In the fourth of a new video series, Venerable Acharya Zasep Tulku Rinpoche, Spiritual Guide for Gaden for the West, answers a student’s question about loss of a pet:
What advice would you give for a student who is dealing with the loss of a beloved pet?
Full transcript below video.
Rinpoche: “That’s a good question. I see in the West many people have pets. Cats and dogs and so forth, I see it more and more, they have pets.
Cats and dogs and pets are part of our life. It can be very sad, the loss of a pet.
I had a pet myself. I had a cat. And he died, and I felt very sad. I prayed for him, and it helped me a lot. Also, I felt sad, but at the same time I didn’t feel so sad, because since I got him — he was a kitten, only a month and a half or two months old — in all those years he was with me, more or less, whenever we meditate, whenever we did prayers, he’d come and sit next to us. He’d walk around between the people and look at people. And when we’d say mantras he’d come down, and I felt he received so many blessings, from the mantras and prayers.
He used to jump up on the altar and drink water from the offering bowls. I told him a few times not to do that, and he respectfully listened and didn’t do that again. Then, I thought, that’s okay for him because he got blessings — the water from the offering bowls.
He died, dissapeared, and after three days we found out he was in the basement in the closet, and he was sitting.
Looked like he was meditating. He actually died while sitting there. His head was up, it was quite amazing. I felt good about that. He died peacefully!
So, when we are grieving from losing a pet, we should do the same practices, meditations, that we would do for our family members, humans, when we loose loved ones.
We should meditate on loving kindness, meditate, and then do offerings every week for the next… forty nine days. Make offerings and say mantra of Chenrezig, Om Mani Padme Hum, and Amitabha Buddha mantras, and make offerings.
Also, if you know how to do Powa practice for the animal or pets that died, you could do Powa practice. Right there, while the pet is dying, or after you can do Powa practice. Powa means transfering the consciousness of the pet to the Pure Land of the Buddha.
We should treat pets like humans in that regard. What I mean is prayers and meditation. Because the pets, these animals, are part of our life. We should save them while they are alive, because they save us too. Pets have saved lots of human beings, saved their lives, so we should treat them the same way.”
Next week, in part 5 of this video series, Rinpoche answers “What advice would you give to a student who needs supportive practices for healing, especially for aggressive illnesses such as cancer?”
About Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinpoche
Rinpoche is popularly known for his approachable teaching style, strong humor and teachings based on a long lineage of great lamas. His own gurus included the most celebrated of Gelug teachers: His Holiness Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche, His Holiness Kyabje Ling Rinpoche, Venerable Geshe Thupten Wanggyel, His Holiness Kyabje Zong Rinpoche, Venerable Lati Rinpoche, Venerable Tara Tulku Rinpoche and Venerable Khalkha Jetsun Dampa Rinpoche.
Rinpoche is spiritual director of many temples, meditation centres and retreat centres in Australia, the United States and Canada. He was first invited to teach in Australia by Lama Thubten Yeshe in 1976.
Gaden for the West Meditation Centres
- Vajra Ling, Uralla, N.S.W.
- Losang Gyalwa Mandala, Sydney, N.S.W.
- Tenzing Ling Centre, Quamaa, N.S.W.
- Dorje Ling Retreat Centre, Lorina Valley, Tasmania
- Chittamani Mahayana Buddhist Meditation Centre, Ottawa, Ontario
- Gaden Choling, Toronto, Ontario
- Medicine Buddha Centre, Calgary, Alberta
- Potala Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Centre, Thunder Bay,Ontario
- Tashi Choling, Nelson, B. C.
- Zuru Ling Society, Vancouver, B.C.
- Golden Blue Lotus Tara Meditation Center, Moscow, Idaho
- TsongKhapa Center, Kalamazoo, Michigan
- Vajrayogini Center, Seattle, Washington