Sunday, October 01, 2006
You can see there was quite a turn out for the talk. Rigzin conveyed many stories about the birds, revealing their personalities and the unique challenges associated with caring for creatures whose lifespans often exceed those of their caretakers.
The Garuda Aviary is one branch of Taras Babies, an animal rescue organization started by members of our temple in response to hurricane Katrina. Once the majority of the rescue dogs were placed, the reality that many beings are out there suffering all the time. Work has begun to transition the facilities erected in an emergency into structures that can not only serve the needs of beings over the long haul, but can grow to embrace even more beings! This is one tangible way the principle of compassion we've been taught has been put into practice. I'm a poor spokesperson for these amazing folks, as they work day and night to support the animals---literally. Our own task of keeping up the Stupas is more forgiving, as these folks have beings who rely on them totally every day for ongoing care and in many cases, rehabilitation. If you'd like to learn more about it you can visit their website www.tarasbabies.org and see all the plans they are attempting to implement to create a permanent refuge out of the temporary shelter started for the Katrina dogs.
If you're a Stupa fan, the Stupas benefit animals tremendously. Animals have few opportunities to accumulate the causes for spiritual awakening (since they don't really have a way to learn the principles), but merely seeing a Stupa, or having the great good fortune to walk clockwise around it (even if by accident) plants the seed of Buddhahood in their minds! Of course, that goes for people too! You don't have to be Buddhist to enjoy the blessings of the Stupas, or to join in our efforts to bring peace and comfort to beings of all species!