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03.06.10 : Valuable in Relation | Can't They Imagine Them Being Killed? | The Supreme Excellence of Amitabha Buddha's Pure Land

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  • NamoAmituofo
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    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 3, 2010
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      The Daily Enlightenment
       Quote: Valuable in Relation

      Everything is valuable only in relation to something else - 
      even one's Buddhahood - 
      which is due to Bodhicitta for everyone else.


       Support An Important Cause
       Realisation: Can't They Imagine Them Being Killed?

      The practice of vegetarianism needs not be all or nothing. 
      Some mindful reduction of meat consumption 
      is better than total mindless meat consumption.

      While setting up an educational exhibition, I chatted with a visitor who read the boards I was putting up about Buddhist perspectives on vegetarianism. She remarked that though she offers only vegetarian food, she is uncomfortable that some Theravada monks eat meat. (There is an increase of them who eat less meat these days though, due to greater awareness of the suffering of animals in exploitative farm factories.) I replied that according to their precepts, the only meat they are permitted to eat are from animals not (1) seen, (2) heard or (3) suspected to be killed for them, as received from random alms. She asks, 'Can't they imagine them being killed?' 

      That was a very interesting question. Being able to vividly imagine an animal being killed to be one's meat with visual and sound effects is different from really seeing, hearing (of) or suspecting an animal to be killed specifically for oneself (by another). However, the capacity and willingness to imagine or witness the suffering of animals (meat.org) is indeed able to help one nurture empathy and compassion for their often forgotten yet ongoing plight. Though alms-seeking monastics should not be choosy about the food they receive, they have the moral authority to suggest a kinder diet that laypeople can choose for themselves, which in turn shapes the food offered to them.

      While not seeing, hearing or suspecting animals to be killed for one qualifies blameless meat, to consume animals seen, heard and/or suspected to be killed for one is to subtly endorse or even demand killing. Even if one does not see, hear or suspect animals to be killed for one's meat, they did die. The easiest way to remove oneself from the list of usual suspects for whom they die for is to refrain from eating them. On a side note, a meat-eater once 'mocked' that when eating mock meat, one will 'suspect' it to be meat. Well, most who eat, say, mock fishballs, don't imagine them to be from fish, and none were killed for them. Such fishballs mock the greed for real ones! - Shen Shi'an

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      Invisible Conveyor Belt of Meat & Murder (Is Supermarket Meat 'Pure'?) 
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      May monastics urge the kindest food for the laity. 
      May the laity offer the kindest food to monastics.

      - Stonepeace

      Share Articles & Comments: comment@... | More Realisations
       Excerpt: The Supreme Excellence of Amitabha Buddha's Pure Land

      It is perfectly natural that all Buddhas will create Pure Lands.
      It is perfectly natural that all Buddhas will recommend the best.


      [Teachings from Machik Labdron (11th century Tibetan Buddhist yogini, emanation of Yeshe Tsogyel)]: … the Protector Amitabha Buddha [Amituofo] has promised that one may take birth in his pure realm [Pure Land] due to the power of his prayers [based on compassion and merits]. Thus, you should strive with your body, speech, and mind in prayer [e.g. by mindfulness of his name ‘Amituofo’] to be born in the realm of Sukhavati [Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss]. Ridding yourself of doubt [by cultivating faith], uncertainty, and spiritual sloth, with great and swift certainty and enthusiasm bring to mind the splendor and benefits of Sukhavati [as learnt from the Pure Land sutras], and pray. Sukhavati is superior to the realms of other Buddhas in these ways: it is greater because it is possible for ordinary individuals with mental afflictions to be born there. And if you take birth there, all that you wish for is accomplished as soon as you think of it; you are not tainted by even subtle mental afflictions; and you may go from there to the realms of other Buddhas [e.g. their Pure Lands]. Thus, it is superior. Sukhavati is endowed with inconceivable benefits, including the swifter attainment of Buddhahood there than in other pure realms. There is no pure realm within closer reach than Sukhavati, so it is extremely important to strive in prayer to be reborn there. [Sukhavati is also specially praised by all Buddhas.] …

      For individuals with mental afflictions, there is a loophole that can enable them to take birth in a Buddha realm. The Protector Amitabha promised that one may take birth in his pure realm due to the power of his prayers [coupled with one’s practice]. Thus, with your body, speech, and mind focus on this goal; it is good to offer prayers from the sutras [e.g. Amitabha Sutra] and hidden treasure teachings [tantras] to be reborn in Sukhavati. Many such prayers are found in each of the four orders of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as the Chinese Buddhist tradition. Like prepared food and drink, they are ready to be eaten and drunk…

      If we look to the Buddhas, pandits, siddhas and yogis of India, China and Tibet, we find that they all have engaged in a gradual practice of Dharma, by finding and maintaining their own appropriate level of practice. The Buddha taught 84,000 collections of teachings, but he did not say that we should each try to practice them all. Rather, in this vast ocean of teaching, we need to determine what is appropriate for ourselves. We need to seek out which aspect, when put into practice, really alleviates our mental afflictions. The moment you take birth in the pure realm of Sukhavati, you can instantaneously visit any other Buddha realm. Once there, you can listen to Dharma as well as engage in the practice of Dharma in other pure realms. Then you can travel back home to Sukhavati and resume your practice there [after which, you can manifest in Samsara to help liberate other beings]...Continues here: The Importance & Urgency of Pure Land Practice

      Related Course:

      [PKS] From 3/7: Introduction to Pure Land Buddhism (5th Run): 
      Understanding Amituofo Via the Amitabha Sutra (by Shen Shi'an)

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      By Karma Chagme, Commentary by Gyatrul Rinpoche, Translated by B. Alan Wallace
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