chan and vegetarian

chan and vegetarian

Postby Arabic Buddhist » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:53 am

hello dharma friends

When I pracrice chan do i have to be vegetarian ?
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Re: chan and vegetarian

Postby yan kong » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:08 am

You don't have to, but it is encouraged.
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Re: chan and vegetarian

Postby Indrajala » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:28 am

If you take bodhisattva precepts based on the Brahma Net Sūtra, then you swear yourself to vegetarianism as per the lesser precept against meat eating.
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Re: chan and vegetarian

Postby Arabic Buddhist » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:45 am

Thank you very much for your replys

Do I can Attain enlightenment without take bodhisattva precepts ? Or i have to take bodhisattva precepts to attain enlightenment ?
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Re: chan and vegetarian

Postby Huifeng » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:49 am

Arabic Buddhist wrote:hello dharma friends

When I pracrice chan do i have to be vegetarian ?


You don't have to, but it is a good practice, nonetheless.

Arabic Buddhist wrote:Do I can Attain enlightenment without take bodhisattva precepts ? Or i have to take bodhisattva precepts to attain enlightenment ?


You do need the core of the bodhisattva precepts, the aspiration to attain full awakening for the sake of all sentient beings. This is known as "bodhi-citta", the aspiration for awakening.

~~ Huifeng
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Re: chan and vegetarian

Postby Arabic Buddhist » Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:00 am

Huifeng wrote:
Arabic Buddhist wrote:hello dharma friends

When I pracrice chan do i have to be vegetarian ?


You don't have to, but it is a good practice, nonetheless.

Arabic Buddhist wrote:Do I can Attain enlightenment without take bodhisattva precepts ? Or i have to take bodhisattva precepts to attain enlightenment ?


You do need the core of the bodhisattva precepts, the aspiration to attain full awakening for the sake of all sentient beings. This is known as "bodhi-citta", the aspiration for awakening.

~~ Huifeng


thank you very much
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Re: chan and vegetarian

Postby plwk » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:37 pm

When I pracrice chan do i have to be vegetarian ?
Firstly, here's the late Ven Master Dr Sheng Yen's related opinion...
Orthodox Chinese Buddhism, Page 73: 3.9 If One Has Faith In Buddhism, Does One Need To Be A Vegetarian? More from him 1 2 3

Secondly, from the Great Master Xing Yun, on one lay woman's situation...as a holder of Bodhisattva Vows here and a related article

Thirdly, from my own experience over the years, it depends on the Chán temple / organisation that you join and their interpretation & practice.
Some would expect a strict vegetarian observance from one immediately after taking Refuge and the lay 5 Precepts, way before one even wants to consider taking the formal Bodhisattva Vows, whilst others would promote a gradual path of understanding and practice of vegetarianism. So, it pays to check carefully with the temple / organisation as to what are the specs. Chinese vegetarianism has two strands as known to myself: one that abstains from egg and dairy products and one that makes an allowance for it but in both instances, the five pungent plants are abstained from.

Fourthly, the kind of Bodhisattva Precepts/Vows available in East Asian Buddhism, of which Chán is part of it, is available from the most extensive to least extensive versions. You can find sample discussions on it here: 1 2 3 and another sample of a less extensive Bodhisattva Vows text not mentioned in those links
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Re: chan and vegetarian

Postby Indrajala » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:41 pm

There is the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra which states a bodhisattva should not eat meat. The sixteenth chapter explains it all.

http://www.fodian.net/world/671_16.html
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Re: chan and vegetarian

Postby Jainarayan » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:13 pm

Indrajala wrote:There is the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra which states a bodhisattva should not eat meat. The sixteenth chapter explains it all.

http://www.fodian.net/world/671_16.html


I read the link to the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra, and it is clear. Now, I know this thread is about Chán / Zen in particular, but the mention of bodhisattvas not eating meat is something I've been thinking about. I'm not a Tibetan practitioner (I've discovered Pure Land of Amitābha), but I very much like and respect HHDL, and have his picture on my altar. He is said to be the incarnation or embodiment of Avalokitesvara. Yet HH is known to eat meat on occasion. In fact, he once said at a White House dinner (maybe this is apocryphal?), when offered a vegetarian meal, something to the effect "I am a Buddhist monk, not a vegetarian". I am certainly not calling HH out but I am wondering how we reconcile this. Maybe it has something to do with the world we live in, and that even the bodhisattvas have "work to do" to avoid this? If this post is better suited to its own thread, that's fine.
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Re: chan and vegetarian

Postby plwk » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:33 pm

Jai, the Lankavatara is an interesting text of what is known to some as layered by later additions or accretions as purported by scholars.
Read this sample excerpt, page 20 and here too. Besides, DW also has the Great Vegetarian thread, I doubt I want to rehash all of that in here.

And on HHDL, I doubt if everyone in the Buddhist world views him as Avalokitesvara but if anyone does, it remains a personal opinion of certain groups or individuals. What I do know as per HHDL himself claimed was that he's just a 'simple monk'. And by the way, the Karmapa too is viewed as Avalokitesvara by the Kagyupas... hope you have room on the altar space for him too lol. In the Chinese Mahayana Tradition, they oft speak about everyone being an extension of Avalokitesvara's Thousand Arms (to reach out) and Eyes to (watch over all).

:focus:
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Re: chan and vegetarian

Postby Jainarayan » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:44 pm

plwk wrote:Jai, the Lankavatara is an interesting text of what is known to some as layered by later additions or accretions as purported by scholars.
Read this sample excerpt, page 20 and here too.

And on HHDL, I doubt if everyone in the Buddhist world views him as Avalokitesvara but if anyone does, it remains a personal opinion of certain groups or individuals. What I do know as per HHDL himself claimed was that he's just a 'simple monk'. And by the way, the Karmapa too is viewed as Avalokitesvara by the Kagyupas... hope you have room on the altar space for him too lol. In the Chinese Mahayana Tradition, they oft speak about everyone being an extension of Avalokitesvara's Thousand Arms (to reach out) and Eyes to (watch over all).

:focus:


Great, thanks plwk. I learned some things, which clarified it for me. :namaste: I do realize not everyone holds HHDL in the same regard. It's true I guess it is a matter of his follwers and devotees opinions. I just happen to like him personally, and being devoted to Amitabha and Avalokitesvara, well, you can see the connection (I think :mrgreen: ). I really don't know anything about HHGK or Kagyupa.

Yes, :focus: :smile:
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Re: chan and vegetarian

Postby Huifeng » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:36 am

While the Lankavatara does make the case for vegetarianism, I would say that the same position outlined in the Surangama sutra has probably had as much influence, if not more, on the Chan lineage vegetarian stance. If simply hasn't got as much attention in English language takes, because of the back-to-the-source, ie. supposedly the Lankavatara, of Western approaches to Buddhology, which also thus deems the Surangama a Chinese apocryphal text.

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Re: chan and vegetarian

Postby matthewmartin » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:38 am

Jainarayan wrote:Yet HH is known to eat meat on occasion. In fact, he once said at a White House dinner (maybe this is apocryphal?), when offered a vegetarian meal, something to the effect "I am a Buddhist monk, not a vegetarian".


That story doesn't sound right. I don't know what the real story was, but if he was at a US fancy state dinner, 99% chance it was not vegetarian-- I live in DC and I know that there is only 1 fancy sometimes vegetarian restaurant here, the high-end/white-house type chefs here have no interest what soever in veg*nism--, Now if someone would have asked if a fancy meal of pork, chicken and beef offended him, he would have graciously said that quote and that would make sense. He is vegetarian for 50% of the time. So if people want to use HHDL as their excuse for not being vegetarian, then they should be vegetarian 1/2 of the year. Or decide on some other criteria unrelated to HHDL-- maybe an honest meditation on the suffering of animals, which would be a better ground for morality anyhow.

As for me, I specifically shifted my readings toward chan & away from zen after I finally worked out which schools take veg*nism seriously and which avail themselves of the reasons to ignore the rule. Japanese zen appears to allow non-vegetarian monks on account of an Imperial court that was hostile to Buddhism as an institution. That sort of reform doesn't give me much confidence in its appropriateness on Buddhist grounds.

So as to not sound so negative though, everyone should feel welcome to start where they are. No one becomes an exemplar of virtue on the first day, omnivores and so on.
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Re: chan and vegetarian

Postby Indrajala » Thu Nov 07, 2013 6:56 am

Generally speaking, Chan monks through the Tang to modern times presumably followed vegetarianism for the most part, just as any other monk would have done. It was socially unacceptable for monks to eat meat and still is in the Chinese world. If you're in robes and you go eat meat in public, people could get visibly upset.

Some elements in the Song Dynasty covertly ate meat and drank alcohol, calling the substances something different to comically avoid breaking their precepts, though this was the exception probably rather than the rule.

As a layperson, you have the option of vegetarianism unless you take a certain set of bodhisattva precepts which expressly forbid the consumption of meat.

Provided it is done reasonably, vegetarianism is good for your health anyway and better for the environment. Modern Chan organizations say the same thing. It is part of their basic platform of teachings.
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Re: chan and vegetarian

Postby Jainarayan » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:35 pm

Well, I did say it was possibly apocryphal, but here is the story:

http://www.humanewatch.org/im-a-tibetan ... egetarian/

Another episode from the Dalai Lama's life that HSUS might want to promote is what happened during his first official banquet at France's Elysee presidential palace, in 1998. Agence France Press reported:

At a meeting with a small group of reporters — during which he partook only of a glass of warm water served up with ceremony in a luxury Paris hotel — the Dalai Lama recounted how his views on vegetarian cooking had somewhat upset protocol the previous day.

"They started serving me vegetarian," he said. "So then I'm compelled to make clear I'm not vegetarian."

"I'm a Tibetan monk, not a vegetarian," he laughed, saying he ate vegetarian food only on alternate days.

As for the meal, he said he preferred the cheap fare served up in small restaurants.

He also recalled that when he had tried to be a strict vegetarian he had, on the advice of Indian friends, tried eating only milk and nuts, which gave him jaundice.

"All my body became yellow, then truly I became the living Buddha."


matthewmartin wrote:
Jainarayan wrote:Yet HH is known to eat meat on occasion. In fact, he once said at a White House dinner (maybe this is apocryphal?), when offered a vegetarian meal, something to the effect "I am a Buddhist monk, not a vegetarian".


That story doesn't sound right. I don't know what the real story was, but if he was at a US fancy state dinner, 99% chance it was not vegetarian-- I live in DC and I know that there is only 1 fancy sometimes vegetarian restaurant here, the high-end/white-house type chefs here have no interest what soever in veg*nism--, Now if someone would have asked if a fancy meal of pork, chicken and beef offended him, he would have graciously said that quote and that would make sense. He is vegetarian for 50% of the time. So if people want to use HHDL as their excuse for not being vegetarian, then they should be vegetarian 1/2 of the year. Or decide on some other criteria unrelated to HHDL-- maybe an honest meditation on the suffering of animals, which would be a better ground for morality anyhow.

As for me, I specifically shifted my readings toward chan & away from zen after I finally worked out which schools take veg*nism seriously and which avail themselves of the reasons to ignore the rule. Japanese zen appears to allow non-vegetarian monks on account of an Imperial court that was hostile to Buddhism as an institution. That sort of reform doesn't give me much confidence in its appropriateness on Buddhist grounds.

So as to not sound so negative though, everyone should feel welcome to start where they are. No one becomes an exemplar of virtue on the first day, omnivores and so on.
Worthy, wise and virtuous: Who is energetic and not indolent, in misfortune unshaken,
flawless in manner and intelligent, such one will honor gain. - Digha Nikaya III 273
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Re: chan and vegetarian

Postby Arabic Buddhist » Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:56 pm

Indrajala wrote:Generally speaking, Chan monks through the Tang to modern times presumably followed vegetarianism for the most part, just as any other monk would have done. It was socially unacceptable for monks to eat meat and still is in the Chinese world. If you're in robes and you go eat meat in public, people could get visibly upset.

Some elements in the Song Dynasty covertly ate meat and drank alcohol, calling the substances something different to comically avoid breaking their precepts, though this was the exception probably rather than the rule.

As a layperson, you have the option of vegetarianism unless you take a certain set of bodhisattva precepts which expressly forbid the consumption of meat.

Provided it is done reasonably, vegetarianism is good for your health anyway and better for the environment. Modern Chan organizations say the same thing. It is part of their basic platform of teachings.


Great answer
Thank you very much
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