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Kindness for All Creatures: Buddhist Advice for Compassionate Animal Care (Paperback)
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A heartfelt guide to compassionate care for animals from a Buddhist perspective, with practical advice for mindfully raising pets and honoring animals.
Are you doing all you can for the well-being of your beloved pet? Is your outlook toward wildlife consistent with your loyalty to cats and dogs? Structured around the Six Perfections of Buddhism, this book explores these questions and more, providing heartfelt guidance on how to apply compassion in action to our relationships with animals. In addition to being a practical resource, it encourages advocacy, challenging us to think more profoundly about caring for the creatures—both domestic and wild—with whom we share our world.
About the Author
SARAH C. BEASLEY (Sera Kunzang Lhamo) is a senior lay practitioner in the Nyingma School, Dudjom lineage, with thirteen years full-time direct training in traditional Buddhist teachings and methods for body, speech, and mind. She spent nearly seven of those years in closed intensive retreat under the guidance of Lama Tharchin Rinpoche and Thinley Norbu Rinpoche, supported by Tsadra Foundation, and worked three years on Practices for the Dead (and Dying) including guidance on how to care for pets during the aging and death passage. Sarah offers Buddhist and Western approaches to death and dying in her workshops and is also a regular contributor to Buddhistdoor Global, Jnanasukha Foundation, Levekunst, and Vajrayana World on topics of pets, nature, life, death and dying, and Buddhism. Her recent essay “Cosmo Perry” was published in the Sounds True anthology The Dharma of Dogs.
“Nonhuman animals need all the help they can get in an increasingly human-dominated world. As Sarah Beasley notes, ‘Every species has its place’ as does each and every individual, and treating other animals better also means treating ourselves better. Kindness for All Creatures is a must-read in an age when countless nonhumans are treated as unfeeling objects rather than sentient and feeling beings.”—Marc Bekoff, author of Canine Confidential: Why Dogs Do What They Do and Unleashing Your Dog: A Field Guide to Giving Your Canine Companion the Best Life Possible
“In her eminently readable book, Beasley offers readers a broad range of ‘entrance points’ for enacting compassion toward animals. She creatively employs the Six Perfections of Mahayana Buddhism (generosity, discipline, patience, diligence, concentration, and wisdom) to our relationships with animals, exploring how these perfections can inform our interactions, beginning with the core idea that all animals have intrinsic value and that they, like us, want to be free of suffering and live life on their own terms. Every reader will come away with an exciting list of ideas about how to act with greater kindness towards animals both near and far, and how to cultivate kindness and compassionate awareness of animal suffering in others.” —Jessica Pierce, author of Run, Spot, Run: The Ethics of Keeping Pets
“Sarah Beasley reminds us gently but firmly that compassion is the root of the Buddhist path and that it should know no borders. She advocates convincingly that loving-kindness and the practice of the ‘Six Perfections’ must apply to all sentient beings without exception. Kindness for All Creatures is a much-needed and most welcome call urging us to progress toward coherent ethics and truly compassionate behavior.”—Matthieu Ricard, author of A Plea for the Animals
“Kindness for All Creatures invites the reader into an authentic, mutual relationship with animals. It is a perfect guide for how to afford them their uniqueness and dignity, as well as how to treat them with utmost care. The guidance in this book will enhance your experience of your pets, and, like any true spiritual practice, will bring out the best in you.” —Diane Musho Hamilton, author of The Zen of You and Me: A Guide to Getting Along with Just About Anyone
“This book is a comprehensive guide offering practical advice and spiritual wisdom in how to care for our animal brothers and sisters. Delivered with passion and precision, it will open your eyes to the beauty and tenderness of the animal kingdom, and our place within it. Kindness for All Creatures is a wake-up call, a heartfelt plea that exhorts us to discover that by caring for others, we’re caring for ourselves.” —Andrew Holecek, author of The Power and the Pain: Transforming Spiritual Hardship into Joy