Thursday, December 29, 2011

Animal Cruelty: May All Beings Be Free From Suffering

I was caught off-guard last night by a commercial that came on tv about animal cruelty. I knew from the second that I saw the cute, scuffed up, beady eyed poodle looking at me from the screen, that I should have changed the channel so that I wouldn't be upset.  But, I couldn't turn away. I wanted to watch and see the commercial end on a hopeful note - with an update of some sort, insuring me that that this kind, precious little being was now doing well. 

Unfortunately, the commercial just went on to show one abused or neglected dog or cat after another. Especially heartbreaking was a Pomeranian dog that was in a cage. He looked so sad. The caption read: "Will I EVER get out of this cage?"

That's when I lost it. I burst into tears. I thought of all of the innocent, loving animals that are in such conditions. I thought about how some animals bear the brunt of humans' anger and psychosis. I wept for them.

Although I'm not surprised that this commercial tugged on my heart strings, I was taken aback by the intensity of the reaction that I had. Part of it was an overwhelming sense of sorrow that I could not personally help/save each animal that I hear about.

Part of it was an overwhelming grief of knowing that such suffering exists at the hands of my fellow human beings. And most of it was because I felt powerless in that moment, wondering if there is anything I can really do to positively impact change.

Today, the Buddha's Metta Sutta, the Sutra of Loving Kindness, came to mind.

Here is the portion of the Metta Sutta that came to mind:

May all beings be well and safe, may they be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be, whether moving or standing still, without exception, whether large, great, middling, or small, whether tiny or substantial,
Whether seen or unseen, whether living near or far,
Born or unborn; may all beings be happy.
Let none deceive or despise another anywhere. Let none wish harm to another, in anger or in hate.
Just as a mother would guard her child, her only child, with her own life, even so let me cultivate a boundless mind for all beings in the world.

Let me cultivate a boundless love for all beings in the world, above, below, and across, unhindered, without ill will or enmity.

Standing, walking, seated, or lying down, free from torpor, let me as far as possible fix my attention on this recollection. This, they say, is the divine life right here.

I may not be able to insure, on my own, that all animals are loved and properly treated, but I can help animals in need whenever it is in my power to do so. I can bring awareness to this very important issue, and I can recite the Metta Sutta, from my heart, in hopes that the vibration of love will increase on this planet - especially toward the vulnerable, who need our protection and kindness.

Are you also moved by something that can or has overwhelmed you? What CAN you do to make a difference? How you can be the change you wish to see?

Sulilo ♥

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