Thanks for Dedicating Your Life to the Animals

Thanks for Dedicating Your Life to the Animals

Date of Advice:
March 2021
Date Posted:
February 2023

Rinpoche sent cards and this advice to thank students who were helping with animal rescue and care at Kopan Monastery and in Australia.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche blesses a rescued goat, Maratika, Nepal, February 2016. Photo: Holly Ansett.

My most dear, most kind most precious, most wish-fulfilling ones,
As you know, Ani-la has been offering water bowls in my rooms for many years and taking care of the rooms for many years. We talked about Kopan Monastery buying more land for the animals, bigger than what we have now, much bigger land.

I did buy land in Chailsa [a village in Solu Khumbu, Nepal] to liberate animals, as we need much more space. Kopan land is not big enough. However there it is filled with forest and also we have a school. There is also a plan for extending the school and providing board, things like that. So there are other plans.

So Kopan has been looking for a bigger place, I think for a few years now, so always something is good, but something is not there, whether it is water or something else. It is always like this.

We found big land for liberating animals near Tatopani, so the idea is to move the goats from here up to there, and we can buy new animals. It is a large area of land and I want to buy that. Please don’t worry about the money for this. You have projects in Australia like the sky, so many, to help animals. So please don’t worry. I’m not giving the burden to you.

One Kopan monk’s brother has unbelievable compassion, like a bodhisattva, for the goats here. Even when he is at the market he is concerned about the goats, whether they have food or not, so he has to come see them, like that. I hope he was also trained by you people. I think he is an excellent person to look after the goats. Really, he has concern. I praised him a lot. I didn’t know him before, but when I met him and heard about him, I told the monks here.

The monks memorize texts and learn philosophy and the very deep vast subjects, the Buddhist path—the basis, the two truths, and the path, method and wisdom, and the goal to be actualized, dharmakaya and rupakaya, the Buddha’s holy mind and holy body, to be able to do perfect work for sentient beings.

They memorize so many texts, learn so many texts, but actually they are supposed to learn in order to get experience of the path, to develop compassion, for example, toward every single sentient being—for every hell being, hungry ghost, animal, human, sura and asura, and bardo being. So that is the aim.

This monk who is caring for the goats has unbelievable compassion for the goats. Even though he has no chance to study Buddhist philosophy, the extensive teachings or even lamrim, he has the experience of compassion, for the goats at least. I praised him a lot.

I also heard you were extremely busy during the months of the fires, arriving here and there for the animals.

These cards are from the animals here, the goats, and from the animals in Australia, thanking you so much, a zillion, billion, trillion times for your hard work and for dedicating your life for them.

Buddha said in the Arya Sanghata Sutra:

Any sentient being, who during the time of my teachings
Makes charity well (even if it’s just the size of a hair)
For 84,000 eons will actually receive the result of great enjoyments:
Having the human body without disease, enjoyment of happiness,
Enriched with wealth, power and desirable things (like Indra, Brahma and so forth).
At the end you can achieve the peerless result—total cessation and actualization of enlightenment.

If we can get this great result, who doesn’t want to collect merit? So that is the benefit.

What you accomplished in Kopan for the goats, and also you dedicated your lives to the animals, a zillion trillion times you collected merit. For so many animals you dedicated your life, so the result you achieve is all this, what the Buddha said.

I am also sending a few Namgyalma protections, to place on the animals’ bodies when they are about to die or when their breath stops.

With much love and prayers ...