Video: Students Ask the Buddhist Teacher: What advice would you give for a student who is dealing with the loss of a pet? Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinpoche

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.


Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinpoche blessed this dog at the end of a Medicine Buddha Retreat in Owen Sound in April 2016. After the event he played with the fifteen-month old pup. Zasep Rinpoche teaches, “We must not hurt other people and animals.”


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.


Rinpoche advises that as a pet is dying you can help him or her with mantras and Powa practice.


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?”


Video 1: Advice for Students on Karma>>

Video 2: Advice for Students dealing with loss of a loved one>>

Video 3: Advice for Students coping with memory loss, Alzheimers or early dementia>>

Video 4: Advice for Students coping with the loss of a beloved pet>>

Video 5: Advice for Students coping with aggressive illnesses such as cancer, looking for supportive practices>>

Video 6: Advice for the New Student to Buddhism>>

Video 7: Advice for Keeping Motivated in Your Daily Practice>>

Video 8: Purifying Negative Karma>>

Video 9: Advice for Advanced Vajrayana Students on Managing Commitments>>



Venerable Zasep Rinpoche just returned from a visit to Mongolia, where he was welcomed at the Ulaan Baatar School for the Disabled. He is spiritual director of Gaden Relief, who donated new kitchen equipment for the school. Rinpoche visits Mongolia for both teachings and relief efforts each year.

Venerable Zasep Rinpoche on a previous trip to Mongolia (2016). He is currently teaching in Mongolia 2017, then on to Zuru Ling, Vancouver BC (April 2017) and Gaden Choling Toronto (May 2017).

Zasep Rinpoche is currently in Mongolia on an extended round of teachings

Vancouver, Canada

Rinpoche will be teaching at Zuru Ling, Vancouver in April: “Zuru Ling is extremely pleased to announce that our precious teacher Acharya Zasep Tulku Rinpoche will be teaching in Vancouver in April 2017:

  • How to do personal retreat, setting up an altar and torma making. Wednesday April 26th, 2017 starting at 7 til 9 pm.
  • Green Tara Initiation – Friday 28th April starting at 7 til 9 pm.
  • Black Manjushri Initiation – Saturday 29th April 2 til 4 pm.
  • Teaching on healing and protection of the Black Manjushri practise – Sunday 30th April starting 10 am til 4 pm.
  • Information: Zuru Ling website>>

Teaching Schedule of Zasep Tulku Rinpoche for spring 2017 at Gaden Choling Toronto, Canada.

Toronto, Canada

Rinpoche will be at Gaden Choling in Toronto, Canada in May for two weeks.

  • Mahamudra teachings: Saturday, May 20th, 10am to 5pm
  • Lama Chopa Guru Yoga: Sunday May 21st, 10am to 5pm
  • Hayagriva Highest Yoga Tantra Initiation: Thursday, May 25th, 7pm to 9pm
  • Green Tara: Friday, May 26th, 7pm to 9pm
  • Black Manjushri Initiation: Saturday May 27th 2-5pm
  • Black Manjushri Practice and Commentary (requires initiation) Sunday May 28th, 10am-5pm
  • Information to be posted soon at Gaden Choling website>>


About Venerable Zasep Tulku Rinpoche

Zasep Tulku Rinpoche teaching at Gaden Choling on Ngondro, spoke at length about the healing benefits of Black Manjushri and Medicine Buddha.

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.

More on Zasep Tulku Rinpoche>>

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


United States



Venerable Zasep Rinpoche

Author | Buddha Weekly

Rinpoche is spiritual head of many Dharma Centres, and teaches around the world. Originally from Kham province in Tibet (born 1948) Rinpoche has taught in the west since 1976, after he was first invited by Geshe Thubten Loden and Lama Yeshe to teach at the Chenrezig Institute in Australia. Today, he is spiritual head of the Gaden for the West centres in Canada, U.S., and Australia and also spiritual director of the the charities Gaden Relief Project (Canada) and Manlha Tus NGO (Mongolia). He is the author of three books, including his latest release in 2018 with a rare English commentary and practice instructions for Gelug Mahamudra.

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