is to perform a refuge ceremony for the animal - which I have provided instructions for previously in this blog - at the time of death I recite things like "OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA" - and then 49 days after the death there is a whole long ceremony I perform - which is also noted in this blog

But I am happy to add the things suggested by Brian to the death time as well.

So see below the JPEG's that are part of his teaching

If you'd like to see his other dharma teachings available on Scribd - I did join the website and paid for one month so I could download several of his other teachings - he is a very smart teacher - the website is at

Thank you once again Brian for your most auspicious dharma teachings and the people you will help when they are in the most pain

ps - if you can't read the pages - click on the picture and a larger version will open up for you - when you are read to read the next page - cleck back and then click on the next picture :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Finding a Dharma Friendly name for your next canine life companion

I'm getting a new puppy in a couple months - this is him at a couple days old, and I was thinking that I'd like to get him a good dharmic name because he is going to be perfect from birth - he's never going to encounter any of the fear, or anxiety or hurt that 80% of dogs who come into the world in North America face because only 20% of dogs born here live out their days in the first home they were born into 80% of dogs end up in the rescue system - mostly through no fault of their own - and this little puppy is never going to be part of that statistic - he's going to be completely loved, protected and coddled from the moment he was born until he is old, and his body has told him that it's time to go onto it's next adventure.

So I did a google search and a couple good websites showed up naming dogs with dharmic names that I thought I'd share here.

One is from a blog called "Enlightenment for the dear animals" and they have a blog called "Giving Dharma names to animals" and it's very good - it gives the dharma name and it's english meaning - so it's a good one to check out.

Then from the Breeders group "" they also have a page at that gives a dharma name and it's english meaning - another good page to check

Between those 2 pages I think you will find a meaningful name for your next canine life companion that will hopefully be with you for the next 15-25 years.

This was Buttercup in her 21st year

I just lost my heart dog of 21 years in October and it is taking me a long time to get over - she was the reason I lived and breathed - I am hoping that this little guy will dull the pain a little bit - the one who left me was a little poodle like this new one will be - I am hoping he will live as long as my little Buttercup did.  If so we will both have an amazing life together and this little sentient being will have lots of opportunities to hear the dharma and hopefully come back next as a fabulous highly evolved human being :)

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Nepal has a day dedicated to thanking them for being our friends

Diwali, one of the great celebrations in the Hindu calendar, is a five-day autumn festival generally known as the festival of lights.
In Nepal, Diwali is called Tihar. Similar to other Diwali observances, lamps are lit at night during Tihar. 

The festival of lights celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, of knowledge over ignorance, and the dissolution of barriers that separate humans from authentic experience of the world. Nepalese Hinduism is unique in dedicating the second day of Tihar, Kukur Tihar, to the worship of dogs. Dogs are especially important to Nepal’s Hindu practitioners.

During day two of Tihar, Kukur Tihar, the role of dogs in human life and throughout history is celebrated.

During Tihar, each day is devoted to a honoring a different concept or entity: crows, dogs, cows, oxen, and fraternal relationships, respectively. On the second day, Kukur Tihar, all dogs are recognized, honored, and worshiped. 

What forms does this worship take? During Kukur Tihar, the mythological and real relationships between humans and dogs constitute the day’s major focus. A garland of flowers is draped around the neck of every dog; not only those with homes, but strays as well.

This floral necklace, called a malla, is a mark of respect and dignity. It announces the wearer as important, and symbolizes the prayers that go with the dog. On Kukur Tihar, a red mark is applied to the forehead of each dog. In Nepal, this mark is called the tika, a paste made from abir — a red dye powder — along with rice and yogurt.

The tika is applied in a single stroke on the forehead upward from the eyes. Like the malla that garlands the neck, the red tika marks the dog as both a devotee of the righteous path and as an object of devotion. The tika imbues the dog with an air of sacredness and acts as a blessing to those who encounter the dog during Kukur Tihar. 

On the first day of Diwali, Kaag Tihar, food is arrayed on the roofs of homes as offerings to crows. 

On the second day, food offerings are put out for dogs in the home, as well as for strays in the streets. These food offerings take a variety of forms. Depending on the celebrant, the dog’s treats may include milk, eggs, meat, or high-quality dog food. 

Some may even offer dogs a bit of sel roti, a deep-fried confection similar to a donut. This is a day when dogs have the best of everything. 

 This post was taken from the page -

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sukavati for 8 dogs

Yesterday we had a buddhist ceremony for 8 dogs that have recently died - we had a gathering of people, and lots of dogs and spent the evening remembering our lives together - after having let them go
Sukavati's are rituals that include fire - and we burned up photos of the dog's to symbolize Stella's, Ursa's, Peaches', Jackie's, Ruby's, Mitzi's, Trouble's and Saige's release from clinging to this live that they've lived with us - and on to whatever great adventure they're going to go to next.
Hopefully the dogs who came to the ceremony and the evening had a good time - I brought Charlie and Buttercup - and I know Charlie wasn't all that thrilled, especially since Janet cut his nails, and he'd rather chew on rocks than have his nails cut - and as the evening progressed, he began to show how he felt -
but I wanted them there so they could suck in any auspicious wafts that might be going around - with them both being so old - they need all the good vibes they can get right now, that's for sure!

During the ceremony, Coleen recited a couple of poems - one of which she only said one line of - but I have looked up the whole poem because it's a good one, and I'll put it here, and the 2nd one is more like a little Buddhist song - I don't know if it made it to the tape - I don't think it did, unfortunately - but here they are -

Here's the little buddhist song -
"all you sentient beings i have a good or bad connection with as soon as you have left this confused dimension may you be borns in the western sukavati and once you're born there, complete the boomis and the path"

And here's the poem - by EE Cummings -

i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

Below is a video that I made of the ceremony, which is a distillation of it - I had to cut it down to 10 minutes because You Tube only lets you make videos of 10 minutes or under, so I had to cut out the chit-chat - but you get the meaning of it. I hope you enjoy it -

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Keeping pets in our life from a Buddhist perspective

From the website "Daily Buddhism" comes the subject of what people should feed their companion animals - whether it should be a vegeterian or a meat based diet.

They suggest that it's "karma neutra" - because if the animal was out in the wild, they'd definitely be killing animals - so whatever you're giving it - meat or vegetable, is no worse than what he'd be giving himself in the wild. Here's some more of what they say -

"Many Buddhists believe people with negative karma are reborn as dogs. Dogs are not intelligent enough to raise their karma on their own, so they essentially have to remain dogs until their negative karma has worn off. Eventually, they will get another chance to become human again and can work on reaching Nirvana. I think the important idea to get from that is that karma doesn’t work the same way for animals as it does for people because they are not able to affect their own karma, at least not to any great extent."

They do give out the idea that dogs and cats are carnivores, which is highly contentious - and I'm not going to go into that, because I don't necessarily agree with their theory - but they also put forward the idea that the better you treat your animal - the better it is for your own karma, which to me - is always a good thing - so it's win win - which is always good!

The Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians has an article called "Life as a Vegetarian Tibetan Buddhist Practitioner" that talks about life as a Buddhist, and what they generally eat - specifically Tibetan Buddhists - and it's a great article.

It's by Eileen Weintraub, and she talks about the fact that a lot of Tibetans do eat meat but that according to Tibetan tradition, the The Buddha said, ‘the eating of meat annihilates the seed of compassion.’ There is a big dichotomy in Tibetan culture about eating meat - and their compassion for animals. "The interpretation of Buddha’s teaching was that it was OK to buy and eat meat if the being wasn’t killed directly for you. "

Lama Yeshe has a section of his website devoted to Giving Advice on Practices that benefit animals that are pretty good for helping with day to day activities. It's pretty intersting.

Animals in our lives from an animal communicators perspective

A good website that's got some neat articles about animals and their relationship with us is one that I found by a lady who's an animal communicator. I personally use an animal communicator with my dogs - Maggie Carruthers - she's got a website at

The website that I found some neat articles at is at - this lady sells animal communication and flower essences. I have no idea where in the world she is located - but her articles are good!

She's got one about animals in Budhism that's awesome - it's called "Buddhism and Animals" and it's all about how Buddhism was the first religion to actually include animals in its philosophy.

She also says - "Buddhism considers all of life to be evolving toward higher consciousness. To the Buddhist, any practice by which man sustains himself at the expense of other sentient beings is considered wrong.

Buddhism considers non-human life to be Divine just as is human life. Animals are seen to be an evolving kingdom of living creatures destined in time to attain perfect enlightenment. All of life is seen to be one. According to this conviction, to harm any living thing is to do injury to the One Eternal and Divine Life.

Since animals are considered to be traveling towards enlightenment just as man is, neither are they to be harmed, discouraged or hampered in their progress."

In another article called "Why do animals suffer" - the lady, who's name is Sharon Cleary - says that "Animals mirror for us our lost innocence. That fragile, sensitive, trusting inner nature that is buried under varying layers of ego, negatively perceived life experience and our own suffering. It seems to be a human tendency to defile that which we no longer possess. Wild animals elicit fear in people who have shut down their own wild natures in favor of "civilized" living. For us to restore the Earth to Her perfection requires that we regain a child like sensitivity to the other beings with whom we share the Earth and that we reclaim our own wild natures."

Animal communicators can have some neat ideas - they come at things from a very different perspective than ost people do.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lojong for Dogs

I was given a really great book - "The Practice of Lojong, Cultivating Compassion through training the Mind" by Traleg Kyabgon - and it's funny, I've read ABOUT Lojong, and been taught about the practice of DOING lojong - but I'd never read the actual Prayer of Lojong by Jamgon Kongtrul.

I had previously been taught about "tonglen" - the practice of giving and taking - which is another root teaching of Jamgon Kongtrul - through Chogyam Trungpa's fabulous book "Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving Kindness" - and his Slogan Cards - but for some reason - this Lojong Poem has just blown me away, and the fact that it has a paragaph for animals just puts it over for me.

The first paragraph is the paragraph to help the animals - and then the rest of it is like the 3 or 4 paragraphs of the poem - this isn't the whole thing - these are just the paragraphs that spoke to me the most. You can find out more by clicking on the link I provided at the top of the blog post -

Jamgon Kongtrul’s Lojong Prayer

Translated by Traleg Kyabgon

Under the influence of ignorance,
Sentient creatures are born as animals,
May the karmic cause and fruit of their suffering
Dissipate within me.
I offer my innately born or cultivated intellect
And the virtuous root of non-ignorance
To all migrating beings equal to the expanse of space.
May the dwelling place of ignorant animals be emptied.
May they realize Avalokiteshvara of the Buddha-family
And attain the wisdom of dharmadhatu.

Therefore, may I appropriate
The sudden eruption of obstacles and other sufferings
Of change
On my egoistic fixation from this day forward.
I offer the virtue, power, and influence I have accumulated
Throughout the three times and even life itself
To migrating beings equal to the expanse of space.
May all sentient beings
Be happy and well.
May they embark on the path of awakening.

Virtuous teachings, meat consumed, yogurt drunk,
Transport taken, and respect received
As well as the disrespect, ill will, derision, and being
Robbed and beaten
All connect me with migrating beings.

As a result of whatever beneficial or harmful karmic
Relationships I may have had
With anyone who has seen my qualities or simply smelled my waft on the wind –
May all their karmic delusions be exhausted.
May they be delivered into Sukhavati
Through the power of Avalokiteshvara’s great compassion.

May whatever actions I engage in through body, speech,
And mind
And even my bodily odor
Have only beneficial effects on migrating beings.
May anyone who wants to cause harm to my life or body,
Whether they be human or nonhuman,
That carry ill intent
Be the first to attain Buddhahood.
May I never be the basis or the slightest cause
Of bringing the negative karma of others to fruition.

If we examine dreams, the reflection of the moon in
Water, a mirage,
We will see they have no true nature in themselves
It is only because of egoistic fixation that we have been
Utterly deceived by them.
I and all migrating beings equal to the expanse of space,
Including evil spirits and nonhumans,
Are equal in emptiness, the ultimate truth.
May we understand this without fixation.
May we never become attached
To the truth of emptiness.

There is not one migrating being
Who has not been my mother or father in this world of
Sentient being.
Where can I find anyone, anywhere, who has shown me
More kindness?
To wish harm to one’s mother or her offspring
Is clearly delusional.
Far better to appreciate their kindness.
May I hand over gain and victory to others
And take loss and defeat upon myself
In order to remember the kindness of all migrating
Beings without partiality.

Through the power of the exceedingly noble intention
Generated by me, as a result of this prayer,
May the obscurations and defilements of others be purified.
May all migrating beings accomplish the two accumulations.
The Essence of this previous bodhichitta is emptiness
And compassion,
The inconvertible path of all the Buddhas.
May bodhichitta arise suddenly and with ease.
Having given birth to this precious bodhichitta,
May I speedily attain omniscient Buddhahood.

Sarva Mangalam
May everything be well.