Why one meal a day?

A place to discuss health and fitness, healthy diets. A fit body makes for a fit mind.
seanpdx
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby seanpdx » Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:33 pm

alan wrote:Sorry--westonaprice.org.
Great stuff!
Even if you don't agree with my opinions or really think I'm kind of a jerk---check it out. I promise it will be to your long term benefit!
Cheers!


I wasn't going to post, but since the obvious retort doesn't appear to have been posted yet:

Want to know why the vinaya rules exist? Read the vinaya. If you don't want to read the entirety of the vinaya itself, read the next best thing. Ajahn Thanissaro's "Buddhist Monastic Code". I'll even post the link: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... intro.html

Of course, the simplest answer is also the most obvious. To prevent clinging to food.

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Kokoro
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby Kokoro » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:03 pm

Forgive my apparent lack of memory if this has been posted above but I think it's important to point out that although one may observe the practice of taking one meal per day, I am fairly sure it is correct to say that one may take a drink of water or tea throughout the day. Even if one takes only one meal and drinks only water the rest of the day, assuming that meal is well-balanced and healthy, the practicioner should be able to maintain a good level of health and energy.

:anjali:

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Cittasanto
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:15 pm

Kokoro wrote:Forgive my apparent lack of memory if this has been posted above but I think it's important to point out that although one may observe the practice of taking one meal per day, I am fairly sure it is correct to say that one may take a drink of water or tea throughout the day. Even if one takes only one meal and drinks only water the rest of the day, assuming that meal is well-balanced and healthy, the practicioner should be able to maintain a good level of health and energy.

:anjali:


I don't think it is specifically mentioned above but yes, so long as it isn't classed as food (one of the five tonics for instance), there is a thread on the five tonics on the go at the moment if you are interested.
“Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.
(The mendicants asked) What are the two [types of persons]?
(The Lord Buddha responded) The malicious, or the inwardly angry, and the one with (blind) faith or the one who holds things incorrectly.
Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.”
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.
"Others will misconstrue reality based on personal perspectives, firmly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our personal perspectives, nor firmly holding them, but easily discarded."

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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:33 am

alan wrote:Hi Chula. Thanks for the better link.
I have done many years of research; there is no doubt that regular vigorous exercise and a diet of good fats, high quality protein and only the best carbs--like broccoli--is the best path to good health. Westonaprice.com is a great place to start for anyone interested in this subject.

Cheers!


Good physical health, sure, that may be the case.

But the Dhamma is more about good mental health, which comes about through removing taints within the mind. This in turn is done through the trainings in morality, meditation and insight.

These lead to the state of liberation, nibbana, which is known as true "health". A healthy body which is still afflicted with craving, aversion and ignorance is of secondary worth in Buddhism.

Have you also carried out "many years of research" into these three trainings? Many of the posters above have, and that is why they are answering as they do. You seem to have an implicit assumption that people are only making these statements without having tried them, but I assure you that this is not the case.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.

tabhastal
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby tabhastal » Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:44 am

While one meal a day may be okay for people who are already healthy, it is a big mistake for people who are sensitive to levels of blood sugar such as diabetics and pre-diabetics. Blood sugar has a direct connection with mood, ability to concentrate and hunger. The absorption rates of carbohydrates can be somewhat control by eating low glycemic carbs. Blood sugar levels are affected throughout the day by food, exercise, stress and must be controlled through regulation of food, even for those who use medication and insulin. Diabetics simply cannot eat one meal per day and expect to stay healthy.

So the "one meal a day" thing must be considered in light of one's own health. If you are sensitive to changing levels of blood sugar, lack of appropriate amounts of carbs at specific times will only result in problems. And all the meditation you can do will not save your eyes, kidneys or legs.

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mikenz66
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:41 am

tabhastal wrote:While one meal a day may be okay for people who are already healthy, it is a big mistake for people who are sensitive to levels of blood sugar such as diabetics and pre-diabetics. ...

Of course. And sometimes monks are advised by a doctor to eat in the evening, so they do. I knew one personally.

And remember that fluids such as tea or fruit juice and certain "tonics" are allowed (it varies, but the Ajahn Chah monks, for example, often have snacks of dark chocolate). So it's not as if one can't have some sugar.

Anyway, as has been pointed out, the common practise is two meals.

Metta
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Cittasanto
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:51 am

tabhastal wrote:While one meal a day may be okay for people who are already healthy, it is a big mistake for people who are sensitive to levels of blood sugar such as diabetics and pre-diabetics. Blood sugar has a direct connection with mood, ability to concentrate and hunger. The absorption rates of carbohydrates can be somewhat control by eating low glycemic carbs. Blood sugar levels are affected throughout the day by food, exercise, stress and must be controlled through regulation of food, even for those who use medication and insulin. Diabetics simply cannot eat one meal per day and expect to stay healthy.

So the "one meal a day" thing must be considered in light of one's own health. If you are sensitive to changing levels of blood sugar, lack of appropriate amounts of carbs at specific times will only result in problems. And all the meditation you can do will not save your eyes, kidneys or legs.


that is why there are exceptions! the five tonics as an example, but the practice of one meal a day is not for someone doing hard manual labour, but a meditator who will obviously have different nutrient requirements than someone who is running a marathon everyday, or sick! and the meal period is from dawn till noon, that means food can be eaten then not after, it is not the same as the one sessioner practice which is one sitting.
“Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.
(The mendicants asked) What are the two [types of persons]?
(The Lord Buddha responded) The malicious, or the inwardly angry, and the one with (blind) faith or the one who holds things incorrectly.
Mendicants, these two [types of persons] defame the Tathāgata.”
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.
"Others will misconstrue reality based on personal perspectives, firmly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our personal perspectives, nor firmly holding them, but easily discarded."

suanck
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby suanck » Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:02 am

When I am attending an organized meditation retreat (10 days) or self-retreat (2-3 days), I try to observe the 8 precepts (including the precept of not eating after mid-day).

However, due to illness, I need to eat something before taking medication in the evening. Usually, it's a slice (or 2) of bread with a glass of warm milk. So, I used to say half-jokingly to my Dhamma friends: "I'm a seven-and-half preceptor"!

Suan

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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:22 am

For those with medical conditions, they simply consume what they need as "medicine".
This has always been part of the whole notion of "one meal a day". It has never been applied as an absolute rule without exceptions or reflection.
My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: Huifeng's Prajnacara Blog.

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suriyopama
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby suriyopama » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:57 am

Hi.

Next month I will go to a retreat and I'll apply the 1 meal a day precept for the first time. I am very thin and I run out of energy when I don't eat for a long time.

I was thinking to take Berocca in the case that I feel weak (http://www.berocca.co.uk) but a friend says that it can cause to be more hungry. Do you know if this is true? What do you recommend to take in case of emergency?

Thank you

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appicchato
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby appicchato » Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:32 am

Some granola bars, or fruit, or honey...or all three...

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suriyopama
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby suriyopama » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:11 am

Thank you very much Bhante. This looks much more natural than the chemical solution :smile:

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Agent
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Uposatha & the 6th Precept

Postby Agent » Fri May 07, 2010 11:56 pm

For those of you who observe the Uposatha, how do you practice the 6th Precept?
Two meals before noon? One meal? Stuff your face nonstop until noon and hope to make it to dawn?
Do you have juice or anything else after noon?

I'm considering attempting one meal on the next Uposatha so I am particularly interested in hearing from people who are practicing this way or have attempted it. How do you find it affects your practice? And if you would be willing to share further, what is your reasoning for practicing in this way?

Metta,
Jason
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā.

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bodom
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Re: Uposatha & the 6th Precept

Postby bodom » Sat May 08, 2010 12:34 am

I haven't been able to observe Uposatha days since my daughter was born, but when I did I found them to be very beneficial to my meditation practice. I used the articles below as guides to my Uposatha sila practice. Im sure you'll find them as useful as I did.

Uposatha Sila The Eight-Precept Observance compiled and written by Somdet Phra Buddhaghosacariya (Ñanavara Thera)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org:80/lib/a ... ha.html#qa

Lay Buddhist Practice The Shrine Room, Uposatha Day, Rains Residence by Bhikkhu Khantipalo
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... el206.html

:anjali:
It’s only meditation when there are two minds:
Knowing-noting mind and observing mind.
If there is only one mind, ‘I’ is always there.
The object is not the dhamma,
The dhamma is the mind
That is being aware.

- Shwe Oo Min Sayadaw

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Uposatha & the 6th Precept

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat May 08, 2010 1:20 am


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Goofaholix
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Re: Uposatha & the 6th Precept

Postby Goofaholix » Sat May 08, 2010 1:30 am

Agent wrote:For those of you who observe the Uposatha, how do you practice the 6th Precept?
Two meals before noon? One meal? Stuff your face nonstop until noon and hope to make it to dawn?
Do you have juice or anything else after noon?

I'm considering attempting one meal on the next Uposatha so I am particularly interested in hearing from people who are practicing this way or have attempted it. How do you find it affects your practice? And if you would be willing to share further, what is your reasoning for practicing in this way?

Metta,
Jason


Not eating after noon you'll find is very easy, unless you share a living environment with people who are eating after noon.

It doesn't really matter whether you eat one meal or two, stuff your face or not, but if you think you are going to find it hard going or you are living with other people who don't want to join you then go and stay at a monastery and do it.

I find physically it's good for the body to give it a rest for part of the day so it's not constantly processing food, and it's good for the mind so you aren't getting interrupted or distracted by food.
"Right effort is effort with wisdom. Because where there is wisdom, there is interest. The desire to know something is wisdom at work. Being mindful is not difficult. But it’s difficult to be continuously aware. For that you need right effort. But it does not require a great deal of energy. It’s relaxed perseverance in reminding yourself to be aware. When you are aware, wisdom unfolds naturally, and there is still more interest." - Sayadaw U Tejaniya

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Re: Uposatha & the 6th Precept

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat May 08, 2010 1:44 am

most of the time i never eat after noon, its not really a big deal at least for the majority of healthy people, if you're diabetic that's a different story.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Agent
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Re: Uposatha & the 6th Precept

Postby Agent » Sat May 08, 2010 1:51 am

Bodom, thank you for the links. The first was very interesting. I learned a lot about Uposatha that was a bit unclear to me before. I'll take a look at the second one as soon as I have a chance.

Just to clarify, I have already been observing Upsotha for a few months, so not eating after noon will not be a problem. I was just interested in how others chose to observe this specific precept. And in that regard, David, the thread you pointed out was very helpful and exactly what I was looking for. After reading it I have decided to go ahead with the one-sessioner's practice. I found it odd that so many people were worried about it being detrimental to health. Technically it is a short intermittent fast, which research indicates has many health benefits. In any event, I'm not taking it up for that reason. More along the line of reasoning pointed out by Chula in the other thread:

Regardless, eating just one complete meal for the day has many benefits when one gets used to it, among them:

* Much less time of the day worrying about food, more time to practice
* Much, much less sloth & torpor since there isn't the drowsiness after the meal (this is mentioned in multiple places in the suttas)
* Great way to practice appropriate attention (yoniso manasikāra) - because even after having multiple meals, improperly attending to food can lead to sensual cravings that can be mistaken for hunger. When having just one meal for the day this is brought right into the middle of the picture - there is no running away from sensual desire - you have to deal with it right then and there. As a result mindfulness & alertness (satisampajaññā) gets a decided boost, and you start seeing the purpose of sense restraint (indriya saṃvara) - which is a cornerstone of the path.



Metta,
Jason
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā.

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BlackBird
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Re: Uposatha & the 6th Precept

Postby BlackBird » Mon May 10, 2010 12:50 am

I haven't had a meal after noon in quite some time. Mind you, in the Thai Forest Tradition the definition of a '
meal' is somewhat blurry, considering the amount of cheese we're running through at the Monastery...

Craving is craving is craving, it likes to disguise itself amongst an object eg. food, sex, even our perculiar habits like showering at a certain time, or sitting in a certain seat, but it's the same underlying mechanism, this desperate negative that can never be self contained and assumes a permanence - In everything it grasps at.

metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Re: Uposatha & the 6th Precept

Postby Anicca » Mon May 10, 2010 1:01 am

BlackBird wrote:Mind you, in the Thai Forest Tradition the definition of a 'meal' is somewhat blurry, considering the amount of cheese we're running through at the Monastery...

Could you explain? I understand cheese and sunflower seeds and other ?not-foods? are eaten in the afternoon - early evening. You can drink filtered fruit juices, but something like v-8 juice is a food?


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