Tibetan Buddhism: What do to when your pet dies.

Via on Sep 14, 2008

Life and Death are but an illusion.
Happy and Sad are just a state of mind.
Love and Compassion alleviates the suffering
Of All sentient Beings – those who have been
our Mothers and our Fathers.
To recognize the interconnectedness of all beings
Is to know peace! ~ a Buddhist Homage.

[the below is from N., a Shambhala Buddhist]

Dear all who responded to my question about ceremonies for beloved dead pets,

first of all let me thank you again for all your loving, understanding, sensitive and respectful responses. It was great consolation in this time of grief – a grief surprisingly strong even for ourselves. My wife said this morning that we did not even realize how much we love this cat. And now, as usual, it’s too late. I can see the spot where we buried her from my window.

 

But I will not bother you with more personal observations. The reason why I am writing this is in fact that some of you requested to share the answers I received. I will gladly do so.

Most people, almost everybody, said that they felt it’s ok and appropriate to do a Sukhavati [traditional Buddhist funeral in which one lets go of one's attachment to your loved one and wishes them well] ceremony. Someone said that animals (or their minds, rather) go through the Bardo [state of mind halfway between life and death] more quickly, so we are not sure about the 49 days [traditional period of time the Bardo lasts] here.

Also Tonglen, other kinds of bodhicitta [compassion] practice and Mantras [chants] in general were felt to be appropriate for animals as well as humans, the same goes for aspiration prayers and dedications. Someone suggested Phowa if you have received the practice [you'll know what 'Phowa' is if you've received the practice!'].

A smaller animal, like a cat, could also be put in a box or wrapped in a cloth and put next to a [meditation] shrine to do the ceremony there. (In our case, however, Detta’s body had begun to decompose, so we actually wrapped her body and put it into the open grave and then did the ceremony, somewhat free style, before filling up the grave with earth.)

Another short chant that could be done for as long as the bardo lasts, was suggested:

“Oh Buddhas & Bodhisattvas of the ten directions and the three times,
Please protect and guide (your animal’s name) on her journey.
May she be free from fear and clinging to this life.
May she have a favourite rebirth.”

A long teaching on helping dying or dead animals was sent to me by Nancy (thank you!); it’s too long to include here, I guess, but I am sure if someone is interested she will be able to forward it directly to you.

Someone suggested to sing the following song by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso Rinpoche three times (many of you know this 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 born in the West in Sukhavati [mythological heavenly realm of nirvana]

 

/And once you’re born there, complete the bhumis [stages of enlightenment] and the paths.

/Another suggestion was to put amrita [sacred] pills or salts from Trungpa Rinpoche’s kudung [cremation’  (if you have them) into the mouth of the animal or on top of her head. In relation you could also buy animals that are going to be killed (like bait worms for instance) and set them free. Another suggested liturgy was the “Aspiration of Samantabhadra”.

Some suggested using the Medicine Buddha mantra, which is TADYATA OM BHAISAJAYE BHAISAJAYE MAHA BHAISAJAYE RAJAYA SAMUDGATE SVAHA.
There is a link to further explanations http://www.purifymind.com/Practice.htm

The heart sutra could also be used, especially the mantra.

I have also received this mantra

NAMO SUGATA RATNA SHIKHIN

which someone has used for dead and dying animals for many years and found it helpful to keep thoughts and feelings positive in such difficult times.

So, I think that’s about it. The gist seems to be that whatever works for humans who are dying or have recently died also works for pet animals.

Thank you again — a few personal responses are in order, I will try to send these soon. ~ N.

About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

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18 Responses to “Tibetan Buddhism: What do to when your pet dies.”

  1. elephant journal admin says:

    I will now forward this teaching by Lama Zopa Rinpoche on helping dying and dead animals that Nancy Gillis since several people have asked for it. Here it comes

    N.

    Advice on Benefiting Animals
    by Lama Zopa Rinpoche < Back to Teachings Index

    If you love your animal very much then 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 mantras: Om mani padme hum, Heruka mantras, and
    other mantras such as Milarepa and Namgyälma mantras.
    Recite the mantras and blow over the body. You can
    recite the long mantras 21 times or more and the short
    mantras one mala or more. Blow strongly on the body
    after each time or you can blow on water, visualizing
    each deity absorbed into
    the water; each drop has the
    power to purify negative karmas. Then pour the
    water
    on the animal; all negative karmas are purified.

    When the animal is dying, you can do the Medicine
    Buddha practice as outlined in the small book,
    visualizing the Seven Medicine Buddhas on the crown of
    the animal. Then you can also do the Thirty-five
    Buddhas practice, with nectar coming and purifying the
    negative karma, taking strong refuge to the
    Thirty-five Buddhas to protect and guide.

    There’s a mantra paper to put on dead bodies to
    purify. You can get this from the online shop of the
    FPMT. This is written especially to put right on the
    body — put it right on the skin, on the forehead or
    the chest.

    When the animal is in the process of dying or even
    after the breath has stopped, if you have some sand
    from a Kalachakra sand mandala, you can mix it with
    butter and put it on the crown. Each sand grain
    has
    numberless buddhas abiding in it. It’s especially good
    if it is blessed
    by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

    Then burn the body. If there is a good practitioner or
    a lama available to do the jang-wa puja, then do that
    when the body is being burned. After the body is
    burned, keep some pieces of bones, and if possible, do
    jang-wa again on the bones. Crush the bones and make
    powder. Mix with other material and make a stupa, or
    more than one stupa. Put the stupa in a garden if you
    have one and then flowers can be offered to the stupa.
    Dedicate to your animal for a good rebirth and
    enlightenment.

    What you can do for your animals in everyday life

    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.

    There is a story when Buddha gave teachings to 500
    swans in the field and the next life they were born as
    human beings, became monks, and they all became arya
    beings, able to achieve the cessation of suffering and
    the true path. So the result is unbelievable, just by
    hearing Dharma words. Vasubandhu was reciting the
    Abhidharmakosha and a pigeon on the roof heard this
    everyday. One day the pigeon died and Vasubandhu
    checked to see where he was
    born. It was in a family
    who lived down below in the valley. He went down and
    saw the child
    and asked if he could have him and the
    family gave him to Vasubandhu. The child became a monk
    named Lobpön Loden and became an expert on the text
    that he had heard when he was a pigeon. He wrote four
    commentaries on that text. Therefore, it’s extremely
    important to recite lam-rim prayers and mantras — at
    least the mantras — to animals.

    It’s also extremely good before you give them their
    food, to bless it. If you can’t do it at every meal,
    then you can bless it all at once. Recite the five
    powerful mantras if you know them; otherwise recite Om
    mani padme hum, Medicine Buddha and Milarepa mantras.
    All this has power; it helps those who eat it not get
    reborn in the lower realms, blesses their mind and
    purifies their negative karma. If you can, do it every
    time you feed them — recite the mantras
    and blow on
    the food. This is the biggest present you can give
    them: good rebirth, finish samsara,
    liberation, and
    the positive imprint of the Mahayana teachings and
    mantras also to lead to enlightenment.

    Especially for Buddhists who have animals, when the
    animals die, it should be different for their future
    rebirth. So one should attempt to have a special
    rebirth for them. That’s what I asked the people who
    took care of our dogs at Tushita in Dharamsala to do.
    Many years ago, Ven. Tseyang-la, who is a translator
    at many centers and built the Kopan nunnery, and
    Maureen, a student from New Zealand who taught at
    Kopan for quite a number of years and then worked very
    hard at Tushita, and for me, asked me to recite the
    Maitreya Buddha prayer and mantra, the Lama Tsong
    Khapa praise to Guru Shakyamuni Buddha Having Found
    the Realization of Dependent Arising and other prayers
    and mantras to the
    dogs, while holding a biscuit in
    the hand, so everyone waits, like listening to the
    teachings, eyes
    looking at the biscuit and everyone is
    humbly sitting, like respectfully listening to
    teachings, all their eyes looking at the biscuit. We
    gave some of the dogs away, and along with the dogs
    was the commitment to recite a lam-rim prayer or
    mantras. Some people did it for years. One lady from
    either the British or Italian Embassy in Delhi, who
    wasn’t a Buddhist, did the lam-rim prayer The
    Foundation of All Good Qualities every day for years.
    Then one day, her maid left the gate open and the dog
    got lost. She was very upset. That’s because she must
    be a very kind person; even though she wasn’t
    Buddhist, she did that prayer. She was very sincere.

    There’s a story about an 80-year-old man. After he
    entered into the Mahayana path, when the time ripened,
    then he became enlightened, then he does
    perfect work
    for sentient beings, bringing every sentient being to
    enlightenment. So that means all that
    perfect work –
    enlightening all the sentient beings — came from
    himself being enlightened, and that came from having
    entered into the Mahayana path. Before that he was an
    arhat and actualizing the path to liberation, which
    started from being a monk. He was able to be a monk
    because inconceivable eons ago, he was a fly following
    some cow dung around a stupa, which became
    circumambulation — one circumambulation. So all these
    benefits — becoming an arhat, becoming enlightened
    and enlightening all sentient beings — depended on
    the small merit created by following the smell of the
    cow dung, which became circumambulation. Therefore, we
    should always keep in the mind how precious even one
    circumambulation is, how precious it is to take the
    animals around; and of course, there’s no
    question
    about us human beings intentionally going around, how
    that has incredible benefit. Therefore,
    one
    circumambulation of a holy object — a statue or stupa
    – one must do it; since karma is expandable, we
    shouldn’t be careless even with small merit. All this
    means that each holy object is so powerful and can
    liberate so many sentient beings from suffering and
    bring them to enlightenment, and that it causes one to
    actualize the path. Therefore, even if one can’t build
    a big stupa, even to have a small stupa is
    unbelievably precious — the benefits you and other
    sentient beings get.

    If you have many ants in your house, for example, then
    of course, if you’re careless you kill them, but
    otherwise, with a soft tissue paper or soft cotton or
    broom or feather, pick them up and put them in a
    plastic bag and put some food in it. Put something
    they like, something they’re excited about
    or
    fascinated by and then close the bag and take it
    around the stupa or holy objects as many times as
    you
    can to liberate them from lower rebirth and to achieve
    liberation and enlightenment. Then put them outside,
    releasing them by opening the plastic bag, or shake it
    on the ground with the food. The only way you can help
    ants and other insects is if they come into your
    house, into your kitchen or room. Otherwise, there’s
    no way to benefit them in this way. So this is a very
    good way, an excellent opportunity, to benefit the
    ants in addition to making charity by giving them
    food. If you take them around a stupa or holy objects,
    there’s both Dharma charity and the charity of
    fearlessness. By purifying their minds, you’re saving
    them from suffering. Also, for dogs and cats, blessing
    the food with mantras is not only miscellaneous
    charity; it also becomes Dharma charity, charity
    of
    fearlessness, and charity of loving-kindness because
    you have the intention to cause them happiness. In
    this way, you
    practice all four types of charity.

    Advice given by Lama Zopa Rinpoche for mantras to be
    recited into dogs’ or other animals’ ears
    11 June 1997 from Holly Ansett’s notes from advice
    given to Glyndy

    1) Maitreya mantra

    Root Mantra:

    NAMO RATNA TA YA YA NAMO BHAGAWATAI SHAKYAMUNIYA THA
    THA GA TA YA ARHATAY SAMYAK SAM BUDDHAYA TAY YA THA OM
    ARDZETI ARDZETI ARPARANDZETI ARZETANZAYA HARA HARA
    MATHI AVOLOKITE KHARA KHARA MAHA SAMAYA SIDDHI BARA
    BARA MAHA BODHI MENDHA BIZE MARA MARA EMA KAM SA MA YA
    BODHI BODHI MAHA BODHI SOHA

    Heart Mantra:

    OM MOHI MOHI MAHA MOHI SOHA

    Near Heart Mantra:

    OM MUNI MUNI MA RAH SOHA

    2) Padmasambhava mantra

    OM AH HUNG VAJRA GURU PEMA SIDDHI HUNG

    3) Chenrezig mantra

    Long
    mantra:

    NAMO RATNA TRAYAYA/ NAMO ARYA JYANA SAGARA/ BEROCANA
    BUHA RAJAYA/ TATHA GATAYA/ ARHATE SAMYAK SAM BUDHYA/
    NAMO SARVA TATHA GATAE
    BAE/ ARHATE BAE/ SAMYAK SAM
    BUDHE BAE/ ARYA AVALOKITE SHORAYA/ BODHI SATTVA YA/
    MAHA SATTVA/ MAHA KARUNI KAYA/ TADYATHA/ OM DHARA
    DHARA/ DHIRI DHIRI/ DHURU DHURU/ ITI WATI/ CALE CALE/
    PRACALE PRACALE/ KUSUME KUSUME WARE/ ILI MILI/ CITI/
    JVALA APA NAYE SVAHA //

    Short mantra:

    OM MANI PADME HUM

    4) Medicine Buddha mantra

    Short mantra:

    TAYATA OM BEKANDZE BEKANDZE MAHA BEKANDZE BEKANDZE
    RANDZE SAMUDGATE SOHA

    Long mantra:

    OM NAMO BHAGAWATE BEKANDZE GURU BENDURYA PRABHA
    RANDZAYA TATHAGATAYA ARHATE SAMYAKSAM BUDDHAYA TAYATA
    OM BEKANDZE BEKANDZE MAHA BEKANDZE RANDZE SAMUNGATE
    SOHA

    5) Milarepa mantra

    OM AH GURU HASA VAJRA SARVA SIDDHI PALA HUM

    6) Heruka Mantras

    Root mantra:

    OM KARA KARA KURU KURU
    BANDHA BANDHA TRASAYA TRASYA
    KSHOBHAYA KSHOBHAYA HROM HRAUM HRAH HRAH PHEM PHEM PHE
    PHE DAHA DAHA PATSA PATSA BHAKSHA BHAKSHA VASA
    RUDHIRANTRA MALAVA
    LAMBINI GRIHNA GRIHNA SAPTA PATALA
    GATA BHUJAM GAM SARVAM PA TARJAYA TARJAYA AKADDHYA
    AKADDHYA HRIM HRIM JNAUM JNAUM KSHAMAM KSHAMAM HAM HAM
    HIM HIM HUNG HUNG KILI KILI SILI SILI HILI HILI DHILI
    DHILI HUNG HUNG PHE

    Heart mantra:

    OM SHRI VAJRA HE HE RU RU KAM HUNG HUNG PHE DAKINI
    DZOLA SHAMVARAM SOHA

    Near heart mantra:

    OM HRIH HA HA HUNG HUNG PE

    Also one can recite the Heart Sutra:

    The Heart Sutra

    Thus have I heard:

    Once the Blessed One was dwelling on Rajagriha, on
    Vultures’ Peak, together with a great assembly of
    monks and bodhisattvas. At that time the Blessed One
    was totally absorbed in the concentration that
    examines all phenomena, called “Profound
    Illumination.” At the same time the
    Noble
    Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva Mahasattva, was
    looking at the profound practice of the wisdom gone
    beyond, analyzing the five aggregates, by
    nature
    empty.

    Then, through the inspiration of Buddha, the Venerable
    Shariputra spoke to the Noble Avalokiteshvara, the
    Bodhisattva Mahasattva, saying, “How should those of
    good family learn who wish to follow the profound
    practice of the wisdom gone beyond?”

    Thus he spoke, and the Noble Avalokiteshvara, the
    Bodhisattva Mahasattva, replied to the Venerable
    Shariputra saying “O Shariputra, whatever son or
    daughter of a good family wishes to follow the
    profound practice of the wisdom gone beyond should
    look at it like this, analyzing the five aggregates by
    nature empty. Form is empty; emptiness is form.
    Emptiness is no other than form; form is no other than
    emptiness. In the same way, feeling, recognition,
    karmic formations and
    consciousness are all empty.
    Therefore, Shariputra, all phenomena are empty,
    without characteristics. They are unborn and
    unceasing; they are neither impure
    nor free from
    impurity; they neither decrease nor increase.
    Therefore, Shariputra, in emptiness there is no form,
    no feeling, no recognition, no karmic formations, no
    consciousness. There is no eye, no ear, no nose, no
    tongue, no body, no mind. There are no forms, no
    smells, no tastes, no sounds, no tangibles, no
    phenomena. There are no spheres of the eyes up to no
    spheres of the mind. There are none of these all the
    way up to the sphere of mental consciousness. There is
    no ignorance; nor is there cessation of
    ignorance…there are none of these all the way up to
    there is no old age and death; nor is there cessation
    of old age and death. Thus there is no suffering, no
    cause of suffering, no cessation of suffering and no
    path. There is no
    wisdom, no attainment and no
    non-attainment. Therefore, Shariputra, because there
    is no attainment all bodhisattvas hold to the wisdom
    gone beyond; and because there
    is no obscurity of mind
    they have no fear. Passing utterly beyond falsity they
    reach beyond the bounds of sorrow. All the buddhas who
    dwell in the three times, by relying on the wisdom
    gone beyond, fully and clearly awaken to the
    unsurpassed, most perfect and complete enlightenment.
    Therefore, the mantra of the wisdom gone beyond, the
    mantra of great insight, the unsurpassed mantra, the
    unequalled mantra, the mantra that calms all suffering
    should be known as the truth, for there is no
    deception. The mantra of the wisdom gone beyond is
    proclaimed:

    TA YA THA GATÉ GATÉ PARAGATÉ PARASAMGATÉ BODHI SOHA

    O Shariputra, this is how a Bodhisattva Mahasattva
    should learn the profound wisdom gone beyond. Then the
    Blessed One arose
    from that concentration and praised
    the Noble Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva Mahasattva,
    saying, “Very good, very good, O son of good family.
    It is exactly like that.
    The profound wisdom gone
    beyond should be practiced exactly as you have said,
    and the Tathagatas will rejoice.” When the Blessed One
    had said this, the Venerable Shariputra, the Noble
    Avalokiteshvara the Bodhisattva Mahasattva, the whole
    gathering, and the world with its gods, men,
    anti-gods, and spirits, their hearts full of joy,
    praised the words of the Blessed One.

    So ends the noble discourse on the essence of the
    wisdom gone beyond.

  2. elephant journal admin says:

    After over 18 years of devotion and companionship, my precious furry friend
    Tashi, a Siamese cat left this lifetime today, Oct 31, at 11 am. He was a sweet Bodhisattva kitty, who I retrieved from the Humane Society, when he was just a few months old and has been my constant companion ever since.
    His goodness was always present.

    Of late he had become blind and his hearing was not so good either. As he began to decline further and more rapidly, it became evident it was time for him to leave this physical life although he valiantly tried to continue to navigate an environment which had suddenly become dark and silent. It became clear he could no longer do so.

    Please keep Tashi, in your prayers that he navigates thru the bardo well, either attaining liberation at once, is born into a completely pure realm, or attains a good human birth which is free and well favored. If that is not possible, may he be freed from the lower realms…

    In the Dharma and the Great Eastern Sun,

    Sarah Canfield

  3. Karma Samten Yangzom says:

    Dear All,

    My beloved lifelong friend, companion and sister, Dally passed away yesterday, November 13, 2008.
    Dally was not just a dog, she was family, my father’s daughter. She was the most intellengent, loving, kind and supportive. Throughout her 13 years with us, she was the important part of our lives. She was a dharma being, evolved and compassinate.
    She gave us Chimie, her daughter, who is 4 years old and the darling of the house.
    Over the years, Dally had lost her eyesight, but she was active and happy. Yesterday evening, when I returned home from work, she seemed listless. She refused food, and seemed to be looking for mu father, who is out of town on work. Dally was restless and drink a little water. When I finally made her bed and took her to our room, she peacefully went away, in my arms.
    Dally and I had made a promise to each other that we will always be together, in all our lives. I asked her to come back to me, this time as my daughter. Me and my husband are planning a family and I am sure dally will come back to us very soon.
    Please pray for Dally so that she recieves blessings and reborn as our daughter.
    Thankyou

  4. kwokwing says:

    My Cat – Toby Chan

    Toby passed away today 13 Feb 2009. We pray Amitābha leads you to West in Sukhavati

    “Oh Buddhas & Bodhisattvas of the ten directions ”

    “Oh Buddhas & Bodhisattvas of the ten directions ”

    “Oh Buddhas & Bodhisattvas of the ten directions ”

    Please protect and guide Toby Chan on her journey.
    May he be free from fear and clinging to this life.
    May he have a favourite rebirth

  5. Jill sarkady says:

    Thank you for the information on what to do for a beloved pet or animal who is dying. A friend recently had informed me of the mantra to say when an animal dies and the last word was different. She said that the mantra was Namo Sugata Ratna Sheskwan.

    Is there someone who definitively knows the actual pronunciation of the fourth word in the mantra? — is the "e" a long e as in "she" and therefore a syllable which sounds quite like the "soft" i sound in Tibetan? Is there an "s" and is it pronounced?

    I repeat this mantra quite often when driving upon seeing an animal which is dying on the road. I would like to know that I am saying it correctly if possible.

    Thanks so much.

  6. sophia says:

    thankyou so much for this .but im worried i may have not done ceremony correctly
    my sweet soul bizoude bodhicitta , a one eyed kitty.was put to sleep at the vet. i held her and chanted om mani padme hung number of times and prayed for her liberation and asked buddhas to protect her
    i will get her ashes at some point i have a lock of her hair iwill do rounds of mantra on mala for her with hair present what else to do at this point it is one day later and im still grappling wth grief

  7. kel says:

    Dear All,

    Please pray for my beautiful, beautiful best mate, Hans. My darling cat whom I accidentally ran over in my driveway while he was enjoying a lovely afternoon nap. He was taken to the vet where we were told he has a badly broken pelvis in 3 places, plus cannot use his bladder or bowels now. During tests it was discovered that he also has diabetes, so has probably been unwell for some time without us knowing.
    I hope I am doing the right thing by him by having him put down. I am most upset, he has been with us for 11 years.

    Thank you xx

  8. Gena says:

    Thanks to all of you for putting this information together. It has been very helpful and comforting.

  9. Damien Agens says:

    Waylon Lewis…

    First of all I’d like to tell you my gramma is terible, so is my english, please bare with me a minute.

    Thank you for your guidence, especially the bardo period of 49 days,

    I was a bit confused about that part

    since we all now that animals usally grows faster and live by their instincts which is in symbiosis with mother earth.

    But how many days less it is I do wonder

    I have looked in to a couple of documentaries about the bardo states

    and listening to a few audio books handling the life, death and between reincarnations, like

    The Tibetan Book of The Dead part 1(Way of Life) and part 2 (The Great Liberation), with the voice of Leonard Cohen(avi)

    THE BARDOS – LIVING AND DYING(mp3)

    Sogyal Rinpoche – The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying(mp3)

    The Tibetan Book of the Dead – read by Richard Gere(mp3)

    I higly recommend these guides, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. It was enjoyable with the first voice(john Cleese?) after 20 minutes Sogyal Rinpoche started to guide and he has this warm and somehow funny accent and after a while a womans voice and then another woman. after that the previous voices come back but in a shorter time. It’s easier to remember not to fall a sleep when they switch voices :)

    I was thinking about uploading them and share it with you, but I’m not sure about the copyright so..

    google might help.

    Anyways, I was a bit disapointed at first when the bardo guides left out parts about animals bardo states especially about how many days the spirit will stay inside the ones who’s bounded to us.

    But it mentioned that you should release or save other animals and stay positive at all time, no matter what happens around you.

    Just to insure your loved one a good exchange :)

    My own conclusion at that point was to free them from cages or save them from certain pain or death(fur-products, vivi-section,snake food)

    But thanks to your feedback i now realize that it’s just as good if you buy bait-worms and put them back to base.

    If I got it right, animals in general don’t need a cermony thru the paths in life.

    They go by instinct and are aware of the precenense or if they are bounded to humans it is advised to use a mantra or cermony similar

    to humans…

    Oh! By the way, The reason for my thoughts goes to my companion Jasmine whos body is ready to release her. And also for my own thoughts about life in general..

    It was love at first sight and to my suprise I got her for free from that woman who owned her 13 years ago (a big kiss to you mi lady).

    I know it’s wrong but I like to spoil my prisoners(2 cats left) so she was a big kitty at first and I was’nt that suprised that day 2 years ago when the vet told me that her body had stoped producing insuline.

    But with my help and 2 insulin-shots a day + a frequent observasion the first period, the vet told me to look forward in a good life quality for Jasmine.

    And the last week she didn’t feel for eating hill’s m/d food and I was thinking that she wanted the real deal again(I fed her with barf (eco-meat from cow, frozen in 2 days before served) the week before.

    Me I don’t eat meat so she got plenty of it, and looked forward for more, I thought but I wasen’t sure. She lost weight, not much but losing weight by resting in her couch, naah!

    So last week I felt the urge to check her physical condition with the vet and the blood sugar and her weight was good but the kidneys was out of order, he could’nt understand how she was able to walk and stand up straight but the things with animals is that they are good with hiding injurys in the wild..

    He told me to come back with her after the weekend and then release her, and while shes home choose my time wisely, well not the precise frase but stll.

    The 25:th I released her and I feel so good about my self, I mean I survived her and she was in my care for 13 years without me being hospitalized or prisoned.

    I was there for her, and now shes wrapped and packed in a plasticbag, carbonbox and a towel in the same colour as her body, she did smell old eggs later that day so I purred some cat-nip and brushed off her fur for the last time.

    Shes resting I guess…

    If someone can help me with a link or give me information about how many days her mind will be remained in her body before going into the bardo.

    If your a slow reader, please forgive me for taking a huge amount of your time, I have a brain disorder(ADHD)slightly but it’s there.

    It shows some time for i.e. when I write letters, answers.

    Typing isn’t my thing so the gramma is probally fatal as well but I feels so happy for taking part of this incredible well writed post. I had to show my graditude Somehow to

    Waylon Lewis for creating and keeping this post alive!

    Lama Zopa Rinpoche for a solid cermony!

    and never the less Nancy Gillis for sharing that huge teaching about Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s

    Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s

    advice on benefiting animals

    And I also wanna thank my self for taking my time to search for a more meaningful life for my beloved ones, let it go ;)

    Thanks and xoxoxo

    • jack says:

      Hello Damien,

      Very sorry to hear of your loss. We lost our beloved cat (of nearly 19 years) just recently and are planning her ceremony. We plan to bury her in her favorite garden next to the path she made doen to the creek. We will recite some of the mantras mentioned on the website. I'm curious as to whether you received final word on the length of the bardo state. And does that mean that she shouldn't be buried until that time is complete? Do you have any other thoughts to offer?

      Many thanks,
      Jack

      • damien says:

        Ooops! I thought this post was dead, I looked for some reply’s but after a couple times looking into it,
        I assumed it was to late to wait for answers two years after the post started.

        Anyway,Thank you! but don’t feel sorry for my loss. I’m happy that I survived her and was there for her until the last moment instead of abonding her like fellow animals do with the elders.

        And no I did not found a proper guide for pets, tell you the truth I’m not sure if the many bardo states includes pets in general.
        But I suspect it does..
        If you have been evil in this life the buddhisms say you’ll be an animal in your next life, if I got it right, eek?

        My own thoughts about that, is that’s what animal instinct is all about, it may look evil for me but it’s all instinct without any emotional content.

        But I choose to belive that my cat’s spirit first “lift-off” was three days later because that night my other cat was resting at a chair below the book-shell, where I placed the carbon-box out of reach. I know she smelled the essence from it the day before but anyway.

        I only had a couple of candles lighting up the flat, nothing else was on so maybe she saw a tiny fly moving towards the light, away from the box and then heading for the roof.

        Quite normal for a fly, but I looked right in her eyes and saw something else because she had that goofy look that I have seen before while I couldn’t see any movement on the wall.

        Also jasmine had that scary funny look sometimes in the past. Maybe it’s infrared waves or something, I can’t tell lol.

        And not this night either, so I belive it was her spirit.
        I don’t feel crazy about this and I’m not on any medication or drugs related stuff except for legal abuse of cigarettes. But I do have an disorder after an car accident and live with an brain dysfunction.

        And don’t worry about the burying before the “bardo days” for animals are not included in the bardo states but are respected as all the living… I think?

        What I can understand from the documentaries of the many bardo states of either living or dying, is that they are mentioned for humans because we have a consciousness and what we use it for in the bardo state of living is what we will confront when we go into another bardo (dying).

        We are trapped in our bodies and so on. With Greed, jealousy and selfishness it can be alot to deal with if you don’t know how to confront it. But with a buddhist monk beside you guiding you thru the next bardo it might work. I’m sorry but I have to big difficulties finding the words here, my english gramma isn’t the best.

        But with the material I listen and looked at, I never get anything animal related or pets for that matter.

        I think our beloved ones are around us. Sometimes when I have minimum with electricity on and all quiet with just candles burning I think I feel them

  10. [...] I was going to go on and say something like I wished there were a God, so I could kill him, but I stopped at that. Related: Tibetan Buddhism: what to do when your pet dies. [...]

  11. [...] shed many tears last week and also examined my own spirituality. I read an elephant journal post on how a Buddhist deals with the death of a animal companion. I am “officially” [...]

  12. damien says:

    I found an interesting link concerning the bardo-states. Look for the youtube links:

    The Tibetan Book of The Dead part 1(Way of Life)

    and part 2 (The Great Liberation), with the voice of Leonard Cohen.

    http://tantra41.multiply.com/links/item/37

  13. David says:

    Thank you !.. my little dog Shasha of 3 years died today … Om mani padme hum

  14. Jan Morrison says:

    Hi all – this is a most helpful post dear Waylon. Today we take our old dog to the vet's so he can continue the next part of his path. It has been so sad but good too. He has meditated with me for years – always lovely and alert. This last couple of weeks I've been taking my cushion to wherever he is as moving is not so easy for him. We do the regular chants especially the four reminders and always end with the singing dedication of Khempo's – all you sentient beings …
    Last night I stayed up late with him and did much chanting. Some of it is 'oh, you good dog of noble birth – you ran away so many times but you are still the best dog!' and so forth. I know some of the folks on this comment stream have been concerned that they are doing it wrong. I don't think you need to worry about that (or anything else really). Your intention is to support your friend in letting go of this lifetime and setting an intention for him or her to have a favoured rebirth. Anything else is really to help you to let go and love what is, now. and now. and now. Everyone seems to have a good heart full of love and appreciation for all our friends have given us – all the teachings. And this is the hardest best one of all.

  15. Ed! says:

    I've never heard teachers make a distinction between what to do for an animal or for a human.

    Sur (burnt offering practice) is considered to be especially helpful to those in the bardo as they will still experience hunger and craving, but with only a mental body, they cannot find sustenance. The burning of specific blessed food substances and other things both satisfies their hunger and helps them tremendously due to the blessings and the intentions of the practitioner.

    One can get a Sur practice text and instructions from a qualified teacher. May all beings benefit!

  16. Deep says:

    Dear all, Please Please do pray for my darling 15 year old doggy Blacky who passed away early morning on the 4th september 2014. Many times i stroked his head and chanted , when he died I was dumb struck and did not chant and berried him. a few miniutes later i put the cd of suthra chanting as usual prayin for him, daily i pray for him to have a happy rebirth. we berried him in our garden, can i do anything to make things be serene for him? Blacky my loving dearest family memeber may you attain Nibbana.

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