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Would a Bodhisattva own a dog for protection?


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#1 Vmarco

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:07 PM

Would a Bodhisattva,...someone who is seriously cultivating Heartfulness,...own a dog for protection?

What is the psychology of someone who owns a dog for protection?

Is owning a dog for protection compatable with Taoism? Would a sincere Taoist own a dog for protection?

Is liberation, let alone world peace possible as long as there is a "beware of dog: sign, or a vicious breed in existence (that is not in a zoo).

#2 chi 2012

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 12:49 AM

If you live or are surrounded by potentially dangerous people - I would say yes definitely. I just ordered a book called "Spiritual Growth is not what you think" by Doyle Barnett. I was reading through some of the sample online book. He tells a story about his Buddhist friends who had their house burned down during the Santa Barbara fires. One of the things left after the fires was a big Buddha statue. Doyle told the people that their would be a lot of looting after the fires - and offered to store the statue for them at his place. The couple replied that they would rather leave the statue out - because it might "help protect the place".

#3 Jeramiah Zeitigeist

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:43 AM

Of course !

I have a dog for protection. In fact. I have three dogs for protection.

I live in a peaceful, quiet and safe area. I am a peaceful, quiet and gentle person. And my dogs reflect me. They are friendly, good natured and happy. Not aggressive in any way, just like me. I live with compassion for all living beings.

But five and a half years ago, a psychopath decided she wanted to destroy my life and then kill me. I'd never met her before, but she was a serial stalker, and had driven her previous victims to attempt suicide. Long story short, she tried to murder me, (I survived by a million to one chance), boasted of police protection (turns out her partner was a senior police officer), and for four years terrorised myself, my friends, family and clients. Accused me of rape, murder, child abuse.......on and on. Tore my life to pieces. Eventually, after four years, it all stopped. New police came to the area, everything was exposed, officers were sacked and her campaign halted as though it had never happened.

During the whole time, I never strayed from my belief system. I never even thought bad things about her. It was a perfect exercise in compassion. I was faced with the abyss, and I could have faltered and failed, and become like her. But somehow I survived. I almost cracked, but something kept me going. I believe it was meditation, Chi Gong, and my spiritual beliefs.

But, practically speaking, I needed to do something sensible, if I could not rely on the police. So I bought some dogs. I'm a dog lover anyway, so it was fine. I already had an elderly spaniel, but she was no use if the worst happened.

Over the four years, she sent men to my house three times, to my knowledge. They were sent to attack me, or kill me. The dogs defended me each time, and I was safe. Other things may also have happened during that time, that I am not aware of, but which the dogs thwarted.

They aren't aggressive dogs. But any dog will protect its owner, if they detect a threat. I have no doubt I wouldn't be alive now, but for the dogs.

We live in a strange world, where I believe we are challenged on a daily basis to justify or develop our belief system. I never doubted compassion was the path, but under such attack, I needed help. It was too much to deal with, on a daily basis, and although I am safe now, I don't doubt my decision was correct.

Its an extreme case, but I do think dogs are justifiable.


Also there are two kinds of men you can never trust. Those who don't drink - and those who practice the horse stance.
chi 2012

#4 chi 2012

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 02:28 AM

Of course !

I have a dog for protection. In fact. I have three dogs for protection.

I live in a peaceful, quiet and safe area. I am a peaceful, quiet and gentle person. And my dogs reflect me. They are friendly, good natured and happy. Not aggressive in any way, just like me. I live with compassion for all living beings.

But five and a half years ago, a psychopath decided she wanted to destroy my life and then kill me. I'd never met her before, but she was a serial stalker, and had driven her previous victims to attempt suicide. Long story short, she tried to murder me, (I survived by a million to one chance), boasted of police protection (turns out her partner was a senior police officer), and for four years terrorised myself, my friends, family and clients. Accused me of rape, murder, child abuse.......on and on. Tore my life to pieces. Eventually, after four years, it all stopped. New police came to the area, everything was exposed, officers were sacked and her campaign halted as though it had never happened.

During the whole time, I never strayed from my belief system. I never even thought bad things about her. It was a perfect exercise in compassion. I was faced with the abyss, and I could have faltered and failed, and become like her. But somehow I survived. I almost cracked, but something kept me going. I believe it was meditation, Chi Gong, and my spiritual beliefs.

But, practically speaking, I needed to do something sensible, if I could not rely on the police. So I bought some dogs. I'm a dog lover anyway, so it was fine. I already had an elderly spaniel, but she was no use if the worst happened.

Over the four years, she sent men to my house three times, to my knowledge. They were sent to attack me, or kill me. The dogs defended me each time, and I was safe. Other things may also have happened during that time, that I am not aware of, but which the dogs thwarted.

They aren't aggressive dogs. But any dog will protect its owner, if they detect a threat. I have no doubt I wouldn't be alive now, but for the dogs.

We live in a strange world, where I believe we are challenged on a daily basis to justify or develop our belief system. I never doubted compassion was the path, but under such attack, I needed help. It was too much to deal with, on a daily basis, and although I am safe now, I don't doubt my decision was correct.

Its an extreme case, but I do think dogs are justifiable.

I know you can never figure out other people's karma - but when I read that - I kept thinking "What the heck did you do in this or another life to attract that?"

#5 Jetsun

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 02:37 AM

I guess it depends on the circumstance, ideally the Bodhisattva doesn't project any strength or put up any barriers at all as that encourages others to do the same which just creates a defensive fear cycle. One of the principle practises of a Bodhisattva is to break this cycle were all in to show people that it is possible to have the courage to completely open up and be vulnerable and for it to be ok and a better way to live. But practically it doesn't always work like that, the Dalai Lama for example when he was in the UK had two Tibetan bodyguards and was given two SAS bodyguards to protect him, he says they are more for show but he has enemies, it is not compassionate to let others hurt you, many people need the barriers set for them to show them what is acceptable because emotionally many people are still children, especially criminals, and it is not compassionate to let children just do what they want it's good for them to learn boundaries so you do them a favour by setting them.

#6 chi 2012

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 02:54 AM

Steaven Seagal keeps guns and dogs in his house - and he is a Buddhist.

#7 Jeramiah Zeitigeist

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 06:26 AM

I know you can never figure out other people's karma - but when I read that - I kept thinking "What the heck did you do in this or another life to attract that?"


I know !

Well, it certainly wasn't in this life. I have never hurt anyone, or done anything bad. More by luck than judgement, in my early years, but from the age of 18 onwards I have given all my intention to live a life of kindness and compassion.So it made it all the worse.

But I fully accept I must have brought it to me, although as I have meditated and studied the situation, I realised I was a tool for her karma too. It was so extreme and so awful, and involved so many other people suffering too. So although I was at the centre of it, from my perspective, perhaps she was suffering more than me ?

She actually poisoned her own dogs, to try to set me up. Luckily, I was abroad for several weeks at that time. But it seems an enormous amount of karma was being played out, involving many people. My friends and family, and clients, who were terrorised. And a handful of her friends, who were drawn in, and did terrible things under her guidance. I'm sure they would never have done those things, in a million years, without her insistence.

So maybe its egocentric of me to consider the 'me' in the whole process.

I doubt I'll ever know why. And probably, I don't need to.


Also there are two kinds of men you can never trust. Those who don't drink - and those who practice the horse stance.
chi 2012

#8 thelerner

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 06:33 AM

Why not? Better to have a dog growl to warn off a potential attackers then get hurt or hurt someone else. The problem I can see is you're balancing that good against feeding the dog other living beings on a regular basis and that might be a karmic no no to a Bodhisattva.


I don't think you need a vicious animal for protection. A medium size (or larger) should do. As Jeremiah pointed out, a good dog protects its owner. With proper training there are no vicious breeds (though there are vicious individuals and some breeds require more training then others), our 'dojo' dog was a doberman, very sweet and gentle.

If you don't mind its carnivorous nature, a dog can give you protection, love and a lot more.

Edited by thelerner, 23 March 2012 - 06:45 AM.

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#9 Jeramiah Zeitigeist

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 06:53 AM

Why not? Better to have a dog growl to warn off a potential attackers then get hurt or hurt someone else. The problem I can see is you're balancing that good against feeding the dog other living beings on a regular basis and that might be a karmic no no to a Bodhisattva.


I don't think you need a vicious animal for protection. A medium size (or larger) should do. As Jeremiah pointed out, a good dog protects its owner. With proper training there are no vicious breeds (though there are vicious individuals and some breeds require more training then others), our 'dojo' dog was a doberman, very sweet and gentle.

If you don't mind its carnivorous nature, a dog can give you protection, love and a lot more.


My three dogs are Doberman too. Sweet natured, sensitive and friendly dogs. They look the part, but they are the friendliest and least aggressive dogs I have ever known. I also have a Welsh Springer Spaniel, and I wouldn't trust her at all. She is aggressive to other dogs, strangers, and terrorises the Dobermen. She was like it when I homed her.

I specifically bought Dobermen because they look the part, but are trustworthy and gentle. So they might protect me, without anyone getting hurt.


Also there are two kinds of men you can never trust. Those who don't drink - and those who practice the horse stance.
chi 2012

#10 Vmarco

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 07:45 AM

Of course !

I have a dog for protection. In fact. I have three dogs for protection.

I live in a peaceful, quiet and safe area. I am a peaceful, quiet and gentle person. And my dogs reflect me. They are friendly, good natured and happy. Not aggressive in any way, just like me. I live with compassion for all living beings.


Does a Taoist or Buddhist who is attached to fear, a genuine Taoist or Buddhist?

How can one observe themselves, their Heart, let alone the Tao, through a fear-based psychology? Isn't saying, "I am a peaceful person" while having three dogs for protection, both neurotic and dishonest?

Let's break that down a bit. Can a person so fearful of others that they need animal protection ever truly be peaceful,...and second, could a genuinely peaceful person be so inconsiderate of others that they would own dogs for protection?

It could be easily argued (among honest people) that owning dogs for protection promotes more fear, not peace,...an environment of more fear.

A person who owns a dog for protection could not possibly be at peace,...the dog is merely a medication so that they don't have to confront their fear,...they've tricked themselves by anesthetizing their fear,...which is a barrier to an open heart.

How can any Heartful person own a dog for protection? The terror their dog(s) cause others, in itself is the opposite of Heartfulness, peace, and the Tao.

V

#11 Vmarco

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:06 AM

Steaven Seagal keeps guns and dogs in his house - and he is a Buddhist.


Keeping guns and dogs in one's house (at all times) is much more considerate than dogs in a yard terrorizing all passers-by, or even worse, those ten-of-thousands of dogs who escape their yards and attack, mame, or kill neighbors.

Let's look at the question again,...Would a Bodhisattva own a dog for protection?

It doesn't say would "Would a Bodhisattva own a dog."

Dogs are animals,..that's why there are leash laws. Even the most trained dog can go rouge,...and destroy the life, emotionally or physically, of another.

I could easily imagine a Bodhisattva with a Maltese on her lap,...she is the protector of the dog.

Using HH Dalai Lama or those in the public domain as an example is somewhat inappropriate. Besides, by his own admission, HH Dalai Lama is neither a Bodhisattva or enlightened. Nevertheless, I'd love to present the question to him,... Would a Bodhisattva own a dog for protection?

V

#12 Vmarco

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:14 AM

My three dogs are Doberman too. Sweet natured, sensitive and friendly dogs. They look the part, but they are the friendliest and least aggressive dogs I have ever known.

I specifically bought Dobermen because they look the part, but are trustworthy and gentle. So they might protect me, without anyone getting hurt.


Perhaps these vicious dog breeds "appear" sweet and friendly to you,...but they ARE NOT to others,...and until you realize that Others are yourself, your liberation will be impossible.

It's very black and white,...only an inconsiderate person would own a dog bred to be vicious, what you call Look-the-Part.

No matter how sweet and friendly vicious breeds "appear" to be,...people own them because of their own fear,...and a person attached to fear cannot uncover the Heart of the Tao.

V

#13 Jetsun

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:23 AM

Using HH Dalai Lama or those in the public domain as an example is somewhat inappropriate. Besides, by his own admission, HH Dalai Lama is neither a Bodhisattva or enlightened. Nevertheless, I'd love to present the question to him,... Would a Bodhisattva own a dog for protection?

V


He is a Bodhisattva, he has spent his whole life living the teaching and serving others, he does often say that he has no great attainment in meditation though but part of being a Bodhisattva is to lower yourself and be humble. But he did say that killing Bin Laden may be a good thing and not necessarily against the Buddhist ideal if it stops him from harming others, so it's not black and white that all violence is always wrong from the Bodhisattva perspective.

#14 Vmarco

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:33 AM

He is a Bodhisattva, he has spent his whole life living the teaching and serving others, he does often say that he has no great attainment in meditation though but part of being a Bodhisattva is to lower yourself and be humble.


He aspires to be a Bodhisattva. A bodhisattva is one who has realized the true nature of compassion,...and I heard HH Dalai Lama say he has not.

"Buddhist teachings on compassion are grounded in the direct realization of Emptiness; without which, compassion is impossible." Robert Thurman commentary on the Dalai Lama's The Four Noble Truth's.

"If I have any understanding of compassion..., it all comes from studying the Bodhicharyavatara" HH Dalai Lama

"The whole of the Bodhicharyvatara is geared toward prajna, the direct realization of emptiness, absolute bodhichitta, without which the true practice of compassion is impossible." The Way of the Bodhisattva

It is a huge mistake to point to HH Dalai Lama and say, look, he's a Bodhisattva. It is much better to say, look, without the direct realization of emptiness, the compassion of a Bodhisattva is impossible.

V

#15 Protector

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:34 AM

I remember back on plurbis Wan told a story

There once was a woman in an abusive relationship and her husband would beat her for no reason. One day she decided to buy a gun. Next time when her husband was beating her, she was reacting differently. Her gun was in her pocket and it was so easy for her to kill him but she was smiling and waiting for a better reason to shoot. Meanwhile, he didn't know about the gun but her reaction scared him and so he left.

And so, I don't think there would be a visible dog for protection :lol:

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#16 Jetsun

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 08:50 AM

He aspires to be a Bodhisattva. A bodhisattva is one who has realized the true nature of compassion,...and I heard HH Dalai Lama say he has not.

"Buddhist teachings on compassion are grounded in the direct realization of Emptiness; without which, compassion is impossible." Robert Thurman commentary on the Dalai Lama's The Four Noble Truth's.

"If I have any understanding of compassion..., it all comes from studying the Bodhicharyavatara" HH Dalai Lama

"The whole of the Bodhicharyvatara is geared toward prajna, the direct realization of emptiness, absolute bodhichitta, without which the true practice of compassion is impossible." The Way of the Bodhisattva

It is a huge mistake to point to HH Dalai Lama and say, look, he's a Bodhisattva. It is much better to say, look, without the direct realization of emptiness, the compassion of a Bodhisattva is impossible.

V


Why do you think he hasn't realised emptiness? his main meditation practice is resting in emptiness, he is empowered to transmit teachings in the highest forms of Buddhism including Dzogchen which requires resting in emptiness.

I have heard him say that he is not enlightened and that he is looking forward to death as he thinks he may be able to become enlightened in the bardo realm, but I have never seen him say he is not a Bodhisattva or that he hasn't realised emptiness, infact I have regularly heard him say the opposite.




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