the great vegetarian debate

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Shurangama Practice and Vegetarianism

Postby Lotus415 » Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:20 pm

I am seeking some advice in regards to the practice of the Shurangama Mantra and strict vegetarianism. While I am not a strict vegetarian, over time I have definitely realized the benefits of such and find myself more mindful of what I consume, many times preferring vegetarian alternatives to meat. However, I am not as yet a strict vegetarian and it is a process which takes practice and time. I was curious if it would be improprer for me to practice the Shurangama Mantra if I am not yet able to follow a strict vegetarian diet? I have read that there are consequences if we do not live by certain guideliness while practicing this Mantra, although I understand that by its practice we can only be helped anyway and would as a result be lead to further virtue if we are sincere.
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Re: Shurangama Practice and Vegetarianism

Postby Kaji » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:53 am

From what I have heard, a householder taking on Shurangama practice should ideally:
- Adhere to the Five Precepts
- Not eat meat, egg, garlic, onion, etc.
- Even better, be a vegan

It is said that a householder may start Shurangama practice and improve on the above gradually. If one cannot become a vegetarian completely (with no alcohol, egg, garlic, onion, etc.) , the advice I was given is that one should consider other more lenient types of practices, such as the Cundi practice.
Namas triya-dhvikānāṃ sarva tathāgatānām!
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Re: Shurangama Practice and Vegetarianism

Postby remm » Thu Sep 27, 2012 6:33 pm

Don't worry about that. Venerable Master Hsuan Hua always said "Try your best!" as long as you try your best and are very sincere, you will evoke a response.
It is best that you become a vegetarian and avoid the five pungent plants when you practice the Surangama Mantra, however, if conditions are very hard for you then just take your time.
However, cultivate in such a way that moves you towards becoming a full-time vegetarian. As long as you try your best and are sincere that is what matters.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PorkChop » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:11 am

Wish I could be vegetarian full time.
I definitely see the ethics of it but habits & social conventions are hard to break.
2006 was the longest I ever lasted as a vegetarian - roughly about a month.
This year I lasted about 12 days before getting stuck at a restaurant on my wife's birthday with no vegetarian options.
I'm shooting for making Sundays my no meat days.
In the mean time I try to make sure the meat that I do eat is as ethical as possible.
I get pre-cooked meals from a place that's all organic and free-range whenever possible.
They have an agreement with a chicken farm outside of town that's all free range and ethical.
They get their veggies from local farmers markets.
I atone in the ways I can.
If I ever make boddhisattva, my first priority will be to ease the suffering of every being I've eaten.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby mindyourmind » Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:08 am

PorkChop wrote:Wish I could be vegetarian full time.
I definitely see the ethics of it but habits & social conventions are hard to break.
2006 was the longest I ever lasted as a vegetarian - roughly about a month.
This year I lasted about 12 days before getting stuck at a restaurant on my wife's birthday with no vegetarian options.
I'm shooting for making Sundays my no meat days.
In the mean time I try to make sure the meat that I do eat is as ethical as possible.
I get pre-cooked meals from a place that's all organic and free-range whenever possible.
They have an agreement with a chicken farm outside of town that's all free range and ethical.
They get their veggies from local farmers markets.
I atone in the ways I can.
If I ever make boddhisattva, my first priority will be to ease the suffering of every being I've eaten.



How about two days a week ...... :smile:


That way you double the good work you are doing.
As bad as bad becomes its not a part of you

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PorkChop » Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:25 pm

mindyourmind wrote:How about two days a week ...... :smile:
That way you double the good work you are doing.


Let me get the one day down pat first and then I'll work towards two.
I'm still establishing my routine and am coming off a pretty poor weekend.
I'll get there eventually.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby mindyourmind » Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:50 pm

PorkChop wrote:
mindyourmind wrote:How about two days a week ...... :smile:
That way you double the good work you are doing.


Let me get the one day down pat first and then I'll work towards two.
I'm still establishing my routine and am coming off a pretty poor weekend.
I'll get there eventually.


I'm just kidding with you. One day a week is an awesome beginning. Keep it up. :twothumbsup:
As bad as bad becomes its not a part of you

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PorkChop » Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:37 pm

mindyourmind wrote:I'm just kidding with you. One day a week is an awesome beginning. Keep it up. :twothumbsup:


Thanks for the encouragement, I'm going to work that much harder.
:namaste:
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Indrajala » Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:05 am

Bhante Dhammika has some arguments for vegetarianism from the Pali perspective:

http://sdhammika.blogspot.tw/2012/10/bu ... anism.html
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Nov 06, 2012 6:12 pm

I have been one on and off, not doing it right now. Two kids and a busy life makes it very hard to prepare meals that everyone will still eat....I certainly see the reasons for it though.

However, if one really wants to get into "ethical eating" vegetarianism is the tip of a big, confusing iceberg. When it comes to choosing a diet with the least harmful effects on living beings, there is alot more to that equation than just whether you choose to eat meat or not. So I also feel that sometimes vegetarians can get a bit too simplistic on the subject, if you are trying to focus on how what you eat effects the world, simply not eating meat will not absolve you of indirectly participating in harm.

For me at this point, just keeping the precepts and trying to behave in a way that follows is enough, I know it's not ambitious but I am getting older!
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raw diet

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:56 pm

Anyone tried it completely?

I try to make a large portion of what I eat be raw fruit and veg, mostly in smoothie form right now.

Anyone want to share their experiences doing a raw food diet, or to share recipes or sites they particularly like?
"Just as a lotus does not grow out of a well-levelled soil but from the mire, in the same way the awakening mind
is not born in the hearts of disciples in whom the moisture of attachment has dried up. It grows instead in the hearts of ordinary sentient beings who possess in full the fetters of bondage." -Se Chilbu Choki Gyaltsen
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Re: raw diet

Postby Thrasymachus » Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:33 am

A 100% raw food vegan diet, is actually one of the most unhealthy vegan diets out there. I tried to make a pathetic attempt at it once, but thankfully quit that nonsense fad diet. It is good to eat more raw food, even over 50% of dietary intake if you can, but all raw food is bad. I would stay away from the raw foodists. They are zealots and none of the so called leaders in their movement are qualified or learned in nutrition or health. I would instead recommend sticking to the advice of some of the following:
Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Neil Bernard, Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Gary Null, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, all who are very qualified and are excellent advocates for a whole food plant based diet, unlike the raw foodists. All of those authors have books published. Don't get me wrong if you can find a raw food recipe book, it is still beneficial as long you don't go 100%.

Personally I lean toward Gary Null because I don't have the quiet family environment to read and he has a radio show where he gives lots of free on air nutritional and dietary advice available for download. Also Dr. McDougall runs an excellent web forum where he also occasionally posts, along with dietitian Jeff Novick, so that may be a way to go where you can also get structured guidance for free! Dr. Michael Greger also runs the excellent resource website Nutritionfacts.org.

In my Thread: Purpose of modern medicine: no obstacle to economic growth, I mentioned how most doctors disempower others, but the few exceptions I named above are different. They use a health promoting plant based diet to help their patients avoid most chronic care diseases and live longer. So unlike most patient-victims, if you follow their advice it is based all on patient compliance, unlike most medicine.
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Re: raw diet

Postby Sara H » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:12 am

I highly don't recommend this. I was a raw foodist once when I lived in Northern California. I knew many other Raw foodists, as well as people who were Sangha who at one point or another had tried it. I was actually a fruitarian, that's how extreme I was.

In my case, and in every other echo'd by the people I talked to and knew, the results were all the same:

It makes your brain airy and confused.

Like getting high. You can huff paint for the same result.

Lots of energy? Yes.

But the effect is like putting rocket fuel in a lawn mower, it burns out very quickly and the effect on the brain is dangerous.

Every person I know who has tried this has had the exact same experience:

It made them airy and ungrounded.

In a high, delusional sense, not in some sortof "enlightened" sense.

I would reccomend it in a very short term for medical reasons.

I think it can be very helpful as an aid to help in some conditions.

In Gassho,

Sara H
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IT IS OUR CHOICE
We can stand in our shadow, and wallow in the darkness,
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It is OUR choice." -Rev. Basil

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Thrasymachus » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:19 pm

I saw "Tofurky Roast & Gravy" available at the local supermarket and decided to buy one to try it since it is past Thanksgiving and they probably won't be restocked. I cooked it with potatoes, celery and carrots, and spices. It was tasty, and soy-substantially equivalent to real Turkey, but no animals had to die! I don't think non vegans know how far faux meat has come. As it is all the major fast food restaurants use natural and artificial flavorings, most of which are produced in my state according to Eric Schlosser. Companies can and do use them for vegan products.

Photos:
Image
Image

Also it is just simply healthier as people are not physiologically adapted to eat meat and it leads to diseases and conditions like obesity, arthritis, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, ischemia, heart disease, cancer, etc. Just yesterday I learned my great uncle died after they first discovered he had rampant cancer and then heart failure. He could have probably avoided that if could have kept up the diet and physical activity of his childhood:
Jeff Novick wrote:Olive Oil & The Mediterranean Diet are a HOAX!
..

The information that has been translated into the "Mediterranean Diet" came from a study that found low rates of heart disease amongst those living on the Isle of Crete in the late 1950's. While [these] people did consume olives, avocados, olive oil and other monunsaturated fats, their diets were predominately fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes with small amounts of animal protein.

Part of the reason for this was the community was very economically depressed as they were recovering from a recent time of war. Additionally, they were very active, walking an average of 9 miles a day.

This dietary and exercise pattern, that was evident on the Isle of Crete in the late 50's, no longer exist there (nor anywhere else in the Mediterranean).

...
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:42 pm

Thrasymachus wrote:I saw "Tofurky Roast & Gravy" available at the local supermarket and decided to buy one to try it since it is past Thanksgiving and they probably won't be restocked. I cooked it with potatoes, celery and carrots, and spices. It was tasty, and soy-substantially equivalent to real Turkey, but no animals had to die!


I am going more vegetarian every day.
However, to grow all of that stuff, millions of beings were killed.
Let's not kid ourselves!!!
To eat turkey meat, well, you only have to kill one creature...the turkey.
Or you could just amputate the legs and just eat them I suppose,
and then the turkey wouldn't have to die.
But then, if it was a free-range turkey its options would be very limited.
.
.
.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PorkChop » Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:45 pm

Thrasymachus wrote:I don't think non vegans know how far faux meat has come.

Oh I know... Tofurkey is the nastiest stuff I've ever eaten.
I bought some at a Whole Foods type store last year and one bite was enough to induce vomiting.
They don't make a dressing that can hide that level of gross.

Thrasymachus wrote:Also it is just simply healthier as people are not physiologically adapted to eat meat

Australopithecus disagrees with you...

Speth JD (1991) "Protein selection and avoidance strategies of contemporary and ancestral foragers: unresolved issues." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B, vol. 334, pp. 265-270.

[S]tone tools and fossil bones--the latter commonly displaying distinctive cut-marks produced when a carcass is dismembered and stripped of edible flesh with a sharp-edged stone flake--are found together on many Plio-Pleistocene archaeological sites, convincing proof that by at least 2.0 to 2.5 Ma [million years ago] before present (BP) these early hominids did in fact eat meat (Bunn 1986; Isaac and Crader 1981). In contrast, plant remains are absent or exceedingly rare on these ancient sites and their role in early hominid diet, therefore, can only be guessed on the basis of their known importance in contemporary forager diets, as well as their potential availability in Plio-Pleistocene environments (for example, see Peters et al. (1984); Sept (1984). Thus few today doubt that early hominids ate meat, and most would agree that they probably consumed far more meat than did their primate forebears. Instead, most studies nowadays focus primarily on how that meat was procured; that is, whether early hominids actively hunted animals, particularly large-bodied prey, or scavenged carcasses...
I fully concur with the view that meat was a regular and important component of early hominid diet. For this, the archaeological and taphonomic evidence is compelling.


References & additional reading:
Bunn HT. (1986). Patterns of skeletal representation and hominid subsistence activities at Olduvai gorge, Tanzania and Koobi Fora, Kenya. J. Hum. Evol., 15: 673-690.
Bunn HT, Kroll EM. (1986). Systematic butchery by Plio/Pleistocene hominids at Oldulvai Gorge, Tanzania. Curr. Anthrop., 27: 431-452.
Peters CR, Maguire B (1981) "Wild plant foods of the Makapansgat area: a modern ecosystems analogue for Australopithecus africanus adaptations." Journal of Human Evolution, vol. 10, pp. 565-583.
Stiner MC. (1991). The faunal remains from Grotta Guattari: a taphonomic perspective. Curr. Anthrop., 32: 118-138.
Stringer C, Gamble C. (1993). The archaeology of the ancients. In Search of the Neanderthals. pp 143-178, New York: Thames and Hudson.
http://naturalhygienesociety.org/articles/paleo1.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10702160
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/article ... 561328.pdf
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9648501
http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v56/ ... 1307a.html


In other news, vegetarian Sundays are going...okay.
My normal diet is strictly regimented and Sunday is not.
Even when I go out of my way to plan meals of fruits, veggies, and tofu, I find myself reaching for grains, baked goods, and other foods that are really not healthy to compensate.
Prior to implementing vegetarian Sundays, my blood panels had come back with huge improvements due to my normal diet.
My weight was the healthiest I've been in a decade.
Over the last few months I've really been slipping, largely due to the chaos of Sundays.
My normal diet is locally sourced, organic, & free ranged; so that's probably the best I'm going to be able to do.
Sundays are proving counter-productive for my dietary goals, possibly counter-productive for my health, and knowing the realities of agriculture I'm dubious as to the ethical superiority.
Not sure that I'm going to keep it up.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby practitioner » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:22 pm

PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Thrasymachus wrote:I saw "Tofurky Roast & Gravy" available at the local supermarket and decided to buy one to try it since it is past Thanksgiving and they probably won't be restocked. I cooked it with potatoes, celery and carrots, and spices. It was tasty, and soy-substantially equivalent to real Turkey, but no animals had to die!


I am going more vegetarian every day.
However, to grow all of that stuff, millions of beings were killed.
Let's not kid ourselves!!!
To eat turkey meat, well, you only have to kill one creature...the turkey.
Or you could just amputate the legs and just eat them I suppose,
and then the turkey wouldn't have to die.
But then, if it was a free-range turkey its options would be very limited.
.
.
.


To grow all the stuff to feed the turkey those same beings died. And it takes more grain to feed a turkey to maturity than it does to make one Tofurkey so I would be careful about using that logic.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PorkChop » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:37 pm

practitioner wrote:To grow all the stuff to feed the turkey those same beings died. And it takes more grain to feed a turkey to maturity than it does to make one Tofurkey so I would be careful about using that logic.


Oats & sorghum; as examples of a common grain feed, are relatively free of pests.
Wheat seems to have much more problems with pests and isn't as widely used for feed.
Even though maize is widely used as feed & is vulnerable to a lot of bugs, techniques like push-pull seem to be effective without causing loss of life, plus no-till or low-till planting techniques reduce the amount of digging up the land for planting.

In other words: not all plants are affected by insects the same way, not all farming techniques affect the inidigenous wildlife the same way.
A vegetarian's likely going to be hitting a wider variety of plants as food than livestock will.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby PadmaVonSamba » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:33 am

practitioner wrote:
PadmaVonSamba wrote:
Thrasymachus wrote:I saw "Tofurky Roast & Gravy" available at the local supermarket and decided to buy one to try it since it is past Thanksgiving and they probably won't be restocked. I cooked it with potatoes, celery and carrots, and spices. It was tasty, and soy-substantially equivalent to real Turkey, but no animals had to die!


I am going more vegetarian every day.
However, to grow all of that stuff, millions of beings were killed.
Let's not kid ourselves!!!
To eat turkey meat, well, you only have to kill one creature...the turkey.
Or you could just amputate the legs and just eat them I suppose,
and then the turkey wouldn't have to die.
But then, if it was a free-range turkey its options would be very limited.
.
.
.


To grow all the stuff to feed the turkey those same beings died. And it takes more grain to feed a turkey to maturity than it does to make one Tofurkey so I would be careful about using that logic.


I was responding to the statement "...but no animals had to die"
.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Zealot » Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:22 am

PadmaVonSamba wrote:I am going more vegetarian every day.
However, to grow all of that stuff, millions of beings were killed.
Let's not kid ourselves!!!
To eat turkey meat, well, you only have to kill one creature...the turkey.
Or you could just amputate the legs and just eat them I suppose,
and then the turkey wouldn't have to die.
But then, if it was a free-range turkey its options would be very limited.
.
.
.


So are you saying that the life of one turkey is less valuable than the lives of a couple hundred or thousand insects? Or more valuable? I'm confused. In the book Im reading right now, The Words of My Perfect Teacher, it talks about how every aspect of our lives causes the suffering and destruction of countless beings, which is the view I've adopted. We can try to minimize it by altering our diet from meat to vegetarian, but even that kills insects and likely other small mammals like those posts farmers often kill when seen near their crops. The boxes they were packaged and shipped are likely made from trees that when chopped down destroyed a habitat for countless creatures. The vehicles they were driven to the stores in ran over countless insects, mice, rabbits, and maybe even hit a deer or two. The stores in which they're housed in paved over natural habitats for who knows how many animals. In the end, every action causes suffering and killing.

Personally, the bred for slaughter lifestyle of most of the meats eaten in American or the civilized world is what makes meat so unappealing for me. Im much more okay with free range and hunted animal meats, but in general, Im mostly vegetarian. If Im eating at a friend's house, I eat what's on my plate. If food is going to be wasted or expire otherwise, it goes in my belly. I try to be practical.
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