How to go from being an animal to a Buddha?

Easy, step #1 “Men who are flesh-eating, angry and avaricious are reborn after death as tigers, cats, jackals, bears, vultures, wolves and son on.” So be an angry, greedy, hamburger eater and poof! You’re now a bear.

ref Lopzen, Buddhist Scriptures

#2 Being a human is supposed to be better because you can study the dharma, whereas an bear cannot enunciate the mantras or sutras. So what to do? Get yourself captured, and hope you’re purchased by a Chinese Buddhist with the the aim of freeing you before you are tortured for the rest of your life as your gall bladder is milked for make quack nostrums.

This is a snippet of the much longer ceremony for the release of animals, which is read to the animals:

“We will now preach for you the details concerning the arising and cessation of the twelvefold dependent origination, so that you may know the doctrine of the arising and cessation of suffering…(heavy metaphysics elided)”

I presume bears will understand this, as bears are smarter than turtles and fish and they got the same lesson.

ref. Lopez, Buddhist Scriptures

#3 Next up is “Does a bear have Buddha nature (can become enlightened)?”
According to the Nirvana sutra yes– all sentient beings can. According to the Zen monks who were reacting to and against fans of the Nirvana sutra, the answer is… mu? Ah, cows yes, but not dogs (the cultural equivalent of cockroaches), maybe bears.

ref. Wikipedia

#4 This is from the Brahma Net Sutra. So now that you are a bear, all you need to do is find a monk and remind them of their vows, vow #45:

“Should he come across cows, pigs, horses, sheep and other kinds of animals, he should concentrate and say aloud, “You are now animals; you should develop the Bodhi Mind.”"

Should the monk demur or say he’d rather not, remind him it’s a 2ndary offense to not teach to all sentient beings. And if that doesn’t work, eat him, you’re a bear after all.


Anyhow, for what it is worth, my cat meditates. I set down the meditation cushion and he’s there. Instant enlightenment. I teach him “low bar” enlightenment, if I set the bar too high, he’d quit before he could succeed.

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