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Out and About: Pets blessed at Richmond's Lingyen Mountain Temple

The Buddhist temple welcomed all kinds of family pets for the blessing.

I recently attended a special event in Richmond — the blessing and purification of local pets at the Lingyen Mountain Temple.  

Many Richmond families attended with their pets to be blessed.  

The ceremony is in line with the Buddhist belief that all sentient beings—including all animals—possess the Buddha Nature.

The temple welcomed family pets of every kind, including cats, dogs, rabbits, birds and insects.  

Animals that were not trained for public interaction were required to be in a cage or carrier.

The practice began after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The refuge-taking ceremonies for humans take place about five to six times a year and are well attended.   

I watched as owners and their pets gathered in the temple's Eightfold Path Garden for the ceremony. People and their pets could also participate online.   

Masters from the temple performed a ritual that included singing, chanting, ground purification and prayers.

The Buddhist belief is that the ceremony can help to guide both people and their pets on the Buddhist path toward inner peace and happiness.   

The event also featured an exhibition from 21 renowned calligraphers. Their beautiful work was displayed inside the temple and the artists were available to interact with the public. This was rare opportunity to see 50 extraordinary calligraphy works on display. 

As well, there were demonstrations of tea culture, with fresh brewed tea served.

More information on future events and on the Lingyen Mountain Temple can be found at here.

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