the great vegetarian debate

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:59 pm

Well like it or not people respond to what you post in your comments, if your comments are not representative of your views then you are just trolling.
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 that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:30 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:Well like it or not people respond to what you post in your comments, if your comments are not representative of your views then you are just trolling.

the thing you don't understand is that just because someone doesn't talk about their personal diet and deals with whether or not a specific diet is prescribed in Buddhism does not mean they do or do not follow a diet.

Look after your own well being before judging others with no or faulty information!

Lydon,
What you fail to see is that there are valid points being made. but instead of pointing out how these are irrelivant, flawed... you claim to know what you certainly do not know, and misinterpret what is plainly obvious.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:58 pm

A lot of people in this long thread have honestly revealed themselves to be all or mostly vegetarian, yet still stick up for the Buddha's giving people free choice on the issue from a scriptural basis, you have not and used arguments that would only make sense coming from a meat eater, if that is not the case, I suggest you think more carefully about what you say and how that may be perceived. In other words, judging only by your posts,I see nothing to make me think that you are not a meat eater defending meat eating, and basically ridiculing the choices of vegetarians, here and on other forums. I'm sorry, if that is not the case I apologize, you can rectify the situation by talking something about the positive reasons to be vegetarian, if that is how you feel. Like I said we don't know you, or anyone else on these forums except by the content of the posts they make, if you're not representing yourself accurately on these forums, you're really only fooling yourself.
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 that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:12 am

lyndon taylor wrote:A lot of people in this long thread have honestly revealed themselves to be all or mostly vegetarian, yet still stick up for the Buddha's giving people free choice on the issue from a scriptural basis, you have not and used arguments that would only make sense coming from a meat eater, if that is not the case, I suggest you think more carefully about what you say and how that may be perceived. In other words, judging only by your posts,I see nothing to make me think that you are not a meat eater defending meat eating, and basically ridiculing the choices of vegetarians, here and on other forums. I'm sorry, if that is not the case I apologize, you can rectify the situation by talking something about the positive reasons to be vegetarian, if that is how you feel. Like I said we don't know you, or anyone else on these forums except by the content of the posts they make, if you're not representing yourself accurately on these forums, you're really only fooling yourself.

The question isn't about me, so I deal with what the texts are saying, that does not say anything about my diet in the slightest, nor does it have me representing me on the matter. If the question at hand was not whether or not Buddhism (not me but Buddhism) is vegetarian I may answer differently depending on what the question was. In other words I answer from the point of reference.
I have, and do, advocate diet being a personal choice, and it is retarded to interpret anything I have said as being otherwise in regard to what someone should eat. but please show a linked post where I say meat eating is the only way and ridicule vegetarianism, but again my diet is irrelevant to whether Buddhism is or is not vegetarian.

you have claimed meat eating buddhists have loopy logic, but fail to actually address any reasons when they are provided, other than a plea to emotion, that is dishonest and illogical.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby seeker242 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:40 am

Cittasanto wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:I have asked this earlier in the thread, but as I recently seen it come up again, I will ask again.

How is the argument that vegetarianism is not necessary for Buddhists faulty?
Not a trick question Go through the points and point out the flaws in the logic and show how it is loopy (as the one who re-raised this question called it).

Just to help people along here are four arguments from http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/dha ... /fdd21.htm. I will put any addition I make in square brackets[], or if I reword it in {}

(1) If the Buddha had felt that a meatless diet was in accordance with the Precepts he would have said so and in the Pali Tipitaka at least, he did not.[Devadatta's rule not being taken up at the first schism being an example]




I think one could argue that a flaw in this argument is that the conclusion is based on an assumption, rather than a fact. The horrible conditions in modern day factory farms did not exist back then. To assume that the Buddha would have said nothing about it, if he had seen such a situation, is just that, an assumption. I can't imagine the Buddha would approve of such a situation. Animals back then generally lived a fairly pleasant life out in a pasture somewhere. These days, many animals are horribly treated, abused and suffer their whole lives and are then killed. What would the Buddha say if he were to see one of those PETA videos of a modern day slaughterhouse? All of the meat in my local supermarkets comes from one of those kinds of places. Perhaps you can't say that he would say something, but to say he would not, is really just an assumption.

In order for the conclusion to be a solid one, there must be some kind of support to first prove, or at least provide evidence, that the assumption is true. If there is nothing to support the assumption, then the conclusion becomes suspect also.

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:42 am

Buddhism is one of the most vegetarian religions in the world, especially in the west and especially in the Eastern Mahayana tradition, to claim that vegetarianism has nothing to do with Buddhism is a gross misunderstanding, any logically minded person will admit that the strictest interpretation of the No killing precept would indicate vegetarianism, however the buddha and many mostly Therevada Buddhist allow a much less strict and somewhat less logical interpretation of no killing, in other words they have a double standard, a strict interpretation for no killing of People, and a very loose and less logical interpretation for not killing animals, I don't really care what quotations you can come up with in the suttas, it seems almost any point can be proven or disproven by quoting select suttas out of context, jusd like with Bible verse thumping Christians.

My point is that vegetarians are sticking to a moral high ground(on this particular issue) and interpreting No killing literally to apply to anything that contributes to unneeded killing, not just the act of physical killing itself.

You can claim all you like that the Buddha actually believed that eating meat has nothing to do with killing the animal (I for one don't believe this), but scientifically and logically we know full well today that it is the purchase and eating of meat that is the driving force behind the killing in the meat industry.
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 that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:48 am

Greetings Lyndon,

lyndon taylor wrote:I don't really care what quotations you can come up with in the suttas

Clearly this is so... though it is a rather churlish position to take when engaging with others on a Theravada Buddhist forum.

lyndon taylor wrote:however the buddha and many mostly Therevada Buddhist allow a much less strict and somewhat less logical interpretation of no killing

... and to declare one's own views as more logical than the Buddha (once again, on a Theravada Buddhist forum) is indeed curious..

:shock:

It isn't much surprise that you're not getting much traction here...

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:50 am

seeker242 wrote:


I think one could argue that a flaw in this argument is that the conclusion is based on an assumption, rather than a fact. The horrible conditions in modern day factory farms did not exist back then. To assume that the Buddha would have said nothing about it, if he had seen such a situation, is just that, an assumption. I can't imagine the Buddha would approve of such a situation. Animals back then generally lived a fairly pleasant life out in a pasture somewhere. These days, many animals are horribly treated, abused and suffer their whole lives and are then killed. What would the Buddha say if he were to see one of those PETA videos of a modern day slaughterhouse? All of the meat in my local supermarkets comes from one of those kinds of places. Perhaps you can't say that he would say something, but to say he would not, is really just an assumption.

In order for the conclusion to be a solid one, there must be some kind of support to first prove, or at least provide evidence, that the assumption is true. If there is nothing to support the assumption, then the conclusion becomes suspect also.



Another big flaw in taking the Buddha's words literally today, is that in the Buddha's time, after the animal was killed, most or all of it had to be eaten in a couple of days or it would rot and make people horribly sick, so you can imagine the Buddha looking at a dead butchered cow and saying well, we didn't kill it but we might as well eat it as otherwise its just going to rot, at least the animals death can be good for something.

But that reasoning has no meaning today with refrigeration and preservation of meat for weeks or months, so along with the arguments Seeker presents above, the modern world and factory farming present a whole other situation that isn't really relevant to what was being said in the suttas 2500 years ago. And yes I agree with Seeker, I think the buddha if he lived today would be a spokesman for vegetarianism, even if he didn't force all his followers to be ones.

Also in the modern day it is meat eaters wanting to eat and buy meat that causes the killing of the farm animals, usually. In the buddha's time you could look at it as some unskilled person killed the animal, and then the people eat the meat so it doesn't go to waste. Ive heard of primitive tribes where one animal feeds a whole village, its possible that the moral ethical dilemmas faced 2500 years ago are very different from the moral ethical dilemmas we face today, and that directly applying the Buddha's statements about meat to a modern context is a big mistake, because those 2500 year old conditions don't apply today.
Last edited by lyndon taylor on Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:15 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:55 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Lyndon,

lyndon taylor wrote:I don't really care what quotations you can come up with in the suttas

Clearly this is so... though it is a rather churlish position to take when engaging with others on a Theravada Buddhist forum

Metta,
Retro. :)


You misunderstood my meaning, what I mean is when you take all the pro meat sutta references and line them up, you get a totally different perspective than when you line up all the pro vegetarian sutta references and line them up, that's why as I said its not aways logical to take any sutta reference literally when taken out of context of all the other sutta references on the same topic.

PS I didn't mean to imply that the Buddha's logic was less than perfect, rather the logic attributed to the buddha in some sutta passages written down 500 years after the Buddha, doesn't always make sense from a modern perspective. Which leads me more to question some suttas, than the Buddha himself.
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 that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:23 am

lyndon taylor wrote:Buddhism is one of the most vegetarian religions in the world, especially in the west and especially in the Eastern Mahayana tradition, to claim that vegetarianism has nothing to do with Buddhism is a gross misunderstanding, any logically minded person will admit that the strictest interpretation of the No killing precept would indicate vegetarianism, however the buddha and many mostly Therevada Buddhist allow a much less strict and somewhat less logical interpretation of no killing, in other words they have a double standard, a strict interpretation for no killing of People, and a very loose and less logical interpretation for not killing animals, I don't really care what quotations you can come up with in the suttas, it seems almost any point can be proven or disproven by quoting select suttas out of context, jusd like with Bible verse thumping Christians.

well as this is a Theravadin forum....
The forum does have that reference fraim, this isn't Devadata, or Mahayana Buddhism or Jainism or anything other than a Theravadin forum.

I do not make any claim that vegetarianism has nothing to do with Buddhism, rather that Buddhism does not require a specific diet. As you have a problem with understanding what is said I am not surprised with this foolish misrepresentation as you have repetitively done this.

My point is that vegetarians are sticking to a moral high ground(on this particular issue) and interpreting No killing literally to apply to anything that contributes to unneeded killing, not just the act of physical killing itself.

As the Dhamma is timeless (sustainable), and invites all to come and see, this is not dependent upon conditions that are ideal for a specific diet, rather dependent on the person's ability to understand. Try your high ground in the himalayan regions such as Tibet, mongolia, or the arctic. go on put your high ground to the test of sustainability in the harshest conditions where humans live, without the comforts you enjoy.

You can claim all you like that the Buddha actually believed that eating meat has nothing to do with killing the animal (I for one don't believe this), but scientifically and logically we know full well today that it is the purchase and eating of meat that is the driving force behind the killing in the meat industry.

I don't make that claim without support, unlike what you claim (even if you claim evidence is there, inference is not the same as first hand evidence).
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:36 am

So you believe eating meat has nothing to do with the killing of animals, I just want to be clear on this, because its very relevant to how seriously people take your opinions, And for the umpteemth time I never said and do not say that the Buddha said everyone should be vegetarian or that vegetarianism is necessary, I said it would appear the Buddha encouraged people to eat less meat because he made strict rules against the killing of animals and eating meat killed for you, now you go ahead and go to the supermarket and meditate your mantra, this meat was not killed for me, this meat was not killed for me, with a clean conscience, and I'll go on with my life.
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 that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby clw_uk » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:38 am

PS I didn't mean to imply that the Buddha's logic was less than perfect, rather the logic attributed to the buddha in some sutta passages written down 500 years after the Buddha, doesn't always make sense from a modern perspective. Which leads me more to question some suttas, than the Buddha himself.



Yet on the great rebirth debate you say that this attitude is picking and choosing and "knowing more than the Buddha", yet now your doing it.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby clw_uk » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:45 am

the Buddha encouraged people to eat less meat


Yup but we can eat meat if it's offered

If I invited you for a meal and served you meat, would you eat it? If not, why?
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised." Verses on the Faith Mind, Sengcan

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:52 am

seeker242 wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:I have asked this earlier in the thread, but as I recently seen it come up again, I will ask again.

How is the argument that vegetarianism is not necessary for Buddhists faulty?
Not a trick question Go through the points and point out the flaws in the logic and show how it is loopy (as the one who re-raised this question called it).

Just to help people along here are four arguments from http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/dha ... /fdd21.htm. I will put any addition I make in square brackets[], or if I reword it in {}

(1) If the Buddha had felt that a meatless diet was in accordance with the Precepts he would have said so and in the Pali Tipitaka at least, he did not.[Devadatta's rule not being taken up at the first schism being an example]




I think one could argue that a flaw in this argument is that the conclusion is based on an assumption, rather than a fact. The horrible conditions in modern day factory farms did not exist back then. To assume that the Buddha would have said nothing about it, if he had seen such a situation, is just that, an assumption. I can't imagine the Buddha would approve of such a situation. Animals back then generally lived a fairly pleasant life out in a pasture somewhere. These days, many animals are horribly treated, abused and suffer their whole lives and are then killed. What would the Buddha say if he were to see one of those PETA videos of a modern day slaughterhouse? All of the meat in my local supermarkets comes from one of those kinds of places. Perhaps you can't say that he would say something, but to say he would not, is really just an assumption.

In order for the conclusion to be a solid one, there must be some kind of support to first prove, or at least provide evidence, that the assumption is true. If there is nothing to support the assumption, then the conclusion becomes suspect also.


Do you know how a slaughter was done the way it was done in the Buddhas day? how do you think the animals were stunned then? you seem to assume slaughter is majorly different from them other than being more mechanical. We are removed from seeing slaughter and death today and back when we saw these things first hand (I have been to the local slaughterhouse and chicken (for eggs) farm).

I doubt the Buddha would of spoken about lay people's spending habits as it is inappropriate for a mendicant to speak of such worldly matters, I also doubt the Buddha would be direct with any criticism, and probably would only say what has already been recorded. I won't assume the Buddha would do anything he isn't recorded as already doing.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:00 am

clw_uk wrote:
PS I didn't mean to imply that the Buddha's logic was less than perfect, rather the logic attributed to the buddha in some sutta passages written down 500 years after the Buddha, doesn't always make sense from a modern perspective. Which leads me more to question some suttas, than the Buddha himself.



Yet on the great rebirth debate you say that this attitude is picking and choosing and "knowing more than the Buddha", yet now your doing it.


The scriptural support for literal rebirth and the belief in other realms is overwhelming, the scriptural evidence for and against eating meat is much less clear, in some suttas its OK in others its not, Its hard to come to any conclusion other than its up to your own moral conscience to decide whether you should eat meat or not.The Buddha says one thing quite clearly; No killing of animals. I take that quite literally, no eating of animals killed for food, you take it quite differently. Buddhism is not just about following scriptures literally, and having a sutta to support every single decision you make, or at least it shouldn't be. Buddhism is about developing mindfulness, realizing the Dhamma, the truth, and learning to make your own moral decisions, oftentimes in situations never mentioned in the suttas.

I remember the quote now, clw UK, you were arguing against literal rebirth even though it was overwhelmingly scripturally supported, then you were arguing against vegetarianism by quoting scriptures, perhaps out of context, hence my appraisal you can't deny all the scriptures on rebirth then try to quote obscure scriptures against vegetarianism, which I called rationalization. If you're going to be a scripture quoter then you should apply the same rules of veracity to all scripture topics, if you deny the scriptures on one topic, it doesn't make sense to quote them on another.
Last edited by lyndon taylor on Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby clw_uk » Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:08 am

This
No killing of animals.



Is different to this

no eating of animals killed for food,



Would you eat meat if I had you over for dinner and served it to you?
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:13 am

I don't think I could accept the invitation clw, you might spike the vegeloaf with hamburger!!!
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 that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John

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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:35 am

lyndon taylor wrote:So you believe eating meat has nothing to do with the killing of animals, I just want to be clear on this, because its very relevant to how seriously people take your opinions,

Who are you talking to? I never made a claim nor indicated a belief that meat does not involve an animals death. And how serious people take me is not relevant here. if it is how is it?

And for the umpteemth time I never said and do not say that the Buddha said everyone should be vegetarian or that vegetarianism is necessary,

do you know what you wrote?
You claimed the moral high ground, I was dealing with that in regards to the Dhamma. Nothing more.
just to reference the part
My point is that vegetarians are sticking to a moral high ground(on this particular issue) and interpreting No killing literally to apply to anything that contributes to unneeded killing, not just the act of physical killing itself.

As the Dhamma is timeless (sustainable), and invites all to come and see, this is not dependent upon conditions that are ideal for a specific diet, rather dependent on the person's ability to understand. Try your high ground in the himalayan regions such as Tibet, mongolia, or the arctic. go on put your high ground to the test of sustainability in the harshest conditions where humans live, without the comforts you enjoy.

I said it would appear the Buddha encouraged people to eat less meat because he made strict rules against the killing of animals and eating meat killed for you,

and? I do not advocate eating meat or not I leave that up to each person. I only say in regard to Buddhism is that Buddhism does not mean adopting any specific diet.

now you go ahead and go to the supermarket and meditate your mantra, this meat was not killed for me, this meat was not killed for me, with a clean conscience, and I'll go on with my life.

You are claiming people are intending things they are not, namely intending to kill. this is not the case. People do not go shopping with that intent, rather the intent is to have nourishment available.

but I have no such mantra, nor a need to use it. Stop claiming things that are not there! your repeatedly making of these spurious claims & personal assumptions is childish.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

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lyndon taylor
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:41 am

I would say complete sobriety is the moral high ground, complete honesty is the moral high ground, and being responsible for the least amount of killing animals and people is the moral high ground, shopping at the supermarket for whatever your heart desires is not usually the moral high ground.
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 that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John

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Cittasanto
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Re: the great vegetarian debate

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:52 am

lyndon taylor wrote:I would say complete sobriety is the moral high ground, complete honesty is the moral high ground, and being responsible for the least amount of killing animals and people is the moral high ground, shopping at the supermarket for whatever your heart desires is not usually the moral high ground.

Edit
I will just ask what is the relevance to anything actually said
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."


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