Can animals be spiritual?

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Can animals be spiritual?

Postby greggorious » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:04 am

Nothing more to add to my title. Can animals be spiritual?
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah
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Re: Can animals be spiritual?

Postby Virgo » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:12 am

Hi Greg. Interesting question. What do you mean by "spiritual"?

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Re: Can animals be spiritual?

Postby greggorious » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:16 am

I know what I mean in my mind, but if I try to explain it it may be obscured.
I guess what I mean is that sometimes animals can appear to have spiritual experiences, i.e going into trance-like states or have periods of meditation. I'm sure science can disprove all that as mumbo jumbo, but just wanted to know what you guys thought.
"The original heart/mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. But if the heart is pure, is our practice over? No, we must not cling even to this purity. We must go beyond all duality, all concepts, all bad, all good, all pure, all impure. We must go beyond self and nonself, beyond birth and death. When we see with the eye of wisdom, we know that the true Buddha is timeless, unborn, unrelated to any body, any history, any image. Buddha is the ground of all being, the realization of the truth of the unmoving mind.” Ajahn Chah
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Re: Can animals be spiritual?

Postby clw_uk » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:57 am

:shrug:
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: Can animals be spiritual?

Postby Ben » Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:26 am

I think what is more likely is that we are seeing what we want to see.
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Re: Can animals be spiritual?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:06 am

Can human animals be spiritual?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Can animals be spiritual?

Postby Ben » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:09 am

tiltbillings wrote:Can human animals be spiritual?


"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: Can animals be spiritual?

Postby Digity » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:34 am

No, not really...that's the whole advantage of the human realm...we can practice and they can't.
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Re: Can animals be spiritual?

Postby SarathW » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:53 am

The following post may be some help for your question.

What is unique in human compare to animal.

:pig:
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=15139
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Re: Can animals be spiritual?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:55 am

Animals practicing meditation, prayer, other religious practices? No, definitely not.

However, there are several reports and videos of animal altruism. There are also cases of animals killing (murdering?) members of their own species in fights over territory, competition, etc. So it seems they could produce some wholesome and unwholesome kamma.
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Re: Can animals be spiritual?

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:57 am

David N. Snyder wrote:Animals practicing meditation...


What about cats? ;)
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Re: Can animals be spiritual?

Postby Aloka » Thu Sep 12, 2013 9:29 am

Spiny Norman wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:Animals practicing meditation...


What about cats? ;)




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Re: Can animals be spiritual?

Postby plwk » Thu Sep 12, 2013 2:06 pm

Animals practicing meditation...


What about cats? ;)
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Re: Can animals be spiritual?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:09 pm

My cat regularly goes to the formless jhanas, especially the sphere of nothingness.

Seriously though, yes animals have some great concentration. It is amazing how they can pinpoint their prey and capture them with great skill. However, this is not samma-samadhi, it is rather wrong-samadhi. It is a great concentration, but not a wholesome one, not meant for seeing annica, anatta, dukha.
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Re: Can animals be spiritual?

Postby beeblebrox » Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:07 pm

Ben wrote:I think what is more likely is that we are seeing what we want to see.


I agree, but don't let that stop you...

This is an article of how someone viewed Jasper the moon bear:

"Animals Can Be Ambassadors For Forgiveness, Generosity, Peace, Trust, and Hope."

:anjali:
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Re: Can animals be spiritual?

Postby Kusala » Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:11 am

greggorious wrote:Nothing more to add to my title. Can animals be spiritual?


Of course! :namaste:

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Thus indeed, is that Blessed One: He is the Holy One, fully enlightened, endowed with clear vision and virtuous conduct, sublime, the Knower of the worlds, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, the teacher of gods and men, enlightened and blessed.

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The Dhamma of the Blessed One is perfectly expounded; to be seen here and now; not delayed in
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