using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Lions Roar : September 2019
I N ONE OF THE JATAKA TALES, the traditional stories about the Buddha’s previous lives, there is a great black hound. This gigantic beast—as dark as midnight and with four fangs the size of plantains—has one purpose: terrify- ing people into right action. My childhood dog Raffy—a white poodle–Lhasa Aspo mix—was no great black hound making the world right. And yet, he thought he was. With his surprisingly guttural woof, Raffy struck fear into anyone who had the audacity to ring the doorbell, and if the German shepherd next door stepped a paw onto our property, Raffy ran her off. (Why did she flee from a dog less than half her size? Possibly because she was confused by the incongruity of his ferocity and lamb-like looks. Surely, he must have some nasty canine tricks up his sleeve.) But Raffy—full name Raphael Tubs—was more than the cosmic police dog of his imagination. For me, he was some- thing of a teacher, and he helped me see that every dog is. If you rub their bellies and scratch their ears, they give you their teachings freely. Buddhist teachers of the human variety often assert that all beings have the same basic desire for happiness. Living with a dog takes that teaching out of the realm of the theoretical and makes real what all beings share. We all want love. When two people hugged, Raffy would get jealous and yap. He wanted to be included in any show of affection. We all need nourishment. As an adult, Raffy mostly ate dry dog food, but no matter where he was in the house, he came running if someone took cheddar out of the fridge. Raffy did not care for bacon and was polite enough that even if you put roast beef on the floor, he wouldn’t go near it unless you invited him to. (He was very keen to receive such an invitation.) We all want to be safe. If Raffy felt like he was in danger, such as whenever he was in a room where there was a man Does My Dog Have Buddhanature? Remembering her beloved childhood pet, ANDREA MILLER ponders one of Zen’s most famous questions. wearing a hat, he always barked furiously. Raffy, like so many of us, had a tendency to lash out if he felt insecure. We all want to be warm and dry. Raffy would not go for a walk when it was raining hard. His little green coat did noth- ing to change the situation. I don’t know anyone who shares a bed with an octopus, or who is greeted daily at their door by a wombat. Unlike almost any other animal, dogs live happily and intimately with humans, so dogs can be our door to understanding that all sentient beings have the same essential wants and needs. If we are open to understanding that all beings suffer and that all beings want to be happy, our compassion deepens and widens. This is the compassion chain: from dog, it’s no great leap to wolf, and from wolf it goes to fox to weasel to bobcat, and on and on. Yet not everyone is willing to see that all beings suffer and all beings want happiness. Even a lot of people with a canine teacher curled at the foot of the bed don’t want to admit that dogs have so-called human feelings; they believe this anthro- pomorphizes them. But I am not anthropomorphizing. Let me assure you, Raffy was decidedly a dog. He loved gnawing on bones and stick- ing his head out the car window, the wind blowing back his ears. Moreover, unfixed, he was a complete horn dog, keen to hump male dogs, female dogs, and stuffed animals. Once (oh, the horror!) he even tried to mount a human baby who’d just learned to crawl. Raffy’s dog-ness brings me to that most famous of doggie questions, the first koan in the Gateless Gate collection and the first koan that’s usually given to Zen students: A monk asked Joshu, “Has the dog buddhanature or not?” Joshu said, “Mu.” The monk must have been familiar with the Buddha’s teaching that all creatures have buddhanature, but intellec- tual familiarity doesn’t mean that he had actually realized the truth of it. Doubting a dog’s buddhanature was of a piece with doubting his own. After all, if a dog’s dog-ness makes it too Deputy editor of Lion’s Roar, ANDREA MILLER is the author of two books for children : The Day the Buddha Woke Up and My First Book of Canadian Birds. LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2019 66