TAKING CARE OF OTHERS: Animal Liberation
By Marketa Bartosova, Gisella Barche and Pete Albertson
During His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s teachings in France in August 2011, most participants booked meals with caterers. The caterers were so well prepared that when the teachings were over there was quite a bit of leftover bread. Given that this was food prepared for participants attending teachings by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the organizers decided it was an opportunity to practice kindness and to accumulate merit by offering it as food for the fish in the river Agout, which flows by Nalanda Monastery.
Marketa and Gisella decided to take on the project. The first step was to take several sacks of quartered baguettes and reduce them into fish size bites of bread. Pete and others helped with the preparation. On the afternoon of the August 18, we went down to the river where there is a small raft. We burned some incense and recited the 17th chapter of the Sutra of Golden Light, in which Jelayavana is feeding and teaching the fish. Then we threw the bread into the river. We watched the bits of bread floating down the river. There was so much bread that it made a continuous stream of bread crumbs that stretched from Nalanda all the way past the bridge that goes to Lavaur several kilometers away. At a certain point, we were surprised by the big fish which surrounded our raft.
The river is quite polluted and is a sad deep grey. There are not many animals to be found there. Offering the blessed bread to the fish was our way of honoring a part of nature which is suffering due to the negligence of humankind.Tags: animals, nalanda monastery