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With the wish to safeguard my training,
I need to work hard and safeguard my mind;
If I’m unable to safeguard my mind,
I’ll also be unable to safeguard my training.

– Shantideva (Bodhisattvacharyavatara)

From ‘Engaging In Bodhisattva Behaviour’ (Bodhisattvacharyavatara)
by Shantideva (translated by Alexander Berzin):

‘Where could I possibly find the leather
To cover with leather the whole surface of the earth?
But with leather just on the soles of my shoes,
It’s the same as having covered the entire earth’s surface.

Likewise, although it’s impossible for me
To ward off (all) external events (and foes);
If I would ward (anger) off my mind,
What need to ward off anything else?’

As inspired by reading the words of great wisdom above,
may I offer to you, dear readers, these further reflections:

‘Why should I find any leather shoes or soles,
When I can choose kinder footwear?
For leather today is a co-product, not a by-product,
From the dairy, veal and beef industry, with exploitation, torture and murder.

Likewise, although it’s impossible for me
To discourage all from demand for food and things non-vegan;
If I could urge just some of you to choose greater compassion,
Also by sharing this message, is it not surely worthy?’

With the aspiration to strive towards Buddhahood,
I need to work hard and strengthen my Bodhicitta;
If I’m unable to strengthen my Bodhicitta,
I’ll also be unable to strive towards Buddhahood.

– Adapted (from opening quote)

Related Articles:

14 Things The Leather Industry Doesn’t Want You To See
http://www.peta.org/features/leather-industry
What’s Wrong With Leather, Down, Silk & Wool
http://www.afa-online.org/docs/skintrade.pdf
Get FREE Vegan Starter Kit
http://www.peta.org/living/food/free-vegan-starter-kit

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