Amitabha Buddhist Centre community liberates sea creatures at the shoreline in Singapore.

Benefiting animals in any way possible is a high priority for FPMT and one of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Vast Visions for the organization. The Animal Liberation Fund helps carry forth this work.

The Animal Liberation Fund sponsored the liberations of approximately 70,400 animals at Rinpoche’s houses in California and Washington State in 2016. Not only were the animals saved from untimely death by resident Sangha, but they were also taken around an incredible amount of holy objects, mantras were recited and blown on them and they were carefully placed where they could live out the rest of their life. When Sangha finish these liberations, they make strong prayers for all those who are sick, have recently died, or who have requested prayers. This is one of the most beneficial aspects of this practice as the merit is shared among so many. All are welcome to request prayers and dedications from the Sangha at Rinpoche’s residences for themselves or loved ones. In addition to the animal liberations in Washington State, the Sangha regularly bless the beings living in the lakes of this area. 

During the animal liberation practice, animals are carried around holy objects so they can create merit.

About once a month at Amitabha Buddhist Centre (ABC), Singapore, sea creatures are purchased at a seafood market to liberate. The animals are then circumambulated around center, which has 100 sets of the Kangyur and Tengyur as well as more than 300 stupas and many holy objects, including prayer wheels and statues. The community then offers animal liberation practice for  the animals according to Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s instructions and advice. Incredibly, 4,199,007 crabs, shellfish, and fish were liberated in 2016.  ABC estimates that they have helped liberate 218,000,000 lives to date. 

During animal liberation practice, an altar like this one designed by Lama Zopa Rinpoche filled with holy objects can be used for circumambulating the animals.

Recently, a student wrote to Rinpoche asking what they could do when finding dead insects. Rinpoche responded, not only to give advice but to describe in detail how he and Sangha at his residences work to benefit insects, birds, and other small animals.

Animal liberation is a specific practice done for animals which would otherwise be killed. The practice involves taking the animals-in-danger around holy objects to leave positive imprints in their minds, reciting mantras for them, blessing water to sprinkle onto their bodies, and then releasing them. This differs from general animal blessings which involve blessing any animal with mantras or a holy object. Animal blessings are, of course, wonderful to do for animals, but this is not what is meant by “animal liberations.”

Animal liberation practice is an incredible practice for anyone who has illnesses or is experiencing life obstacles. FPMT Education Services makes available many resources for those wishing to engage in this practice. 

All are welcome to contribute to the Animal Liberation Fund to help ensure that our work sponsoring animal liberations around the world continues.