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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Indrajala
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Re: Eating after midday.

Post by Indrajala »

plwk wrote:I guess Ven Indrajala, this thread is discussing what it should be and not what it really is happening...
I too have my own experiences with such but what's the point of repeating about the obvious elephant in the room when the elephant knows it's not suppose to be there?
If the rules clearly don't work or have the intended effect, might as well update them accordingly. If people have become degenerate, then it is unlikely you'll whip them back into shape with archaic customs and rules. Lament that all you like, but let's be realistic and accommodating.

If the Vinaya literature is to be believed, the Buddha's sangha was democratic. The appropriate proceedings for organizational decision making were done by communal dialogue and vote (you propose something a certain amount of times and provided there are no objections the motion is considered passed). This was how things were done in various Indo-European communities in ancient India, like in the Buddha's homeland. In English we call it them republics.

I would say the Buddha would have been fine with democratically adjusting and updating rules and regulations.

However, most monasteries and Buddhist orders are effectively dictatorships or oligarchies, which Vinaya proponents often seem to overlook. They'll insist on keeping archaic social customs and precepts, but the democratic procedures are overlooked or ignored.

So, in the absence of democratic sangha models and workable procedures for intelligent reform, we can ignore illegitimate ecclesiastical authority and simply do our own thing, like update the rules, ordain women, eat dinner, etc.

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Indrajala
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Re: Eating after midday.

Post by Indrajala »

daverupa wrote: There are some key issues to do with local necessity versus global unity in Buddhism which are a Herculean task to address... this begins to approach one facet of that monster, I think.
There never will be unified Buddhism for obvious reasons. For most of Buddhist history even in India we're well aware that unity never existed, hence all the different sects, Vinaya traditions and schools of thought, to say nothing of differing team colours. Even within modern Theravada there are sects which exist due to minor differences.

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Indrajala
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Re: Eating after midday.

Post by Indrajala »

BuddhaSoup wrote: Respectfully, eating past midday violates the precepts.
Riding in a car or airplane likewise violates a precept (unless ill), but I don't see a fuss made over that.

I might guess that the Buddha understood the Vinaya to be well enough understood that its precepts would be the roadmap for those on the path. So, it's up to all of us to determine how serious and focused we wish our own practice to be.
He also said update things as they spread to different lands, and to get rid of the minor rules.

Again, the Buddha was fine with reforming the precepts. They were never meant to be set in stone forever.

It was apparently Mahākassapa that, undemocratically, said nothing would be changed and that all the precepts from before had to be followed, but what authority did he have to do that? What about the democratic procedures in the sangha for voting on things? Did Mahākassapa have the authority to make decrees as he purportedly did?

If we conclude in fact he lacked the authority to make such a decree, then we can consider such a decree unlawful and thus proceed with reforms.
For the ordained, I feel that disregard of the Vinaya is the classic slippery slope that will lead to the Dhamma being diluted to the point of nonrecognition, one of the Buddha's great concerns. It didn't happen in the 500 years he predicted, but it's happening now quite nicely in the west.
Do you realize that the Vinaya(s) as we have it now in Theravada, Tibetan Buddhism and East Asia is a reflection of heavily modified and even brahmanized Buddhism already? The part in the Vinaya about taxation of farmers -- do you think that honestly reflects the Buddhadhamma of the Buddha's time?

daverupa
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Re: Eating after midday.

Post by daverupa »

Indrajala wrote:However, most monasteries and Buddhist orders are effectively dictatorships or oligarchies, which Vinaya proponents often seem to overlook. They'll insist on keeping archaic social customs and precepts, but the democratic procedures are overlooked or ignored.

So, in the absence of democratic sangha models and workable procedures for intelligent reform, we can ignore illegitimate ecclesiastical authority and simply do our own thing, like update the rules, ordain women, eat dinner, etc.
This is an interesting call to action. I wonder how we can make an even-handed assessment of illegitimate ecclesiastical authority...in any event, a move to local democratic Sanghas is certainly preferable.
  • "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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Indrajala
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Re: Eating after midday.

Post by Indrajala »

daverupa wrote: This is an interesting call to action. I wonder how we can make an even-handed assessment of illegitimate ecclesiastical authority...
It isn't even a call to action, but just a recognition of the reality.

Since there is no overarching Buddhist authority or union, perhaps deciding on things locally is best. Outside of the essential śramaṇa expectations (celibacy, non-violence, truth, kindness and so forth), everything else can be decided according to the community and prevailing local conditions. This is how it works in real life as it is.

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Anagarika
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Re: Eating after midday.

Post by Anagarika »

It was apparently Mahākassapa that, undemocratically, said nothing would be changed and that all the precepts from before had to be followed, but what authority did he have to do that? What about the democratic procedures in the sangha for voting on things? Did Mahākassapa have the authority to make decrees as he purportedly did?

If we conclude in fact he lacked the authority to make such a decree, then we can consider such a decree unlawful and thus proceed with reforms.
The story of Upali yields this history of the democratic procedures in the Sangha: "Mahakassapa was leading a number of monks to Kushinagara when news of the Buddha's death reached him. The news caused some monks to grieve, but one monk said he was glad to be able to do as he wished. Mahakassapa was disturbed by this remark and worried for the future of the Sangha and the Buddha's teaching. So he convened a great assembly of senior monks, all arhats, to consider how to preserve the teachings and the order. It was at this assembly that the disciple Ananda recited all of the Buddha's sermons from memory. And then Upali was asked to recite the monastic rules. The assembled monks agreed that the recitations were accurate. These recitations became the basis for the Sutta-pitika and the Vinaya-pitika of the Pali Tipitika."

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Cittasanto
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Re: Eating after midday.

Post by Cittasanto »

SarathW wrote: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
yes if they have undertaken the eight precepts, but no if they have undertaken the five!
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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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Indrajala
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Re: Eating after midday.

Post by Indrajala »

BuddhaSoup wrote: The assembled monks agreed that the recitations were accurate. These recitations became the basis for the Sutta-pitika and the Vinaya-pitika of the Pali Tipitika."
Even if we accept this, it still doesn't address the autocratic decision made by Mahākassapa. Ānanda provided a reliable testimony where the Buddha is said to have stated the minor rules were to be dropped. The Buddha was fine with reform.

I don't understand the level of attachment a lot of members here show towards archaic regulations. Most Theravada bhikkhus I know are pretty relaxed.

No need to be more Catholic than the Pope. :sage:

plwk
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Re: Eating after midday.

Post by plwk »

Errr Ven, even Pope Francis got a correction by the Vatican recently, no? :mrgreen:

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lyndon taylor
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Re: Eating after midday.

Post by lyndon taylor »

For the second time, Indrajala, NOT EATING AFTER 12PM IS NOT A MINOR RULE, its one of the ten precepts, THE MAJOR RULES.
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, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

daverupa
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Re: Eating after midday.

Post by daverupa »

Indrajala wrote:
BuddhaSoup wrote: The assembled monks agreed that the recitations were accurate. These recitations became the basis for the Sutta-pitika and the Vinaya-pitika of the Pali Tipitika."
Even if we accept this, it still doesn't address the autocratic decision made by Mahākassapa. Ānanda provided a reliable testimony where the Buddha is said to have stated the minor rules were to be dropped. The Buddha was fine with reform.
It's quite true, and I think Buddhist monasticism will need to look different in the future in order to best exist alongside lay support... unless, you think monasteries should seek moderate self-sufficiency as a general rule? Farming, investment, etc. alongside donations?
  • "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]

dagon
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Re: Eating after midday.

Post by dagon »

Indrajala wrote:
BuddhaSoup wrote: The assembled monks agreed that the recitations were accurate. These recitations became the basis for the Sutta-pitika and the Vinaya-pitika of the Pali Tipitika."
Even if we accept this, it still doesn't address the autocratic decision made by Mahākassapa. Ānanda provided a reliable testimony where the Buddha is said to have stated the minor rules were to be dropped. The Buddha was fine with reform.

I don't understand the level of attachment a lot of members here show towards archaic regulations. Most Theravada bhikkhus I know are pretty relaxed.

No need to be more Catholic than the Pope. :sage:
Ven Indrajala - perhaps you could help me - i was taught that The Buddha said that the minor rule could be dropped, whereas you have stated were to be dropped. i think that there is a very significant difference between to two options.

paul

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lyndon taylor
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Re: Eating after midday.

Post by lyndon taylor »

There are about 227 rules in the Vinaya, an example of a minor rule might be the rule aginast picking flowers or killing plants for monks, that's a minor rule, perhaps, The 10 precepts for monks are not minor rules at all, and when the Buddha said some minor rules could be left behind, I'm fairly certain he wasn't in any way refering to the 10 precepts, which are Major rules. In any case as I remember it the monks had a council after the buddha made this statement and decided not to change any of the rules, obviously the buddha didn't tell them outright to drop the minor rules, otherwise they would have done so.
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, sincerely former monk John

http://trickleupeconomictheory.blogspot.com/

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Indrajala
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Re: Eating after midday.

Post by Indrajala »

daverupa wrote: It's quite true, and I think Buddhist monasticism will need to look different in the future in order to best exist alongside lay support... unless, you think monasteries should seek moderate self-sufficiency as a general rule? Farming, investment, etc. alongside donations?
In the west when funding from immigrants and Asia dry up, then monastics will have to be partially or fully self-sufficient. Think growing food (tilling the earth), selling speciality products (like Christian monastics: honey, cheese, etc.) and not relying on handouts. I don't see western cultures supporting Vinaya monasticism in the long-term.

How many of the big monasteries in the west are primarily funded by western benefactors, I wonder? Not many.

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Anagarika
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Re: Eating after midday.

Post by Anagarika »

I see the above as two different questions. Whether a monk should abstain from sex, not eat after midday, maintain a shaved head (and no longer than 2 fingers' length), wear robes, sleep in a low and simple bed, etc, etc is a different question than how monasteries in the west will adapt to changing support environments. Some of the minor rules or functional rules may need to be adapted to economic circumstances. I still do not see a day when good bhikkhus and bhikkhunis give up the precepts on an ad hoc bases. There are sound reasons for the maintenance of the behavioral precepts, and I and others have written enough on the issue. It's still my view that the evolution away from the Vinaya precepts (and the Bodhisattva precepts for that matter) has been a primary cause of some of the dysfunction in Buddhist communities in the west. So many of the abuses of trust and scandals have centered around disregard for the major precepts. Maintenance of the major precepts instills confidence and trust, both within the monk, and within the sangha that includes the laity. To suggest otherwise is a laissez-faire approach that leads to troublesome events.

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