Buddhists offer blessing of animals: Chanting, prayers greet pets for good health, better future

On Saturday, June 7, a beautiful June afternoon, members of the Tibetan Buddhist Center in Redding blessed animals belonging to local residents, nearly 100 of them. Most were dog and cat pets. But the Buddhists also blessed a horse, a large turtle, two sheep, and three goats.

“We believe animals are like humans with emotions,” said Lobsang Dhargey, the Buddhists’ resident teacher. “Animals can be sad, afraid, worried, and wish to be happy always. But unlike humans, who can learn how to be happy, animals can’t very well.”

The Buddhists believe, Mr. Dhargey said, animals don’t have the opportunity to learn about being happy as humans do. “But animals do have the potential to liberate themselves from suffering and then be happy,” he said. “We make this potential better by blessing the animals. We recite mantra and pray for the animals. Then the animals can visualize their lives being better.”

Mantra is an incantation or chanting and uttering of words of prayer. These Buddhists use the Sanskrit language, which is a classical, religious literary language.

As the Buddhists pray for the animals they get an imprint in their minds, Mr. Dhargey said. “It’s a kind of seed that grows in the minds of the animals to give them good health and a better future. They will have a happy life.”

After the Buddhists blessed the animals they welcomed a veterinarian to speak to the gathered owners of the animals about the best way to care for their animals.

The Tibetan Buddhist Center in Redding is part of a national organization, Do Ngak Kunphen Ling, which promotes universal peace through Tibetan Buddhist teachings in order to create enlightened world citizens who work to end the suffering of all beings. DNKL offers classes and training in Buddhist moral discipline, meditative concentration, and transformative wisdom.

Its website is DNKL.org/.

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