A group of Tibetan Buddhists went on a mission to liberate 300 lobsters last Wednesday. The Buddhists sprayed the lobsters with blessed water, clipped the bands binding their dangerous claws and began to liberate them one by one into the deep water below.
The 30 Buddhists of all ages trekked to the North Shore beach community known for its massive lobster hauls to purchase 600 pounds of lobster from a seafood wholesaler and save the critters from imminent death.
The lobster liberation was scheduled specifically for August 3, which is Wheel Turning Day on this year’s Tibetan lunar calendar, the anniversary of the first sermon Buddha taught. On this holiday, the merit for positive actions is multiplied many times.
“Even if they get captured again, they’ve had a longer life,” said Wendy Cook, a yoga instructor and former director at the Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies in Medford, Massachusetts, a town just north of Boston.
If not for the liberation, “you know they are going to be shipped to restaurants and headed to the boiling pot,” she said.
Buddhists from the Kurukulla Center typically liberate masses of the expensive seafood a couple times each year.
Cook led a ceremony ahead of the liberation that included prayers, mantras and walking the 13 boxes of lobsters in circles around a display of blessed objects. These important steps develop a karmic connection for the animals’ future lifetimes and help ease future suffering, she said.
Among those setting the lobsters free was Vikrant Bhasin, a chef from Cambridge, Massachusetts who called the life-giving experience “beautiful.”By: Kara Gilmour
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