According to some sources, today, April 8, 2016 is Buddha’s birthday.  He lived from 663 BC to 483 BC.  Some sources say his birthday this year will all on May 21, depending on whether using a lunar or a solar based calendar.

In his early travels, Buddha met a serene monk, and he continued his worldly travels to discover how this monk found peace in a world of suffering.  He taught four noble truths:  1) existence is suffering  2) suffering is caused by human craving  3) the end of suffering is nirvana  4)  nirvana can be achieved in this or future lives through following the eightfold path.  The eightfold path includes:  right views, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.  There are around 350 million followers of Buddhism worldwide.

To honor Buddhist principles today, take some to sit quietly with your pet, focusing on peacefulness.
Part of ending suffering is understanding that everything happens for a reason.  The existence of suffering allows for increased understanding, empathy, and spiritual growth.  You may want to fold your hands over your heart and move them together in a circle and a quarter, doing a TTouch heart hug as you send thoughts of love and compassion to all animals.  You can spend time outside with your pet, appreciating the wisdom of Nature.  Find time today to take time for peace with your pet.