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Why one meal a day? - Page 12 - Dhamma Wheel

Why one meal a day?

A place to discuss health and fitness, healthy diets. A fit body makes for a fit mind.
jason c
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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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polarbear101
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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
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"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."

jason c
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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
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polarbear101
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Re: what is the relevence of eating before noon?

Postby polarbear101 » Thu May 31, 2012 12:37 am

well I think it slowly became more for tradition's sake than for practicality so they have a rule in the vinaya about it that is followed to the letter, at least in the Theravada I think. In mahayana I don't think they have the one meal in the morning rule but they have a rule about being vegetarians that Theravada doesn't. So rules vary. Also, I think that there is a sutta where the Buddha talks about sloth being associated with eating dinner but I may have just read that from some Bhikkhu, or both, I'm not sure.

Anyway, I'm sure there are other people on this forum that actually know these things unlike me, so hopefully they'll come and satisfy your curiosity.

:namaste:
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"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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daverupa
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Re: what is the relevence of eating before noon?

Postby daverupa » Thu May 31, 2012 1:26 am


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Re: what is the relevence of eating before noon?

Postby ground » Thu May 31, 2012 3:17 am


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hanzze_
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Re: what is the relevence of eating before noon?

Postby hanzze_ » Thu May 31, 2012 4:37 am


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Cittasanto
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Re: what is the relevence of eating before noon?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu May 31, 2012 6:37 am

The rule is for equanimity, dispassion regarding food intake, to restrain oneself from over indulgence of sensual pleasures. the way the rule is in the Vinaya has to do with not being a burden on the lay supporters, or putting oneself in danger, as traveling at night can have problems such as the inability to see where ditches stones... are.

The Eight precepts are renunciation rules and why this is included there.

The rules are almost the same in the Dharmagupta and Mulasarvastivada vinayas followed in mahayana there are some slight differences and extra rules not found in the patimokkha of the theravada.

On a different topic, Jason, I sent you a message as it was rightly deleted in the other thread for being meta-discussion.


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.

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hanzze_
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Re: what is the relevence of eating before noon?

Postby hanzze_ » Thu May 31, 2012 6:46 am


jason c
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Re: what is the relevence of eating before noon?

Postby jason c » Thu May 31, 2012 10:27 am

hi everyone,
thanks for the replies, i have often thought this precept had another lesson. the buddha lived a life of luxury he had all the food he could ever want and ate whenever he wanted, this not putting an end to his suffering he went out and began the life of an ascetic living off of bird droppings and at times 1 grain of rice per day. this only led to sickness and had no profitibility, it did not put an end to his suffering. finding the middle way, not taking too much food and not taking too little was the practice that led to his enlightenment. i believe the buddha saw many beings living with too much and he saw many beings living with not enough. so he created the order of monks , because most of us come from plentiful lifestyles we view the limited food of a monk as a restriction, but the order of monks and nuns is open to people of all backgrounds, and one coming from a life of extreme poverty would find salvation from hunger by joining, they would not view this as a dicipline but as the appropriate amount of food for survival. with this knowledge i try and live a similar lifestyle not too much but not to little. with my lifestlyle; job, kids ,level of physical activity, i cannot always follow a particular time schedule for my meals (my kids usually come first) but i do only take two meals a day, breakfast and lunch, this i have found works for my individual body and the amount of food i take depends on different factors (cold weather, hot weather, much activity, less activity etc...). i also find the empty stomach is agreeable for my morning and evening sits. i like to think that the meal i skip, the new pair of shoes i don't buy, the new bathroom that i don't install, is left for some other being that really needs these things.
this is my personal interpretation of this precept and eating at (the forbidden time) has no real benifit to practice other than a level of personal comfort in seated meditation. it seems to have great benefit with large groups of men and women begging for there meals, keeping order and not inconviencing others, but there does not seem to be any other reason one should not take a meal say at 1 pm.
there seems no reason for a layperson to adopt this precept into his or her lifestyle.

thoughts on this, metta
jason

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hanzze_
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Re: what is the relevence of eating before noon?

Postby hanzze_ » Thu May 31, 2012 10:46 am

Dear jason,
maybe a "I should eat first"-reason in the daily stress? Not so much about with time and not so much about how often (for a layperson), but it has its calming value and impact on slowing down a little. I know the idea of the need to be productive and useful in it is very present today.
Things are done more consciously and to eat is something that comes first. Especial in a "fastfood" time, where it is suggested that the most less problem you have is to just your food, timely regulations have their benefit. Thought of not eating if the time is over, its a good way the discipline down the reasoning where are no reasons.

I would put timely at the first place, reducing on the second place in a step by step journey. It has more impact on livelihood as to let the first be ignored and still hurry on with a snarling belly and the though "I do it for the benefit of all beings, may I safe them all, I should not wast time"

When we look at the suttas, we will see just "timely eating" (without reference which time), especial for layman.

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Cittasanto
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Re: what is the relevence of eating before noon?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu May 31, 2012 2:39 pm



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.

jason c
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Re: what is the relevence of eating before noon?

Postby jason c » Thu May 31, 2012 7:36 pm

hey cittasanto,
i suppose the timeframe can force compassion to arise in devotees, if we dont get the food to them on time the poor folks will go hungry for the night. and if nobody gives, the monks move on or starve to death. so the timeframe could also be to solicit compassion.

hey hanzee,
i'm having a hard time fidguring out your message, i believe its the language barrier. but thanks for the reply

metta,
jason

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Cittasanto
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Re: what is the relevence of eating before noon?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu May 31, 2012 8:31 pm



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.

jason c
Posts: 128
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 11:41 am

Re: what is the relevence of eating before noon?

Postby jason c » Thu May 31, 2012 11:29 pm

dear cittasanto,
if the rules were set up strictly to keep the monks from being a nuicence and as a form of restraint. how did monks travel in the old forest days when going from one monestary to another,what if they became lost should they simply die. i've read of monks searching for forest greens, herbs and roots, wild mushrooms to supliment there daily alms rice, i've even read about nuns preparing meals. if they are meant not to be a burden why not gather a weeks worth of food, prepare meals at appropriate times, eat , clean up and go back to meditating this seems less of a burdon on the laypeople and there is less likelyhood of monks and nuns becoming malnourished. this must be linked to the spreading of the dhamma, and arousing generosity in others. otherwise this forbidden eating time seems silly to me.
i was also searching for the 10 exceptions to this rule and could not find this anywhere, the answer to my question may be in this info, all i've found is that if a monk is sick he may break the eating rule.

any info you could provide would be helpful,
jason

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manas
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Re: what is the relevence of eating before noon?

Postby manas » Thu May 31, 2012 11:56 pm

Hi jason, all,

however the rule came about, it works. I mean, ime, if I eat the evening meal, then try to sit meditation that night, the mind is shabby at best, or dull at worst. But - if I have kept to the 'eight-precepter rule' and ate only breakfast and lunch, and nothing after, so that the stomach is completely empty by sundown - then, the mind is clearer, brighter, and is capable of sitting meditation properly.

Two other points. 1. It makes sense to have the biggest meal at lunch time, when the digestive power is strongest. 2. It is not as tough as it sounds, if you take advantage of what the Buddha allowed after mid-day such as (no pulp - filtered) juices of fruits or juices of leaves, herbal teas (there are some that allay hunger pangs), a few allowable candies if you feel desperate for the feeling of eating something...anyway, I am experimenting with gradually moving closer to this regime and so far, I just keep feeling better and better, physically and mentally. But, the first couple of days was tough, I must say. One has to get used to it.

One last thing: we really do not need three main meals a day, unless we are doing heavy physical labour as our main occupation, imo. Most of us in modern society could easily forgo the evening meal, and not starve as a result. For me, the difficulty of the first few days was all this emotional stuff coming up, that would normally have been supressed by stuffing down some food. That seems to have passed now. I will see how it goes, but I am warming to this routine, and recommend it, however: if you are sugar-sensitive, hyper or hypo glycemic, or diabetic, please consult medical advice first...just to be safe.

metta. :anjali:
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."

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GraemeR
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what is the relevence of eating before noon?

Postby GraemeR » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:34 am

Folks,

You should also remember that in Thailand you don't need to eat so much or so often due to the climate.

In a cold western country you need something in the evening to eat or you wake up cold and shivering.

With Forest monasteries in Thailand monks only eat breakfast!

Graham

jason c
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Re: what is the relevence of eating before noon?

Postby jason c » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:56 am

hi manas,
i was not disagreeing with the cutting back of our food intake, developing a true sense of our individual bodies needs is an important step in cultivating a meditative practice, and i personally find it very benificial. i was trying to get to the heart of the importance of the strict monastic rules, in particular the no eating after noon and seeing if in todays society it would still be deemed necessary or if it is more or less followed as a tradition. i have little interest in buddhism, i do however have a great deal of interest in the teachings of the buddha. not for the monastics but for me as a layperson. i am trying to disect the teachings to their core and find the ultimate truth. i also would like to find out if it is possible to reach the ultimate truth as a layperson or if it becomes necessary to ordain at a certain level. i have personally began a process of trying to simplify my life, cutting the unneccessary out, i am however due to past karma, a husband , a father basically a family man and i have no desire to remove this aspect from my life. i find the challenges of practicing as a layperson to be seemingly limitless, but the buddha was a begger and he advocated this particular lifestyle and i would like to find out just why this is, and if it is necessary .
any arahants out there,
jason

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mikenz66
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Re: what is the relevence of eating before noon?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:57 am


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hanzze_
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Re: what is the relevence of eating before noon?

Postby hanzze_ » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:47 am

Its lesser funny than sad, if a Bhikkhu teaches somebody who holds an umbrella. It's a respect of "Dhamma and Sangha comes first and do not teach to somebody who has just other problems" rule, and it looks like some Bhikkhus did not understand. I am sure there would be the need of additional rules in this group, like do tot teach somebody how has not turn of his cellphone or do not teach for the propose of broadcast... But that might be offtopic, but catches the point, that there are often deeper meanings behind as we might see at the first moment.


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