What the teachers say about restarting your Buddhist practice: overcoming obstacles, bringing back the enthusiasm, re-establishing faith and commitments
Video mantra chanting: Lama Tsongkhapa’s Migtsema wonderfully chanted by Yoko Dharma. Benefits: healing, compassion, metta, wisdom
Video teaching: Metta and Karuna, the “most important” Buddhist practices of Love and Compassion, from H.E. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche with Lama Tsongkhapa Migtsema mantra chanted by Yoko Dharma
Sacred outlook – Seeing beyond ordinary perception in modern culture, and American Buddhism
Why is pride a poison, and when can pride of accomplishment be considered a good thing? With full Ambattha Sutta “Pride of Birth and its Fall.”
Vajrasattva, the Great Purifyer, among the most powerful and profound healing and purifications techniques in Vajrayana Buddhism
Family lay Buddhism: What the Teachers Say about keeping motivated in your Buddhist Practice as parents — and coping with every-day family life in a modern stressful world
Reconnecting with nature to reboot our “spiritual self” activates a feeling of self-transcendence
Video: Buddhist Teachings on Ngondro, The Foundation Practices with Venerable Zasep Rinpoche
Kucchivikara-vattha: The Monk with Dysentery (Sutra teachings) “If you don’t tend to one another, who then will tend to you?”
“Putting Compassion on the Scientific Map”: Compassion Boosts Happiness/Health; and Research Indicates That Practicing Buddhists Are Happier than Average.
Video with wonderful mantra chanting: Om Gate Gate Paragate Para Samgate Bodhi Soha, the essence of Heart Sutra and Emptiness
Music Mantra Video: Taking Refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and the Four Immeasurables wonderfully sung by Yoko Dharma with video visualizations
Broken Commitments: 3 Teachers weigh in on practice “overload” and breaking Vajrayana practice promises. What do we do about it?
Dalai Lama and Lama Tsongkhapa: teachings on calm abiding meditation that go beyond “the breath” as the focus — targeting the main affliction
Music Mantra Video: Om Mani Padme Hum wonderfully chanted by Yoko Dharma, the sacred sound of compassionate Buddha Chenrezig
Tara Book excerpt and teaching: Who is Tara and how can She help us? An introduction to Tara, Karma, Shunyata, Dependent Arising, and Buddha Nature by Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinpoche
What’s with all this consort union in Tantric Buddhism? No, it’s not about sexual fantasies. The psychology of Yab-Yum consorts, union of wisdom and compassion
Video: “How do I deal with my anger? Sometimes it consumes me and hurts others”: a Buddhist student asks teacher Ven. Zasep Tulku Rinpoche
Video: “Experience Buddhism” with Namdrol Rinpoche “Buddhism emphasizes, and lays its very foundations on, equanimity.”
Lama Zopa Rinpoche and other teachers recommend Kṣitigarbha mantra and practice for times of disaster, especially hurricane and earthquake, because of the great Bodhisattva’s vow
Medicine Buddha healing mantras chanted by the amazing Yoko Dharma
Why 35 Confessional Buddhas practice and “The Bodhisattva’s Confession of Moral Downfalls” is a critical purifying practice for Buddhists
What the Dalai Lama and Patch Adams Have in Common: Laughter, and Compassion, the Best Medicine
“Preliminary practices… clear and enrich our minds, allowing practice to progress smoothly” — Thubten Chodron. Why Ngondro is a lifetime practice, and a “complete path”
Tantra Helps “Stop Ordinary Perception”, and is the Fast Path to Enlightenment. But How Do Modern Buddhists Relate to Deities?
Painter and digital Thangka artist Jampay Dorje aims to bring “Thangka painting into a modern era” with spectacular art, lessons for students, and a life-long project to illustrate all of the 11 Yogas of Naropa
Buddha teaches us to view every meal as if we were reluctant cannibals: Samyukta Agama Sutra 373, the Four Nutriments
Letting Go — letting go of past, letting go of future, letting go is the hardest thing to do: Na Tumhaka Sutta
Becoming Gesar, the fearless Buddhist: How to overcome fear in uncertain times, according to Pali Sutta, Mahayana Sutra and Tantra
The Hand of Buddha defeats the three poisons : Vajrapani (literally, “Vajra Hand”) — Guardian of Shakyamuni Himself; Vajrapani, the power of the mind to overcome obstacles such as pride, anger, hate and jealousy
Tonglen video: Why giving and taking practice is an important kindness meditation and Bodhichitta practice; how to do it: taught by Zasep Rinpoche
Understanding Dependent Co-Arising is critical to Buddhist practice: The Great Causes Discourse Maha-nidana Sutta
Pali Sutta for Our Age: Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Book Review of a Classic
The bridge between science and Buddhism, atoms and no atoms, theism and athiesm; Yidam deity meditation and the Cognitive Science of Tantra
“Every one has Buddha Nature.” A teaching video: Venerable Zasep Rinpoche with mantra chanting by Yoko Dharma
Cruelty to Chickens Protest: Dalai Lama

Cruelty to Chickens Protest: Dalai Lama

I have been particularly concerned with the sufferings of chickens for many years.”
HH Dalai Lama in a letter to KFC

Various Buddhist traditions advocate vegetarian diet on the grounds of compassion, with the notable exception of Tibetan Buddhists—due to the scarcity of plants and vegetables in Tibet. Since chickens are statistically the most butchered and abused animal on earth, they became the focus of a campaign to stop KFC from opening in Tibet.

Literally billions of chickens are raised and slaughtered yearly, many suffering unnecessarily, many going to fast food franchises. PETA claims they feel pain, and are treated cruelly.

 

Dalai Lama became a vegetarian after witnessing a chicken slaughter

The Dalai Lama himself is vegetarian, and became strict after witnessing the butchering of a chicken: “One day I chanced to see the slaughter of a chicken, which made me decide to become a vegetarian.” He explains that where possible, all killing should be avoided, but in particular smaller animals such as chickens and fish, because more of them must be killed to satisfy our hunger.

Killing is a prohibited act in Buddhism, but the argument arises as to whether animals and fish are included in the prohibition. Most traditions accept that the are, although Tibetan Buddhism and other cultures must make a survival exception due to the scarcity of vegetation. All beings are living beings, not just humans, and in most rebirth understandings we can be ourselves reborn as animals in future or past lives.

 

850 million chickens a year are slaughtered by KFC alone. The Dalai Lama and other Buddhists have moved to ask KFC not to locate to Tibet, a land where killing is either prohibited or discouraged amongst Buddhists. PETA claims that the mass-raised chickens for fast food chains are abused and in pain.


KFC slaughters 850 million chickens each year

KFC, who slaughters 850 million chickens each year (according to various sources, as of 2010) and has been accused of cruelty by PETA and others, received a letter from the Dalai Lama asking them to reconsider the move into Tibet.

“I am writing to ask that KFC abandon its plan to open restaurants in Tibet, because your corporations support for cruelty and mass slaughter violate Tibetan value,” wrote the Dalai Lama in a letter to KFC.


In Tibet, fish and chicken consumption is rare

Although KFC is in every area of China, and very popular there, the Dalai Lama explains, “It is considered more ethical to eat the meat of larger animals such as yaks… For this reason, consumption of fish and chicken are rare…”

PETA maintains that chickens “feel pain and have distinct personalities and intelligence.” They also state, through various statistics and investigations that “chickens are the most abused animals on earth, typically by “throat slashing” even in high volume butchers such as KFC.

Even though Tibetans don’t have the resources to be strict vegetarians, the Dalai Lama explained that “buying animals from the butcher and releasing them to save their lives was a common practice, and said that even in exile, many Tibetans continue this practice.”

Here is a letter from His Holiness the Dalai Lama written to KFC in June of 2004:

On behalf of my friends at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), I am writing to ask that KFC abandon its plan to open restaurants in Tibet, because your corporations support for cruelty and mass slaughter violate Tibetan value.

I have been particularly concerned with the sufferings of chickens for many years. It was the death of a chicken that finally strengthened my resolve to become vegetarian. In 1965, I was staying at the Government Guest House in south India. My room looked directly on to the kitchens opposite. One day I chanced to see the slaughter of a chicken, which made me decide to become a vegetarian.

Tibetans are not, as a rule, vegetarians, because in Tibet vegetables are scarce and meat forms a large part of the staple diet. However, it is considered more ethical to eat the meat of larger animals such as yaks, than small ones, because fewer large animals would have to be killed. For this reason, consumption of fish and chicken was rare, in fact traditionally we though of chickens as only a source of eggs, not as a food themselves, and even eggs were seldom eaten because they were thought to dull the sharpness of mind and memory. Eating chicken only really began with the arrival of Chinese communists.

These days, when I see a row of plucked chickens hanging in a meat shop it hurts. I find it unacceptable that violence is the basis for some of our food habits. When I am driving through the towns near where I live in India I see thousands of chickens in cages outside restaurants ready to be killed. When I see them I feel very sad, because in the heat they have no shade or relief, and in the cold they have no shelter from the wind. These poor chickens are treated as if they were merely vegetables.

In Tibet, buying animals from the butcher, thereby saving their lives, and setting them free was a common practice. Many Tibetans, even in exile, continue this practice where practically possible. It is therefore quite natural for me to support those who are currently protesting against the introduction of industrial food practices into Tibet that will perpetuate the suffering of huge numbers of chickens.

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