Sara H wrote:The Buddha was against practices that pushed the body to the point of being potentially lethal, or making oneself ill or injured, or damaging the body. Such as the types that He Himself had practiced, and the types that the Tendai sect are now practicing.
He said they were unnecessary and unhelpful. He likened it to a string on a musical instrument being tightened to the point of snapping (see heart attacks from the Tendai practice)
Having one meal a day is fine if you are doing a more gentle practice.
Having one meal a day when you are traveling potentially more than twice the distance of an olympic marathon, with only 2 hours of sleep a night is suicidal.
The Buddha would not have endorsed a practice that caused people to have heart attacks from sheer exhaustion and malnourishment in ratio to the energy and calories expended.Bodhidharma sat meditating facing a wall for 9 years...
I sincerely doubt that Bodhidharma spent nine years facing the wall without adequate food to keep him alive.
How much or how little ought a bodhisattva to eat? Are their circumstances under which extended periods of fasting or feasting are appropriate?
Can one fairly say that improper attention to nutrition or self care in one direction or another amounts to suicide for a serious practitioner?
Finally, are there ways in which capable yogins can indeed practice intensively for a period of years without conventional food? (I'm thinking of yogins such as Nyala Pema Dundul...)