Life release is a traditional Buddhist practice of saving the lives of sentient beings. Typically, they are saved from slaughter and released into the wild. This practice is performed by all schools of Buddhism; Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana.
Life release usually involves purchasing animals from slaughterhouses, bait shops, or other places where these animals are destined to be killed. The actual release of life typically happens on auspicious days so as to increase the merits for all involved in the ceremony. Animals are blessed before being released as aspirations are made for them to live free lives and to have connection with Buddhism in their future lives.
In addition, extensive research and pre-planning must be done so as to ensure that the animals released will be safe and stand a chance to survive in the wild. Location must be optimal for the animals to live in relative safety. The time of year and time of day must also be taken into consideration in order for the animals to be able to adjust to their life back in the wild. Also, they must be released into an area that will not threaten the balance of life there. These issues must all be taken into consideration in order that the animals may have a smooth transition back into the wild.
Shang Rinpoche organizes life release events regularly, especially during the warmer months, as they are the most optimal time for the release of most animals. These events range from very large events with hundreds of participants and thousands of animals to smaller ones of only a handful of people.