Eating after midday.

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Eating after midday.

Postby SarathW » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:52 am

Q1:Will the lay Stream-winner eat after midday?
This question is based on :
===========================

Verse 11: Scrupulous Integrity
Another special quality of a Stream-winner is transparent honesty and scrupulous integrity. Although they are not yet free from greed, hatred, and delusion, Stream-winners are completely free from immorality. A monk who is a Stream-winner may sometimes fall into offences due to heedlessness, but when reminded that such an action is an offence against a training rule laid down by the Buddha, or realising this by himself on reflection, he does not conceal it, but makes amends in the prescribed way. One who wishes to attain Stream-winning should be equally scrupulous, seeing fear in the slightest fault.

For example: to eat after midday is an offence for a bhikkhu. Each mouthful taken is an offence to be confessed (pācittiya). If he thinks it is before midday when it is not, it is still an offence. If it is before midday, but he thinks it is after midday, or he is doubtful, it is an offence of wrong-doing (dukkata). A Stream-winner would not take a single morsel of food if he thought it was after midday, as to do so would be shameless. Due to unmindfulness he might do so, but afterwards he would confess his offence. Stream-winners have a keen desire to follow the training rules and readily confess their offences if they do fall into any — they are not disobedient.
http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Pesala/Ratana/ratana.html
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Re: Eating after midday.

Postby santa100 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 3:24 am

It depends on whether one is a lay stream enterer or a monk stream enterer. Notice that there're different levels/types of stream entry as described in AN 3.86 ( http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html )..
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Re: Eating after midday.

Postby daverupa » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:59 pm

The Buddha ate after midday for a while, before instituting the Vinaya rule, so I'm failing to see a connection between attainments and meal plans.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Eating after midday.

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:59 am

If the lay Stream-winner had undertaken to observe the Eight Precepts, then the same reasoning would apply. He or she would consider whether or not midday had passed, and would not knowingly eat after midday.
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Re: Eating after midday.

Postby FairyFeller » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:08 pm

I have been thinking about he eating after midday scenario for a while, please forgive my ignorance but at what point is the earliest you can eat after midday?

For instance is it okay to eat just after midnight? Then what's to stop eating for the weave hours between midnight and midday? It would be just about adjusting the body clock.
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Re: Eating after midday.

Postby daverupa » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:46 pm

It will have to be verified, but my understanding is that the allowable period for seeking alms and eating is from dawn to noon, which addresses the concern about the wee hours of the night. I'm fairly sure that this very situation occurs in the Vinaya, somewhere...
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Eating after midday.

Postby Zom » Thu Jul 25, 2013 10:36 pm

For example: to eat after midday is an offence for a bhikkhu. Each mouthful taken is an offence to be confessed (pācittiya). If he thinks it is before midday when it is not, it is still an offence. If it is before midday, but he thinks it is after midday, or he is doubtful, it is an offence of wrong-doing (dukkata). A Stream-winner would not take a single morsel of food if he thought it was after midday, as to do so would be shameless.


There's one more thing stream-enterer elimintated. Grasping to rules and observances. Being horrified that you finished eating at 12.01 am is exactly this very thing, as I see it .) So, a stream-enterer is not like that. Vinaya rules are not "to be observed at the cost of your life", but they are guidelines how to do things in a right way. Keep in mind, that some of the rules Buddha offered to drop not long before final nibbana, so they are not important "by themselves".
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Re: Eating after midday.

Postby Anagarika » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:30 am

I remember being in Thailand and being out at a Tesco with one of the farang Bhikkhus getting supplies for one of the refugee schools. We arrived at the Tesco at around 1130, looked around for a while and then mindlessly arrived at the Tesco cafeteria area at 1205. My Bhikkhu friend realized it was after midday, and he, in a nonplussed fashion, said he missed the deadline for lunch. I ate, and it was the guiltiest lunch I have ever had, knowing I could stuff my face while my friend sat with us very calmly watching us eat. He was a very disciplined Vinaya monk, a good Dhamma teacher, and this adherence to this rule was just one manifestation of his discipline. He also did and does a lot to help feed refugee kids in N. Thailand....perhaps he is mindful of how hungry they get sometimes. That day, no verbal complaints, no bad mood... just acceptance. I think these rules, some of which some might see as unnecessary, instill backbone in the practice. Some of the ascetic practices seem out of place in the modern world, but it is this disciplined distinction, to my mind, that makes some of these practices so important.
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Re: Eating after midday.

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:37 am

BuddhaSoup wrote:That day, no verbal complaints, no bad mood... just acceptance. I think these rules, some of which some might see as unnecessary, instill backbone in the practice. Some of the ascetic practices seem out of place in the modern world, but it is this disciplined distinction, to my mind, that makes some of these practices so important.

Your bhikkhu friend got it right. He understood how to follow the Vinaya rule without grasping. Moral discipline has the purpose of cutting off defilements. We won't die if we don't eat for one day, but if we don't respect the rule then we're already dead.

In the other case, if you do fail in your discipline, don't grasp at failure either. Confess your offence, or for a lay person take the precepts again, and try to do better the next time you're faced with a situation where you might break your self-discipline. No one's standing behind us with a whip — if we don't want to train ourselves then we won't. If we want to overcome desire, then we need self-discipline, not discipline imposed by others.
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Re: Eating after midday.

Postby SarathW » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:43 am

Sadhu,Sadhu,Sadhu Bhante

You make it very clear for me now! :)
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Re: Eating after midday.

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:58 am

I should be pointed out that for certain medical conditions, there is an exemption for eating after 12, however if you are a monk you have to get permission for the exemption from the Ajahn or head monk, who is not a doctor. Diabetes as an example it is highly recommended to have many small meals spread out over the day, your blood sugar can fall so low as to put you in a coma without food, also after 12 most temples allow you to drink most any liquids, which could include fruit juices, honey, or possibly even yoghurt drinks or Ice cream, don't ask me how ice cream becomes classified as a liquid, anyway, just thought I should add that.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Eating after midday.

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:16 am

Zom wrote:There's one more thing stream-enterer eliminated. Grasping to rules and observances. Being horrified that you finished eating at 12.01 am is exactly this very thing, as I see it .) So, a stream-enterer is not like that. Vinaya rules are not "to be observed at the cost of your life", but they are guidelines how to do things in a right way. Keep in mind, that some of the rules Buddha offered to drop not long before final nibbana, so they are not important "by themselves".

The perfect response to wrong views regarding morality is found in the Suttanipāta: (Sn 845)
I do not say that you can attain purity
by views, traditions, insight, morality or conventions;
nor will you attain purity without these.
But by using them for abandonment, rather than as positions to hold on to,
you will come to be at peace without the need to be anything.

A Stream-winner would not be horrified after realising that he/she had broken the precept, but would not deny it, and would confess his/her offence while determining to be more mindful in the future. He/she would certainly not say, “This minor and lesser precepts are unimportant, after all the Buddha said that we might abandon them after his death if we wish.” Those were the careless words of Subhadda, a shameless monk who thought that the Buddha was too scrupulous.
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Re: Eating after midday.

Postby SarathW » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:45 am

Bhante Pesal and others
I got another few questions:
a) What is the timing for breaking the fast? Is it 7.00 am to 12.00 noon?
b) How many meals are allowed in this period? What does it mean by one meal a day?
c) Why monks do not obey all 227 rules the same way? Eg: Handling money
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Re: Eating after midday.

Postby lyndon taylor » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:52 am

We used to eat around 6am or a little later and then right at 11am so there was time for the chanted prayers and to finish eating well before 12am.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: Eating after midday.

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:33 am

SarathW wrote:Bhante Pesal and others
I got another few questions:
a) What is the timing for breaking the fast? Is it 7.00 am to 12.00 noon?
b) How many meals are allowed in this period? What does it mean by one meal a day?
c) Why monks do not obey all 227 rules the same way? Eg: Handling money

Time for almsround so my answers will be quick:

a) First light wherever you are — about 4:00 am to 1:00 pm BST in the Summer months here
b) Unless following the Dhutaṅga (ascetic practices), one can eat as often as one wants from first light to midday
c) There's no short answer to that one — they observe the rules that they know about, what they can, or what they must for fear of blame from their supporters.
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Re: Eating after midday.

Postby fabianfred » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:13 pm

Breaking the fast is allowed after dawn.... seen as.... a visible lightening of the sky on the Eastern horizon. So waking at 2.00 am and saying 'it's a new day' doesn't work.
Traditionally a monk is not allowed to start alms round by leaving the temple before he can see the lines on the palm of his hand by natural light.... going too early, the lay people will not have had time to rise and prepare food anyway. The modern practice of monks going to market places ( which open early) and hanging around is frequently seen as an opportunity to bend this rule. Many monks coming to the same market is OK as long as they do so at different times....and give the opportunity to many lay shoppers who are coming and going all the time.
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Re: Eating after midday.

Postby kilanta » Fri Aug 09, 2013 8:45 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:b) Unless following the Dhutaṅga (ascetic practices), one can eat as often as one wants from first light to midday.


Does this apply to lay devotees and monks or just lay devotees?
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Re: Eating after midday.

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:24 pm

It applies to monks too. There are ascetic practices such as one-sessioner's practice that require all food to be taken at one sitting, but the general rule is to eat any time between dawn and midday.

In practice, most monks will have breakfast and then lunch, but there's no rule preventing them taking tea or coffee with milk (also regarded as food) and a biscuit in between.

My usual practice is to eat most of my meal in the house where I go for alms. I then have maybe a yoghurt, or some fruit, and several cups of tea with milk before midday.
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Re: Eating after midday.

Postby SarathW » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:45 pm

Ven Pesala
What about the young monks who are about 12years old? Do they follow the same rule?
Will they be malnutritioned?
--------------------
I just fascinated and pleased to read that you are doing alms round? It is a rare site even in Sri Lanka!
I believe you are living in UK.
What is your experience? How people react to you at the beginning because most of the people are non- Buddhists?
:bow:
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Re: Eating after midday.

Postby Indrajala » Sat Aug 10, 2013 9:41 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Your bhikkhu friend got it right. He understood how to follow the Vinaya rule without grasping. Moral discipline has the purpose of cutting off defilements.


The Vinaya rule only exists, apparently, because someone went begging at night and caused a village woman to have a frightening shock and miscarriage.

I don't see how such a rule presumably designed for practical reasons would cut off defilements to be honest. It makes sense not to go begging for food more than once a day, but if you live a settled lifestyle there is no reason for such a custom, especially when devotees are happy to cook you dinner.

An eating schedule is hardly a reflection of morality. Morality is not harming others. Not eating past noon is more a matter of institutional proscription. In certain circumstances it is quite pragmatic, but in a settled monastic environment, is it really necessary?
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