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These couple short videos from Tzu Chi buddhist organization (https://www.tzuchi.us/) are very nice examples of giving and receiving.
The video below is about the relief for first-responsders during the Hurriance Harvey
Harvey Recovery • Relief For First-responders (3 mins)
I really like one first-responsder officer's comment @ 2:11 which sounds very Buddhism.
"I believe everything we do plants a seed positive or negative. You plant positive and it grows and it produces and so I, maybe this is just you know the positive coming back to me"
I also really touched and respected by the way Tzu Chi volunteers when they give with both hands and bow to the receivers.
The second video is about the city Rockfort, Texas after the Hurriance Harvey. It happened that the Mayor of Rockfort, Charles J. Wax, was in Taiwan after the big earth in 1999 helping the Taiwan people. Now his city is helped by Tzu Chi organization from Taiwan.
A Mi Tuo Fo
@Carlita, BTW, at home, when you are doing any related Buddhist ceremonies and rituals, you can also wear to robe. It is to keep you in a more formal, dignified, solemn and peaceful mode. For example, you can wear you robe at home when you are doing mediation (sitting or walking) or chanting/reciting Buddha name, sutra, mantra. You can always check with the master(s) and other sister and brother practitioners when it is the right occasion to wear the robe.
A Mi Tuo Fo
The Earth Store Sutra (also known as the Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva Purvapraṇidhana Sutra is a Mahayana sutra)
In chapter 7 it mentions about 49 days.
“The arrival of the Great Ghost of Impermanence is so unexpected that the deceased ones’ consciousnesses first roam in darkness and obscurity, unaware of offenses and blessings. For forty-nine days the deceased are as if deluded or deaf, or as if in courts where their karmic retributions are being decided. Once judgment is fixed, they are reborn according to their karma. In the time before rebirths are determined, the deceased suffer from thousands upon thousands of anxieties. How much more is that the case for those who are to fall into the bad destinies.
“Throughout forty-nine days, those whose lives have ended and who have not yet been reborn will be hoping every moment that their immediate relatives will earn blessings powerful enough to rescue them. At the end of that time, the deceased will undergo retribution according to their karma. If someone is an offender, he may pass through hundreds of thousands of years without even a day’s liberation. If someone’s offenses deserve Fivefold Relentless Retribution, he will fall into the great hells and undergo incessant suffering throughout hundreds of millions of eons.
As many said already, you do not have to be a vegetarian to be a Buddhist.
Listen to many masters' lectures, WISDOM and COMPASSION are the two main qualities in practicing Buddhism. If we wants to be more compassion, then we do not want kill, harm, or eat any other beings. All beings have Buddha nature.
Also, if we believes in Karma and rebirth in Buddhism, if we do eat other beings, then we will create a karmic consequences with those beings within this life or future lives.
Most Buddhists follow Mahayana are vegetarians. Some eat vegetarian their whole lives. Some eat vegetarian like for 2 or 4 or 10 days a month. Or 1 or 2 or 3 months out of a year, etc. Some vegetarians are very strict that they are avoiding the five pungent plants (Onions, Garlic, Scallions, Chives and Leeks). Regarding pungent plants, can google to find out more information why avoiding these plants.
Most Tibet Buddhists are not vegetarian. However, the 17th Karmapa (http://kagyuoffice.org/karmapa/), who is in exiled in northern India, he now also becomes vegeterian:
Below is one of the 17th Karmapa teachings on eating meat or not:
the original history about vegetarian Buddhist is started from this Emperor Wu.
It is unclear when Emperor Wu began to be a devout Buddhist, but by 517 Buddhist influences on his policies began to be plain. That year, he ordered that imperial textile factories not weave gods and animals on clothes, because when the clothes undergo further manufacturing, the patterns might be damaged, showing disrespect to the gods and hurtfulness to the animals. In a further break from Confucian tradition, he considered making sacrifices to imperial ancestors vegetarian, instead of traditional animal sacrifices of goats, pigs, and cows, and the sacrifices were first changed to using dried meat, and then eventually to mock animals made from flour, vegetables, and fruits, and this change was despite popular opinion that this would bring displeasure from the ancestors.
A Mi To Fo
From the post "Simple Path" discussion http://newbuddhist.com/discussion/24605/simple-path
make me think of this that I read from another Buddhism forum I'd like to share:
Buddha teaching: The Dharma is like a raft!
I am right now is kind of "- Some climb up the raft, paddle for a distance, see another raft looks better, get onto that raft, and then repeat again, again...". :-(
Which one is you?
A Mi To Fo