Practices for Rinpoche’s Health and Long Life
Animal liberation is a powerful Buddhist practice often done to prolong life when an untimely death is threatening. According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche in “Liberating Animals” (FPMT Practice book), the practice of liberating animals is primarily for prolonging life and the recitation of mantras is more for healing sickness and providing protection from the harmful beings that become conditions for certain diseases.
He goes on to say:
“It is best to liberate an animal that you are able to look after yourself. By feeding them every day, you perform the Dharma practice of giving charity and create much good karma, the cause of happiness.”
Given Khadro-la’s advice, now is the perfect time, if you have been considering getting a pet, to visit an animal pound/shelter and rescue an animal from death row, dedicating this to Rinpoche’s health and long life. Or if you haven’t been considering it so far, now is a good time to do so! Everyday you not only get the benefit of having saved that life, you create merit by taking care of them, plus they get to hear Dharma from you!
If you cannot take on the responsibility of keeping a pet, perhaps you can contact your local animal rescue group to see if you can foster an animal. This way whilst they are in your care, you can give them as much Dharma as possible by circumambulating them around holy objects and reciting prayers and mantas to them.
For those who simply cannot take on animal pet at home, take this opportunity to liberate animals in other ways. You can either support some of the animal liberations that have been happening around the world, such Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Animal Liberation Sanctuary in Nepal (via this website). In relation to the Animal Liberation Sanctuary there is currently no room for bringing new animals, however, the late Khensur Rinpoche Lama Lhundrup said that the merit of supporting liberated animals is the same as directly liberating an animal yourself, for without ongoing care & shelter the animals would not survive. If you make a contribution, make sure you make strong prayers and dedications.
Another thing you can do is get your bottle of blessed water out (if you don’t have any, grab a bottle of clean water, and say as many mantras as possible, particularly those recommended by Khadro-la - Most Secret Hayagriva mantra - or those recommended on this website (click here). With your water, go out and spray insects. Also, if you have a body of water nearby, such as a pond, lake, or swimming pool, grab a Dharma text, images of holy beings (eg, postcards) or anything easy to carry, get down on your knees and take a close look to see if any insects are drowning in there and save them. Then circumambulate them around the holy objects you have and say at least a couple of mantras to them before letting them recuperate somewhere sheltered and safe.
Please dedicate for Rinpoche to show the aspect of full health very quickly. You can also read the dedications on this website (click here) as well as any others you like.
Read more about what you can do for World Animal Day (or any day!).