Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other and our Planet.
Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other and our Planet.

Remembering Buddha


It is impossible to celebrate The Gentle Barn’s 15th Anniversary without talking about Buddha. Buddha was The Gentle Barn’s very first cow. She was also the same age as The Gentle Barn, so she would have been 15 years old now. Buddha was the wisest animal we have ever met and it was very common for people to bend down to hug her and burst into tears. She gave out over 300,000 hugs in her lifetime and she helped the at-risk kids we hosted become vulnerable and open. I hugged her every single day and she would wrap her neck around me and hug me back. I would meditate with her every evening and would feel a deep peace sitting beside her. Buddha’s body eventually wore down from arthritis and it became impossible for her to walk or stand. It was time for her to transcend her body, but the loss at The Gentle Barn was monumental. 

Years later we still have visitors ask for her and cry when they find out she has passed. Buddha embodied unconditional love and sometimes it was the first real hug some of the kids we host ever had. If you met Buddha consider yourself lucky. If you never met her, I’m so sorry you missed her, but when you come visit us, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and feel the magic of The Gentle Barn and the warmth in your heart: that’s Buddha, still here with us, still loving us! 

Happy anniversary, Buddha, we will never forget you!

Written by Ellie Laks

Founder, The Gentle Barn

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We have chosen to work with The Gentle Barn over the years because we have been able to personally see how much love, care, and dedication Ellie and Jay’s team give to their mission. I really feel like they are kindred spirits, and I am always so proud to be a part of anything they do. It is rare for people to have an opportunity to look a cow in the eyes, give it a hug and see that this is a sentient being. It is meaningful work.

Brook Harvey-Taylor
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