Excerpted from the article Advice on Benefiting Animals by Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche:
It’s not enough that you keep the animals and they give you comfort. You must do something of practical benefit for them. This is what you can do every day:
Take them around holy objects — circumambulate. Everyday you can put on a table many tsa-tsas and statues, and take the animal around chanting mantras at the same time. This way it also helps the person who carries the animal around.
Recite prayers in their ears, verbally, to plant the seed of all the realizations of the path to enlightenment.
This makes a huge difference. It has inconceivable result, unbelievable result. That makes them have a good rebirth next life, to be born as a human being and meet the Dharma.
But I’ve always kind of thought just the opposite.
Being a human being is hard. I like to think if we live a good life and do our best, perhaps the gods will take pity on us and let us live our next life as a nice woman’s lap-cat, to give us a chance to catch our breath.
I’m not really convinced that being human is the top of the pyramid, anyway. As Don Marquis once pointed out, to a mosquito we’re just something to eat.
And I’m pretty sure cats think that they are the species to aspire to.
“Faith is a state of openness or trust… In other words, a person who is fanatic in matters of religion, and clings to certain ideas about the nature of God and the universe, becomes a person who has no faith at all. Instead they are holding tight. But the attitude of faith is to let go, and become open to the truth, whatever it might turn out to be.” ~Shunryu Suzuki (via)
I’m always leery of people who claim to believe in a “literal interpretation of the bible” or “strict interpretation of the constitution.” They’re claiming to have, either through divine providence or their own superior intelligence, supreme knowledge of the One True Way.
I suspect they’re just full of themselves.
“Always recognize the dreamlike qualities of life and reduce attachment and aversion. Practice good-heartedness toward all beings. Be loving and compassionate, no matter what others do to you. What they will do will not matter so much when you see it as a dream. The trick is to have positive intention during the dream. This is the essential point. This is true spirituality.” ~Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche (source)
“It’s all a dream we dreamed, one afternoon long ago…” ~Robert Hunter
“Our emotions propel us through extremes, from elation to depression, from good experiences to bad, from happiness to sadness: a constant swinging back and forth. Emotionality is the by-product of hope and fear, attachment and aversion. We have hope because we are attached to something we want. We have fear because we are averse to something we don’t want. As we follow our emotions, reacting to our experiences, we create karma: a perpetual motion that inevitably determines our future. We need to stop the extreme swings of the emotional pendulum so that we can find a place of centeredness.” ~Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche (source)
“We talk about blind faith in religion, but actual blind faith exists in our everyday world. What do we really trust? We trust our senses, our perceptions, our culture, our thoughts ― completely, one-pointedly, and blindly. We trust these more than we trust religion.
“The idea of having blind faith in religion is totally a myth. The real blind faith exists in our worldly existence. We trust anything that is within the range of experiences of our mind, whether they are perceptual or conceptual.” ~Ponlop Rinpoche (source)