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A look at the Buddhist practice of liberating newly fulfilled lives

A Buddhist custom exploited and turned into an ethical scam...

In Buddhism, it is a good omen to release a newly fulfilled life.

Thus many Buddhist pilgrims and practitioners have the habit of buying animals to release them into the wild.

In India, especially in pilgrimage places, there are many sellers offering many small birds locked in small cages, exposed to the heat of the sun, huddled together, without food or water.

They entice you by explaining that you will get excellent karma by buying animals that you will release.

Of course, this is obvious.

However, this practice only invites more and more sellers to develop this business of capturing wild animals for us to release.

You can see how this vicious circle is not fantastic, can you?

An eco-enterprise working to combine preservation and custom

In Bodhgaya, there is a way to do things differently.

In recent years, the Butterfly Park was created. It is located in the western part of a beautiful park adjacent to the Mahabodhi Temple.

The park was created to encourage the Buddhist practitioner to engage in the process of releasing a butterfly from a breeding facility rather than encouraging the capture of wild animals to achieve this release.

The second goal of this park is to initiate conservation measures for butterflies, one of the most important groups of pollinating insects and an integral part of the food web.

A studied area offering a breeding center and an interpretation center

The park includes a rearing facility that provides a conductive, safe, temperature-controlled environment in which butterflies can breed and complete their life cycle with low predation and parasite risk. These favorable conditions contribute to a higher survival rate of the butterflies compared to their evolution in the wild.

An open interpretive center informs visitors about the importance and significance of butterflies through creative and interactive signage.

The Butterfly Park habitat is enriched with approximately 60 species of plants that serve as either host plants (food source for caterpillars) or melliferous plants (providing nectar as a food resource for adult butterflies).

More than 60 species of butterflies have already been recorded in this park, some of which are particularly rare and charismatic. These butterflies can be seen fluttering from flower to flower and undertaking their daily routine, all the while supporting the ecosystem of the landscape.

Here we find top butterfly species, including the lemon emigrant, common jay, Indian jezebel, blue mormon, common rose, plain level, blue tiger, plains cupid, psyche, common raven, common leopard, striped tiger, common blue ciliate, commander and grass demon.

A link with the tree of awakening...

Finally, the Boddhi tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment is scientifically known as "Ficus religiasa", which has an ancient connection with butterflies. The "common raven" butterfly species which is a regular visitor to this tree uses it to complete its life cycle.

Voilá voila!

There is more to do!

On our next stay in Bodhgaya, we will sleep right next to the park, so you will have the opportunity to release butterflies as many times as you want!

See you soon!


--> Teacher training is given from 1 person upward. Kathy is in Lu Jong 1 teacher training ending in July. Aurore and Mickael are in training until January. It is possible to join or start a new training course from 1 person, Info here.
--> Johnathan returns to do the last course of Tog Chöd training in Chamonix at the end of June 2024. Venerable Oser is starting the Tog Chöd teacher training with the first face-to-face course in June in Chamonix and is already getting the hang of it with the theory through access to the online extranet. You can still join this training. The next training of Top Chod will perhaps start in June 2027 (or perhaps 2025 or 2026), to be continued...

--> A Tog ChOd discovery weekend is offered to everyone at the end of June! Info here

-->  We will be in Thailand in May and June and can offer discovery sessions or modules B of Lu Jong and Tog Chöd teacher training in French and English: in Chamonix from the end of June to the end of September, in Tenerife in October, in Nepal at the beginning of November 2024, in Thailand in November and December, and on Reunion Island in January 2025. And last minute... the Kora Kailash trip will take place in mid 2026 (the previous one was in 2018.. .), but will be reserved for former students or former participants of at least one trip with us! so if you would like to organize a retreat or training at these locations, contact us!

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