The reason for practicing meditation and seeking to attain samadhi is to escape from the suffering of life. But in seeking to escape from suffering ourselves, why should we inflict it upon others? Unless we can control our minds, so that even the thought of brutal unkindness and killing is abhorrent, we will never be able to escape from bondage of world’s life.
After my parinirvana in the last kalpa, different kinds of ghosts will be encountered everywhere, deceiving people, and teaching that they can eat meat and still attain enlightenment.
How can one who hopes to become a deliverer of others, himself be living on the flesh of other sentient beings?
In the Dhammika Sutta, the Buddha says that ‘not to kill’ means three things:
You do not do it yourself;
you do not get others to do it;
and you do not encourage, condone, applaud, aid, and abet when others do it.
What more does one need to prove that one cannot observe this precept as long as one buys the flesh of animals slain for our consumption? What encouragement does the meat industry need from us? Except that we buy what they kill –and allow them to reap the profits they get from our purchases?
Professor Mahinda Palihawada co-authored TheDhammapada, a New English translation, with the Pali Text and the First English translation of the Commentary’s Explanation of the Verses with Notes and Critical Textual Comments, Oxford University Press.
When author and Zen priest Dan Zigmond mentions that he has written a book about the Buddha’s diet, he is often met with disbelief.“A common reaction was that Buddha must have had a terrible diet, because he looked so overweight in all of the statues that everyone sees of him,” said Zigmond, who along with Tara Cottrell co-authored the new book Buddha’s Diet: The Ancient Art of Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind. “If you go into Chinese restaurants and lots of places in the West, there are statues that show this overweight figure. But it’s a Western misunderstanding. In countries where that image comes from—mostly China and Japan—people understand that the Buddha is someone else entirely.”Zigmond, who is also a Tricycle contributing editor, and Cottrell make it a point to bring up the Buddha’s slim appearance in their book because they discovered that almost all of his beliefs about food and dieting have held up to scientific inquiry.
“I’ve always been interested in food; I like to cook, and I’m a vegetarian,” Zigmond said. In 2014, Zigmond, who is the Director of Analytics at Facebook, briefly left the tech world to work for a startup devoted to nutrition and health. “I was surrounded by people who had made food and health their whole career. One colleague shared with me a study that looked at mice that had been restricted to eating only during certain hours each day. [Eating this way] had provided some protection against all of the unhealthy consequences of a bad diet.”
Reading the study was a revelation to Zigmond—and made him recall his time living in a Buddhist monastery in Thailand more than 20 years earlier when he was volunteering at a nearby refugee camp. “The monks had similar rules about when they could eat,” Zigmond said. “Like a lot of people, I was not very happy with my diet or my state of health, so I decided to give it a try. And I really loved this way of eating.”
At the monastery, Zigmond learned that the Buddha had only one steadfast rule about eating in his teachings.
That approach to eating was consistent with the Buddha’s other philosophies. “It was a Middle Way, so that on the one hand, his followers wouldn’t be too focused on food, and on the other hand, it would allow them to sustain themselves and nurture their bodies.”