Rinpoche encourages Dharma centres to hold animal blessing events as many people who don’t normally come to a centre to attend teachings have pets and would attend, thereby exposing them, and their animals, to the Dharma. A blessing event can be combined with an animal liberation (ie, liberating animals rescued from death such as those consumed for food like chickens, fish, crabs, worms used for fishing etc). People can also bring insects from their homes, such as cockroaches and worms (make sure they go back from where they came from, especially ants who will not survive outside their own colony).
As Buddhists, we should be reasonably familiar with practices to help sick, dying or dead people, but for some reason we often are not sure what to do for animals. The following information should help you find appropriate prayers and practices to help those animals around you, whether it be an elderly pet, an injured animal at the roadside, an insect in trouble or an animal long since passed away. Downloading and reciting the Eight Prayers to Benefit the Dead is also highly recommended. Mind and Body Firstly it should be remembered that these practices are done in the context of the Buddhist understanding of
There are many prayers and practices that we can do to help animals and insects, whether they are pets or not. All need liberating from the lower realms. Lama Zopa Rinpoche recommends some main mantras particularly for animals, such as the mantras of Maitreya, Mitrugpa, Chenrezig, Medicine Buddha, Milarepa, Padmasambhava and the other 10 Powerful Mantras. The FPMT Animal Liberation Handbook contains the mantras plus much more and is available through the FPMT store (www.fpmt.org). This section will be expanded in the future. If you are looking for information on How to Hold an Animal Blessing Event, follow this link. For ideas on
“If you love your animal very much, this is what you must do for them, for their good rebirth and quick liberation from samsara. When the animal is dying or has died, recite OM MANI PADME HUNG, Heruka mantra and Heruka root mantra, and other mantras such as the Milarepa and Namgyalma mantras. You can recite the long mantras 21 times or more, and one mala or more of the short mantras. Blow strongly on the animal’s body after each recitation. Or, you can blow on water, visualizing each deity absorbed into the water. Each drop of water now has