29. The Suffering of Animals
Longchen Nyingtik Meditation 29
Take refuge and arouse bodhichitta.
Meditate on the sufferings of animals:
Animals are divided into the categories of aquatic dwellers and those scattered over the surface of the Earth. In the depth of the great oceans live fish and creatures as numerous as distillers’ grains; dull and bewildered, they devour one another. Although birds, beasts, and so forth are able to dwell in the human or god realm, they have to suffer from being slaughtered, enslaved, beaten, or from predation. They are thoroughly deprived of any pleasure.
Sometimes the sight of animals is quite pitiful. During a heavy rain this afternoon, I saw from my window a little sparrow trying to find shelter in a big tree nearby. Despite its effort to hide beneath the leaves, raindrops still pounded onto its body, making it shiver all the time. Seeing the plight of this little bird, my heart ached and I immediately recited mantras and dedicated merit to it.
Therefore, resolve: To avoid being reborn in all my lives as animals who suffer so much, I must strenuously apply myself to what is wholesome, that is practicing the Dharma.
Dedicate all the merit of your practice to all sentient beings.