Enlightenment for the Dear Animals

May all beings be Happy

You are here: Home - News - News


Spiritual Care for Animals Course


Tania Duratovic, Enlightenment for the Dear Animals and Animal Liberation Sanctuary, Nepal Project Coordinator is leading a special course at Vajrayana Institute, Sydney, for World Animal Day 2017. The course will cover Tibetan Buddhist methods for benefiting animals as instructed by Kyabje Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, particularly nearing and at the time of death.

Date & time: Saturday 7 October 2017; 1-4.30pm

Cost: $30/$25 VI members

Venue: Vajrayana Institute, Victoria Square, Ashfield NSW

Farewell Tamdrin

On 1st July 2015 we lost our dear friend Tamdrin the goat. Tamdrin was one of the earliest rescues that would become Lama Zopa Rinpoche's Animal Liberation Sanctuary at Kopan Monastery, Nepal. He was a young goat when he arrived, as most are when they find themselves at a roadside butcher. Despite being the only goat without horns, he could stand his ground and enjoyed playing with the other young goats. He became quite familiar with the trips up to the stupas to do ‘korwa’ (circumambulation) and wouldn’t need any leading.

alt  alt

Tamdrin was witness to all of the changes and improvements to the temporary facilities behind Kopan Monastery from 2005 until the big move to the new land in January 2014. He survived the PPR (Peste des petits ruminants) outbreak in 2010 where over half the herd at that time died (10 animals). He often had problems with his feet, particularly in monsoon, but otherwise generally was in good health.

When all the monastery goats joined the nunnery goat ‘overflow’ in the big move to the new land and new shelters he was a bit suspicious at first but soon adapted to the new arrangements and seemed to be enjoying the place, along with his old friends like Jigme and Dorje. Unfortunately Jigme died at the end of December 2014 and Tamdrin grieved at this loss for some time.


He will be greatly missed. He would invariably come to say a special hello to the project coordinators no matter how long the duration since their last visit. He would offer up his hornless head for a scratch and a rub and then would lean on you in that friendly way goats show their trust and affection.

Tamdrin circumambulated and was ‘bopped’ with holy objects many times, as well as hearing sutras, prayers and mantras from many different people, including Kyabje Thubten Zopa Rinpoche himself.

Please include Tamdrin and all the animals at the Animal Liberation Sanctuary in your prayers and dedications to quickly achieve Enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.



Nepal has been struck by its worst earthquake in 80 years. The human death toll is high as will be the animal death toll. The Animal Liberation Sanctuary, Kopan is in the zone of the quake. Our staff have been checking the animals to see if they are ok. Our friend Tree of Compassion is leading a disaster relief team on the ground in Kathmandu led by Phil Hunt, Tree of Compassion secretary and Animal Liberation Sanctuary Coordinator. Our first task is to assess and reassure our animals at the sanctuary, the cows in particular who are more easily frightened, followed by checking the safety of the shelters and the security of the fences. Our goats and resident dogs are quite adept at escaping should the opportunity arise.

There is currently no electricity or internet at Kopan and phone connection is quite difficult. We will be posting updates as they are available on our Facebook page (both Tree of Compassion and Enlightenment for the Dear Animals). Then we will be conducting outreach for the community with a focus on animals in need but also helping people. In a disaster of this magnitude, we anticipate animals will have a range of needs such as emergency veterinary care, emergency feed, shelter and so on.

As Buddhists, we will also be saying mantras to all the animals we come across and ‘bopping’ them with a small statue given to us by Lama Zopa Rinpoche for that purpose. We ask you to join us in saying prayers for all those sentient beings affected, human and animal alike.

Tree of Compassion is calling for donation to be able to help the animals in Nepal. Please donate via Tree of Compassion http://www.treeofcompassion.org.au/donate/

Crack in Boudinath Stupa

Indian Court Bans Animal Sacrifice

An Indian court has banned animal sacrifice in the state of Himachal Pradesh at places of worship hopefully ending this old but very much outdated tradition. Goats and other animals such as sheep are killed with knives as ‘sacrifice’ to Hindu deities at certain times of the year in parts of the Himalaya. Many of the goats at the Animal Liberation Sanctuary, Nepal, have been rescued from these sacrifices as it is a widespread practice in Nepal.

Goat Vendor, India


Animal Sanctuary Successful Move

The new Animal Liberation Sanctuary finally opened its doors on 2nd January 2014 to the 49 goats and 2 sheep that have been waiting patiently for construction to be completed. The land is only a short walk from Kopan Monastery but there is no permanent road access, a situation that has added to the complexities of building the new facilities. On the second and third of January the big move came.


108 'Laps' for Animals!

We would like to announce a fantastic opportunity to help animals in Nepal. In partnership with Tree of Compassion, we are conducting a retrospective ‘stupa-thon’ by circumambulating the famous Boudhanath Stupa in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. ‘Stupa-thon’ means you can sponsor Tania and Megan to circumambulate the most holy and extremely large stupa 108 times in one day. ‘Retrospective’ because they’ve already done it, on the holy Buddha day of Lhabab Duchen (24 November) (some plans come together later than others!). They not only went around the stupa 108 times (which took many hours and involved some hardships – Tania is still recovering from a sprain part way through the day), but they also did light offerings, recited many mantras, prayers and dedications, made donations, offerings of paint and prayer flags to the stupa and so on. Why? The merit of any activity on that Buddha day is said to be multiplied 100 million times. And they dedicated the activity primarily for animals, particularly those at the Animal Liberation Sanctuary, Nepal.

Boudha stupa

Since they have already succeeded in their task (from early morning to late at night), all you have to do is decide how much you would like to sponsor for the 108 circumambulations and offer your donation! And because it is incredibly huuuuuuge karma, you can dedicate the merit you are making for supporting the practice, and the support of the animals, and your generosity, to any and every cause that you know needs good karma. Everyone’s a winner!

No need to pledge – just donate the amount you wish, either through the FPMT donations page or through Tree of Compassion (in Australia). And don’t forget to dedicate the merit!

Even dreaming of a stupa or remembering a stupa that we have seen, plants the seed to enlightenment. It plants the seed to total liberation and everlasting happiness—to be free forever from all the suffering causes and to attain the highest enlightenment. We plant the seed of liberation and enlightenment even when we dream of a stupa. So then, anybody who sees the stupa, even animals, just by seeing the stupa it becomes an incredible purification of the mind”. Lama Zopa Rinpoche (

The Benefits of Stupas

By Kyabje Lama Zopa Rinpoche at Atisha Centre, Bendigo, Australia in 2000

Farewell Dzambala

Dzambala died at the Animal Liberation Sanctuary, Nepal, in March 2013. He had been one of the original residents, one of the original rescues. He was probably the first goat in Nepal to have an artificial leg fitted (after a tumour resulted in a part-amputation).


This video tells a bit about his life at the Animal Liberation Sanctuary. You can also see an article published online at Mandala Magazine.

[Link to Tree of Compassion page with video link]

Liberating for Rinpoche's Long Life

Liberating Animals

Practices for Rinpoche’s Health and Long Life

As many of you know, Khadro-la (Rangjung Neljorma Khadro Namsel Drolma) has provided advice for practices that FPMT centers, projects, services and students can do to help remove obstacles to Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s health and long life. One of the practices that Khadro-la specifically mentioned was to liberate many animals.

Find out how you can make this practice most effective.


Fires in Australia

January 2013

Please spare a thought for those animals (and people) caught up in the terrible fires in Australia. An EFDA project coordinator is at the Coonabarabran fire with an animal rescue and treatment team from Tree of Compassion trying to help where possible. This photo is very shocking, but Lama Zopa Rinpoche has said to us before we should show images of animal suffering so that we can all generate more compassion for those suffering in the animal realm (and presumably to use that compassion to motivate us to act in ways that can benefit others and ourselves).

Kangaroo caught in a fence during a fire

108 Yaks - Australian Premiere

This new documentary, “108 Yaks: a Journey of Love and Freedom”, had its Australian premiere at Vajrayana Institute in Sydney in August. A slideshow and update about Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Animal Liberation Sanctuary in Nepal was given by the project coordinators Tania Duratovic and Phil Hunt.

"My whole point of doing this animal liberation is to dedicate for Rinpoche and the gurus’ long lives. But also it is to promote animal liberation, to tell people what animal liberation is and how it should be done..."


Blessing the Animal Land

December 2011

Kopan Monastery monks recently held a special blessing ceremony on the land where the Animal Liberation Sanctuary, Nepal will soon begin construction on the new sanctuary facilities. The sanctuary holds animals, mostly goats, that Lama Zopa Rinpoche has rescued from butchers in Nepal and India. The animals have been in temporary facilities at the monastery and Kopan nunnery. The new land is only 10 minute walk from the monastery but there have been many obstacles to moving the animals here.

Kopan monks blessed the land and construction of the new sanctuary facilities is now going ahead, beginning with road access.

 Blessing the Animal Land

The full cost of the shelters and facilities has not yet been raised due to increasing construction fees and the ongoing medical, food and infrastructure costs associated with caring for the animals in their temporary facilities. The number of animals has also increased this year as Lama Zopa Rinpoche has rescued more.

Enlightenment for the Dear Animals is promoting this project as one of its priorities as it fulfills its criteria for a Buddhist sanctuary - the animals have been rescued from death, the animals will be given the best care available for the duration of their lives, and the animals will be given Dharma. It also fulfills Rinpoche's wishes. In September 2011 Rinpoche explained that he would like this sanctuary to be an example for the rest of the world (see the video).

If you would like to contribute, please go to our website and follow the links to the FPMT Animal Liberation Sanctuary donation page. As this is supporting animals rescued from death (the majority by Rinpoche himself) and that have been given Dharma, any contribution is considered to be the equivalent of doing an animal liberation yourself (as explained by the late Khensur Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup). Therefore you should make strong dedications.

Rinpoche Talks About the Animal Sanctuary

Video of Rinpoche

Whilst at Kopan Monastery, Kathmandu last year, Lama Zopa Rinpoche spoke about the Animal Liberation Sanctuary, Nepal. Looking from the Kopan dining room towards the sanctuary land, the video shows him discussing details of the proposed construction works with Ven. Tenpa Choden, then talking to those in the dining room about some of the elements of the new sanctuary. The liberated animals are in temporary accommodation at the monastery and the nunnery but since December 2011, construction has begun on nearby land for the animals.


Goats Rescued in India!

June 2011

Enlightenment for the Dear Animals in partnership with MAITRI Charitable Trust liberated 10 goats in India dedicated for the long life of Lama Zopa Rinpoche. MAITRI has a substantial animal sanctuary in Bodhgaya, Bihar, where the Buddha attained enlightenment.



Yaks Rescued in Tibet!

In September 2011, Enlightenment for the Dear Animals liberated 3 yaks dedicated for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Kyabje Thubten Zopa Rinpoche and other gurus. The yaks will live out their lives without fear of being sent to the butcher.

Yaks liberated in Tibet

To see more photos of the yaks, visit our facebook page.

The Guru Manifests Illness

As many of you know by now, Lama Zopa Rinpoche has unfortunately taken the aspect of suffering from a stroke.



Kopan Meditation Course and the Animals

Kopan Monastery, Kathmandu, Nepal

December, 2010

The annual one month November course with over 250 participants from all over the world is well underway at Kopan monastery.



Thanksgiving Day

This Thanksgiving celebrate with an animal-friendly feast

“Turkeys are so powerless. If they could, I’m certain they’d demonstrate strongly against the humans who kill them.

But if they did they’d probably get killed for that as well.”

- Lama Zopa Rinpoche,  (Kachoe Dechen Ling, Aptos, California, November 2007)

Thanksgiving Day is almost here. It is a day for peace and giving thanks. But how much peace is there behind your celebrations?


The Dalai Lama Joins Campaign Against Battery Hens

His Holiness the Dalai Lama has recently spoken out against the cruel practice of battery hen farming to produce eggs.



Latest Update - Friends Lost

Latest Update - Friends Lost

The disease that struck the Animal Liberation Sanctuary, Nepal, at Kopan in June 2010 has killed 10 goats. Another 14 goats, along with Nyima and Dawa the two sheep, have survived and it is hoped that the worst has passed. Although widespread in parts of Africa and now occurring in the Indian subcontinent, the Peste des Petits Ruminants disease (or PPR as it is commonly referred to) is not common in the Kathmandu Valley. The goat that Rinpoche rescued and that is presumed to have been carrying this severe and highly infectious disease probably caught it from animals brought to Kathmandu for slaughter from the Terrai (tA pregnant Sangmo blessed by Rinpoche - Dec '08he lower plains bordering India).


Among those who died are Dzambala, an older resident who liked to greet visitors and loved the sunshine, and Sangmo, one of the first girls to be liberated to the sanctuary. Sangmo was rescued in September 2008. Her young baby also died.


The PPR virus (Peste des Petits Ruminants) is related to the rinderpest virus (as well as the canine distemper virus and human measles). There is no cure and the only treatment is the use of drugs to combat secondary complications. It is not uncommon for up to 90% of a flock to die, so we are fortunate that most of the goats did not get infected. Fortunately these animals have all been circumambulated around holy objects, have been blessed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche and others and have heard the Dharma and therefore will have a much greater opportunity for a fortunate rebirth than most animals.


We would very much like to thank Pemba, the shelter farmhand, Pema the manager, Geshe Tongme, who has been giving Dharma daily to the animals, the vets, Ani Fran and many others at Kopan have been working around the clock to take care of the sick, prevent the spread of the disease and to support the dying. Thank you to all of you around the world who have been reciting mantras, prayers and making dedications. A special thank you to Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Khenrinpoche Lama Lhundrup, and also to the prisoners of Long Bay prison in Australia who did Medicine Buddha practice for the animals, the first time they have ever done this practice.


Thank you to all those who offered prayers and dedications.



Sheep Liberation in India

The Directors of Enlightenment for the Dear Animals were pleased to join with FPMT teacher Jimi Neal in liberating 3 sheep from a village butcher in the lower Dharamsala area in April. The liberation was dedicated to the long lives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Kyabje Thubten Zopa Rinpoche and Khadrola.

The sheep were so terrified of the butcher's pen and their narrow escape that they had to be carried to Jimi's place. The fortunate sheep, after being circumambulated and receiving prayers (and a long rest!), were later taken to the carer family to join the rest of the flock of sheep that Jimi has liberated.

Jimi & Tania carry lucky sheep

Urgent Help for Sick Animals in Nepal

We have some terrible news. Unfortunately a goat that Rinpoche recently rescued at the Animal Liberation Sanctuary, Nepal, has become sick with a deadly virus and it appears that most of the goats and sheep may now be infected too. Khen Rinpoche Geshe Lama Lhundrup, abbot of Kopan Monastery in Nepal, has advised that people do as many mantras of Medicine Buddha as possible.

The veterinarian is visiting daily and tests are being made to confirm which individuals may be infected. Medical treatment is underway. The animals are getting blessed water and Hayagriva pill powder every day. Geshe Thogme from Kopan Monastery is doing Medicine Buddha practice and mantras every day for them and he is also helping giving the water and the pills.

Go to our Death & Dying page for more information on practices. Perhaps you could organise 1/2 hour at your Dharma centre to do a group
recitation dedicated to the animals or even a Medicine Buddha puja. Any mantras recited at home, on your way to or from work or the shops, during your lunch-break or anywhere are most welcome!

Please, please join us to help our animal friends at this critical time!

Latest Update - Friends Lost


Tsering one of the mother goats

Dzambala at door


Translate the site

English Arabic Bulgarian Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Croatian Czech Danish Dutch Finnish French German Greek Hindi Italian Japanese Korean Norwegian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Spanish Swedish Catalan Filipino Hebrew Indonesian Latvian Lithuanian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Ukrainian Vietnamese Albanian Estonian Galician Hungarian Maltese Thai Turkish Persian
The Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition