Wednesday, February 13, 2008

BETTER WAY, DENGUE FEVER, VEGETARIANISM, INTERVIEWS

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Some people have been mouthing off (or is it "fingering off" since they were typing their comments, why does that sound so rude?) about vegetarianism, both here and over at Gudo's blog. I've commented on the subject numerous times. But here goes again.There's no requirement in Buddhism to be a vegetarian like there is in, say, the International Society of Krishna Consciousness or the Seventh Day Adventists. It's purely a matter of personal choice. I happen to have gone veg a year or so before I discovered Zen. In the past 25 years I've eaten meat about four times, and never because I really wanted to. I was either trying to be polite to someone who served it to me, or didn't know it was in what I was eating, or didn't want to food to go to waste. I don't crave meat and never did from the very beginning. I don't even think of it as food anymore. For me it's kind of like eating a shoe or eating a dead worm would be to "normal" people.

Neither of my teachers are vegetarian. Tim used to describe himself as a "liberal vegetarian," which, he said, was like being a liberal celibate. "Yeah, I'm celibate. But I still fuck sometimes!" Nishijima Sensei once told me he thought the world would be far more peaceful if more people were vegetarians. But he's not. He rarely eats meat, though he does eat fish pretty often.

The problem of vegetarianism in Zen practice is that it so often becomes a huge mental block. It's a tremendous way of defining the ego. This is why you'll hear stories of Zen teachers tricking their veggie students into eating meat. I probably won't do that to anybody, though. But you never know...

Anyway, tonight I'm going to go interview one of the members of the band Dengue Fever on behalf of Suicide Girls. The group plays Cambodian style rock and are the amazing beyond belief. Highly recommended.

I've got a number of interviews scheduled. It's a new thing, but maybe I can make some sort of a sideline career out of interviewing people. Coming up I'll be talking to Randy Blythe of the heavy metal monsters Lamb of God. Randy is a fan of my books and a Zen practitioner, a rarity in the world of metal as you can imagine. I'll also be talking to Nina Hartley, Eighties mega porn star whose new book Nina Hartley's Guide to Total Sex, starts off with her recounting how she grew up as the daughter of a pair of Zen Buddhists. In her e-mail to me she said it was the first time she was going to be interviewed by someone who practices Zazen. Should be interesting!

Tomorrow I'll be at a big Suicide Girls bash in support of their new association with PETA. I got mixed feelings about PETA, as you can imagine from the earlier part of this posting. But I do agree people should treat animals nicer. Besides, two of the SG's who'll be involved in the fashion show have been attending my Saturday morning sittings at Hill Street, so a reciprocal show of support is in order, I think.

Man, this posting has taken way longer that I ever thought. I gotta go! Bye!

73 comments:

Miksle said...

Perhaps one ought to be vegetarian simply to contribute as little suffering to the universe as possible? At the same time, one should not be elitist about it.


Just don't eat it and shut yer trap!

Anonymous said...

Dairy cows are forcibly inseminated on what farmers call "rape racks" while many women are refered to as "fat cows." Both cows and hens are imprisoned so that their specifically female bodies can be robbed of their milk and eggs. At the same time, girls and women around the world are held captive so that their specifically female bodies can be violated and videotaped.

earDRUM said...

I would assume that many people become more compassionate for other living beings as a result of doing zazen.

The thought of other sentient beings suffering influences what I choose to eat.

Everything we eat was once a living being. And maybe all living beings are sentient. But I imagine some living beings are more sentient than others. I could be wrong about that.

I let my family and friends eat whatever they want. My diet is my diet. But I often sense guilt from people when they learn that I don't eat animals or birds.

I think we should be thankful to whatever we choose to eat. We should be aware that a life has been ended so that ours can continue.

Max said...

I (sort of) understand where a teacher would be coming from in tricking a student into doing something that they were against but tricking me into eating meat would be a very quick way to make me end a relationship.

Zen teachings encourage the questioning of everything and something like that would make me question the legitimacy of my current teacher. Only an ignorant ass would ever do something like that.

Laziness is the cause of meat consumption among the contemporary Buddhist community and the guilt of lazy individuals causes them to pick apart the path of vegetarians and vegans.

dood said...

i like to eat mushrooms while they're still alive!

they have the meaty flavor - and it gives that good "killing" satisfaction i crave!

remember none of this...

dood

Blake said...

We are all made of stars. So when I eat a dolphin, I'm just eating pieces of star and really, that's not so sad!

mysteriondan said...

maybe not for you. but it's not so great for the dolphin.

Mysterion said...

The department of redundancy department sez:

If you do eat meat or don't eat meat doesn't really matter. Intension matters. (Eat a fish to display the great power you have over a fish and you will be reborn a fish - or not.)

Peace with yourself matters. Some find avoiding meat spiritually beneficial because it conforms to their constraints in which 'peace of mind' must fit.

cometboy said...

MAx said :

Zen teachings encourage the questioning of everything and something like that would make me question the legitimacy of my current teacher. Only an ignorant ass would ever do something like that.

Hey Max,

As far as I can tell, questioning the legitimacy (whatever that means) of a zen teacher is a great thing to do.

Question the legitimacy of everything. Just don't expect instant answers.

Another point is that a teacher of zen is presumably trying to teach you something. I can think of several hypothetical situations where a zen teacher tricking you into eating meat would be very good thing.

Anonymous said...

If your vegetables could scream - what would you eat then? Don't pretend you're the one who can judge and knows what is best.

All your horse shit about being "higher" than and more "compassionate" than reeks to high heaven!

leaf_me_alone said...

I feel your pain.

My favorite vegetable. Source

Another big vegie.

Lining up for one of Brad's book signings.

Anonymous said...

With the practice of zazen, I have found it a lot easier to sit in a tree stand for hours at a time, waiting on that buck that has eluded my arrows for the last three hunting seasons.

Using what Mother Nature has provided for us is one of the greatest spiritual rituals I've ever participated in.

We hunters are some of the most well informed conservationists you'll come across.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"With the practice of zazen, I have found it a lot easier to sit in a tree stand for hours at a time, waiting on that buck that has eluded my arrows for the last three hunting seasons."

With the practice of zazen, I have found it a lot easier to behead prisoners of war for my emperor.

With zazen, we learn to kill and torture mindfully. As long as the killing is done without thought of self and other, there is no fault. The sword that kills is the sword that gives life and it is the precept against killing itself that throws the bomb.

Such thinking (as above) is exactly why buddhism is so much more than just sitting on your ass. D.T. Suzuki said one could be a zen nazi (and there were some), a zen communist, a zen anarchist, etc. Everything Zen....errr. I don't think so.

Once while the Buddha was meditating in the woods, it happened that a rabbit was shot by a hunter. The rabbit ran to the Buddha and hid under his robe. The hunter who was chasing the rabbit stopped to ask the Buddha, "Did you see my rabbit?"

The Buddha replied, "No, I haven't seen the rabbit."

"You have hid my rabbit, my dinner for the night. Can you please return it to me?"

"Oh, it was for your dinner tonight!" The Buddha then pulled the knife he had with him, and he asked the hunter, "If I cut off my arm, is it enough to compensate you for the rabbit? Let me give you my arm for your dinner!"


Ratboy

p.maestro said...

oh man. i couldn't do vegetarianism. i lived with two for a year, and they were great guys who managed their eating habits well and were Zero% preachy about it. not once did they even ask if i had Considered cutting meat out of my diet.

i know quite a few different people who are vegetarians and they all have different reasons (except for the flakes. they like to reuse other peoples reasons a lot. "oh yeah, that too!") and i also know some non-veggies who profess that there is no way you can get all the "real" good stuff your body needs without meat.

and while i don't condone the unethical treatment of animals, (don't use "inhumane" because they're not humans - and humans are animals, so unethical just glides better, tho not absolutely) i take what i can get. i'm not a farmer, nor a butcher. i live in a city and my job has me working on a computer. i don't fish, i don't have a garden. i get my food from other people, and though i have a large selection, i find a gag reflex prevents me from eating bugs and broccoli.

i know i'll probably get bashed for this, but i must admit i LOVE mcdonalds. or more accurately, the double cheeseburger w/o onions.

i don't like to think i'm eating animals, just like i try not to think about chewing up roots and leaves when i eat salads. eating meat is gross. eating is gross. sex is gross. blinking is gross. eyegoop? yuck. so while it's hard for me to eat more than one sausage because of the realization that the filmy plastic it's wrapped in is intestinal wall, i can't deny that the taste of the meat still has it's appeal for me. i've heard that this planet could support like 90 times the current human population if we killed every other life form and just all ate Kelp. to me that is a fate worse than any.

i've often wondered if humans are, by nature, predators, since we have our eyes set on the front of our faces like predatory mammals (canines n kitties) rather than eyes on the sides of our heads, like the veggie mammals (bunnies deer horses) our teeth are certainly developed in a way that allows for both. interesting. supposedly sidhartha was not a meat eater, though he would eat it when it was prepared for him.

i don't think i like the idea of accusing someone of being lazy just because they don't go through the effort of avoiding meat. because it's effortless!!! when you're at the store, it takes no more effort to pick up a pound of beef then it does a pound of tofu! it's not Hard being vegetarian, unless you Really would rather eat meat. and if you would rather eat meat but don't because you think you're saving the world, then i congratulate you for sticking to your values and ignoring your desires for the good of an animal that i'll probably just eat anyway. heh.

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

You know what I think would taste really, really delicious? A vegetarian.

And Harry, no promises, but I think that sometime soon (like in the next six months) you'll see a dedicated website with content, a blog, and a forum.

Rob

thisischrisg said...

Hey, Brad. I watched this killer episode of Pen and Tellers "Bullshit" in which they exposed a lot about peta that I didn't know. Like how they funded people to blow up animal testing facilities and how they had a shelter for animals and ended up killing a ton of them too. PETA's stance is also that people shouldn't have pets and that using any product that came from an animal or in which an animal was used to get is wrong, but the VP takes insulin (which has animal products in it or was found through animal testing).

PETA's jive.

Seriously man, dig up that episode, it's amazingly informative.

Mysterion said...
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Anonymous said...

Nina is one of my all-time big heroes!
Too bad she felt she needed a boob job
(she was born with a fantastic pair).
Oh well, her butt is still awesome, and
she's still a smart cookie.

Please ask her how most porn stars manage
to avoid getting STDs without using condoms.
(All an HIV test tells you is that you were
not infected more than six months ago, and
there are other nasties that can be
transmitted asymptomatically as well.)

BTW, if we lived in a sane society, the
Surgeon General would enlist the services of
Nevada prostitutes and California porn stars
to teach the general public all about
safer sex techniques.

Continuing the digression, why do people
get so bent out of shape over sex?

Because the potential negative consequences
can be so devastating: incurable diseases,
unwanted children, and, to a lesser extent,
insane jealousy.

When the highs and lows of an activity are
extreme, people tend to lose their capacity
for rational discussion.

Attitudes toward recreational drugs are
similarly influenced by the irreversible
damage that they can cause when abused.

It's too bad we don't yet know how to make
sex and drugs free from harmful side effects.

At least with rock and roll, hearing loss
can be prevented by controlling the volume.

It's all about maximizing pleasure while
minimizing pain (for all sentient beings).

BTW, Jundo is to sex as Brad is to drugs.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
left_hook said...

Anonymous sed...
"Nevada prostitutes"

Every state has prostitutes. In Nevada, not all prostitutes are breaking the law - just the hookers in Reno and Lost Wages break the law.

Anon #2 said...

Anon Rocks!!

Gerry Gomez said...

Vegetarian is the New Prius:

http://www.commondreams.org/views07/
0120-20.htm

Anonymous said...

Approach diet the way smoggyrob proposed approaching the path you're on--be tolerant of others', even while (internally) believing yours to be the best. (Maybe I'm loose here in paraphrasing--and the brain has had a long day)...
Don't make your diet a problem for others--be self-sufficient if you have 'special' needs.
It gets me when there's a pot luck and those with dietary restrictions complain that 'there's nothing for them to eat'
I have also been to pot lucks where the 'restrictive' dishes were so fantastic the other 'standard' dishes were hardly touched.

More important than anything is to cheerfully ingest: we stay alive because something got killed--a plant or an animal ceased to be, to 'become' us.
This is morbid
It is also deeply mysterious and profoundly humbling.
Let us not waste a moment of time by day or night.
Eat to live. Live to practice.
practice to be in harmony with all things.

Yudo said...

People living in mild climates where vegetables are readily available all year long tend to forget that this is not the case everywhere. Being a veggie in Canada or Sweden is done at the cost of burning tons of petrol just to bring the vegs from down south. If that facility no longer existed those veggies would be condemned to death.
Each time we eat, we ought to give graces to all the living being which contributed to our meal. And that makes zillions, including some bacteria!
I think it's much more important to be mindful, and avoid eating meat when this is oecologically possible, and be especially mindful every other time. Especially if you have to take antibiotics to cure yourself from some disease: you are killing life forms, albeit undesirable...

bazaarofdreams said...

Have been enjoying the atmosphere here for a while now. Thanks. Some may enjoy the following:
New Buddhist Jargon #1

Please, if you don't appreciate satire best not proceed. Have invented a nickname for Brad-the Moshy Roshi.

Nice to meet y'all anyways.

HezB said...

bazzarrofdreams,

I am sickened, offended, upset, unnerved and deeply hurt by your un-Buddhist attitude to my beloved Zen Gods. I don't come to wired-up, tetchy, anonymously created internet blogs to be treated like this! :-))

"I'm not a vegetarian, but I eat animals who are". (Groucho Marx)

Regards,

Harry.

Jules said...

FYI, Mosh doesn't rhyme with Roshi... short vowel vs. long vowel. Cute though.

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
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Jack Shitt said...

I'm bummed out.

There is a huge conspiracy among the illuminations to cast big shadows on us god-fearing conspiracy theorists.

Jack

HezB said...

Good sex requires getting bent out of shape (in my humble experience).

Regards,

Harry (can provide supportive pictures cheaper than SG!!!).

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Even the NY times has an opinion.

Mooo said...

“If you can’t allow your partner to have latitude in what he or she eats, then maybe your problem isn’t about food...”

kosher restaurants “aren’t known for inspired cuisine.” LOL

RAMEN!

Matt said...

No one told me that you had Suicide Girls at zazen classes. I'm going to have to make a trip to LA again soon ;)

Brad...between PETA and Ms. Hartley maybe you could answer a question for me? Been buggin me for ages.

Do Vegan girls swallow?

Thanks!

babbles said...

For the most part PETA people drive me nuts. My impression of them has typically been along the lines of an organization that recruits people to protest things that they really don't understand.

Don't get me wrong, I think people should treat animals with as much compassion as reasonably possible. However much of what PETA (and other organizations along those lines) seem to do a lot of knee-jerk bitching about things that they do not always seem to quite think through.

In the interest of full disclosure, I work as an analytical chemist and do a lot of pharmaceutical research projects. I do not directly deal with animals myself, but I deal with much of the test materials from animals (I'll let your mind figure this one out for yourself). As such I do have a sort of personal bias against organizations such as PETA since they basically hate what I do for a living.

Minor details I suppose.

babbles said...

Anonymous said...

Even the NY times has an opinion.


From the article,
Her disapproval “would have become an issue later even if it wasn’t in the beginning,” Ms. Romano said. “I need someone who is ethically on the same page.”

It's concepts like the above that drive me nuts with some vegetarians. This sense of ethical superiority is anything but ethical.

Roman g said...

All you vege heads need your iron. I suggest Roman Showers

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Actually Brad, i did have to eat meat because of you! (or more specifically, fish broth that was served in the food at the last Shizuoka retreat).

its funny that i have avoided animal products for years only to finally eat them at a Zen retreat where the food was supposedly 精進 (a type of vegan Japanese buddhist cuisine)

For all the talk about vegetarians and vegans being narrow-minded people, sure they are. Its damn hard to drop out of a system where you are pretty much forced to participate in all sorts of crazy shit. And that can create strong, reactionary habits.

But i actually started learning about vegetarianism not through Buddhism and its 'compassionate' manisfestations, but punk rock.

The more i learned about fucked-up modern agriculture is, there was little choice for me but to withdraw my support.

I also did a lot of hunting and fishing, so its not like i never killed animals with my own hands. At least then i can see to it that the animal is killed as swiftly and painlessly as possible.

But there are so many reasons to reduce meat consumption, and only one that i found to support it.

Taste.

Meat is delish, and because we don't want to moderate that desire to eat a pigs ass whenever the mood strikes us, we have created a huge, wasteful system that is hell for the animals, bad for consumers, and a fucking nightmare for the earth.

ben

Mysterion said...
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Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...

Buddhism contains an injuntion against killing any living creature. This is why devotional cooking, known as shojin ryori (精進), contains neither fish nor flesh. Being vegetarian is not enough. Preparations must fully bring out the flavors of ingredients without wasting even the skins or rinds. SOURCE

Anonymous said...

Boy does it ever. But it also costs your left nut just for a lunch.

ellen said...

Dengue Fever rocks - put up a video of them! or a song. besides what's on their myspace. i heard a bunch of cambodian rock in cambodia (duh) and it was pretty cool.

I've been vegetarian for a long time, but I have eaten fish when it would be rude or obnoxious to refuse it.

Mainly I'm a vege to practice ahimsa - nonviolence. So it doesn't make sense to me to get all aggro over it - I mean the "violent vegan" who goes around attacking meat eaters is hardly practicing nonviolence, ya know?

& why be nonviolent? cuz the precepts say so?!?!

nah, in my practice i've observed being violent creates more violence. cause and effect and all that karma crap. Karma Crap - hmm. there's a band name? . . .

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

We're sitting this Saturday, February 16th, 0945 hours, at the Hill Street Center. Sit, walk, sit, talk. And during the talk we serve herbal tea and vegetarian, gluten-free snacks.

We're a really friendly group, but come prepared to practice. It's easier than you think, really, anyone can do it.

Rob

Anonymous said...

Karma crap... OK band name.
Propagandhi is better.

and the winner is ...

THE DAYGLO ABORTIONS

Anonymous said...

I can understand the natural partners suicide girls and peta make. There is something about the public display of beauteous young girls strutting their poses their way--"no one can tell me what is sexy! I say when, and how I show you what is sexy--"
which seems to form a natural alliance with those who champion the cause of the caged and the mistreated animals who have found themselves in certain unfortunate circumstances among humans

Anyway I hope the event went well,
that new friends were found
that any food served was to everyone's liking
and that no animals were harmed during the course of the event

Becky said...

Yes, there are even some violent vegans who even put animals above humans so much that while they despise killing of animals they would accept to kill humans for this higher goal (vegan world).

I recall reading an interview about the Vietnam war and why Buddhists sometimes did not join certain protests. Many felt that the anger and aggression against those who started the war are just as bad and that this escalated the problems.

Becky

Anonymous said...

Apropos of mysterion's view that sex
can be used for mind control, so too
can drugs, or the lack thereof...

"These drugs appear to be prohibited by the government because they permit users to see that the world is not composed of a single point of view, a single concrete reality shared by all. The way each of us interacts with the world is a function of our internal brain chemistry, which is unique to each of us, and can be altered by our own choice or by imposed choices. The government seeks to impose its answer to the choice of whether or not to view reality in certain ways."

-- John Gilmore

Anonymous said...

What is behind the desire to control
the lives of others?

Mysterion said...

Anonymous said...
"What is behind the desire to control the lives of others?"

It is the overreaching of social control of others that points to a serious personality disorder. John Calvin had it - in spades. This type of person needs psychological or psychiatric therapy and/or isolation. In their own way, these people are social isolates - and not in the monastic sense of the word. They are all alone in a crowded room. These tend to be, unfortunately, people who waste their entire lives worrying that somewhere somebody is having a good time.

Many fear Zen because Zen teaches control of self and detachment from the control of others. It is the opposite of Calvinism.

Yudo said...

The other day (two weeks ago) I gave a teisho in Milan, and a lady asked me about Buddhism and Veg. I answered that the Buddha never mentioned it, but that his cousin Devadatta tried to win the sangha over by advocating it, strictly, which the B refused.
I told her that vegetarianism was highly counter-indicated in the Great North (try convincing Inuit that they need to be vegans...) and that being mindful to what one ate was probably much more sensible.
She kind of looked like one who has a cause to fight for.

Mxl

carl_rove said...

regarding government control of drugs: Here, in the USA, the government doesn't want us to buy prescribed drugs under 'free and open competition' (e.g. from Canada). Also, despite the great value in cannabis for biodiesel and plant fiber, the government (actually corporate tobacconists) is afraid someone will dry a leaf, roll it up, and smoke it. Industrial cannabis does NOT a good smoke make.

The Bushies seem to be, unfortunately, the kind of people who need to monitor hundreds of thousands of telephone lines and computer networks.

john calvin said...

People are not by nature inclined to love God with their whole heart, mind, or strength, but rather all are inclined to serve their own interests over those of their neighbor and to reject the rule of God. Thus, all people by their own faculties are morally unable to choose to follow God and be saved because they are unwilling to do so out of the necessity of their own natures.

Sebastian Castellio said...

Calvin quickly put together and published, in 1554, a justification, Defensio orthodoxae fidei, contra prodigiosos errores Michaelis Serveti Hispani (Defense of Orthodox Faith against the Prodigious Errors of the Spaniard Michael Servetus). He argued that to spare Servetus would have been to endanger the souls of many. In the same year Calvin was answered by Sebastian Castellio, in Contra libellum Calvini (Against Calvin's Booklet). Castellio declared that "to kill a man is not to protect a doctrine; it is but to kill a man. When the Genevans killed Servetus, they did not defend a doctrine; they but killed a man."

SEBASTIAN CASTELLIO also said...

In the eighteenth century a movement in the defense of Servetus rose again with the plea made by Voltaire against Calvin by publishing a detailed exposition of the trial. The French Revolution brought a new vigor to the ideas of religious freedom and a number of writers condemned Calvin and wrote panegyrics on Servetus.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jinzang said...

I answered that the Buddha never mentioned it, but that his cousin Devadatta tried to win the sangha over by advocating it, strictly, which the B refused.

Different scriptures say different things. The Vinaya says that the ordained can eat meat if it's "pure in four respects" -- basically, not killed for your sake. But there are some Mahayana scriptures that advocate strict vegetarianism.

The core of the pratimoksha, the Buddhist moral code, is not harming others. Our modern factory farming system is enormously cruel to animals. We shouldn't close our eyes to this and should do what we can to change it or at least not participate in it.

Mysterion said...

Jinzang sed...
Different scriptures say different things.

Yep. That's why wou have to look seriously at the Kalama Sutta.

Essentially, Gotauma Siddhartha said: It's about you deciding - based on learning, teaching, and interaction. Beyond that, consider:

“Now suppose a cutting of sugar cane or seed of grape, or perhaps a grain of rice is planted in moist soil. Whatever sustenance it derives from the earth and water, all that promotes its sweetness and good flavor. Why is that? Because the nature of the source is correct.

Even so, brethren, consider a person of right view, right thinking, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, concentration, right knowledge and detachment. Whatever exercise of body he brings to completion, whatever thought he carries through in speech, whatever intention, aspiration, resolve or other mental activities he may have—these all conduce to what is pleasant and not painful, to what is delightful, charming and profitable. Why is that? Because, brethren, his nature is right.

Nowhere can you cover up your sin,
Your own self (bodhi nature) knows what is true and false. You scorn the noble conscience (third eye), Thinking to hide your evil self From the self who witnessed it.

Anguttara Nikaya 3.40

Anonymous said...

"a lady asked me about Buddhism and Veg. I answered that the Buddha never mentioned it,"

Jinzang is correct. Different scriptures say different things. What you say here is only true if you do not regard the mahayana sutras as genuine. (They may not be, I'm not suggesting they are)

The Lanka is pretty clear in it's condemnation of meat-eating:

"For innumerable reasons, Mahamati, the Bodhisattva, whose nature is compassion, is not to eat any meat; I will explain them: Mahamati, in this long course of transmigration here, there is not one living being that, having assumed the form of a living being, has not been your mother, or father, or brother, or sister, or son, or daughter, or the one or the other, in various degrees of kinship; and when acquiring another form of life may life as a beast, as a domestic animal, as a bird, or as a womb-born, or as something standing in some relationship to you; [this being so] how can the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva who desires to approach all living beings as if they were himself and to practise the Buddha-truths, eat the flesh of any living being that is of the same nature as himself? Even, Mahamati, the Rakshasa, listening to the Tathagata's discourse on the highest essence of the Dharma, attained the notion of protecting [Buddhism], and, feeling pity, refrains from eating flesh; how much more those who love the Dharma! Thus, Mahamati, wherever there is the evolution of living beings, let people cherish the thought of kinship with them, and, thinking that all beings are to be loved as if they were an only child, let them refrain from eating meat. So with Bodhisattvas whose nature is compassion, [the eating of meat] is to be avoided by him."

Ratboy

Mysterion said...
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Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

Very interesting posts, my thanks to all of you. My take on the sutras are that they're all bogus, written long after the fact by dumb-shits like you and me. That's not to say that they're not useful or interesting, they can be. I pay particular notice to three writers: Dogen, Nishijima, and Warner.

I don't cotton to the literal rebirth in the Lanka snippet above, but I still find something useful there. I may not think it's because the cow and I were bros at some point, but the cow and I are no more separate from each other than are either of us are from everything else, including rocks, water, and air. It's all one big cosmic stew, dude.

Rob

a said...

Who cares if someone else eats meat. Buddhist morals do not point outward, they point in.

The question is;

Do you eat meat and why?

Anonymous said...

"The Lanka was composed between 240 BCE and 94 BCE. It is almost entirely Hindu "there is not one living being that... has not been your mother, or father, or brother, or sister, or son... and when acquiring another form of life... as a beast, as a domestic animal..." "

In my commentary to the Lankavatara the scholar even suggests that the vegetarian passage has been added in by someone else. It is clearly different to the rest of the scripture, that is all but dogmatic.

--IceBucket

Mysterion said...

Smoggyrob said...
"My take on the sutras are that they're all bogus..."

Not bogus, but Folklore.

Folklore - handed down for 10 generations (300 years) and then formalized. (e.g. "This, I have heard..."

This I have heard. At one time the Sublime One dwelt at Savatthi, in the Forest of Triumph, in the garden Anathapindikos.

Anonymous said...

max wrote:
. . . tricking me into eating meat would be a very quick way to make me end a relationship. . . something like that would make me question the legitimacy of my current teacher. Only an ignorant ass would ever do something like that.

. . . And such a teacher would be glad to be rid of you. If you aren't open to the lesson, then the teacher can teach you no more.

Anonymous said...

max said:
Laziness is the cause of meat consumption among the contemporary Buddhist community and the guilt of lazy individuals causes them to pick apart the path of vegetarians and vegans.

Gee, there's no judgmental elitism in that statement, is there ? [rolls eyes].

Anonymous said...

Please ask her how most porn stars manage
to avoid getting STDs without using condoms.


According to former porn star and uber-computer-geek and 'net maven Asia Carrera, ALL American porn stars who work for above-board companies are required to submit to a DNA/PCR test before being allowed to work.

Unlike a test for HIV anti-bodies, a DNA/PCR test will conclusively and immediately tell whether a person has the HIV virus. Unfortunately, DNA/PCR tests are expensive ($300 - full STD screen $600) and only a porn star can deduct them as business expenses!

Anonymous said...

My 2 cents.

I don't eat meat because it stopped feeling right. A plate full of chicken bones at El Pollo Loco would especially weird me out.

Every once in a while I do eat some meat just to make sure I am not hung up on being a vegerian.

It appears to be organic in my case and not because someone told me too.

After owning a dog and seeing it's moods, I do feel bad for the way the pigs and cows are treated - don't wish to contribute to that.

Also, why don't we eat dogs? When I pet my Lab, I can feel there are some choice steaks under that fur.

aumeye said...

Ugh

I'm just sayin'

Maximus Lewin said...

Check it: being veg will NOT contribute "as little suffering to the universe as possible". Death and suffering are and inescapable part of existence and vegetarians cause animal suffering just a do omnivores. Sorry folk, I'm sure the truth hurts, and in all likelihood you wont be able to hear this:

http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/vegetarian.html