My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Buddhist Prayer for Animal Liberation

I stumbled upon this video recently, and while some of it is awfully painful to watch, I found it very moving. It's called "Buddhist Prayer for the Liberation of Animals," but one certainly need not be Buddhist to appreciate its profound message of empathy and compassion...

And for anyone who may be unfamiliar with these terms used in the video, here are a couple of simple definitions...

Bodhicitta is Sanskrit for "Enlightened" or "Awakened Mind," and refers to the wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings. A Bodhisattva (in most Buddhist traditions) is one who has attained Bodhicitta, but who chooses to remain earthbound to alleviate suffering and help all other beings attain enlightenment.

As long as space remains,
as long as sentient beings remain,
may I too remain
and dispel the miseries of the world.

~Shantideva (8th Century)
"Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life"


  1. That quote by Shantideva was driving me crazy... so this morning I finally pulled out my commonplace book. I read How to Practice in October 2007, and here's the quote I wrote down from that book:

    As long as the sky exists,
    And as long as there are sentient beings,
    may I remain to help
    relieve them of all their pain.
    ~Shantideva's Prayer

    Different translation, I assume. I rather like the "sky" line better than the "space" but I like your last line better. :)

    Quote People Unite!

  2. Hey, rift!

    I didn't know you were a member in good standing of QPU! LOL

    A thousand pardons for having driven you crazy(er). ;-)~ But I agree with you. I think I like "sky" vs. "space" better too, and prefer the last line in "my" version. :-)

    Reminds me of the variety of translations of the Tao Te Ching. 'Tis why I have several versions. (Well, that and the fact I'm also a book junkie, of course.) ;-)


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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