purple planet wrote:
Freeing up more time can also be a compassionate act, especially if it is typically someone else preparing the food for you; another possible merit function.
- is it still compassionate if i didnt think of this aspect at all ?
And from a mindfulness, awareness perspective; there is more of that when the stomach is not full or especially too full, at least in my experience.
its my experience also - what do you think is the reason ?
Folk Buddhist answer, lol
Not sure why you want to separate the issues of spirituality and health.
Buddha went through years of the aesthetics austerities before he was persuaded to eat to save his life. He did not achieve enlightenment. After he achieved enlightenment he re-joined his 5 former companions who accused him of living in luxury. He taught them the middle way. Eat what you need to sustain the body so that you could live but not for sensual pleasures.
The Buddha lived in India with its culture and way of life which was predominantly agricultural. Rice and other food was cooked in the morning, rice that stayed soft all day after cooking was valued by the farmers for this reason (why sticky rice is still preferred in rural Thailand). Where meat was cooked as part of the meal the pot was normally kept at the side of the fire keeping it at a relatively safe temperature.
The Buddha and his monks lived the life of renunciation – went forth as beggars and so were for the most part reliant on the farmers for food. In exchange for the dana from the farmers the monks gave teachings and the farmers benefited from the merit of giving. There was a little problem – there were no fridges and some food not kept hot would soon turn bad, so it was better eaten sooner rather than later.
As for the issue of mindfulness – digestion of food requires substantial amounts of blood to be diverted for that purpose. Hence after eating we often feel sleepy which I not conducive to meditation. That understanding was around at the time and was later written in the Vedas – which recommend that if you eat in the evening the meal should be light and easy to digest. If you sleep on a full stomach then you are often still tired in the morning because the resources that should be used to rejuvenate the body are diverted to digestion