assisting dying/suffering animals.

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fuki
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assisting dying/suffering animals.

Post by fuki » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:01 pm

When an animal dies or is suffering I have my own ways of assisting them. Learned from various traditions (Buddhist and non-Buddhist) or "self-taught". My question is how do various Zen practisioners/teachers assist the dying/suffering?

For instance my moms cat just caught another mouse, so it's half dead suffering in a cold shed now just waiting for it's final breath. I'm not there so I can't do much so my second question is how would you advice a non-buddhist practisioner to assist the mouse?

Thanks.
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[james]
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Re: assisting dying/suffering animals.

Post by [james] » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:24 am

fuki wrote:
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:01 pm
When an animal dies or is suffering I have my own ways of assisting them. Learned from various traditions (Buddhist and non-Buddhist) or "self-taught". My question is how do various Zen practisioners/teachers assist the dying/suffering?

For instance my moms cat just caught another mouse, so it's half dead suffering in a cold shed now just waiting for it's final breath. I'm not there so I can't do much so my second question is how would you advice a non-buddhist practisioner to assist the mouse?

Thanks.
Because of the work I do, farming, I am inevitably the cause of much suffering and death to small creatures. That reality is the source of much mental torment to me. From time to time I cause additional suffering and death due to my own inattention and carelessness in my activities. Sometimes it seems to be completely “accidental”. Most of this is happening unseen but, of course, not unknown. At times I will stop and kill the animal that I have already mangled or I will move the dying animal to a quiet nearby place to finish it’s life without further disturbance. In either situation I will express to the being I have harmed, and to myself, a willingness to take on its karma as my own and to sincerely wish that the circumstances of our lives that had brought us together will carry us forward on the path of liberation.

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bokki
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Re: assisting dying/suffering animals.

Post by bokki » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:42 am

wonderful words!

when young, so long ago,
at my grandmas

she , or not,
had this tomcat.

d worst, bigest in d neighbo..

it ate anything..soup, beans, bread.. anything.

SO..

his joke, practice, or just reflex..

would be to bring a dead mouse in his mouth to us, giving the mouse to us...

DEMANDING food!!!!!!!!!!!!

i suppose he did not like the taste of the mice he so well
killed.

a cat is a mouse killer.
Another log on the fire,
10,000 frogs singing in the rain,
burst into flames.
- Linda Anderson

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fuki
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Re: assisting dying/suffering animals.

Post by fuki » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:08 pm

[james] wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:24 am

Because of the work I do, farming, I am inevitably the cause of much suffering and death to small creatures. That reality is the source of much mental torment to me. From time to time I cause additional suffering and death due to my own inattention and carelessness in my activities. Sometimes it seems to be completely “accidental”. Most of this is happening unseen but, of course, not unknown. At times I will stop and kill the animal that I have already mangled or I will move the dying animal to a quiet nearby place to finish it’s life without further disturbance. In either situation I will express to the being I have harmed, and to myself, a willingness to take on its karma as my own and to sincerely wish that the circumstances of our lives that had brought us together will carry us forward on the path of liberation.
Thanks for sharing James, I know what that is like. We can't always avoid these matters, in those cases how we deal with things (from the heart) is what matters most.
Thanks so much for sharing your and your enviroments situation. Peace upon all. :110:
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fuki
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Re: assisting dying/suffering animals.

Post by fuki » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:16 pm

bokki wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:42 am

a cat is a mouse killer.
Lof of cats do that, though I've known cats who couldn't be bothered chasing after anything since they have slaves (humans) to fees them. I "don't mind" a quick death but cats playing with a half dead or wounded mouse is a terrible sight and experience for the mouse. When we find a wounded animal or insect it depends what is wise to do in each case. Empathy needs a direction otherwise it becomes the source of our own (mental) suffering.
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Re: assisting dying/suffering animals.

Post by jundocohen » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:44 pm

I believe that one does take the Karma upon oneself, but that it is a justified killing to to assist or euthanize a dying or suffering animal. I have euthanized sick pets, and I just had one of my novice priests arrange for the shooting of a deer that he stumbled on after the animal was severely injured by a car and left for dead. I believe that he acted with Compassion and right intentions. Any Karma taken upon himself for that was primarily good.

I also feel the same way for a dying and suffering human being. I support euthanasia in appropriate cases for human beings, although there is debate on the issue in Buddhist circles (imagine that!) ...

http://buddhismguide.org/buddhism-and-euthanasia/

Gassho, J
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

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Re: assisting dying/suffering animals.

Post by fuki » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:26 pm

I agree with that Jundo. Only to my mind when our actions are simply functions of wisdom I dont see it in the duality (additions to perception) of light/dark, good/evil etc nor does "neutral" karma makes much sense for that designates the extremes. Everyday activity free from the 3 poisons and it's all "good" Words don't apply far as I can see, regarding the "fruition" of karma, well I don't know anything about that. I can see there's no unchanging cause to a moment ago and now, one thought conditions the next, so much for the (fixed) "person" fabrication. I have no idea what "transmigrates" but since I don't know much I'd still would like to "do" something for the "dead" for whatever it is I don't know. Hence I was wondering if "zen ppl" here might in certain situations "assist that which I dont know" after the final breath. From mantras to new-age stuff, doesn't matter, picked up or self-taught etc.
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Re: assisting dying/suffering animals.

Post by jundocohen » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:44 pm

fuki wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:26 pm
I agree with that Jundo. Only to my mind when our actions are simply functions of wisdom I dont see it in the duality (additions to perception) of light/dark, good/evil etc nor does "neutral" karma makes much sense for that designates the extremes. Everyday activity free from the 3 poisons and it's all "good" Words don't apply far as I can see, regarding the "fruition" of karma, well I don't know anything about that. I can see there's no unchanging cause to a moment ago and now, one thought conditions the next, so much for the (fixed) "person" fabrication. I have no idea what "transmigrates" but since I don't know much I'd still would like to "do" something for the "dead" for whatever it is I don't know. Hence I was wondering if "zen ppl" here might in certain situations "assist that which I dont know" after the final breath. From mantras to new-age stuff, doesn't matter, picked up or self-taught etc.
What I mean by "bad Karma" in this case is that, when one must take a life ... even if necessary and justified, even unavoidable ... there is a sadness and weight to it. I have a friend who is a policeman, killed someone in a fully proper shooting needed to save a hostage's life. He knows he did the right thing, but he feels the weight of what he had to do. It is a matter of the effect he feels in this life, any question of "transmigration" aside and irrelevant to me and him.

Gassho, J
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

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Re: assisting dying/suffering animals.

Post by fuki » Tue Mar 06, 2018 4:03 pm

I got you meant that Jundo, thank you for sharing that example of your personal life. :)
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Re: assisting dying/suffering animals.

Post by guo gu » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:07 pm

fuki,
regarding your question, i suggest bestowing the refuge to dying or recently dead animals and urge them to take up dharma practice and practice the bodhisattva path.
for the dying animal it's not up to an ordinary person to put them to death. doing so is to inject a self where there is none. however cruel or unjust or pitiable or whatever may seem, such perception comes from a particular self-referentiality.
in the larger scheme of things, the dying or those being prayed on--cats/lions pray on mouse/game--is the cycle and norm of samsara. each being has its own karmic reward/retribution. such is also their awakening. there is always more to what one's own perception of things...
buddhadharma or bodhisattva vows present a particular view. if one were to adopt a view, adopt the view of buddhadharma. for this reason, i suggest you to bestow refuge to the dying and the dead.
if a chan/seon/zen teacher puts to death a being, s/he would be able to bring it to life. such wondrous activity has nothing to do with ethics or mystical power or some kind of doctrinal gymnastics. birth/death, living/dead--the freedom of all beings.
if one cannot bring beings back to life, then adopt the view of buddhadharma and bestow refuge. if you have already received precepts, then you can bestow precepts as well.
hope this helps,
guo gu

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Re: assisting dying/suffering animals.

Post by fuki » Fri Mar 09, 2018 8:43 pm

very helpful Guo Gu, thanks a lot.

Just confused about this;
in the larger scheme of things, the dying or those being prayed on--cats/lions pray on mouse/game--is the cycle and norm of samsara. each being has its own karmic reward/retribution. such is also their awakening. there is always more to what one's own perception of things...
When my cats try to catch insects I catch the insect and put them somewhere save from the cats (out of sight out of mind so to speak) are you saying I must not interfere? I hope not it would kill me to not interfere they have cat food and no reason for creating negative karma, or are you saying that every insect my cats meet is not by "chance" and they have conditions to settle?
(it's probably nothing which I think but I feel I need to prevent my cats from killing where possible)

Thank you.
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Re: assisting dying/suffering animals.

Post by guo gu » Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:15 am

fuki,
help by flowing with causes and conditions; entertain no notions of helper, helping, or helped. causes and conditions saving causes and conditions. sentient beings liberate themselves.
but if in the process of helping you feel moved, angst, vexed, or proud, then expose this attachment. no need to suppress or follow. exposing itself liberates.
understand?
guo gu

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Re: assisting dying/suffering animals.

Post by michaeljc » Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:57 am

understand?
No

Humane killing is driven by compassion

M

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Re: assisting dying/suffering animals.

Post by fuki » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:35 am

guo gu wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:15 am
fuki,
help by flowing with causes and conditions; entertain no notions of helper, helping, or helped. causes and conditions saving causes and conditions. sentient beings liberate themselves.
but if in the process of helping you feel moved, angst, vexed, or proud, then expose this attachment. no need to suppress or follow. exposing itself liberates.
understand?
guo gu
non-dwelling

arising=illumination (i.e. nature of vexations are empty)

Yes I understand.
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Re: assisting dying/suffering animals.

Post by Larry » Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:49 am

michaeljc wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:57 am
Humane killing is driven by compassion
Yes, surely if drawn to help from heart-mind then help. Simples.

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Re: assisting dying/suffering animals.

Post by fuki » Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:11 am

Larry wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:49 am
if drawn to help from heart-mind then help. Simples.
f70e022c5f19a2b84b4146c253568ed5.jpg
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Re: assisting dying/suffering animals.

Post by jundocohen » Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:52 pm

I can bring the animal back to life even as, sadly, one is forced to take life. This is easy for Zen folks.

It is how Nansen "killed the cat" with a sword of Wisdom which uncuts into not one. Very simple. It is easy to bring them back from the dead when never born.

There is a difference between killing for personal gain or pleasure, and killing to save the lives of others (for example, innocent hostages held by a gunman) or to relieve a creature in pain.

Let me also mention that almost every Monastery in China, Korea, Japan and elsewhere owned vast agricultural lands on which they grew things. They had to kill insects and mice, larger animals like wild pigs and the like on a large scale, either in the prevention of pests or as an inevitable act in the harvest itself. Buddhism has existed for 2500 years in primarily agricultural societies in India, China and other Asian countries. Killing pests and predators was a fact of life, much more than for most of us in modern urban and suburban areas currently must face (although I live in an agricultual area where wild boar are still a concern to the farmers). Horses and oxen to work the fields would grow old and lame, and need to be put out of their misery. The Buddhist monks often passed on the messy job of such killing to others, such as the peasants who worked the fields to raise the crops (which soon led to their donations). However, they did not and would not stop the killing itself, for failed crops, suffering old animals and starving humans would result.

A heartfelt Heart Sutra chanted after the deed can work wonders to clean the Karma which results.

Gassho, J
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

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Re: assisting dying/suffering animals.

Post by fuki » Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:11 pm

jundocohen wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:52 pm
A heartfelt Heart Sutra chanted after the deed can work wonders to clean the Karma which results.

Gassho, J
Thank you Jundo.

I do often chant gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha, spontaneous throughout the day (just 10 minutes ago when working out on the home-trainer) and also last time I put my cat to sleep (the vet was ok with me giving the final injection) but also not chanting it for years, dunno why.

Would you advice a larger part of the sutra or will just the last line suffice?
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Re: assisting dying/suffering animals.

Post by jundocohen » Sun Mar 11, 2018 1:16 am

fuki wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:11 pm

Would you advice a larger part of the sutra or will just the last line suffice?
Hi Fuki,

I believe that it is the sincerity of the heart which matters, not the words or the silence. There is silence in the words, words in the silence.

The real magical "Mantra" of the Heart Sutra is the Perfection of Wisdom, Emptiness itself, not (or only) the "Gate Gate Para Gate ... " at the end.

I am sure that you get what I mean.

Gassho, J
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

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Re: assisting dying/suffering animals.

Post by fuki » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:32 am

Yes, thank you Jundo.
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