Monday, August 23, 2010

Sukavati for 8 dogs

Yesterday we had a buddhist ceremony for 8 dogs that have recently died - we had a gathering of people, and lots of dogs and spent the evening remembering our lives together - after having let them go
Sukavati's are rituals that include fire - and we burned up photos of the dog's to symbolize Stella's, Ursa's, Peaches', Jackie's, Ruby's, Mitzi's, Trouble's and Saige's release from clinging to this live that they've lived with us - and on to whatever great adventure they're going to go to next.
Hopefully the dogs who came to the ceremony and the evening had a good time - I brought Charlie and Buttercup - and I know Charlie wasn't all that thrilled, especially since Janet cut his nails, and he'd rather chew on rocks than have his nails cut - and as the evening progressed, he began to show how he felt -
but I wanted them there so they could suck in any auspicious wafts that might be going around - with them both being so old - they need all the good vibes they can get right now, that's for sure!

During the ceremony, Coleen recited a couple of poems - one of which she only said one line of - but I have looked up the whole poem because it's a good one, and I'll put it here, and the 2nd one is more like a little Buddhist song - I don't know if it made it to the tape - I don't think it did, unfortunately - but here they are -

Here's the little buddhist song -
"all you sentient beings i have a good or bad connection with as soon as you have left this confused dimension may you be borns in the western sukavati and once you're born there, complete the boomis and the path"

And here's the poem - by EE Cummings -

i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

Below is a video that I made of the ceremony, which is a distillation of it - I had to cut it down to 10 minutes because You Tube only lets you make videos of 10 minutes or under, so I had to cut out the chit-chat - but you get the meaning of it. I hope you enjoy it -


  1. thank you Joan for writing this up and for the video piece too ... it was actually a lovely day and I am happy that the dogs are ascending and that we were all together to share.

  2. Thanks again Joan for organizing this (and Janet for hosting). It was a lovely, meaningful way to acknowledge the place our pets have in our lives and in our hearts.

  3. Thanks so much Joan and everyone else for a such a wonderful, beautiful ceremony.