365 Days for Travelers: Feb 7


Wisdom from Chinese Literary and Buddhist Classics

LIFE-RELEASING

Life-releasing means to respect life, to ensure that
sentient beings live without fear, and to give them a
safe environment to reside in. The best examples of
life-releasing are not to fish at a riverbank, not to
torture animals, and not to kill life or harm the
environment.

In Buddhism, which emphasizes humanity,
life-releasing also includes “releasing people,” which
is to give others a way out. Working for the
happiness of others by giving faith, joy, hope, and
convenience is proactive life-releasing. This also
includes when we help others find a way out of
difficult situations, provide relief aid, and give
others causes and conditions.

There is a saying, “whether sentient or non-sentient,
all will attain the Buddha’s wisdom.” Every
inanimate object such as a stem of flower, a blade
of grass, a table, a chair, or a piece of carpet has life;
and should be well preserved and utilized to prolong
its lifespan and to give value to it. Such is the
Buddhist perspective on life-releasing.

For those who are practicing the act of life-releasing
nowadays, they must be careful with whether their
actions are in fact causing death.

Who is to speak of the insignificance of animal lives;
They are just the same flesh and bones.
You are urged not to shoot the spring birds,
For the nesting babies await their mother’s return.