A Human Life Is Not Worht More Than An Animals Dogs in Tibetan Buddhism and in Buddhist Monasteries

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Dogs in Tibetan Buddhism and in Buddhist Monasteries

Among all the animals in the world, it is the faithful dog that evokes the most positive emotions in people. Being herding animals, dogs are known for their loyalty and devotion to their masters. These animals can also prove to be loyal companions when times are tough. As such, there is a bond that grows between humans and dogs that extends across a multitude of cultures. This is what gives way to dog symbolism in Tibetan Buddhism. In this way of Buddhism, dogs become much more than mere pets. Instead, they take on many components of religious symbolism. This is why the imagery of dogs in Tibetan Buddhism deserves a closer look. Such exploration will reveal much of the somewhat hidden symbolism these four-legged creatures represent.

One of the common questions people will ponder is the notion of what it means to be a human being. The answer usually given in some circles of Tibetan Buddhism will be “What is the meaning of being a dog?” Such a riddle can certainly surprise people, because it raises a number of interesting philosophical and humanistic points. In particular, it shows that the answer to what it means to be any kind of living creature is not easy to come by. In an extension of this symbolic koan, many Tibetan monks have become dog breeders and caretakers. They will then integrate dog care into their daily spiritual practice. This allows them to watch the animals. From this, they can make comparisons between the animals and the people who care for them. This opens the door to a deeper understanding of the human condition and human nature. Or at least that’s the common plan…

However, to call the process in which the monks raise dogs mere breeding would be to underestimate the great effectiveness with which they perform their duties. The process is more than just breeding dogs and finding them a home. It is also about raising dogs and being more in tune with the needs of animals. Dogs, obviously, will communicate differently than humans. As such, it becomes necessary for Tibetan monks to pay attention to the dog’s body language, behavior and actions. This increases the ability to effectively train the dog may be possible. It also increases the potential to understand human behavior during this process.

By having to pay attention to the dog’s behavior and communication, monks develop a sense of being in tune with the reactions of living beings. This makes them more aware of others and such skills can certainly increase the potential to work, live and coexist with others. This can lead to a more harmonious life which can improve the quality of human life to a great extent.

This is the end result of a lifetime of developing intuitive skills that come from caring for their beloved dogs. Such skills are integrated into many other areas and aspects of life and this is certainly a good thing. So you can consider raising dogs for Tibetan monks as a gateway to their soul. In many ways, there is an integration of all living beings as they must be harmonious and coexist. If not, then it would be almost impossible for anyone to lead a worthwhile life. On the contrary, they would live in conflict with others which is certainly not a tool that is useful. The concept of dog breeding in Tibetan monasteries plays a major role in this regard.

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