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Re: Hello everybody, I am new here

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  • John Pellecchia
    Dear Jeremy, First, let me welcome you to the group. Well, it s good to see some activity again on this board. I guess everyone has been involved in deep
    Message 1 of 9 , Feb 28, 2007
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      Dear Jeremy,

      First, let me welcome you to the group. Well, it's good to see some
      activity again on this board. I guess everyone has been involved in
      deep meditational practices lol.

      In answer to your questions let me see if I can clear-up some of your
      concerns.

      >First, why is it necessary to not eat meat?

      There is no prohibition against the eating of meat that I can find in
      any suttra. Much of what the Buddha taught as relayed in the sutras
      was meant specifically to the monastics (bhikkhu or monks) who were in
      His presence and not necessarily to the lay Buddhist followers. The
      Buddha strictly cautioned all of His followers, both monastic and
      laity, from taking a life; especially that of a human. This is where
      we begin to see some confusion.

      The common practice among bikkhus on their daily rounds for obtaining
      food offerings in their alms bowls is to eat whatever is offered. In
      fact the Buddha stated, "Monks, I allow you fish and meat that are
      quite pure in three respects: if they are not seen, heard or suspected
      to have been killed on purpose for a monk. But, you should not
      knowingly make use of meat killed on purpose for you." (Jivaka Sutta,
      Majjhima Nikaya 55). Some groups were permitted to eat meat that was
      at least seven days old to allow the "life force" to leave the flesh.
      In any regard, if eating meat was permitted by the Buddha for His
      disciples, I presume it is permissible for the rest of us.

      At the same time, monks were also permitted to abstain from eating
      meat placed in their alms bowls although some would consider that
      wasteful (contrary to the teaching of the Buddha). We get into the
      area of interpretation and intent -- does eating what is offered
      outweigh eating flesh? It's up to the individual to decide.

      In India at the time of the Buddha dietary restrictions were
      considered by holy men to be essential in making one "pure." The
      Nipata Sutta underlines this point when it says that it is immorality
      that makes one impure (morally and spiritually), not the eating of
      meat. The Buddha is often described as eating meat, He recommended
      meat broth as a cure for certain types of illness and advised monks
      for practical reasons, to avoid certain types of meat (see below),
      which implies that other types are quite acceptable.

      The specific types of meat which are prohibited for monks, and
      presumably for the lay-practitioner as well, from eating: human meat
      (for obvious reasons); meat from elephants and horses; dog meat; and
      meat from snakes, lions, tigers, panthers, bears and hyenas.

      >Second, i find it very hard to belief that any person can lay claim
      to knowledge about afterlife or circle of life ideas. How can any
      beliefs of this nature be held to be true?

      The concept of rebirth in Buddhism is very difficult to understand.
      Some of the groups to which I belong containing members far more
      knowledgeable than I have questioned whether it is necessary for a
      Buddhist (one who has sought Refuge) to believe in this concept. So,
      you're not alone in this regard.

      Buddhists generally do not believe in reincarnation since that
      presupposes the existence of a "soul" (ataman) or some other form of
      an "eternal self." The Buddha taught there is no "self" (anatman) that
      is eternal. This is a fundamental difference between Hinduism, the
      primary religion of India, and Buddhism. Buddhists may, however,
      believe in rebirth. The difference between the two may seem confusing
      since rebirth at first glance appears to imply the existence a soul
      but the difference is profound.

      One of the examples used to explain rebirth is the example of a
      burning candle passing its flame to an unlit candle. If you transfer
      the flame from a lighted candle to an unlit candle, the new flame is
      contingent on the old flame for its existence but they are not the
      same flame. There is continuity between the two but they are distinct.
      Reincarnation would mean that the old flame is exactly the same as the
      new flame. Rebirth recognizes there is a contiguous relationship of
      one life to the other but each is otherwise distinct.

      The Buddha taught that only those far along in their practice and
      cycle of rebirth will have knowledge of previous lives so I guess that
      leaves me out of that category (smile).

      >I guess what I am saying is that I am mostly concerned with humans and
      this life. I find it difficult to believe the nonsense. I do not
      mean that as an insult - I just do find it to be nonsense, and
      somewhat unnecessary nonsense.

      I think I understand what you are attempting to say although some
      obviously have taken exception to use of the term "nonsense" (smile).
      This will appear to be somewhat contradictory to what I wrote above
      about eating meat but the Buddha taught that all life is to be
      respected and valued. But, if we think of it, even vegetarianism is
      responsible for the taking of lives (i.e., fertilizers polluting
      streams with run-off killing aquatic life, insecticides killing
      insects, plows destroying burrowing animals in fields, etc.). I think
      it's a matter we all need to ponder. How blameful are we? Is it a
      matter of willfulness that makes the difference? Am I free of
      culpability if I do not actively participate? Just some things to
      consider. I don't know if there is an answer. This is a part of
      compassion and questioning -- concepts which Buddhists hold dear.

      I hope this answers some of your questions while raising a few others
      for you to consider.

      May all be at peace.

      John
    • ken
      Jeremy, The absence of a doctrinaire vegetarianism doesn t mean that Tibetan Buddhists are necessarily carnivores. Tibetan Buddhism doesn t condemn or rigidly
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 1 11:49 AM
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        Jeremy,

        The absence of a doctrinaire vegetarianism doesn't mean that Tibetan
        Buddhists are necessarily carnivores. Tibetan Buddhism doesn't condemn
        or rigidly prescribe any behavior at all. It merely counsels that
        actions have karmic consequences. And killing or harming another
        sentient being, even to satisfy hunger, can have such consequences. But
        everyone's always free to do what they want.

        I don't have a sense of what you mean by "animalitarian" unless it's
        supposed to be like humanitarian, just including more/all animal
        species... yes?

        "Nonsense" can and generally does have a charged, pejorative meaning,
        but it also can be and is used in a neutral sense. For example, one of
        Merleau-Ponty's collection of essays on perception was translated (from
        the French) as _Sense_and_Nonsense_. It must be one of those words
        which both the reader and writer can lend their own significance to.


        On 02/28/2007 04:39 PM somebody named Ellis Nelson wrote:
        > Tibetan Buddhists aren't vegetarians.
        >
        > It's hard to have a conversation when you start out talking about what you term 'nonsense'.
        >
        > Laura
        >
        > Jeremy <jezzur@...> wrote:
        > I have found that my own beliefs are mirrored somewhat in what I
        > understand of buddhism. There are some exceptions
        >
        > Two questions
        >
        > First, why is it necessary to not eat meat?
        >
        > Second, i find it very hard to belief that any person can lay claim to
        > knowledge about afterlife or circle of life ideas. How can any
        > beliefs of this nature be held to be true?
        >
        > I guess what I am saying is that I am mostly concerned with humans and
        > this life. I find it difficult to believe the nonsense. I do not
        > mean that as an insult - I just do find it to be nonsense, and
        > somewhat unnecessary nonsense.
        >
        > Mainly the second point I am concerned with. I could be vegetarian
        > just on animalitarian (yes I made it up) bases.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ---------------------------------
        > Never miss an email again!
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        >
        >


        --
        "Genius might be described as a supreme capacity for getting its
        possessors into trouble of all kinds."
        -- Samuel Butler
      • Ellis Nelson
        The Tibetan diet has always relied on the yak and the cultivation of barley (with Chinese occupation, movement to wheat caused mass starvation in a land that
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 1 12:08 PM
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          The Tibetan diet has always relied on the yak and the cultivation of barley (with Chinese occupation, movement to wheat caused mass starvation in a land that never knew it). When Buddhism spread from India to Tibet, it took on a Tibetan nature (as Buddhism always does in a new land). At high altitude with little abilty to cultivate other products, Tibetans retained their traditional diet as they embraced the new, practical religion. Generally, a small population of Muslims has been involved in butchering meat, leaving the Tibetan Buddhists free from the karmic implications. Most Westerners are indeed shocked by the lack of vegetarianism in old Tibet.

          I can't remember the title of a book I read, where there's an account of a western journalist who took several lamas to dinner repeatedly and they invariably chose steak houses for these meetings. He was really shocked.

          Laura



          ken <gebser@...> wrote:
          Jeremy,

          The absence of a doctrinaire vegetarianism doesn't mean that Tibetan
          Buddhists are necessarily carnivores. Tibetan Buddhism doesn't condemn
          or rigidly prescribe any behavior at all. It merely counsels that
          actions have karmic consequences. And killing or harming another
          sentient being, even to satisfy hunger, can have such consequences. But
          everyone's always free to do what they want.

          I don't have a sense of what you mean by "animalitarian" unless it's
          supposed to be like humanitarian, just including more/all animal
          species... yes?

          "Nonsense" can and generally does have a charged, pejorative meaning,
          but it also can be and is used in a neutral sense. For example, one of
          Merleau-Ponty's collection of essays on perception was translated (from
          the French) as _Sense_and_Nonsense_. It must be one of those words
          which both the reader and writer can lend their own significance to.

          On 02/28/2007 04:39 PM somebody named Ellis Nelson wrote:
          > Tibetan Buddhists aren't vegetarians.
          >
          > It's hard to have a conversation when you start out talking about what you term 'nonsense'.
          >
          > Laura
          >
          > Jeremy <jezzur@...> wrote:
          > I have found that my own beliefs are mirrored somewhat in what I
          > understand of buddhism. There are some exceptions
          >
          > Two questions
          >
          > First, why is it necessary to not eat meat?
          >
          > Second, i find it very hard to belief that any person can lay claim to
          > knowledge about afterlife or circle of life ideas. How can any
          > beliefs of this nature be held to be true?
          >
          > I guess what I am saying is that I am mostly concerned with humans and
          > this life. I find it difficult to believe the nonsense. I do not
          > mean that as an insult - I just do find it to be nonsense, and
          > somewhat unnecessary nonsense.
          >
          > Mainly the second point I am concerned with. I could be vegetarian
          > just on animalitarian (yes I made it up) bases.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ---------------------------------
          > Never miss an email again!
          > Yahoo! Toolbar alerts you the instant new Mail arrives. Check it out.
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >

          --
          "Genius might be described as a supreme capacity for getting its
          possessors into trouble of all kinds."
          -- Samuel Butler





          ---------------------------------
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        • ken
          Laura, Thanks for that information. I ll have to remember that before I go to Tibet. Meat is a very small part of my diet and some time ago used to have no
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 1 12:36 PM
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            Laura,

            Thanks for that information. I'll have to remember that before I go to
            Tibet. Meat is a very small part of my diet and some time ago used to
            have no part in my diet at all. Not being doctrinaire can make it
            somewhat easier to get along with others.

            I wouldn't think that merely avoiding the act of killing and butchering
            an animal would absolve a person of responsibility. In paying for meat
            aren't we simply hiring someone else to do the killing for us, thereby
            making us complicit in the act?


            On 03/01/2007 03:08 PM somebody named Ellis Nelson wrote:
            > The Tibetan diet has always relied on the yak and the cultivation of
            > barley (with Chinese occupation, movement to wheat caused mass
            > starvation in a land that never knew it). When Buddhism spread from
            > India to Tibet, it took on a Tibetan nature (as Buddhism always does
            > in a new land). At high altitude with little abilty to cultivate
            > other products, Tibetans retained their traditional diet as they
            > embraced the new, practical religion. Generally, a small population
            > of Muslims has been involved in butchering meat, leaving the Tibetan
            > Buddhists free from the karmic implications. Most Westerners are
            > indeed shocked by the lack of vegetarianism in old Tibet.
            >
            > I can't remember the title of a book I read, where there's an account
            > of a western journalist who took several lamas to dinner repeatedly
            > and they invariably chose steak houses for these meetings. He was
            > really shocked.
            >
            > Laura
            >
            >
            >
            > ken <gebser@...> wrote: Jeremy,
            >
            > The absence of a doctrinaire vegetarianism doesn't mean that Tibetan
            > Buddhists are necessarily carnivores. Tibetan Buddhism doesn't
            > condemn or rigidly prescribe any behavior at all. It merely counsels
            > that actions have karmic consequences. And killing or harming another
            > sentient being, even to satisfy hunger, can have such consequences.
            > But everyone's always free to do what they want.
            >
            > I don't have a sense of what you mean by "animalitarian" unless it's
            > supposed to be like humanitarian, just including more/all animal
            > species... yes?
            >
            > "Nonsense" can and generally does have a charged, pejorative meaning,
            > but it also can be and is used in a neutral sense. For example, one
            > of Merleau-Ponty's collection of essays on perception was translated
            > (from the French) as _Sense_and_Nonsense_. It must be one of those
            > words which both the reader and writer can lend their own
            > significance to.
            >
            > On 02/28/2007 04:39 PM somebody named Ellis Nelson wrote:
            >> Tibetan Buddhists aren't vegetarians.
            >>
            >> It's hard to have a conversation when you start out talking about
            >> what you term 'nonsense'.
            >>
            >> Laura
            >>
            >> Jeremy <jezzur@...> wrote: I have found that my own beliefs
            >> are mirrored somewhat in what I understand of buddhism. There are
            >> some exceptions
            >>
            >> Two questions
            >>
            >> First, why is it necessary to not eat meat?
            >>
            >> Second, i find it very hard to belief that any person can lay claim
            >> to knowledge about afterlife or circle of life ideas. How can any
            >> beliefs of this nature be held to be true?
            >>
            >> I guess what I am saying is that I am mostly concerned with humans
            >> and this life. I find it difficult to believe the nonsense. I do
            >> not mean that as an insult - I just do find it to be nonsense, and
            >> somewhat unnecessary nonsense.
            >>
            >> Mainly the second point I am concerned with. I could be vegetarian
            >> just on animalitarian (yes I made it up) bases.


            --
            "Genius might be described as a supreme capacity for getting its
            possessors into trouble of all kinds."
            -- Samuel Butler
          • Ellis Nelson
            Apparently, not in the Tibetan mind. From what I ve read about current conditions in Tibet, there is a lot of Chinese influence and the Chinese out number
            Message 5 of 9 , Mar 1 1:20 PM
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              Apparently, not in the Tibetan mind.

              From what I've read about current conditions in Tibet, there is a lot of Chinese influence and the Chinese out number Tibetans, so you should have a wide offering of Chinese food. I think that would make it fairly easy to eat vegetarian if you want to. When are you going?

              Laura



              ken <gebser@...> wrote:

              Laura,

              Thanks for that information. I'll have to remember that before I go to
              Tibet. Meat is a very small part of my diet and some time ago used to
              have no part in my diet at all. Not being doctrinaire can make it
              somewhat easier to get along with others.

              I wouldn't think that merely avoiding the act of killing and butchering
              an animal would absolve a person of responsibility. In paying for meat
              aren't we simply hiring someone else to do the killing for us, thereby
              making us complicit in the act?

              On 03/01/2007 03:08 PM somebody named Ellis Nelson wrote:
              > The Tibetan diet has always relied on the yak and the cultivation of
              > barley (with Chinese occupation, movement to wheat caused mass
              > starvation in a land that never knew it). When Buddhism spread from
              > India to Tibet, it took on a Tibetan nature (as Buddhism always does
              > in a new land). At high altitude with little abilty to cultivate
              > other products, Tibetans retained their traditional diet as they
              > embraced the new, practical religion. Generally, a small population
              > of Muslims has been involved in butchering meat, leaving the Tibetan
              > Buddhists free from the karmic implications. Most Westerners are
              > indeed shocked by the lack of vegetarianism in old Tibet.
              >
              > I can't remember the title of a book I read, where there's an account
              > of a western journalist who took several lamas to dinner repeatedly
              > and they invariably chose steak houses for these meetings. He was
              > really shocked.
              >
              > Laura
              >
              >
              >
              > ken <gebser@...> wrote: Jeremy,
              >
              > The absence of a doctrinaire vegetarianism doesn't mean that Tibetan
              > Buddhists are necessarily carnivores. Tibetan Buddhism doesn't
              > condemn or rigidly prescribe any behavior at all. It merely counsels
              > that actions have karmic consequences. And killing or harming another
              > sentient being, even to satisfy hunger, can have such consequences.
              > But everyone's always free to do what they want.
              >
              > I don't have a sense of what you mean by "animalitarian" unless it's
              > supposed to be like humanitarian, just including more/all animal
              > species... yes?
              >
              > "Nonsense" can and generally does have a charged, pejorative meaning,
              > but it also can be and is used in a neutral sense. For example, one
              > of Merleau-Ponty's collection of essays on perception was translated
              > (from the French) as _Sense_and_Nonsense_. It must be one of those
              > words which both the reader and writer can lend their own
              > significance to.
              >
              > On 02/28/2007 04:39 PM somebody named Ellis Nelson wrote:
              >> Tibetan Buddhists aren't vegetarians.
              >>
              >> It's hard to have a conversation when you start out talking about
              >> what you term 'nonsense'.
              >>
              >> Laura
              >>
              >> Jeremy <jezzur@...> wrote: I have found that my own beliefs
              >> are mirrored somewhat in what I understand of buddhism. There are
              >> some exceptions
              >>
              >> Two questions
              >>
              >> First, why is it necessary to not eat meat?
              >>
              >> Second, i find it very hard to belief that any person can lay claim
              >> to knowledge about afterlife or circle of life ideas. How can any
              >> beliefs of this nature be held to be true?
              >>
              >> I guess what I am saying is that I am mostly concerned with humans
              >> and this life. I find it difficult to believe the nonsense. I do
              >> not mean that as an insult - I just do find it to be nonsense, and
              >> somewhat unnecessary nonsense.
              >>
              >> Mainly the second point I am concerned with. I could be vegetarian
              >> just on animalitarian (yes I made it up) bases.

              --
              "Genius might be described as a supreme capacity for getting its
              possessors into trouble of all kinds."
              -- Samuel Butler





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            • Yun Xing
              Vegetarianism is more of the Chinese Buddhist tradition. Yun Xing 净心园 Jing Xin Yuan www.jingxinyuan.com http://www.freewebs.com/yunxingpai/index.htm ...
              Message 6 of 9 , Mar 1 3:22 PM
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                Vegetarianism is more of the Chinese Buddhist tradition.

                Yun Xing

                净心园
                Jing Xin Yuan

                www.jingxinyuan.com
                http://www.freewebs.com/yunxingpai/index.htm





                ----- Original Message ----
                From: ken <gebser@...>
                To: Buddhism_101@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Friday, March 2, 2007 3:49:13 AM
                Subject: Re: [Buddhism_101] Hello everybody, I am new here













                Jeremy,



                The absence of a doctrinaire vegetarianism doesn't mean that Tibetan

                Buddhists are necessarily carnivores. Tibetan Buddhism doesn't condemn

                or rigidly prescribe any behavior at all. It merely counsels that

                actions have karmic consequences. And killing or harming another

                sentient being, even to satisfy hunger, can have such consequences. But

                everyone's always free to do what they want.



                I don't have a sense of what you mean by "animalitarian" unless it's

                supposed to be like humanitarian, just including more/all animal

                species... yes?



                "Nonsense" can and generally does have a charged, pejorative meaning,

                but it also can be and is used in a neutral sense. For example, one of

                Merleau-Ponty' s collection of essays on perception was translated (from

                the French) as _Sense_and_Nonsense _. It must be one of those words

                which both the reader and writer can lend their own significance to.



                On 02/28/2007 04:39 PM somebody named Ellis Nelson wrote:

                > Tibetan Buddhists aren't vegetarians.

                >

                > It's hard to have a conversation when you start out talking about what you term 'nonsense'.

                >

                > Laura

                >

                > Jeremy <jezzur@yahoo. com> wrote:

                > I have found that my own beliefs are mirrored somewhat in what I

                > understand of buddhism. There are some exceptions

                >

                > Two questions

                >

                > First, why is it necessary to not eat meat?

                >

                > Second, i find it very hard to belief that any person can lay claim to

                > knowledge about afterlife or circle of life ideas. How can any

                > beliefs of this nature be held to be true?

                >

                > I guess what I am saying is that I am mostly concerned with humans and

                > this life. I find it difficult to believe the nonsense. I do not

                > mean that as an insult - I just do find it to be nonsense, and

                > somewhat unnecessary nonsense.

                >

                > Mainly the second point I am concerned with. I could be vegetarian

                > just on animalitarian (yes I made it up) bases.

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                > ------------ --------- --------- ---

                > Never miss an email again!

                > Yahoo! Toolbar alerts you the instant new Mail arrives. Check it out.

                >

                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                >

                >

                >

                >

                >

                > Yahoo! Groups Links

                >

                >

                >



                --

                "Genius might be described as a supreme capacity for getting its

                possessors into trouble of all kinds."

                -- Samuel Butler












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