Saving Lives

It is impossible to live a human existence without causing the death of other sentient beings.  Even if we consciously avoid taking life – e.g. through hunting, fishing, swatting mosquitoes – or promoting others to take life – by eating meat and fish, buying silk clothing, etc. – we inevitably cause death to other beings by inadvertent means.  A vegetarian diet still entails causing the death of innumerable insects, worms, and other creatures harmed by agricultural methods.  Simply going for a walk risks crushing tiny insects and other lives we do not see.  Thus, life as a human being unavoidably entails some degree of negative karma due to the impacts we have upon other sentient beings.  Fortunately, however, there are ways to counteract the negative karma we generate due to our very existence.

In addition to taking conscious, active steps to reduce the harm we cause to other beings, we can also offset the negative karma by the act of saving lives. Saving lives activities are undertaken in many Buddhist traditions as an aspect of spiritual practice aimed at enhancing our compassion and awareness of the suffering of other beings, as well as to purify negative karma. With this purpose in mind, Chagdud Rinpoche established the Mahakaruna Foundation, one of the programs of which is to save the lives of animals from slaughter, while at the same time benefitting Tibetan farmers and nomads who are entrusted with the care of saved animals.

Vajra North has established an easy means by which people can contribute to the Mahakaruna Foundation’s Saving Lives program by simply donating the proceeds from recycling our refundable bottles and containers. At Raven Recycling Centre in Whitehorse, Vajra North has an account to accept the bottle refunds offered by people wishing to donate to the program.  When dropping off refundables, simply tell the Raven staff to apply the refund to the Vajra North account.  All monies received from recycling refunds will be sent to the Mahakaruna Foundation’s Saving Lives program. Also, people wishing to donate additional funds to the Mahakaruna Foundation may do so by donating directly to Vajra North, in return for which a tax-deductible charitable receipt will be issued.