the great vegetarian debate

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Dinsdale
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:03 pm

dharmacorps wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:43 pm
Who will enforce these rules? The dhamma police?
Buddha save me from new-agers!

jmccoy
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by jmccoy » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:55 pm

dharmacorps wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:43 pm
D1W1 wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:43 am
dharmacorps wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:15 pm
OK, but does that have anything to do with them being compulsory?
Only Buddhists take the five precepts. It's the basic precept for all Buddhists. If someone wants to develop further, s/he can practice eight precepts. The guideline for lay Buddhists is five precepts hence it's compulsory. If it's not then it's like saying 227 precepts of monastic rules are not compulsory either, monks can just practice 10 precepts only. But this is not the case, of course nothing is compulsory even commandments from God highly depends on the individual whether s/he wants to practice it or not. Five precepts is the standard Buddhist ethics for lay people.
Who will enforce these rules? The dhamma police? While technically the 5 precepts are the best practices by the advice of the Buddha for lay people, there is nothing compulsory in them. To me, that takes away how special and powerful the act of renunciation is. It is a choice you undertake. Again, no Sutta based evidence the precepts are seen in this way.
If practicing the five precepts isn't a minimal lay Buddhist criterion then what the heck is?

dharmacorps
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by dharmacorps » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:12 pm

Who knows. Maybe taking refuge in the triple gem would be the most basic. I am only stating they aren't compulsory.

jmccoy
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by jmccoy » Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:48 am

dharmacorps wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:12 pm
Who knows. Maybe taking refuge in the triple gem would be the most basic. I am only stating they aren't compulsory.
It seemed that taking refuge was always a statement of practical intent and that undertaking pancasila was a minimal, foundational pledge by which to execute that intent. I thought taking refuge was always inclusive of the commitment to precepts. What does it mean to take refuge in the triple gem without practicing sila?

dharmacorps
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by dharmacorps » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:16 am

Both the 3 refuges and the 5 precepts are practical intents-- it is said often in Asia that what makes one a Buddhist as an identity (as opposed to a non-Buddhist) is the 3 refuges, but what makes you a devoted Buddhist is the precepts. Also many Buddhists in asia would mention trying to master the paramis is what they focus on, not the precepts.

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Kim OHara
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Kim OHara » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:28 am


Ruud
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by Ruud » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:40 am

jmccoy wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:55 pm

If practicing the five precepts isn't a minimal lay Buddhist criterion then what the heck is?
dharmacorps wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:12 pm
Who knows. Maybe taking refuge in the triple gem would be the most basic. I am only stating they aren't compulsory.
Indeed. Like I quoted before:
“In what way, Bhante, is one a lay follower?”

“When, Mahānāma, one has gone for refuge to the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Saṅgha, in that way one is a lay follower.”

“In what way, Bhante, is a lay follower virtuous?”

“When, Mahānāma, a lay follower abstains from the destruction of life, from taking what is not given, from sexual misconduct, from false speech, and from liquor, wine, and intoxicants, the basis for heedlessness, in that way a lay follower is virtuous.”
jmccoy wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:48 am
What does it mean to take refuge without practicing sila?
A good question. But I think the point here is to show that precepts are voluntary not compulsory. They are not commandments, but a training one takes on.
Dry up what pertains to the past,
do not take up anything to come later.
If you will not grasp in the middle,
you will live at peace.
—Snp.5.11,v.1099 (tr. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)

Whatever is will be was. —Ven. Ñānamoli, A Thinkers Notebook, §221

jmccoy
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by jmccoy » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:39 am

dharmacorps wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:16 am
it is said often in Asia that what makes one a Buddhist as an identity (as opposed to a non-Buddhist) is the 3 refuges, but what makes you a devoted Buddhist is the precepts. Also many Buddhists in asia would mention trying to master the paramis is what they focus on, not the precepts.
Hmm, ok. One can follow the precepts and also not identify as Buddhist. It is strange to me that there would be a difference between a devoted Buddhist and a non-devoted Buddhist.
Is the mastery of sīla pāramī a separate or distinct issue from mastery of pancasila?
Ruud wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:40 am

A good question. But I think the point here is to show that precepts are voluntary not compulsory. They are not commandments, but a training one takes on.
Fair enough, but then would this also mean that attaining arhantship and escaping samsara isn't the compulsory goal or point of practicing Buddhism? Up to this point I have always considered the accumulation of virtue to be an essential aspect of Dhamma.
Sorry, I'm not trying to get off topic, it's just that this has been running around in my mind for quite a while and this was the first "well timed / well placed" thread for me to jump in on the dialogue about.

Ruud
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by Ruud » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:13 am

jmccoy wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:39 am
...
The ultimate goal of the Buddha-Dhamma is indeed the end of suffering, which is reached at arahantship. But before that it reached, many steps on the path are taken. Virtue is an important step on this path, and indeed usually one presented as very early and basic to the practice. But many intermediate goals can be taken on the way. And the Buddha adjusted his teachings based on the inclinations and abilities of his audience.
He saw Suppabuddha the leper sitting in the assembly, and on seeing him the thought occurred to him, "This person here is capable of understanding the Dhamma." So, aiming at Suppabuddha the leper, he gave a step-by-step talk, i.e., he proclaimed a talk on generosity, on virtue, on heaven; he declared the drawbacks, degradation, & corruption of sensuality, and the rewards of renunciation. Then when the Blessed One knew that Suppabuddha the leper's mind was ready, malleable, free from hindrances, elevated, & clear, he then gave the Dhamma-talk peculiar to Awakened Ones, i.e., stress, origination, cessation, & path.
https://accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn ... .than.html
So in that step-by-step progression, it would be possible to take refuge because one recognizes that the path the Buddha points out ultimately is the right one and because one has the aspiration to eventually follow it all the way to its end. And practicing generosity can be a first step in that direction. This practice is not a very fast or energetic one, but it moves the practitioner in the right direction. And then, when one has enough confidence, can one out of ones own volition take on the next step of for example virtue.

This is not to say that the Buddha didn’t urge all disciples to keep the precepts and praise those who did. But he never imposed them. They were always kept out of the disciples own volition.
Dry up what pertains to the past,
do not take up anything to come later.
If you will not grasp in the middle,
you will live at peace.
—Snp.5.11,v.1099 (tr. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)

Whatever is will be was. —Ven. Ñānamoli, A Thinkers Notebook, §221

Ruud
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by Ruud » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:07 am

By the way, I feel that the above idea of gradual path can also be applied to the question in the OP. Regarding the interpretation of precepts, one can initially take a simple and basic interpretation, like the first precept means to not kill by oneself. And then further down the path, based on our further interpretation that making others kill is also included in the precept, we can choose to embrace for example vegetarianism. In that way we are slowly, over time, developing our path factor of right action and our sila-parami.
Dry up what pertains to the past,
do not take up anything to come later.
If you will not grasp in the middle,
you will live at peace.
—Snp.5.11,v.1099 (tr. Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi)

Whatever is will be was. —Ven. Ñānamoli, A Thinkers Notebook, §221

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Sam Vara
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Sam Vara » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:56 pm

Kim OHara wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:28 am
Another reason to avoid meat - https://secure.avaaz.org/campaign/en/meatless_day_13/

:coffee:
Kim
:thumbsup: And dairy!

jmccoy
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Re: The spirit of five precepts

Post by jmccoy » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:28 pm

Ruud wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:13 am
So in that step-by-step progression, it would be possible to take refuge because one recognizes that the path the Buddha points out ultimately is the right one and because one has the aspiration to eventually follow it all the way to its end. And practicing generosity can be a first step in that direction. This practice is not a very fast or energetic one, but it moves the practitioner in the right direction. And then, when one has enough confidence, can one out of ones own volition take on the next step of for example virtue.
It seems like you just diagnosed the very phase I'm in. Thanks! LOL

Robinio
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Robinio » Mon Apr 09, 2018 6:12 pm

Hey,

I found this forum while looking into vegetarian protein requirements. It seems that the matter has moved on from calculating daily protein requirements, but I thought I would at least post this calculator, as seems to be more accurate than the ones which have been posted on this forum, in case anyone needs it.

https://www.fitness-savvy.co.uk/protein ... in-advice/

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rightviewftw
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by rightviewftw » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:01 pm

How to meditate: Anapanasati, Satipatthana.
Intro to General Semantics
Factors & Perceptions

Parallel Dhammapada Reading
Chinese to Eng Dhp
"The statements; 'With the remainderless stopping & fading of the six contact-media is it the case that there is anything else?' '.. is it the case that there is not anything else .. is it the case that there both is & is not anything else .. is it the case that there neither is nor is not anything else?' objectifies non-objectification. However far the six contact-media go, that is how far objectification goes."

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Sam Vara
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:45 pm

rightviewftw wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:01 pm
An interesting read What If You Ate Only One Type of Food?
Many thanks - that is informative. I sometimes think about the types of food required if I had to massively simplify my diet. What if I had to choose only, say, ten foodstuffs to eat from here on?

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