the great vegetarian debate

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Food and Dharma

Postby LastLegend » Wed Mar 20, 2013 6:10 am

randomseb wrote:The dharma of now, this moment, which is all that should be anyone's concern, what is going on at this very instant, does not depend on any particular states of health. In other words, if you are all hyper due to coffee, sugar, whatever, or if you are all sore and drained due to sickness or disability.. These are all things happening "now". Did you have sugar and are all hyped up? Then include this feeling in your being mindful of "this". Examine this feeling, feel it fully and accept it as part of the moment.
:woohoo:

It's not something that comes and goes due to some meditation induced state of mind, that is just a conditioned response and not the goal itself, a stepping stone perhaps?

:twothumbsup:


Certain food will make prone to getting sick. When you are sick, you cannot practice Dharma. If you practice Dharma and still get sick all the time, then who would want to practice Dharma when they see you like that?
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Re: Food and Dharma

Postby WuMing » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:13 am

... When you are sick, you cannot practice Dharma. If you practice Dharma and still get sick all the time, then who would want to practice Dharma when they see you like that?


Who says that when you're sick you can't practice the Dharma? Where does this come from?
Here is some food for thought: the Buddha and his disciples were beggars, did not chose their food and were still able to practice the Dharma, many even attained Arhatship. Consider this, seriously!
今以佛眼觀之佛與眾生同住解脫之床。無此無彼無二平等。
Now, observing with the eye of the Buddha, both the Buddha and ordinary beings are in the same liberated state. There is neither this nor that: there is only non-duality and identity.
- 空海 Kūkai 弘法大師 in Unjigi 吽字義 The Meaning of the Letter Hūṃ
new translation: Kūkai on the Philosophy of Language by Takagi Shingen and Dreitlein Eijō
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Re: Food and Dharma

Postby randomseb » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:13 pm

LastLegend wrote:Certain food will make prone to getting sick. When you are sick, you cannot practice Dharma. If you practice Dharma and still get sick all the time, then who would want to practice Dharma when they see you like that?


I think what you mean is that when sick, one doesn't feel like practicing the dharma, so then one should perhaps examine this feeling as part of the practice of the moment. The dharma doesn't depend on conditions, it is at all times in all states in all locations. Practice of mindful awareness is not something you turn on and off like going to church on sundays, it is a constant ever present practice, no matter what the conditions are. If normally your practice is about reciting a mantra, for example, but you have a bad sore throat, then just do a quiet sit meditation. If you have to do the dishes and don't have time to go to your private place and recite, then doing the dishes is your practice, and do it mindfully.

Don't mistake "doing practice" as just sitting and meditating, as that is more of the cap stone on a wide range of practice you should be doing in every waking moment, and beyond. The dharma and the buddha-essence doesn't come and go based on conditions.

Whatever is happening there right now, at this moment, whatever good or bad sensations, emotions, thoughts, whatever is in your awareness, this is your place of, and object of, practice, always.

This is buddhism!

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Eat Meat for Noble Purpose vs Pleasure

Postby eatmeatgross » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:56 am

http://www.kagyuoffice.org/#VVI2013-10

Gyalwang Karmapa explained two key reasons that he personally does not eat meat. The first reason is the intense suffering that the animals who are killed go through. Every single day millions of animals are killed to feed us, and many are subjected to terrible conditions to provide us with food. Just a few days previously the Gyalwang Karmapa had shared a story of how, as a child in Tibet, when animals were killed for his family's food he felt unbearable, pure compassion for them.

The second reason he doesn't eat meat, the Gyalwang Karmapa continued, is because of his Mahayana training in seeing all sentient beings as his mothers. "We say I am going to do everything I can to free sentient beings from suffering. We say I am going to do this. We make the commitment. We take the vow. Once we have taken this vow, if then, without thinking anything about it, we just go ahead and eat meat, then that is not okay. It is something that we need to think about very carefully."

The Gyalwang Karmapa revealed that meat can only be consumed when an ill person needs to eat meat in order to strengthen his body. Even then, there are three conditions which the ill meat eater must abide by when eating meat.

1) we must not have seen, heard, or thought that the animal was killed particularly for us to eat it.

2) meditate on compassion for one session—compassion for all sentient beings in general, but especially for this particular animal whose flesh is in front of you. Then you should recite the mantras of the Buddha's name, as well as mantras that can help purify misdeeds. Only then should you start eating the meat.

3) When you start eating the meat you have to think about it in a particular way. You should think of it as being the meat of your mother or your father or your child. You should think of eating it in that way, and so it's when you think of it as being your mother's or your child's meat, then that is when you can eat it.

We must also have a pure motivation when we eat the meat, the Gyalwang Karmapa continued. "We should not eat the meat in order to enjoy it, because it is delicious. We should not eat it because we want to enjoy the great flavor and savor what we are eating. Instead we should eat the meat only in order to keep ourselves alive."
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Re: Eat Meat for Noble Purpose vs Pleasure

Postby eatmeatgross » Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:57 am

On the sixth day of his Spring Teachings the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, cut straight to the core of an issue that is vital not only for the sustainability of our contemporary world, but also within our individual lives as Buddhist practitioners. Exploring the topic from many different angles, the Gyalwang Karmapa discussed his views on whether Buddhist practitioners should eat meat or not, and if so, when and how it may be acceptable to do so.

"A few years ago at one of the Kagyu Monlams I spoke about the topic of vegetarianism, giving up eating meat. You could say it was an announcement, but it was really like making a suggestion. Since then many years have passed, and over the years I've heard people say various things. Some people have even said, 'Oh, Ogyen Trinley Dorje says that if you don't give up eating meat then you're not a Kagyupa.' Now, it actually wasn't me who said that. It was the 8th Karmapa Mikyo Dorje who said that. So it wasn't my idea, and it's not like I said you better give up meat or else you're not a Kagyupa."

In fact, there are different ways we can interpret the 8th Karmapa's advice, the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa continued. If we take a looser interpretation of Mikyo Dorje's words, then by eating meat you can say that you're not a truly pure Kagyu practitioner. "There are many great Kagyu masters who have eaten meat, so it is very difficult to merely say that eating meat means that you have faults. But eating meat is something that all of us who practice the dharma need to think about very carefully."

The Gyalwang Karmapa, himself a pure vegetarian, then turned to his own life as an example. "When I spoke about this, I was primarily thinking about the way I lead my own life. I can't really do anything about how other people lead their lives, but in terms of thinking about myself there are some reasons for this." He then explained two key reasons that he personally does not eat meat. The first reason is the intense suffering that the animals who are killed go through. Every single day millions of animals are killed to feed us, and many are subjected to terrible conditions to provide us with food. Just a few days previously the Gyalwang Karmapa had shared a story of how, as a child in Tibet, when animals were killed for his family's food he felt unbearable, pure compassion for them.

The second reason he doesn't eat meat, the Gyalwang Karmapa continued, is because of his Mahayana training in seeing all sentient beings as his mothers. "We say I am going to do everything I can to free sentient beings from suffering. We say I am going to do this. We make the commitment. We take the vow. Once we have taken this vow, if then, without thinking anything about it, we just go ahead and eat meat, then that is not okay. It is something that we need to think about very carefully."

The Gyalwang Karmapa then acknowledged that there are some circumstances in which eating meat is allowed, or even necessary. He explained that within the Buddhist Vinaya, or rules for monks and nuns, eating meat is allowed mainly when one is ill, but only if three conditions are met: we must not have seen, heard, or thought that the animal was killed particularly for us to eat it. Meat is allowed when a person is sick, the Gyalwang Karmapa clarified, or for those people who need more nourishment and have great difficulty nourishing themselves without it.

"But when you eat meat in these situations you should not just eat it in an ordinary sort of way," he continued. "You first need to meditate on compassion for one session—compassion for all sentient beings in general, but especially for this particular animal whose flesh is in front of you. Then you should recite the mantras of the Buddha's name, as well as mantras that can help purify misdeeds. Only then should you start eating the meat."

Yet his guidance did not stop there. Returning to the Mahayana training of seeing all sentient beings as mothers, the Gyalwang Karmapa explained further. "When you start eating the meat you have to think about it in a particular way. You should think of it as being the meat of your mother or your father or your child. You should think of eating it in that way, and so it's when you think of it as being your mother's or your child's meat, then that is when you can eat it."

We must also have a pure motivation when we eat the meat, the Gyalwang Karmapa continued. "We should not eat the meat in order to enjoy it, because it is delicious. We should not eat it because we want to enjoy the great flavor and savor what we are eating. Instead we should eat the meat only in order to keep ourselves alive."

To avoid any misunderstanding, the Gyalwang Karmapa repeated the need for each individual to reflect deeply on the issue: "Now, I did not say that we need to immediately give up eating meat. I understand that it's difficult to give up eating meat. But I did say that we need to think about it carefully. When we eat meat, if we are someone who has entered the path of the Mahayana, someone who has begun to think of all sentient beings as their father, their mother, or their child, in terms of someone who practices in this way it's really something that we need to consider very carefully."
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Re: Eat Meat for Noble Purpose vs Pleasure

Postby eatmeatgross » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:03 am

Most people eat meat because they enjoy eating meat and they can't destroy their desires and attachments to eating meat even though their bodies are obese and their health would increase by leaps and bounds if they turn to a purely vegetarian diet.

Most people are not old, sickly people like the dalai lama who have to eat meat for medical purposes yet the same "meat-eaters" dare to criticize the dalai lama for eating meat and thus claim that since the dalai lama, the most compassionate person on the planet is eating meat, why can't the rest of the common citizens do the same?

I would like to see every meat-eater see every piece of meat as meat belonging to their mother, father or child and consume every mouthful of meat imagining that the same piece of meat is flesh from their own mother, father or child.

Then i like to see the same meat-eaters think about the enjoyment of the taste of eating meat from their own mother, father and child and then we see if such acts still change their way of thinking about meat-eating in general.

Most meat-eaters would never dare to think of the meat which they are putting in their mouths as meat from their mother, father or child because how can anyone enjoy the taste of meat if they know that it is meat from their own parents or children's bodies?

Rather, they want to ignore the fact that the very same animals which they are eating could very well be their own parents or children in previous life-times so they can enjoy the great fantastic sauces and seasoning being spread on their meats.
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Re: Eat Meat for Noble Purpose vs Pleasure

Postby eatmeatgross » Mon Apr 08, 2013 2:24 am

Most meat-eaters eat meat for pleasure but the dalai lama eat meat for medical purposes as he is old and ill and to save the souls of the dead animals. This is the main difference between most meat-eaters the the dalai lama!
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Re: Eat Meat for Noble Purpose vs Pleasure

Postby greentara » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:23 am

I'm very drawn to the Dalai lama but ....."Most meat-eaters eat meat for pleasure but the dalai lama eat meat for medical purposes as he is old and ill and to save the souls of the dead animals. This is the main difference between most meat-eaters the the dalai lama" I don''t particularly believe this last statement, it doesn't ring true!
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Re: Eat Meat for Noble Purpose vs Pleasure

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:27 am

I've always been curious, what is the doctrinal position explaining why the historical Buddha was not a vegetarian from people who believe it's so central to Buddhism?
"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: Eat Meat for Noble Purpose vs Pleasure

Postby Konchog1 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:07 am

Equanimity is the ground. Love is the moisture. Compassion is the seed. Bodhicitta is the result.

-Paraphrase of Khensur Rinpoche Lobsang Tsephel citing the Guhyasamaja Tantra

"All memories and thoughts are the union of emptiness and knowing, the Mind.
Without attachment, self-liberating, like a snake in a knot.
Through the qualities of meditating in that way,
Mental obscurations are purified and the dharmakaya is attained."

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Re: Eat Meat for Noble Purpose vs Pleasure

Postby heart » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:29 am



This is an interpretation of the Pali Canon, hardly the opinion of the Pali Canon itself. Buddhist monks are beggers, they it whatever is put in their bowl. The Buddha never said "don't eat meat". But I think vegetarianism motivated by compassion is wonderful.

/magnus
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:05 pm

I like Bhante Dhammika alot, and those are well reasoned positions..still doesn't answer the question for me fully from the more stringent vegetarian position though.

HIs words are encouraging though..if only my family I would eat this way lol, I keep feeling lately like I should return to vegetarianism when it's possible.

The "problematic vegetarianism" link describes some of my exact feelings.
"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: the great vegetarian debate

Postby kirtu » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:07 pm

As it turns out, when humans digest so-called red meat, the gut bacteria turns carnitine found in the meat into a substance that clogs the arteries. As people eat more red meat, the effect becomes pronounced because the long term gut ecology supports more of the bacteria that help digest red meat and thus turn carnitine into an artery clogging substance.

From this article at the Washington Post.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:28 pm

I just read this, interesting stuff. red meat is a real rarity for me anyway, but it's good to know.

Interesting because the correlation between heart disease and red meat has been claimed for a long time, with many disputing it...I guess now the dispute is over.

On a related note, does anyone have a "fake chicken" recommendation? There are a few Asian restaurants I've been to that use this kind of fake chicken product that's really quite good, and sometimes almost indistinguishable from chicken.
"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: the great vegetarian debate

Postby kirtu » Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:14 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:On a related note, does anyone have a "fake chicken" recommendation? There are a few Asian restaurants I've been to that use this kind of fake chicken product that's really quite good, and sometimes almost indistinguishable from chicken.


"Mock meat" restaurants have been increasing in popularity in the past 15 or so years. It really depends on where you live of course. There used to be an amazing place (based on one visit and one dish alone) in Philadelphia that was totally vegetarian and kosher. I stumbeled on it completely by accident many years ago.

There is a totally vegan place in Boston, My Thai Vegan Cafe in Chinatown, that has mock meat that is IMO indistinguishable from meat in taste. I actually had to ask them to confirm that I hadn't misunderstood that it was mock meat. When I visit Boston I eat there.

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Re: Eat Meat for Noble Purpose vs Pleasure

Postby David N. Snyder » Mon Apr 08, 2013 8:21 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:I've always been curious, what is the doctrinal position explaining why the historical Buddha was not a vegetarian from people who believe it's so central to Buddhism?


There are numerous references to not killing or causing to kill any sentient being in the Theravada and Mahayana sutras. Traditionally, the monks and nuns receive whatever is offered to them in their alms food bowls.

In addition, it is prohibited for lay people to have any profession dealing with meat, be it the slaughter, the trading or selling. Considering this, a vegetarian diet seems to at least be the ideal. Although the world will never be 100% Buddhist, in the hypothetical who would do the killing? Who would cut and sell the meat?

Why didn't the Buddha prohibit meat eating outright? Well according to some Mahayana sutras, the Buddha did. Not counting those, it is not clear why the connection was never made and why not just prohibit meat eating, which obviously does cause the death of some sentient beings. One possibility could be that India at the time was not too Buddhist at the start of the Buddha-Dharma and the Buddha wanted to include as many people on the path out of suffering, so not to discourage anyone. People could come to a vegetarian diet when they are ready and not out of force -- a possible skillful means (assuming vegetarian diet is ideal to the Dharma, which of course is still debatable).
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Re: Eat Meat for Noble Purpose vs Pleasure

Postby seeker242 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 11:22 pm

eatmeatgross wrote:Most meat-eaters eat meat for pleasure but the dalai lama eat meat for medical purposes as he is old and ill and to save the souls of the dead animals. This is the main difference between most meat-eaters the the dalai lama!


From what I have read, The Dalai Lama was completely illiterate when it came to how to eat vegetarian properly when he became vegetarian back in the early 60s.

In the mid 1960s the Dalai Lama was in Kerala, Southern India, where a high proportion of the local population have always been vegetarian. Their tradition, as with other parts of India, is of lacto-vegetarianism, using a modest amount of milk products (but not eggs). Whilst there the Dalai Lama had decided to become vegetarian but at this time lived on a bizarre diet consisting entirely of milk and nuts. If this is true, and it seems to be well documented, it would have been an extremely high fat and very unhealthy diet by any standards. After 18 months he became very ill and his doctors, unsurprisingly, blamed it on the lack of meat rather than advising a better balanced vegetarian diet. He was persuaded to return to meat-eating and has done so ever since.

http://www.ivu.org/people/writers/lama.html

It's not that surprising that Tibetan doctors have no idea what a proper vegetarian diet is!

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
On a related note, does anyone have a "fake chicken" recommendation? There are a few Asian restaurants I've been to that use this kind of fake chicken product that's really quite good, and sometimes almost indistinguishable from chicken.


Gardien brand products are the best out there IMO. At least in the western supermarkets anyway. http://www.gardein.com/index.php
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Roland » Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:41 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:On a related note, does anyone have a "fake chicken" recommendation? There are a few Asian restaurants I've been to that use this kind of fake chicken product that's really quite good, and sometimes almost indistinguishable from chicken.


"Quorn" is a good brand. I like it because it is soy free (I get enough soy and prefer to avoid GMO soy in particular) and it tastes exactly like chicken. I must say I haven't had actual chicken in many years and this is the only mock chicken I've tried, so perhaps I've lost my reference point. It is made with mycoprotein.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Wu-Ji » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:51 am

I am happy that meat is finally starting to look less appealing to me :)
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby mandala » Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:21 am

Wu-Ji wrote:I am happy that meat is finally starting to look less appealing to me :)


Good for you, Wu-Ji!

"One is not a great one because one defeats or harms other living beings. One is so called because one refrains from defeating or harming other living beings." ~ The Buddha, Dhammapada, Ch. 19


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