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Non-Vegetarian Buddhists - Lesser Buddhists?

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Comments

  • edited February 2010
    ok, hello, yes, that was a very good post palzang, i bow to you, however, my stomach cannot fully digest this without comments and certain questions to pose.
    Palzang wrote: »
    From The Owl Precepts<o></o>
    <o></o>
    The First Precept
    <o></o>
    ‘Tantrikas refrain from killing the efflorescence of Rigpa as it sparkles through the fabric of duality.’<o></o>
    first of all, what the heck does this mean? ahahahahahaha, i would like to know because it seems like if i were to know it would be enlightening
    <o></o>
    Commentary: Tantrikas [practitioners of tantric Buddhism] realize that to refrain from killing the efflorescence of their enlightened nature is simultaneously possible and impossible. It is possible because they are enlightened from beginninglessness; but it is impossible because they may lack confidence in the non-dual state. Because of this ambivalence, they develop confidence in the non-dual state through sustaining awareness of the pain caused by killing in all its manifestations.
    also this too, cause i'm not sure exactly what all this means
    Their understanding of this is always present. Tantrikas understand that it is impossible to disconnect from killing. They understand that it is so simply because they have human bodies. They recognize that to have a body, and to exist, is to cause death. From this knowledge they establish compassionate connections with everyone and everything everywhere. Tantrikas recognize that to walk across fields is to kill insects. They recognize that to light a fire to keep warm is to kill beings, and that eating bread makes them responsible, in part, for the death of field mice. They understand that to use medicines is to kill organisms and bacteria.
    They recognize that plant life has sentience, and that sentience may exist within phenomena in which sentience cannot be perceived.
    i definitely agree with all this, but want to comment that killing and creating death is one thing, and comparitively creating death in something with a large degree of sentience is another, for instance a plant vs. a rooster. just as a buddha experiences the fruit of nirvana clearly and fully while an undeveloped person is blind to much of it, a plant is not experiencing the suffering, if this is what its sentience entails, anywhere close to the suffering of a rooster which is bred for slaughter. and if suffering is what is our primary concern, we should take this into our consideration, and do whatever we can for sentience wherever it arises.
    Through this knowledge they know that is impossible to be ‘pure’ or disconnected from killing. They realize that it is impossible to ‘transcend’ their situation as potential killers, merely by enacting purist physical regimes or purist dietary policies. They understand that to live is to cause death, and that this fact cannot be avoided. They recognize that there is no external method for disconnecting themselves from the causes of death; and that the only possibility of practice is to generate compassion when awareness arises of any cause of death. They know that because it is impossible to be pure that it is also impossible to judge others from the standpoint of purity. They know that if they cannot judge others according to purity and impurity then all trace of religious bigotry is abandoned. They delight in the knowledge that the avoidance of bigotry restores the joy of practice. Knowing they cannot be ‘pure’ according to ‘relative purist rationale’ dissolves all boundaries with regard to compassion.
    i agree there's no room for purism and finger-blaming and we'd be much happier and better off without it. however, to recognize that "the only possibility of practice is to generate compassion when awareness arises of any cause of death", i would say, points to a meatless diet. death cannot be avoided, that is an inevitability, but death can be diminished and so can suffering in sentience.

    The knowledge that one’s physical existence is in itself the act of killing imbues tantrikas with the pervasive motivation to avoid harming other beings wherever possible. This knowledge also encourages the dynamic of alleviating suffering wherever it is found according to capacity, circumstances, and appropriate juncture.
    as just said, i would say this points to a meatless diet, whenever one can afford to do so
    Tantrikas extend themselves to others to the extent of their ability, and without abuse to the continuity of their own worthwhile existence. Tantrikas attempt to commit themselves to experiencing bodhicitta at every opportunity, in order to create connections with whatever they eat, drink, or wear. They commit themselves to a non-aggressive way of life. Whether their style of taking sustenance is carnivorous, vegetarian, vegan, or fruitarian; they commit themselves to refraining from aggression by way of act, word, or attitude to those who derive sustenance according to contrasting considerations. Each style of deriving nourishment is linked with a form of expressing chang-chub sem (byang chub sems – bodhicitta) active-compassion according to the different vehicles, and so they commit themselves to adopting whatever style accords with the integrity of their perception as tantrikas.
    in regards to aggression, i think it may be appropriate to view this on a macrosociological standpoint, where production of meat as well as other animal foodstuffs is an act of aggression on the part of humanity, while raising non-animal food is more of a mere expression of living, without being at the cost of other clearly suffering beings.

    anyways, remember all this is said with a mind of compassion, so if i appear moralizing at all, it is not meant. good day and may all beings be happy!
  • BrigidBrigid Veteran
    edited February 2010
    That post was excellent, Palzang.

    It had an amazing effect on me, really amazing.

    Thanks so much.
  • PalzangPalzang Veteran
    edited February 2010
    Well, I can actually get serious once in a while.

    Palzang
  • Love-N-PeaceLove-N-Peace Veteran
    edited May 2010
    Well, I can actually get serious once in a while.

    Yeah, right :rolleyes: :p

    All the best,
    Nickidoodle
  • edited May 2010
    Two disclaimers. One, I don't consider myself a Buddist at this time so please do not take for a teacher. Two, I'm new here and have only read the first 100 posts of this thread - I know, a most serious breach of netiquitte. I'll flagellate myself over this infraction at some later point in time. :)

    I have been eating steamed fish for lunch at work recently instead of going out. I have the fish steamed at the grocery store. Once while placing my order, another person ordered a bunch of live lobsters sent to the steamer. I felt bad for the lobsters.

    Then I realized the only difference between him and me was the length of the chain of command between the consumer and the execution order. Then I thought some more and realized that even changing my eating habits to vegan I'd still either be causing death or preventing new life by eating, especially if I relied upon the grocery store for my produce.

    For example, if I eat a tomato without removing the seeds and planting and cultivating them, I have prevented new life for the tomato plant - in Buddhist terms, maybe this could be described as interrupting the continuance of the tomato plant. Maybe it is worse to eat the tomato than the hamburger without planting the tomato seeds, since the purpose of the tomato is to make new tomato plants - ground beef, as I understand things, comes mostly from older animals who have already reproduced, thus satisfying the purpose of their existence.

    I haven't really come to a conclusion with this line of thought other than to be aware (mindful?) that my existence right now is dependent upon causing death to other living things.

    On the other hand, we have started to retain bell pepper seeds in order to plant them in our garden this summer. The thought behind this action is frugality more than the above thought. This thread has helped me think that maybe I could view this replanting as one small baby step to make my existence less dependent on causing death of other life.
  • Love-N-PeaceLove-N-Peace Veteran
    edited May 2010
    Well some fruits need their babies to be eaten so animals poop them out to distribute them :D

    All the best,
    Nickidoodle
  • Love-N-PeaceLove-N-Peace Veteran
    edited May 2010
    Also I only read the first and last 10 posts :eek:
  • edited May 2010
    LoveNPeace wrote: »
    Well some fruits need their babies to be eaten so animals poop them out to distribute them :D

    All the best,
    Nickidoodle

    I don't think that either a city sewer or a septic system is a good place for most fruits to grow.
  • edited May 2010
    Onewiththirst,

    Welcome, I enjoyed your post. : ^ )

    I have come after long thought on this very issue to think of 'not killing' as impossibility. Every time you breathe you kill multiple organisms. The very Ph on your skin is there to defend you in this same way. So what is one to do? : ^ (

    Perhaps all we can do, is to keep it in moderation and try not to cause unnecessary suffering.

    I think in planting the seeds, it makes you more mindful of other living things, even if they are plants. Such sensitivity is bound to make you kinder and gentler in the long run.

    Also it is a good thing to think thing out like you are, instead of going through life like a “Bull in a china shop.” This planet is in dire need of more people like your self. : ^ )

    Also, I believe sensitivity and investigating deeply is the beginning of wisdom.

    Q: "The unexamined life is not worth living."

    A commend your thoughtfulness,
    S9
  • Love-N-PeaceLove-N-Peace Veteran
    edited May 2010
    That's why I specified animals in general, onewiththirst. I never feel guilty for living, and I don't think anybody should.

    All the best
    Nickidoodle
  • edited May 2010
    This vegetarian debate keeps coming up everywhere.
    As Buddhists are we supposed to be judging one another or judging ourselves?
    I thought it was the latter.
    I occassionally eat meat and suffer no guilt for my actions.I am just mindful-eating,eating,eating.
    I know many vegetarians who eat eggs and cheese.Whether your eggs are free range or factory,when a chicken stops laying it is killed.
    If you are eating anything that is a milk product,cows must give birth in order to produce milk.Male calves that are born have very short lives as they will not give milk in the future,so whether you or meat eaters or vegetarians the death of animals is in the equation.I also see many of my vege friends eat fish,are these not sentient beings?
    Do they not want to be happy?
    Just a thought
  • Love-N-PeaceLove-N-Peace Veteran
    edited May 2010
    If you eat fish your not a vegetarian, you're pescitarian (eg. me) :)

    All the best
    Nickidoodle
  • edited May 2010
    Shaolin martial art monks are vegetarian as well, very healthy and strong.
    Unless rebirth is false, animals meats are siblings and parents of living beings who have reborn as animals.
  • edited May 2010
    Disney wrote: »
    Shaolin martial art monks are vegetarian as well, very healthy and strong.
    Unless rebirth is false, animals meats are siblings and parents of living beings who have reborn as animals.

    Does rebirth not cross from animal life to plant life?
  • ValtielValtiel Veteran
    edited May 2010
    The traditional Buddhist rebirth view does not include plant life, no. Plants are not sentient.
  • Love-N-PeaceLove-N-Peace Veteran
    edited May 2010
    Actually, Valteil, many here believe they are, and there's definitely something with those trees too (which are plants) LOL. I don't believe in rebirth but I've decided that at the minute when I'm older I'm going to be an organic vegan, because as a human being I have the available alternative foods to do so and stay healthy :)

    All the best
    Nickidoodle
  • ValtielValtiel Veteran
    edited May 2010
    Actually, Valteil, many here believe they are
    People believe a lot of things. I've seen no indication that plants are conscious/aware any more than a turd is.

    Frankly if I had to choose between killing a plant and killing an animal, I would go all weed-wacker on the plant's ass without hesitation.

    But, the question was whether or not Buddhism includes plants in rebirth, and the answer to that from a "traditional Buddhist rebirth perspective" is no; there is no "plant realm."
    and there's definitely something with those trees too (which are plants) LOL.
    Nickidoodle, Lord of the Rings wasn't real, it was just a movie. :crazy:
  • Love-N-PeaceLove-N-Peace Veteran
    edited May 2010
    Oh, and I suppose Harry Potter isn't based on a true story either :rolleyes:

    All the best,
    Nickidoodle
  • edited May 2010
    Would someone be willing to provide a definition with source for "sentient" in context of traditional Buddhism? Non-traditional Buddhist definitions are welcome too, but please make it clear it is from a non-traditional source. Thanks!
  • GuyCGuyC Veteran
    edited May 2010
    Hi OneWithThrist,
    Would someone be willing to provide a definition with source for "sentient" in context of traditional Buddhism? Non-traditional Buddhist definitions are welcome too, but please make it clear it is from a non-traditional source. Thanks!

    The definition of "sentience" is simple, but defining the terms within the definition gets a bit tricky.
    n.
    • The quality or state of being sentient; consciousness.
    • Feeling as distinguished from perception or thought.
    http://www.answers.com/topic/sentience

    What is consciousness? That is not such a black and white question to answer.

    In science (as far as I know) consciousness still remains a mystery. Scientific endeavour is largely in its infancy when it comes to exploring this aspect of the mind. A common working hypothesis is that consciousness is a by-product of natural selection and has evolved in varying ways according to the needs of the creature.

    The Buddha said that consciousness is like a "magic trick".
    Form is like a glob of foam; feeling, a bubble; perception, a mirage; fabrications, a banana tree; consciousness, a magic trick — this has been taught by the Kinsman of the Sun. However you observe them, appropriately examine them, they're empty, void to whoever sees them appropriately.

    "Phena Sutta: Foam" (SN 22.95), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight, May 6, 2010, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn22/sn22.095.than.html.

    In the human realm, consciousness is limited to the range of the six senses of our body and mind (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, thought). In Buddhist cosmology there are also realms where beings have no physical form and consciousness becomes harder and harder to pin down. Having not experienced any of these states (at least not in my present life) I am not qualified to speak about them.

    Neither being a scientist nor a highly developed meditator I could be way off on everything I have said, so please take it all with a grain of salt.

    With Metta,

    Guy
  • ValtielValtiel Veteran
    edited May 2010
    Would someone be willing to provide a definition with source for "sentient" in context of traditional Buddhism?
    I shouldn't have brought up sentience. That's generally how it's translated but in truth the First Noble Truth, often cited in vegetarian debates, is "Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami." The word has its root in pana or "breath" rather than "consciousness." Still there is no "plant realm" in traditional Buddhist rebirth doctrine.
  • Love-N-PeaceLove-N-Peace Veteran
    edited May 2010
    Frankly if I had to choose between killing a plant and killing an animal, I would go all weed-wacker on the plant's ass without hesitation.

    Kill a pheasant, the pheasant dies and things live off the flesh.
    Kill a tree and where would the bird family nest? Who would take up water to minimise the chances of flooding? The hundreds of homes and all the oxygen it gives out to other living things gone.
    I'd rather kill a pheasant. But indeed I'd rather kill a tree than a dog or a person. But I can't help the inequality of mind... Which makes me out to be sort of a hypocrit!

    All the best
    Nickidoodle
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