A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Lobster Liberation!

Buddhists buy hundreds and return them to the ocean

Instead of being dropped into pots of boiling water, 534 live lobsters were returned to freedom in the Atlantic Ocean.

A group of Tibetan Buddhists on a whale-watching boat sprayed the lobsters with blessed water, removed the bands binding their claws and gently released them one by one into the ocean.

The lobsters came from a seafood wholesaler in the North Shore beach community known for its massive lobster hauls. They purchased 600 pounds of lobster for about $11 a pound.

The event took place on Wednesday, August 3, which is Wheel Turning Day on the Tibetan lunar calendar, the anniversary of the first sermon Buddha taught. According to those who practice Tibetan Buddhism, good deeds performed on this day engender better karma than on any other day of the year.

“Even if they get captured again, they’ve had a longer life,” said Wendy Cook, a former director of the Kurukulla Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies in Medford, Massachusetts.

Buddhists from the center conduct a lobster liberation twice a year.

The ceremony includes prayers, mantras and walking the 13 boxes of lobsters in circles around a display of blessed objects.

“It’s rethinking the way you normally see these creatures,” said Victoria Fan, a graduate student from Cambridge at what was her first lobster liberation. “Their happiness is as important as your happiness, their suffering is as important as your suffering.”

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