Food

The ethics–and practice–of eating
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Meat: To Eat It or Not—Lama Shabkar Paid Member

    One day as I went to refresh myselfIn the middle of a meadow,Many goats and sheep came from all sidesAnd gathered around me. Among them, an old sheep spoke:"Old monk, neither virtuous nor sinful,I have something to tell you.""Alright," I said. "Come on, tell me."He went on: "I have a great favor to requestOf the 'meritorious' lamasWho come gathering alms in summer and autumn. "The very moment a short-necked, shiny, chubby monkArrives at our village door, leading packhorses carrying a lama's red bundlesHe takes a villager with him and comes right toward us sheep. "The 'protection cord' the lama is going to give outIs for us a noose—It gets tied around the patrons' necks—And soon, by our necks, we ourselves are caught.  More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Meat: To Eat It or Not—Kate Wheeler Paid Member

    Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian; the Dalai Lama, the embodiment of compassion, eats meat by his doctors' orders. Clearly, there's more to mind than what is put into the mouth: yet, as long as food remains a fundamental part of life, these choices are a proper focus of spiritual awareness. Every bite of macaroni contains choices about culture, history, meaning—even the "Nutrition Facts" newly listed on every U.S. noodle box have resonances for us that spread as far as asceticism, sin, compassion, the place of science in our beliefs, and the importance of supporting one's own well-being along with that of others. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Meat: To Eat It or Not—Zen Master Ryokan Paid Member

    Once Ryokan was traveling with a young monk. At a certain teahouse they received food that contained fish. The young monk left the fish untouched, as is the orthodox Buddhist custom, but Ryokan gobbled it down without a moment's thought. "That food has fish in it, you know," the monk said to Ryokan. "Yes, it was delicious," Ryokan said with a smile. That evening they were put up by a farmer, and the following morning the young monk complained, "The fleas were biting like crazy, and I was up all night. But you slept like a baby. Why?" More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Meat: To Eat It or Not—Bodhin Kjolhede Paid Member

    Not long ago a Zen teacher, during the course of an introductory workshop, stated three times, vehemently, "Buddhism is not vegetarianism." He later argued that to be vegetarian is a kind of attachment. What are we to make of such assertions? First of all, let us agree that Buddhism is not vegetarianism. Neither is it "virtue," "peace," or "wisdom," or any other word or concept. To identify it with anything at all is to reduce what in essence is limitless. In fact, Buddhism isn't even Buddhism. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Meat: To Eat It or Not—Philip Glass Paid Member

    The familiar arguments in favor of a vegetarian diet are usually based on issues of either health, environment, ecology, or—from the Buddhist point of view—of compassion. Of these arguments, some are easier to dismiss than others. Take health, for example. The fact is that very few people (apart from South India where vegetarianism is part of the culture) have been able to maintain a pure vegetarian diet for any extended period of time. A vegetarian diet often results in various ailments and general weakness for even the most nutrition-conscious. It may be possible to give up red meat for long periods, making do with fish and chicken, but giving up animal products entirely invites health problems for most people. Because this is not generally admitted, people have a vague feeling of guilt about their diets. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Meat: To Eat It or Not—Gelek Rinpoche Paid Member

    We Tibetans like to eat meat. We don't care if it's healthy or not—we like it. Basically, eating meat is a negative. It's not great. In the old Tibetan practice, if you get the meat from a market and can make sure that it wasn't killed for you specifically, it's okay to eat it. I don't slaughter animals or eat animals slaughtered for me. Being a general buyer of meat is not that bad but, of course, if there's no demand, there will be no supply. I'm not going to argue with that. But it's not direct killing committed by me, for me.  More »