On the Road to Freedom

Today we saved snails. And pigeons, too. We trekked up to a hidden hillside that I had never noticed just beside Dhagpo, rife with lupines and wild grasses, Technicolor in contrast with the sky’s somber tones.


The snails smelled like ocean and tried to squeeze their wet bodies through the mesh tubes containing them. They reached out toward any leaf or flower stem in sight, the stalks of their eyes stretching with all their will. They’d been starving for several days now, in preparation for the table. Withheld food to prepare them to be some one else’s food. Today would have been the day.

Singing in the Rain

But instead, these fortunate escargots, maybe to their own bemusement, found themselves the subject of a lot of foreign chanting, a few flicks of blessed water, and innumerable wishes for their well-being and continued health. They found themselves cut free from their containment and placed with loving hands upon a trail of flour scattered just for them along the hedgerow. Ready to start the rest of their lives: protected, nourished, blessed.


The pigeons will find their freedom in a region better suited to them. After all, when saving lives, it is of course the idea that those lives go on a while longer. Maybe they’ll pester people in a park and snack on fancy restaurant crumbs or maybe they’ll find the right kind of hillside for them. In any case, they’ll be around to find out.

Solidarity between Snails

Funny thing, both snails and pigeons are usually considered nuisances, the critters that leave droppings on our cars and nibble on our gardens. Today’s practice made me think about what it’s like to be a snail or a pigeon. Looking more closely, it seems life’s not so simple as a snail, nor a pigeon either. It made me think about how practice can transform our vision, and in this way transform us. Here’s to saving lives—to transform the lot of other beings and transform our own as well.

Pour vous renseigner plus sur cette pratique et sa déroulé sur Dhagpo, visiter notre page Sauver des vies.

plus de photos  To see more photos from Life Release Practice, visit the album on our Facebook page (open to all).