Food

The ethics–and practice–of eating
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    Just the Right Amount Paid Member

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    Mindful Eating Paid Member

    Watermelon, in 2 Pieces; 2007; archival pigment prints; 14 x 18 inches "THE BUDDHA TAUGHT one thing, and one thing only, suffering and the end of suffering.” I heard Maha Gosananda repeat this phrase over and over to a gathering of Western Buddhist teachers. How ironic that in America, land of plenty, so many people struggle with food, suffering tremendous emotional distress, guilt, shame, and even premature death. Does Buddhism have anything to offer to relieve this kind of suffering? The facts are startling. Doctors predict that children born in 2000 have a 30 to 40 percent risk of Type 2 diabetes and may live shorter lives than their parents as a result More »
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    Thought for Food Paid Member

    WHEN WE SIT down to eat in our monastery, we try to be conscious of several things. We eat in silence because this way you can concentrate on the food and practice awareness. Then we eat everything on the plate. This is our way of honoring the conservation of resources. We also try to make sure that the conservation of resources takes place before the food even reaches our plate: the portions we receive aren’t too large, and this way it isn’t difficult to eat all that’s been given to us. We also remember the preparation of the food—the work of the cooks and the cleaners and those who picked the vegetables and processed the food. We don’t choose what we eat at the monastery. We’re not in the monastery to become gourmets. More »
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    Eating Time Paid Member

    All beings are dependent on food, that is, eating. There is food for the body, food for feeling, food for volitional action, and food for rebirth. The Buddha cried when he saw this endless cycle: the fly comes and eats the flower; the frog comes and eats the fly; the snake comes and eats the frog; the bird comes and eats the snake. The tiger comes and eats the bird; the hunter comes and kills the tiger. The tiger's body becomes swollen; many flies come and eat the tiger's corpse. The flies lay eggs, and the eggs become more flies. The flies eat the flowers, and the frogs eat the flies. . . . In Buddhist stories there is a big giant with many mouths and many teeth. This giant eats everything. This giant is Time. If you can eat Time, you can gain Nirvana. You can eat Time by being here and now, by living in the moment. Then Time cannot eat you. Time is the eater. More »
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    Ten Thousand Cups of Tea Paid Member

    When I traveled through Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, and Nepal, I spent many hours in tea shops. To order in any of these countries, I needed to know only one word: chai. Few other words are shared in languages as diverse as Turkish, Urdu, Parsi, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Tamil, Hindi, Newari, and Nepali. On a typical day I easily drank six cups of tea. Once I made some calculations: If I drank six cups a day, in a month I would consume 180 cups of tea. After a year the total would be 2,190 cups. Then, if I considered the five years I lived with Tibetan refugees in India, I had drunk a grand total of 10,950 cups of tea. More »
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    Instructions for the Tenzo Paid Member

    ZEN MONASTERIES have traditionally had six officers who are all Buddha's disciples and all share buddha activities. Among them, the tenzo is responsible for preparing meals for the monks. Regulations for Zen Monasteries states, "In order to make reverential offerings to monks, there is a position called tenzo." Since ancient times this position has been held by accomplished monks who have way-seeking mind, or by senior disciples with an aspiration for enlightenment. This is so because the position requires wholehearted practice. Those without way-seeking mind will not have good results, in spite of their efforts... More »