0 votes
by (790 points)
I love my dog very much and am wondering if when I meditate and he is near me, is he benefiting from this in some way? Is it possible for him to develop khamma that could direct his rebirth to something more pleasant than a dog, like maybe human? When I am in sitting meditation, he often will come and sit down facing me about 6 inches from my face for a couple of minutes, then he lies down near me until I'm finished. Is this good for him, to be around someone meditating? He's a very kind and gentle dog and accepts everyone as a friend. Sometimes I wonder about his rebirth and what direction his khamma will take him.

3 Answers

+1 vote
by (1.6k points)
I heard a story about a king’s elephant, who was very polite but after sometimes he behaved badly. When a monk investigates he finds that in night some robbers plan about their robbery aside the residing place of that elephant then the monk with the help of king replaced the robbers with monks and the elephant became normal in behaviour. In the same way your dog may be benefitted.
0 votes
by (17.6k points)

I would advice not to let your dog into the room when you meditate. Because you will be thinking about what the dog is doing and could easily get distracted. The dog wagging the tail and making noise can be a distraction too. I doubt the dog would benefit in any meaningful way. At best it would be thinking that you are sleeping.

There is a story of a frog listening to the Dhamma and being born in heaven. So a dog might benefit listening to Paritta or a Dhamma sermon once in a blue moon. But I wouldn't count on it. 

by (790 points)
He does hear a lot of Dhamma talks because I listen to them often. Because my home is so small, it's not practical to keep him out. If I ever become aware of his movements I just note it, as I do any other experience during meditation. He's a quiet and calm dog by nature, so he isn't a constant distraction.
by (17.6k points)
Also you might be developing an attachment towards the dog. That is unskillful.
by (790 points)
I love him very much. Maybe that means I'm attached to him. But he's very loyal and we are often together. We both protect each other. I hope that when he dies, his khamma directs him to a pleasant rebirth so maybe he can develop towards enlightenment one day. He is very gentle and kind to everyone he meets.
by (17.6k points)
That love is most probably attachment. That is unskillful from a meditative point of view.
by (790 points)
I understand, though I don't know that I'm at that point of clearly seeing the suffering that causes for myself. Thank you for your advice.
by (17.6k points)
edited by
Imagine if your dog dies tomorrow. Won't you feed terrible? If the answer is 'yes',  you have cultivated unskillful mind states towards the dog.
by (790 points)
I may feel sad, yes. But that feeling will pass, as all feelings do. I wouldn't say I'm dependent on him for my happiness
by (17.6k points)
Work on abandoning all mind states that lead to sadness.
by (1.6k points)
As said by sankha, make such an attitude that if your dog dies tomorrow you will not be sad, you will accept as it is realizing the ultimate truth of death.
0 votes
by (2.0k points)
Certain do others adopt their fellows or masters ways and behaviour, good householder.

Animals are able to even keep the Uposatha, yet of course just as a adopted ritual. What ever often undertaken and used to one tends to. Used and pleased by certain ways, being might find easier access once in better circumstances.

There is a village dog here, used to join visitors and always take part on what ever merits. This near Dhamma fellow found himself there because of lack of virtue, yet more 'blessed' (meritorious tendency) than 95% of the villagers. He would often join others keeping a day or more the Uposatha, simply lying in the forest hermitage (where there is no food, no entertaining) and return home with them.

So yes, one's fellows (those bound to one, especially if one is their master), near relatives, benefit from all good conducts, some a little, some huge.

Yet, it's good to do not start to adopt dogs ways and give 'just' out of compassion, as it works also the other way around.
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