Why one meal a day?

A place to discuss health and fitness, healthy diets. A fit body makes for a fit mind.
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Goofaholix
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Re: Addithana: One Meal Per Day

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:59 am

Chi wrote:OK, I have a headache now. Maybe it's cause I have been in front of a computer for a while. Maybe I didn't eat enough this morning.

I am having a big spoonful of honey now.


It's normal to get headaches for a day or two if you fast or change to a toxin free diet, particulary if you are giving up caffiene.

Taking enemas (aka douche bag in americanese) is a good way to reduce the impact of this as it helps flush out the toxins more quickly.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby Chi » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:56 pm

Energy is way up today.

Went to a 3-hour group sitting last night. Lots of stuff that has been repressed since coming back from the retreat was let go.

Woke up this morning, with less sleep than I have been averaging since beginning of February. Lots more energy. Went to a light stretching yoga class, ate a pretty darn big meal, passed out some business cards for the tutoring/mentoring/coaching business, and now I'm at home with high but a calm-ish energy.

Tomorrow I am going to a 5 AM - 5 PM Zen sesshin (I know, I know, but any meditation is better than no meditation). I might end up eating the two meals offered. I'll report.

So far, so awesome.

with metta,
Chi
Do Good, Avoid Evil, Purify the Mind.

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Cittasanto
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:07 pm

Chi wrote:Energy is way up today.

Went to a 3-hour group sitting last night. Lots of stuff that has been repressed since coming back from the retreat was let go.

Woke up this morning, with less sleep than I have been averaging since beginning of February. Lots more energy. Went to a light stretching yoga class, ate a pretty darn big meal, passed out some business cards for the tutoring/mentoring/coaching business, and now I'm at home with high but a calm-ish energy.

Tomorrow I am going to a 5 AM - 5 PM Zen sesshin (I know, I know, but any meditation is better than no meditation). I might end up eating the two meals offered. I'll report.

So far, so awesome.

with metta,
Chi

if they are before 12 noon you are ok!

I have found the more I meditate the more energy I have so don't mistake meditative energy rises for rises due to food intake!
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
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Ben
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby Ben » Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:18 am

Cittasanto wrote:I have found the more I meditate the more energy I have so don't mistake meditative energy rises for rises due to food intake!

Indeed! The more I meditate the less food I need.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
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in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby Chi » Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:12 am

Confession time:

Today, I took a meal in the evening when my mom's friend who is moving back to Japan whose things I am selling on craigslist was having dinner with the family and insisted that we take some food when we stopped by.

At first I resisted. I noticed resistance and realized that the circumstances called for a shift in perspective. Sometimes, social circumstances in lay life call for changing behavior? Anyone have experience with this in their lives, especially when dealing with food?

Then, we talked about Dhamma the whole meal for like an hour and a half, so it ended with people getting closer to the Dhamma.

Additana is still in effect.

OK, thanks for listening.

with metta,
Chi
Do Good, Avoid Evil, Purify the Mind.

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:31 am

Chi wrote:Today, I took a meal in the evening when my mom's friend who is moving back to Japan whose things I am selling on craigslist was having dinner with the family and insisted that we take some food when we stopped by.

Then, we talked about Dhamma the whole meal for like an hour and a half, so it ended with people getting closer to the Dhamma.


:thumbsup:

Good move. You don't want to give the appearance of being dogmatic-fundamentalist about it, which would give a bad image for Theravada Buddhists. There is no need to be completely inflexible on the meal time, unless you are a monk or nun.

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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby ground » Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:04 am

Chi wrote:At first I resisted. I noticed resistance and realized that the circumstances called for a shift in perspective. Sometimes, social circumstances in lay life call for changing behavior? Anyone have experience with this in their lives, especially when dealing with food?

Resistance is a good appearance to work with and to dissolve it in appropriate contexts.
One should abandon ritualistic attitudes whereever they make themselves felt.
However at the same time one should not overestimate "social circumstances" since these are most often just another sort of "trap".

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only eating breakfast

Postby markf » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:28 pm

Any tips on only eating breakfast?

I sort of decided through introspection to do this a while ago, not do do with Buddhism. I'v just realized my beliefs concour with what monks do.

I'v been to a couple of meditation classes at a Burmese vihara but not for a long time.

Many thanks
Mark

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: only eating breakfast

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:13 pm

I wouldn't recommend it if you're doing any kind of physical work, and especially not if you do anything like driving where being inattentive may kill someone. It is OK for monks to eat only one meal a day, if they meditate all day. I eat most of my food in one meal after walking for alms, but I also eat some fruit or other light snacks before midday. I don't do any heavy manual work.
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Re: only eating breakfast

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:06 pm

markf wrote:Any tips on only eating breakfast?


It can be done, if you eat quite a bit of food for breakfast, but otherwise as Bhante said, you may get tired or less attentive later. You may also get too hungry in the late afternoon / early evening. I have found that for me, it works better eating later in the morning, at or close to 12 noon to 1 pm.

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Re: only eating breakfast

Postby ground » Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:06 am

markf wrote:Any tips on only eating breakfast?

It is far more beneficial to abandon delight in eating than to ritualistically cling to such a rule. If delight is abandoned eating will function to just keep the body alive.
If you are eating only breakfast but then before breafast are greedy for food then it is unwholesome conduct.
But if you can abandon any delight and greed and still eat only for breakfast then its fine. But actually there is no additional benefit from following the "only breakfast" rule if you abandoned delight and greed for food in any possible situation.
The "only breakfast" rule may however be beneficial to get to know the ignorance arising from the body in dependence of the nutriment edible food.

"There are these four nutriments for the maintenance of beings who have come into being or for the support of those in search of a place to be born. Which four? Physical food, gross or refined; contact as the second, intellectual intention the third, and consciousness the fourth. These are the four nutriments for the maintenance of beings who have come into being or for the support of those in search of a place to be born.

"Where there is passion, delight, & craving for the nutriment of physical food, consciousness lands there and increases. Where consciousness lands and increases, there is the alighting of name-&-form. Where there is the alighting of name-&-form, there is the growth of fabrications. Where there is the growth of fabrications, there is the production of renewed becoming in the future. Where there is the production of renewed becoming in the future, there is future birth, aging, & death, together, I tell you, with sorrow, affliction, & despair.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby Jhana4 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:08 am

Eating one meal a day is probably a good thing for a monk doing nothing but meditating all day, all of the time. Such monks aren't the norm. In the course of my sutta studies I learned that the one meal a day rule was also implemented to not overburden the community that supports the monks.....either in resources or being disturbed several times a day by the monks.

On retreats and Buddhist holiday observances I've kept the no eating before noon rule.

I don't think it works so well in reality, in modern times for ordinary people ( not meditating 8 or more hours a day ).

People end up eating all of their food clumped together. I don't think that is good for a person's blood sugar, health, energy levels or clarity of mind.

As with many religious customs and rules, it probably made sense for a situation which no longer exists.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:50 am

hi Jhana4,
As someone who has lived in a monastery eating "at one time" (as the rule is, the one meal is a dutangha practice) it is more than possible to do it even with work.
remember it is advised that the majority of food should be taken in the morning, and each subsequent meal should be smaller than the last for normal people - eat like a king at breakfast, the middle classes at lunch, and a pauper at dinner.
ones weight levels out and the body knows if it needs more food, it is just a case of paying attention to the bodies needs, and the situation does indeed still exist.

Jhana4 wrote:Eating one meal a day is probably a good thing for a monk doing nothing but meditating all day, all of the time. Such monks aren't the norm. In the course of my sutta studies I learned that the one meal a day rule was also implemented to not overburden the community that supports the monks.....either in resources or being disturbed several times a day by the monks.

On retreats and Buddhist holiday observances I've kept the no eating before noon rule.

I don't think it works so well in reality, in modern times for ordinary people ( not meditating 8 or more hours a day ).

People end up eating all of their food clumped together. I don't think that is good for a person's blood sugar, health, energy levels or clarity of mind.

As with many religious customs and rules, it probably made sense for a situation which no longer exists.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Goofaholix
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:49 pm

Jhana4 wrote:People end up eating all of their food clumped together. I don't think that is good for a person's blood sugar, health, energy levels or clarity of mind.


In my experience I feel much more healthy eating once a day.
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” ― Ajahn Chah

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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:28 pm

Greetings,

My experience is in accordance with Goof's.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby Alobha » Fri May 25, 2012 9:30 am

Jhana4 wrote:I don't think it works so well in reality, in modern times for ordinary people ( not meditating 8 or more hours a day ).
People end up eating all of their food clumped together. I don't think that is good for a person's blood sugar, health, energy levels or clarity of mind.


When you eat may be as important as what you eat - By Peter Janiszewski, Ph.D.
The study has its limitations, but it shows that the matter is not as clear as nutritionists sometimes show it to be. Giving the stomach and the lever an extended time of the day to rest and repair itself may actually be very good for one's health! :smile:

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manas
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby manas » Tue May 29, 2012 8:33 pm

Hi all,

rather than start a new thread, thought it would be better to report a few things here. Over the last year, I have gradually striven to get control over eating, in the sense of knowing when I've had enough, and trying to stop at that moment, rather than continuing on due to enjoying the taste. With that gradual preparation, over the last week I'm once again attempting the extra step of basically eating breakfast, then lunch, but no dinner. (If I do have something at night, if the process is unsettling me too much, I have something very light and easily digestible, so that the anxiety is quelled, but the digestion is not taxed.) Here's what I am noticing, real observations: I sleep better, without the usual interruptions due to food fermenting away in my gut while the rest of the body tries to get some rest; mindfulness is a little easier to establish and maintain, as well as being a bit clearer; and sexual lust is easier to keep under control. (Note, I said 'easier' and not easy - but any help is better than none! :) )

I'm finding so far that on two meals a day - having a decent breakfast, then lunch, and avoiding junk like sugary foods (getting there), and instead having balanced and healthy meals as much as possible - that I'm not feeling weak (I did in the first few days, but that's almost gone now); rather I'm feeling normal but just more calm, and so far, I like this.

(And by the way, I advise everyone to get a decent water purifier, so that one can make oneself herbal teas, and other sustaining drinks, or even just enjoy water without the toxic substance sodium flouride that many governments now put into it - your body will thank you. :smile: )

_/I\_
Then the Blessed One, picking up a tiny bit of dust with the tip of his fingernail, said to the monk, "There isn't even this much form...feeling...
perception...fabrications...consciousness that is constant, lasting, eternal, not subject to change, that will stay just as it is as long as eternity."

(SN 22.97)

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what is the relevence of eating before noon?

Postby jason c » Wed May 30, 2012 11:05 pm

i was reading through the why one meal a day thread, and it raised this question. what is the relevance in eating your meals or meal before noon? it is my understanding that in the buddhas time when he created the order of monks there was no set time to go out for alms, but one day a monk went out later in the evening and a pregnant woman became scared at the presence of a stranger at her door, she miscarried and lost her child. upon hearing this incident the buddha imediately took action to prevent this from happening again, and created a specific time for the gathering of alms. if this is so (and i'm not 100 percent on this) why is this rule necessary in todays world when so few monks go on alms gatherings. why can't the monks eat at different times if it suits there own bodies needs. i understand the buddha was a practical man and i am confused with this precept.
metta
jason

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Re: what is the relevence of eating before noon?

Postby polarbear101 » Wed May 30, 2012 11:09 pm

I figured (and read somewhere) it was so the monks wouldn't be a bother to people during the day when they're working and doing chores. Imagine if monks just kept showing up randomly. It works out better if the monks just show up once in the morning and then the lay people have the rest of the day to carry on with normal things like work and child raising
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"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: what is the relevence of eating before noon?

Postby jason c » Wed May 30, 2012 11:30 pm

hey polar buddha,
i can totally get on board with the practicality of that reason, so if a monk is recieving his food from a devotee and the devotee has to take their kid to the doctor and drops the food off to the monks at 2 pm can the monks eat this food then?
metta
jason


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