June 6, 2011

Life Release.

Support the 2011 Gampo Abbey Lobster Release.

Each year at the end of the lobster fishing season in this area of Cape Breton, the monastics and residents of Gampo Abbey stage the great Lobster Release, when many caught lobsters are released back into the water. Read on to learn how you can participate.

“Life Release” — in which captive animals destined to be eaten are, instead, released back into their native habitats — is a traditional practice for Tibetan Buddhists, especially monastics.

The most obvious benefits of the practice are for the sentient beings whose lives are being saved, but it also serves to strengthen the individual practitioner and the sangha as a whole, and to establish an important link with the local environment and culture.

The day after the end of the local Lobster Fishing Season, a fisherman is compensated for his catch and the residents of the Abbey board his boat. The lobsters are blessed with purifying water; a liturgy written by Jamgon Kontrul Rinpoche is read; and finally each person on the boat is encouraged to release a lobster into the water. People who send donations to support the Lobster Release sometimes include a request and these prayers and aspirations are also read aloud at this time.

Gampo Abbey has become a respected part of Cape Breton and open curiosity has developed around the activities of the monastery. The annual Lobster Release, while taking root in the local culture, has served as a powerful means for the residents and donors of Gampo Abbey to connect with this ancient Bodhisattva activity of saving the lives of sentient beings. Each year the Abbey raises funds to support the Lobster Release.

Your tax deductible donation can be sent through the Supporting Gampo Abbey page on our website (select “Lobster Release” under the Gift Designation menu) or you can call our finance office at 902-224-1358 (Mon-Fri, 1:30-5:00pm Atlantic Time). We can provide you with a receipt upon request.

Thank you for your support!

In the spirit of the Great Eastern Sun,

Your friends at Gampo Abbey

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