Beginning

General forum on the teachings of all schools of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Topics specific to one school are best posted in the appropriate sub-forum.
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Mila
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Beginning

Post by Mila » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:15 am

Hello,


I have been meditating for almost a decade and during this time have slowly went from being a loose spiritual-type to someone that firmly believes in the Buddha's teachings.

I have trained my thoughts but have not properly trained my body during this time. I have been a gym-rat and have used supplements to give me that extra edge in the gym and have become an addict in a sense for obtaining that extra edge, both in and out of the gym.


I am at a point where I no longer want to be so dependent on substances for the diminishing returns are quite obvious to me but I still have been clinging to that lifestyle even with my dissatisfaction with that lifestyle.

During this time I have practiced meditation both on substances and off. Every morning I start my day with meditation and I'm always sober for that session so that has been the only consistent "true" Buddhist practice imo, if I were to quantify meditation sessions in such a way.

I have read a few sutra translations. The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines, translated by Edward Conze being my primary source of reading. I've read this sutra quite a few times and I think intellectually grok the concepts to where I truly believe all charms are neither produced nor stopped, but firmly established is this Dharmahood of Dharmas.

My point is I think I am firmly established where I am and that nothing I have done up to this point has been in vain though I don't think I've been a pure Buddhist.

I'm now at a point though where I'd like to purify my practice. I have a few questions but not much time at the moment. I'd like to get this post out and revisit it later.


My first question is, as a pure practitioner, how should one consume food?

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Astus
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Re: Beginning

Post by Astus » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:48 am

Mila wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:15 am
as a pure practitioner, how should one consume food?
"And how is physical food to be regarded? Suppose a couple, husband & wife, taking meager provisions, were to travel through a desert. With them would be their only baby son, dear & appealing. Then the meager provisions of the couple going through the desert would be used up & depleted while there was still a stretch of the desert yet to be crossed. The thought would occur to them, 'Our meager provisions are used up & depleted while there is still a stretch of this desert yet to be crossed. What if we were to kill this only baby son of ours, dear & appealing, and make dried meat & jerky. That way — chewing on the flesh of our son — at least the two of us would make it through this desert. Otherwise, all three of us would perish.' So they would kill their only baby son, loved & endearing, and make dried meat & jerky. Chewing on the flesh of their son, they would make it through the desert. While eating the flesh of their only son, they would beat their breasts, [crying,] 'Where have you gone, our only baby son? Where have you gone, our only baby son?' Now what do you think, monks: Would that couple eat that food playfully or for intoxication, or for putting on bulk, or for beautification?"
"No, lord."
"Wouldn't they eat that food simply for the sake of making it through that desert?"
"Yes, lord."
"In the same way, I tell you, is the nutriment of physical food to be regarded. When physical food is comprehended, passion for the five strings of sensuality is comprehended. When passion for the five strings of sensuality is comprehended, there is no fetter bound by which a disciple of the noble ones would come back again to this world."

(Puttamansa Sutta; see also: The Four Nutriments of Life)

"O Subhūti, if you are able to be universally same about eating, then the dharmas are also universally same; if the dharmas are universally same, you should also be universally same about eating. If you can practice begging like this, you may accept the food.
If, Subhūti, you refrain from eradicating licentiousness, anger, and stupidity, yet are not equipped with them; if you do not destroy the body, yet accord with the single characteristic; if you do not extinguish stupidity and affection, yet generate wisdom and emancipation; if you use the characteristics of the five transgressions to attain emancipation, without either emancipation or bondage; if you do not perceive the four noble truths, yet do not fail to perceive the truths; neither attaining the results [of becoming a streamenterer (srotāpanna), and so on,] nor not attaining the results; neither being an ordinary [unenlightened] person nor transcending the state (lit., “dharma”) of ordinary person; neither being a sage nor not being a sage; accomplishing all the dharmas yet transcending the characteristics of the dharmas — then you can accept this food.
Subhūti, you should only accept this food if you can neither see the Buddha nor hear the Dharma, nor the six teachers of heterodox paths— Pūraṇa Kāśyapa, Maskarin Gośālīputra, Saṃjayin Vairaṭīputra, Ajita Keśakambala, Kakuda Kātyāyana, and Nirgrantha Jñātiputra, who were your teachers, following whom you left home, [so that] at the defeat of those teachers you were also defeated—then you can accept this food.
If, Subhūti, you can enter into the heterodox views and not reach the other shore; abide in the eight difficulties and not attain the absence of difficulty; identify with the afflictions and transcend the pure dharmas; attain the samādhi of noncontention; if all sentient beings generate this concentration; if the donors do not name you their field of blessings; if those making offerings to you fall into the three evil destinations; if you join hands with the host of Māras and make them your co-workers; if you do not differentiate yourself from the host of Māras and the sensory troubles; if you bear resentment toward all sentient beings; if you revile the Buddha, denigrate the Dharma, and do not enter the Sangha; and if you never attain extinction— if you are like this then you can accept the food."

(Vimalakirti Sutra, ch 3, BDK ed, p 88-89)
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

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Grigoris
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Re: Beginning

Post by Grigoris » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:56 am

Dear Mila,

There is no such thing as a pure Buddhist, if we were pure we would be Arhats and Buddhas, not Buddhists.

So, no use beating up on yourself. Just try to do your best. One step at a time.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

PeterC
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Re: Beginning

Post by PeterC » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:39 am

Mila wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:15 am
My first question is, as a pure practitioner, how should one consume food?
With neither attachment nor aversion - but if one can do that, then you're doing very well.

Greg gives very good advice on this. Could I suggest also reading the seven-point mind training text. There is a lot in there about not being too hard with oneself.

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PSM
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Re: Beginning

Post by PSM » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:25 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:56 am
Dear Mila,

There is no such thing as a pure Buddhist, if we were pure we would be Arhats and Buddhas, not Buddhists.

So, no use beating up on yourself. Just try to do your best. One step at a time.
:good:

It is very easy to get hooked up on the notion of 'pure' - it is not a good goal to aim for as you can only ever fail it.
"The only virtue which cannot be faked is courage" - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
"Not practicing dharma is painful" - Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche
"We don't want to feel the weirdness of life." - James Low

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javier.espinoza.t
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Re: Beginning

Post by javier.espinoza.t » Fri May 04, 2018 2:18 am

Astus wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:48 am
Mila wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:15 am
as a pure practitioner, how should one consume food?
"And how is physical food to be regarded? Suppose a couple, husband & wife, taking meager provisions, were to travel through a desert. With them would be their only baby son, dear & appealing. Then the meager provisions of the couple going through the desert would be used up & depleted while there was still a stretch of the desert yet to be crossed. The thought would occur to them, 'Our meager provisions are used up & depleted while there is still a stretch of this desert yet to be crossed. What if we were to kill this only baby son of ours, dear & appealing, and make dried meat & jerky. That way — chewing on the flesh of our son — at least the two of us would make it through this desert. Otherwise, all three of us would perish.' So they would kill their only baby son, loved & endearing, and make dried meat & jerky. Chewing on the flesh of their son, they would make it through the desert. While eating the flesh of their only son, they would beat their breasts, [crying,] 'Where have you gone, our only baby son? Where have you gone, our only baby son?' Now what do you think, monks: Would that couple eat that food playfully or for intoxication, or for putting on bulk, or for beautification?"
"No, lord."
"Wouldn't they eat that food simply for the sake of making it through that desert?"
"Yes, lord."
"In the same way, I tell you, is the nutriment of physical food to be regarded. When physical food is comprehended, passion for the five strings of sensuality is comprehended. When passion for the five strings of sensuality is comprehended, there is no fetter bound by which a disciple of the noble ones would come back again to this world."

(Puttamansa Sutta; see also: The Four Nutriments of Life)

"O Subhūti, if you are able to be universally same about eating, then the dharmas are also universally same; if the dharmas are universally same, you should also be universally same about eating. If you can practice begging like this, you may accept the food.
If, Subhūti, you refrain from eradicating licentiousness, anger, and stupidity, yet are not equipped with them; if you do not destroy the body, yet accord with the single characteristic; if you do not extinguish stupidity and affection, yet generate wisdom and emancipation; if you use the characteristics of the five transgressions to attain emancipation, without either emancipation or bondage; if you do not perceive the four noble truths, yet do not fail to perceive the truths; neither attaining the results [of becoming a streamenterer (srotāpanna), and so on,] nor not attaining the results; neither being an ordinary [unenlightened] person nor transcending the state (lit., “dharma”) of ordinary person; neither being a sage nor not being a sage; accomplishing all the dharmas yet transcending the characteristics of the dharmas — then you can accept this food.
Subhūti, you should only accept this food if you can neither see the Buddha nor hear the Dharma, nor the six teachers of heterodox paths— Pūraṇa Kāśyapa, Maskarin Gośālīputra, Saṃjayin Vairaṭīputra, Ajita Keśakambala, Kakuda Kātyāyana, and Nirgrantha Jñātiputra, who were your teachers, following whom you left home, [so that] at the defeat of those teachers you were also defeated—then you can accept this food.
If, Subhūti, you can enter into the heterodox views and not reach the other shore; abide in the eight difficulties and not attain the absence of difficulty; identify with the afflictions and transcend the pure dharmas; attain the samādhi of noncontention; if all sentient beings generate this concentration; if the donors do not name you their field of blessings; if those making offerings to you fall into the three evil destinations; if you join hands with the host of Māras and make them your co-workers; if you do not differentiate yourself from the host of Māras and the sensory troubles; if you bear resentment toward all sentient beings; if you revile the Buddha, denigrate the Dharma, and do not enter the Sangha; and if you never attain extinction— if you are like this then you can accept the food."

(Vimalakirti Sutra, ch 3, BDK ed, p 88-89)
:heart:
what are you doing

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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Beginning

Post by PadmaVonSamba » Fri May 18, 2018 12:25 am

The best way for buddhists to consume food is with the mouth.
Aside from that, in Nagarjuna's 'Letter To A Friend', the author says,
"regard all food as medicine"
which means, don't get overly attached to the flavor, or whether it uses some kind of exotic ingredients or whatever.
Just eat to nourish the body.
This doesn't mean you can't enjoy your meal, or that you can't have a preference for certain foods.
If you are a guest in someone's home, unless you have allergies, eat what they serve you, and be grateful.
If you are a vegetarian and there is some meat in your food, don't get all bent out of shape about it.
Whatever animal once lived in that meat checked out long before it ever ended up on your plate.
So,don't try to be a purist.
Don't cop an attitude about food.
.
.
.
Profile Picture: "The Fo Ming (Buddha Bright) Monk"
People on web forums sometime seem to be foaming at the mouth.

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