Is breatharians / going without any food a form of extreme asceticism?

A forum for discussion of Buddhist ethics.
Simon E.
Posts: 7434
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Is breatharians / going without any food a form of extreme asceticism?

Post by Simon E. » Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:20 pm

And those cosmologies do not feature in my practice at all. Neither have they featured in any teaching I have received from any teacher down the decades. My root teacher was quite frank about dumping the whole lot and saw the emergence of Buddhadharma in the west as just the opportunity to do just that.
Like many I have no desire to swap one medieval cosmology for another more exotic one.

See “ Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism”.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

User avatar
Vasana
Posts: 2082
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:22 am

Re: Is breatharians / going without any food a form of extreme asceticism?

Post by Vasana » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:14 am

Simon E. wrote:
Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:20 pm
And those cosmologies do not feature in my practice at all. Neither have they featured in any teaching I have received from any teacher down the decades. My root teacher was quite frank about dumping the whole lot and saw the emergence of Buddhadharma in the west as just the opportunity to do just that.
Like many I have no desire to swap one medieval cosmology for another more exotic one.

See “ Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism”.
They don't feature in my practice either but there may be some for who they have at least some provisional importance.
I once attended a teaching from a Sakya Lama, Jampa Thaye, on reconciling Buddhist cosmology and modern science. There were some interesting points about the intended soteriological value of the cosmological teachings and our tendency to reject that form of pedagogy based upon modern scientific principles. There's a middle ground and this might be useful in particular to those who are trying to reconcile the two or people across Asia today who may still be taught the old models and find them silly in contrast to modern scientific findings.
In regard to such teachings as those concerning the inconceivable arrangement of the sambhogakaya fields, these are difficult to imagine even for scientists with conceptual analysis.

That there is no Mount Meru, and that the Earth orbits the sun and so forth, is not at all the same as the traditional presentations of the three realms; yet in general, between Buddhists practising to attaining buddhahood, and in particular, those on the profound path of complete and perfect enlightenment, and most especially, the noble vajrayana, there is not even a sesame seed of contradiction.

...


One reason for feeling that I should write down these rough thoughts and views on the nature of the sun’s orbit and lunar eclipses concerns the many young Tibetans who grew up in places like Nepal, and Buddhist students in other countries who place no emphasis on accumulating and purifying, and do not ask about or study these matters. Contemporary theories and sciences have swelled like a wave, and between the earlier and contemporary theories there are differences such as those concerning the nature of the skies and earth, particularly at this time. Thus through the unerring four kinds of reliance, may all young people choose the unmistaken excellent path of abiding happiness, and the door to the peace of good circumstances.
Telescope of Faith
An expression of views on Mount Meru; solar and lunar eclipses and so forth - Lama Karma Thinley Rinpoche

http://www.karmathinleyrinpoche.com/201 ... opeEn.html
ཨོཾ ་ མ ་ ཎི ་ པ ་ དྨེ ་ ཧཱུྃ ། འ ་ ཨ ་ ཧ ་ ཤ ་ ས ་ མ །
Om Mani Peme Hum ། 'A Ah Ha Sha Sa Ma
'When alone, watch your mind,When with others, watch your speech' - Old Kadampa saying

Simon E.
Posts: 7434
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:09 am

Re: Is breatharians / going without any food a form of extreme asceticism?oG

Post by Simon E. » Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:57 am

To be clear, I am not on a mission. If others find that an acceptance of ancient cosmologies aids their practice of Dharma then who am I to question that?
My own view is that such cosmologies are not rivals to the ontological views of science. They are of a different order of reality and have a different purpose.
“The difference between us and Tara is that she knows she doesn’t exist”.

Robert1234
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:22 pm

Re: Is breatharians / going without any food a form of extreme asceticism?

Post by Robert1234 » Sun Mar 01, 2020 7:41 am

The point about the quote I posted, which happened to also talk about the cosmology/creation of the universe/planet earth was not the point of the post. That post had nothing to do with the cosmology of Theravada Buddhism. The post was meant to connect the concepts of how food creates a coarse experience of one's physical body as well as dulling one's subtle body, with the concepts of similar findings and claims found in spiritual traditions in which the realization of the breatharian state is central and a natural outcome of spiritual practices. And BTW for the sectarian people in this forum, these outcome are also partially found in Vajrayana.

If we can get out our fondamentalism and work through whatever we feel bothered or threatened by in other forms of Buddhism or other paths maybe we can learn something from each other's paths and go back to the point of this post--breatharianism.

User avatar
Ayu
Global Moderator
Posts: 7730
Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:25 am
Location: Europe

Re: Is breatharians / going without any food a form of extreme asceticism?

Post by Ayu » Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:25 am

Because in many cases breatharianism proved to be a life endangering practice, it is quite creepy that it is discussed here as if it was a regular practice.

https://www.lightdocumentary.com/breatharian-death.html
In The Beginning There Was Light" is very open and interested in the concept of "Breatharianism", "Bigu", "Inedia" or however you may call it. But it also shows openly the obvious dangers of renouncing from eating and drinking for prolonged times. We see the tragic cases of people who died during the 21-day-process and we hear warnings not only by doctors but also by "Breatharians" from different traditions who clearly tell us, you should NOT try this just because you heard or read about the possibilty. If you do it out of "spiritual ambition" it can severely harm the body. The ability to live without food seems to be a side effect of a certain kind of state. This is pointed out in "Light" by a lot of protagonists from different backgrounds. So my film clearly is not propaganda for breatharianism.
For the sake of protection of our many silent readers who trust in the validity of the topics at DW I'll finish the discussion at this point.
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:

Locked

Return to “Ethical Conduct”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Caoimhghín, Kim O'Hara, KiwiNFLFan, smcj and 13 guests