Today I participated in a wonderful Buddhist practice to liberate some animals from certain death (or to be more accurate, in this case some crustaceans from certain death). It may seem like lunacy to some of you, to spend a small fortune in money at a fish market to buy some beautiful big crabs, only to set them free. I must tell you though, the experience of seeing these guys turn and look at us after we let them go, and then turn and scuttle away into the deep, was a joyous thing. Prior to setting them free we spent the morning doing Buddhist rituals and chanting mantras to pray for long lives and auspicious rebirths for these guys. Even the sound guy who came along to record us for a religious radio programme got to set one free, and he was just as stoked as the rest of us to see these gorgeous creatures scuttle off to freedom.
We have done this practice previously, after first checking with the Fisheries Department (who gave their enthusiastic blessing) to make sure that it would not harm the ecology of the spot we release them into. Crabs were chosen because of their good chance of survival, and because they could be released without harming the environment. The organisers have also been careful to keep our releasing spot a secret, there is probably a lively colony of beautiful big crabs out there by now and the last thing we would want is for someone to go and fish them out for dinner.
Mantras and blessings for a long life and auspicious rebirth. February, 2005.
Liberation. February, 2005.
Mr Pinchy waves goodbye. February, 2005.