Maintaining a Balance

The Buddha refused the kingship in order to dive deeply into the nature of suffering. He did that because he felt driven to help others become free of suffering.

It all comes down to desires, expectations, and attachments causing suffering.

It sounds so simple in theory, but it is not in our human nature to just suddenly decide to let go of desires, expectations, and attachments.

So, what is the answer to this complex riddle called the human condition?

My answer is we have to do our best to maintain a balance between awareness of suffering (in ourselves, in others, and in the world), and creation of fun… We don’t have to go searching for suffering because it is all around us, so what we have to do is continually strive to happy up, to have fun, to get creative, and to do whatever it takes to feel inspired, juicy, and alive!

Are you having any fun lately? Do you feel sparked by the life force within you? Are you keeping a sense of humor in the midst of your challenges?

In 2020 (as per usual), I am feeling most inspired and juiced up by writing and reading… To that end, I’m going to take a few days off from blogging in order to re-read the books I published last year… If you also get inspired through reading, and you haven’t ordered my books yet, they are available on Lulu and Amazon!

(By the way, I make almost seven times as much on Lulu, as compared to Amazon, but I’m super grateful for all sales anywhere!)

Dear reader, thank you for reading this post!
I hope you have a great week… 🙂

May the Force of All Light be with you!

With happy high vibes,
StarFire Teja

 

Fun Buddha image by geralt (Gerd Altmann) on Pixabay.

 

Compassion for Cows… And for All Living Beings

Dear readers,

Please meet my new love… a cow named Star! The beautiful cows in this photo are residents at Uplands PEAK Sanctuary (People, Earth, and Animals in Kinship), which is located in Freedom, Indiana. How appropriate, that the animal residents are allowed to live in freedom in a town named Freedom! The brown and white cow sitting down in the front of the photo is named Freeda, and the brown cow standing in the back is named Star. When I first saw photos of Star, on PEAK’s Facebook Page, I fell in love instantly! 🙂

Star_Freeda_UplandsPEAKSanctuary_StarFireTeja

Photo credit to Star, Freeda, and PEAK.

I highly recommend following PEAK on Instagram. It is so heartwarming to see regular photos and videos of the lucky residents of this sanctuary! This month they have been highlighting stories about their turkey named Lily, who was fortunate enough to “accidentally” fall off of the truck on the way to the slaughterhouse, and now she has such a great life on their farm!

To read a very touching article about the nature of turkeys, please check out this post by Free from Harm, “Moving Beyond the False Stereotypes of Turkeys” which begins with the following: “To understand the complex suffering of turkeys raised for “food,” it helps to know that in nature, young turkey siblings stay close to their mother for four or five months after they are born. She is the center of their universe. Although turkeys raised commercially never see their mothers, the expectation of her is alive in their genes. In nature…” (And speaking of choosing to not eat dead turkey meat, you might also like to read my previous post, “Peacefully Sourced Holiday Meals.”)

The Free from Harm website also has a post entitled “Former Meat and Dairy Farmers Redefining Humane Farming as Vegan” in which they say “So many meat and dairy farmers are going vegan, we had to start a new website for their stories.” (Check it out here: Stories.) And, they have a great post explaining how “humanely” raised milk and dairy products are not actually humane: “What about Humanely Raised Milk and Dairy Products?

The thing is, friends, the cows are suffering tremendously, and it is my deepest prayer that more and more humans will awaken to the reality that the cows (and other animals, fish, birds, and bees) are being tortured. Once that awakening happens, I pray that the human species will, one by one, choose to eat a compassionate plant-based diet.

Thank you, PEAK, and thank you, Free from Harm, for the great work you are doing to help all the creatures be allowed to live in Freedom and Happiness!

May All Beings Be Free From Harm.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Photo credit to Star, Freeda, and PEAK.

 

Peacefully Sourced Holiday Meals

While the two human sides argue about whether or not eating dead animals is good for human health, the animals continue to suffer tremendously.

While the two human sides throw scientific health studies at each other, science has already proven that the animals have feelings — that animals, fish, and birds have complex emotional lives just like humans, cats, and dogs.

May the two human sides drop their health arguments and look deeply into the reality of the creatures of the land, sea, and air, in order to see that the cows, pigs, lambs, fish, chickens, and turkeys are living, breathing beings who are suffering immensely.

It is wrong to kill innocent living beings. The meat of killed animals, fish, and birds is filled with the violence of killing, and it is filled with the fear, terror, and grief felt by the animals, fish, and birds as they were killed. When consumed, those negative vibrations (in the cooked meat) enter the human body and psyche.

Consider the difference between eating a carrot and eating a piece of dead turkey meat.

When eating a carrot and contemplating the source of the carrot, the energy of peace arises because the carrot was pulled out of the soil of the sacred Earth… And the carrot does not have a central nervous system, so there is no fear, no terror, no screaming, and no blood.

The same cannot be said for contemplating the source of the dead turkey meat… The turkey has a central nervous system and feels fear and terror. The turkey has a family and a complex emotional life, just like a human or cat or dog. So the energy of peace does not arise when contemplating the source of the dead turkey meat.

As we enter the holiday season, may many human beings awaken to the reality of the suffering animals, fish, and birds, and with compassionate hearts and minds, commit to creating peacefully sourced holiday meals. There are many plant-based holiday recipes available online, and a plant-based holiday meal will generate the energy of peace in all who consume it!

Forks Over Knives is a wonderful resource for shifting to a plant-based diet. Here are a few links to some of their Thanksgiving holiday recipes~

~ “A Plant-Based Thanksgiving Menu To Be Thankful For

~ “Party-Ready, Plant-Based Thanksgiving Menu

~ “Thanksgiving 2018: The Ultimate Make-Ahead Feast

~ “2017 Recipe Special: A Forks Thanksgiving

May more and more human beings make food choices that protect and respect the lives of the animals, fish, and birds. May all creatures be allowed to live in freedom and happiness.

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Photo of beautiful living wild turkeys by Skeeze on Pixabay.

 

StarFire Teja’s StarFire Friday Blessing: May You Feel the Compassion Vibration

 

May you feel deep love for yourself, no matter what is happening in your life right now.

May you be blessed with an open mind and an open heart.

May your weekend be blessed with quiet moments of understanding.

May you feel the Compassion Vibration in all of your 37.2 trillion cells.

 

Do you regularly stop to put yourself in someone else’s shoes? Do you ever judge other people? Do you consider yourself a compassionate person?

Did you know that the Compassion Vibration is a virtue that can be cultivated, through regular practice? One way to practice is through imagining yourself as another person who is suffering or wounded, and wondering about how they feel. Another way to practice is through loving yourself more fully, because when you truly care for yourself then you naturally care more for others.

When you are in the Highest Vibration of Compassion, you feel an all-encompassing love for all beings. You feel overwhelming love, not only for the beings of the human species, but also for all the creatures of the land, sea, and air. All feeling beings, including cows, bears, birds, and pigs, experience both happiness and suffering. When you feel the compassion vibration, you understand how everything and everyone is connected in one continuous web of loving, living energy.

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

 

image Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

Review of When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals

Did you know that animals have rich emotional lives? This book, When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals, written by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson and Susan McCarthy, is based on scientific studies and anecdotal field notes of biologists and many others who work with animals, and it is mind-blowing to learn the spectrum of emotions felt by other animals.

This book is as much about human emotions as it is about the emotions of other non-human species. The authors write, “One of the most common emotions humans feel in the presence of another species is awe. The ability of a hawk to soar, of a seal to race through the waves is marvelous, humbling.” I could relate to that and you probably can too. Many people feel exhilaration when a flock of wild geese flies across the sky, making their amazing honking sounds.

Quite a number of species are reviewed in this fascinating book. In the section on elephants I learned that in India it is widely believed that elephants weep emotional tears. Then in the conclusion, Masson states this about animals: “They are individuals and members of groups, with elaborate histories that take place in a concrete world, and involve a large number of complex emotional states. They feel throughout their lives, just as we do.” And he quotes Jeremy Bentham’s written words from 1789: “The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?”

Also in the conclusion, Masson writes, “No one assumes the pig wants to die. It would avoid slaughter if it could. It feels the desire to live and the pain of its sorrow in being killed just as humans do; the only difference is that it cannot say so in words. The crying of the pigs being slaughtered is horrible. People report that they sound like human screams. The pigs are communicating their terrible fear.” And this: “We do know what the cow wants: the cow wants to live. The cow does not wish to sacrifice itself for any reason. That a cow will willingly offer itself as food is a fable.”

I highly recommend this book if you would like to learn more about the emotional lives of animals as well as the emotional lives of humans. It is a very interesting scholarly read.

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering. May All Beings Be Happy!

 

StarFire Teja’s Book is now on Amazon!
Amazon Author Page here: Teja Shankara