On Raising Animals and Plants: “Who Makes the Call When It Comes to Cultivation?”
(Minghui.org) In the past, Master has talked about not killing and not raising animals in his lectures. However, there have always been practitioners who kept pets.
A practitioner who used to own a dog lived in the same building as I. The dog barked at me and she would tell it to “say hello to Auntie.” I would quickly correct her, “I don’t want to be its auntie.”
She treated the dog as if it were her child, and they slept in the same bed. When the dog got sick, she took it to a hospital to get shots and stayed by its side night and day. The dog eventually died. A few years later, she died in her husband’s arms. Before she passed away, I did try to reason with her on the issue of raising pets but gave up after seeing how attached she was to it. Thinking back on it now, I let my human notions get in the way of assuming the responsibility of helping her.
Another practitioner has a cat, which she claims belongs to her child. The cat is very friendly and adorable. At first I thought the cat understood people and praised it like other practitioners did. I later told myself that I shouldn’t do that. Our words and our bodies carry energy because we are practitioners. We don’t know the effects of the energy field on the animals. Master’s Fa is boundless and we shouldn’t do what he doesn’t want us to do, because he wants the best for us.
“And there are reasons for not killing or bringing them up. As to “not killing,” cultivators are all clear on it. “Not bringing them up” has two points. One is that when [a person is] cultivating it’s easy for the animal to obtain numinous powers (ling). It’s possible they will do much wrong the instant they obtain numinous powers. In China there is an old saying: “becoming a spirit.” Animals are not allowed to cultivate. Another thing is that raising these things takes a lot of care. It will be distracting, and thinking about it is an attachment and will affect cultivation. Of course, for cultivators being fond of animals is also an attachment.” (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Houston)
Have we done what Master has clearly told us not to do?
A few years ago my sister insisted on giving me a few potted plants. The mint was growing so well that it reminded me that I shouldn’t be nurturing it. It was consuming my energy and time and bringing out my attachment without me knowing it. I looked at and thought about it every day. As a practitioner, I had done exactly the opposite of what Master asked. The hobby distracted me and weakened my will in cultivation, which was truly dangerous.
Nurturing plants and especially pets will foster people's sentiment, something that is hard to eliminate. Cultivation is serious and hard enough. Why are we bringing more hindrance to our cultivation paths?