How would you save this bear?

Rusty the Bear

There is a little bear who lives opposite me. When i first saw him, at dusk, I didn’t see anyone with him and I couldn’t figure out what manner of being he was, even though he was clearly very cute. I exclaimed to my companion: “What is that!” “That” turned out to be Rusty, the little Pomeranian. Life was not always easy for him. Literally thrown around as a puppy (two boys were found playing catch with him on the beach), he was rescued by someone, only to spend the next five years in a cage, let out just to pee. Our neighbor Amanda from Columbia found him when she was cleaning the house where he was living packed in with many other animals. She asked if she could have him. Luckily for both of them, she could. He is now nine.

Everyone who sees him loves him, including the big builders next door who went gooey when he gambolled across the street toward them. I am no exception — i have to stop myself stalking poor Amanda whenever she appears at her front door with Rusty in tow. But he and I do have a good relationship already.

So, thinking of him spending five years in a cage is guaranteed to help me develop love and compassion for him, and then for all animals, and then, with a little further contemplation, for all beings caged in samsara in general. This in turn helps me develop bodhichitta, the wish to become a Buddha as quickly as possible so I can bust everyone out of this dreadful prison.

The way to rescue him and every other living being not just from current suffering but all future suffering is to develop the real capacity to do that, a capacity possessed by Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, not yet me.

If you look at this world clock, see if you can get the chicken counter to stand still:

http://www.poodwaddle.com/worldclock.swf

It is scary. There are limitless living beings who need our protection and love. A person who has realized their full potential and possesses omniscient wisdom and the universal love that can actually protect living beings is called a Buddha, or Awakened One, or enlightened being. Anyone can become a Buddha through training in wisdom and compassion. Can anyone other than an enlightened being do anything really effective about what is happening — the cycle of birth, death, & suffering represented by these rapidly changing numbers?

Here is a conundrum for you to solve. So my friend asks me: “If you had the choice to save 100 little Pomeranian bears from cruelty, torture and life in a cage or develop spontaneous bodhichitta, which would you choose?”

A classic tale of beauty triumphing over delusions and cynicism

I know this is old news but it is a classic and classics can be repeated…

See if you can watch it without smiling.

It reminds me of our Buddha nature, how it remains immutable, this potential we always have for perfect happiness, goodness, wisdom, purity, kindness… It is currently wrapped in the rags of our delusions, doubts and negativity, but every now and then it shines through, and we feel blissful, free and completely connected. Even if it is only for a few moments, it gives us hope that there is more to come.

What I’m up to with this blog

This blog was originally intended for a few friends, family and me. Mainly me. I thought it would beat writing down my musings in a scrappy old notebook, even one with this picture on the front …

But I came to the conclusion, over the past couple of months, that we needed more Kadampa bloggers. I know they are out there, waiting. So this blog has become an invitation. Don’t leave me alone on this big world wide web!

If you want to write just a little something but don’t want to start a blog, you can send me your guest article. If it seems like a good idea, I’ll put it on this blog.

Or just use the comments section, that works, and it is handy for a blogger to have feedback!

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See also Where are the Kadampas?

Thanks.