Sunday, April 5, 2009

Liberation Through Hearing: Tibetan Buddhist Mantras for Animals

A number of years ago, I was given a wonderful tape of the Buddhist teacher Kalu Rinpoche chanting for the benefit of animals. The story, according to Lama Yeshe Gyamtso—who translated for Kalu Rinpoche at the beginning of the tape—was that a barrel full of cockroaches had been exterminated in New York City, and Rinpoche was chanting mantras so that the roaches would have better rebirths—as humans, perhaps, and with better chances of meeting authentic dharma teachers in their next lives.

Over the years, copies of the tape were made and passed around among those of us in our local dharma group. Many of us played the tape when we had animals who were sick or dying. When I mentioned the tape on a Buddhist discussion list to which I belong, the Kagyu list at Yahoo Groups, quite a number of people asked if I could send them copies. The world is obviously full of animal lovers!

More time passed, and with the realization that people were interested in recordings of teachers chanting for the benefit of pets and other creatures, our local dharma group asked our guiding teacher, Bardor Tulku Rinpoche, if he would make a recording that we could sell as a fundraiser for the Florida Tibetan Buddhist Center at Osprey Cove on Lake Santa Fe—an ambitious project, over 100 acres in size, that will create a place where people from the Southeast can benefit by receiving dharma teachings.

Bardor Tulku Rinpoche kindly and generously agreed, and the result is the CD Liberation Through Hearing: Tibetan Buddhist Mantras for Animals.

The CD includes the following recitations: Words of Auspiciousness, Mantra of Buddha Shakyamuni, Manta of Amitayus, Mantra of Medicine Buddha, Mantra of Avalokiteshvara, Karmapa Khyenno, Mantra of Tara, Longevity Mantra of White Tara, Mantra of Guru Padmasambhava, Sukhavati Aspiration Prayer and Amitabha Mantra, Mantra of Generosity, and Dedication of Merit.

Single copies of Liberation Through Hearing can be purchased from Namse Bangdzo. To purchase bulk quantities at a discount, contact the Gainesville (Florida) KTC, P.O. Box 358824, Gainesville, Florida 32635.

A side note about the history of this project: The original tape recorded by Kalu Rinpoche came to me from my first local dharma teacher, Frances Norwood. Frances was a wonderful person who was instrumental in starting me on the Buddhist path, and I miss her all the time; she died in 2001.

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