Deepening my practice

A place to discuss health and fitness, healthy diets. A fit body makes for a fit mind.

Deepening my practice

Postby Dhammakid » Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:16 am

Hello Dhamma Wheel sangha,
Hope this message reaches you all in good spirits.

I am planning to come back to Theravada practice, my original practice when first coming to the Dhamma two years ago. I like Zen philosophy, but this constant changing of my mind is getting ridiculous and I feel I finally need to settle. Because I like the gradual teaching and the emphasis on morality and generosity, as well as the simple beauty of the Pali scriptures, I seem quite suited for Theravada practice. Besides, I don't think I'm "bodhisattva material" anyway. Just being honest :shrug:

Anyway, I'm looking to considerably deepen my practice, maybe to the level of a lay follower who has taken more precepts. I haven't done that, and probably won't get the chance to do it anytime soon, but I would like to start practicing on that level for a few reasons, one of which is possible ordination in the future. I have lots of debts to pay off that will take quite a long time, but once that's all done, I would very much like to ordain at a monastery such as Abhayagiri or similar. But that's way down the road.

I'm thinking of following a daily schedule that includes 8 precepts. A few quick questions:

1) Does the 8th precept include the use of antiperspirant/deodorant and shampoo? There's a good chance I'll be shaving my head soon (more for health reasons than practice), but in case I don't, I need to know whether shampoo is included in the 8th precept.

2) Any advice you can give on eating one meal per day? According to the Abhayagiri website, they eat oatmeal in the morning and a full meal before noon, with tea in the evening. I remember an ES thread where it was mentioned that eating one meal per day is certainly doable if you can still get somewhere around 1500-2000 calories in during that meal. Seems like an awful lot to eat in one sitting...

3) I'm assuming the 7th precept includes watching television and movies.

Any other advice you can give is greatly appreciated.

:anjali:
Dhammakid
User avatar
Dhammakid
 
Posts: 366
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:09 am
Location: Georgia, USA

Re: Deepening my practice

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:28 am

Dhammakid wrote:1) Does the 8th precept include the use of antiperspirant/deodorant?

2) Any advice you can give on eating only one meal per day?

3) I'm assuming the 7th precept includes watching television and motion pictures.

Any other advice you can give is greatly appreciated.


Hi Dhammakid,

First of all, congratulations on deciding to get very serious and coming back to Theravada. Your journey sounds similar to mine. I started with Theravada over 25 years ago, then experimented with Zen and Vajrayana, and then later realized Theravada was best for me.

1. Deodorants can be unscented. The issue is to not adorn or beautify the body.
2. I have been following the One meal a day program (lunch) for some time now and feel much healthier and fit, sleep better too.
3. Most would say movies are out unless it is a non-fiction documentary and the same with tv, unless it is documentaries or the news. But I know several that do watch shows and movies, although not all monks have perfect Vinaya, so not always best to just go by what you see being done.

I recommend doing as much / many of the 8 precepts as you can and not to 'beat yourself up over it' if you don't do all 8 all the time on all days. Until of course you decide to become a monk and ordain, then all 10 - 227 need to be kept.
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7965
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Deepening my practice

Postby Dhammakid » Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:50 am

TheDhamma wrote:Hi Dhammakid,

First of all, congratulations on deciding to get very serious and coming back to Theravada. Your journey sounds similar to mine. I started with Theravada over 25 years ago, then experimented with Zen and Vajrayana, and then later realized Theravada was best for me.


Thanks for the congrats. Yeah, my journey has been pretty interesting. I went from Theravada to Zen, back to Theravada, back to Zen, then I left Buddhism for Sikhism (even wore a turban!) and came back to Zen, considered Vajrayana practice and now I'm trying to settle on Theravada. This has all taught me a valuable lesson about attachment, aversion and understanding the fickleness of the mind.

TheDhamma wrote:1. Deodorants can be unscented. The issue is to not adorn or beautify the body.


Cool. I'm assuming that also means shampoo is okay?

TD wrote:2. I have been following the One meal a day program (lunch) for some time now and feel much healthier and fit, sleep better too.


That's good to hear. You were actually who I was thinking of when I mentioned the ES thread on eating once per day. I always remember that thread as encouragement the few times I tried to deepen my practice.

So you eat quite a bit during that one meal, huh?

TD wrote:3. Most would say movies are out unless it is a non-fiction documentary and the same with tv, unless it is documentaries or the news. But I know several that do watch shows and movies, although not all monks have perfect Vinaya, so not always best to just go by what you see being done.


I'm guessing it's just a matter of doing what feels most right and asking a teacher whenever I get the chance. What would you recommend?

TD wrote:I recommend doing as much / many of the 8 precepts as you can and not to 'beat yourself up over it' if you don't do all 8 all the time on all days. Until of course you decide to become a monk and ordain, then all 10 - 227 need to be kept.


For sure, I'm going to take it rather slow at first and see how it feels, and then I'll commit if it feels right for me. I know celibacy will tough for me, especially if I meet someone I'm interested in. Movies and television are also quite enjoyable, so I'll have to remain focused in that regard.

Thanks for your advice.

:anjali:
Dhammakid
User avatar
Dhammakid
 
Posts: 366
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:09 am
Location: Georgia, USA

Re: Deepening my practice

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:33 pm

Dhammakid wrote:Cool. I'm assuming that also means shampoo is okay?


I think so, but the venerables will have better information on that than me.

Dhammakid wrote:So you eat quite a bit during that one meal, huh?


:jumping: Have you seen some of my pictures? I live about half of the time in Las Vegas and sometimes I get a little chubby. There are so many great buffets in Vegas. I eat one large meal for lunch. Sometimes it can be too large, but most of the time, I do about 1500 to 2000 calories and then with exercise, it keeps the weight at a normal level.

Dhammakid wrote:I'm guessing it's just a matter of doing what feels most right and asking a teacher whenever I get the chance. What would you recommend?


Yes, a teacher would be a great move, especially a monk since that is what you are considering becoming in the future. But like I say, some monks do not have perfect vinaya or sila, so choose wisely.
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7965
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Deepening my practice

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:45 pm

Dhammakid wrote:1) Does the 8th precept include the use of antiperspirant/deodorant and shampoo?

The question to ask yourself is: Are these products for keeping healthy or for keeping pretty? Keeping reasonably clean is certainly part of keeping healthy, but I think that can be taken to unwholesome extremes. Long luxurious baths more than once a day... keeping clean or indulging sensual pleasure? You need to look at your own mind to tell.

There's a good chance I'll be shaving my head soon (more for health reasons than practice), but in case I don't, I need to know whether shampoo is included in the 8th precept.

For what it's worth, I've seen shampoo at monasteries.

2) Any advice you can give on eating one meal per day?

Keep in mind your activity level as a layperson might well be significantly more than the average monk, meaning it just might not be practical for you to keep tpo one meal a day as a layperson. Again, you need to make this determination for yourself.

3) I'm assuming the 7th precept includes watching television and movies.

Yes, usually. Again, you need to look at your own mind. Are you watching a particular tv show to learn something important or for entertainment? Even a documentary on a serious topic can be entertainment.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
User avatar
kc2dpt
 
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: Deepening my practice

Postby Dhammakid » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:56 pm

TheDhamma wrote: :jumping: Have you seen some of my pictures? I live about half of the time in Las Vegas and sometimes I get a little chubby. There are so many great buffets in Vegas. I eat one large meal for lunch. Sometimes it can be too large, but most of the time, I do about 1500 to 2000 calories and then with exercise, it keeps the weight at a normal level.


Ahh, very cool. Where can I view your pics? That should give me a good idea of how much food I should expect to eat. When you first started doing this, did you have a hard time consuming so much food in one sitting? How did you adjust?

:anjali:
Dhammakid
User avatar
Dhammakid
 
Posts: 366
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:09 am
Location: Georgia, USA

Re: Deepening my practice

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:07 pm

Dhammakid wrote:
TheDhamma wrote:
Ahh, very cool. Where can I view your pics? That should give me a good idea of how much food I should expect to eat. When you first started doing this, did you have a hard time consuming so much food in one sitting? How did you adjust?


Here is a link to a photo here in this forum:
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=1413

That is about the largest I have been. :tongue: But fortunately, I am back to normal now.

At first I wasn't eating enough at the one meal and I would get too hungry later and then sometimes break that with snacks or a meal in the evening. But gradually I learned to eat more at the one sitting and then I don't get too hungry later and most of the time the weight has stayed off.
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7965
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Deepening my practice

Postby Dhammakid » Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:09 pm

Peter wrote:The question to ask yourself is: Are these products for keeping healthy or for keeping pretty? Keeping reasonably clean is certainly part of keeping healthy, but I think that can be taken to unwholesome extremes. Long luxurious baths more than once a day... keeping clean or indulging sensual pleasure? You need to look at your own mind to tell.


This is good advice. I think I'm already prepared for this. I actually don't shower everyday because I'm not a smelly person and I like to conserve water and energy as much as I can. I can easily switch to unscented antiperspirants, but I don't wear that everyday either depending on if I feel I'll be doing an activity causing me to sweat excessively. I wear a body moisturizer because I get dry skin if I don't, but it's unscented.

Peter wrote:For what it's worth, I've seen shampoo at monasteries.


Good to hear.

Peter wrote:Keep in mind your activity level as a layperson might well be significantly more than the average monk, meaning it just might not be practical for you to keep tpo one meal a day as a layperson. Again, you need to make this determination for yourself.


This is definitely something I should consider. I do a lot of walking on weekends, but during the week I'm not really doing much exercise. Stretching and yoga is about as active as I'll get. I'll see how my body adjusts to two meals per day first (breakfast and lunch) and then I'll take it from there.

Peter wrote:Yes, usually. Again, you need to look at your own mind. Are you watching a particular tv show to learn something important or for entertainment? Even a documentary on a serious topic can be entertainment.


Yes, documentaries and educational films are enjoyable for me. As a matter of fact, I watch far more documentaries and educational productions than sitcoms, game shows and reality TV. So if I'm going to keep 8 precepts, I'll have to be honest with myself and say most all TV and movies are out. But what about documentaries on Buddhism?

Thanks for your advice Peter.

:anjali:
Dhammakid
User avatar
Dhammakid
 
Posts: 366
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:09 am
Location: Georgia, USA

Re: Deepening my practice

Postby Dhammakid » Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:18 pm

TheDhamma wrote:Here is a link to a photo here in this forum:
http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=1413

That is about the largest I have been. :tongue: But fortunately, I am back to normal now.

At first I wasn't eating enough at the one meal and I would get too hungry later and then sometimes break that with snacks or a meal in the evening. But gradually I learned to eat more at the one sitting and then I don't get too hungry later and most of the time the weight has stayed off.


Haha, I never would have guessed someone could get so plump on just one meal per day. That should help put my family and friends at ease if they ask about it.

So you probably eat at buffets everyday, huh? Seems the most economical choice if you want to eat so much in one meal. What's your exercise routine like?

:anjali:
Dhammakid
User avatar
Dhammakid
 
Posts: 366
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:09 am
Location: Georgia, USA

Re: Deepening my practice

Postby adosa » Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:02 pm

Maybe I'm wrong here but I recollect that the precept on eating is for at the "right time" (after sunrise and before noon) and not specific to only one meal.



adosa
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183
User avatar
adosa
 
Posts: 263
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:08 pm

Re: Deepening my practice

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:02 pm

Dhammakid wrote:Haha, I never would have guessed someone could get so plump on just one meal per day. That should help put my family and friends at ease if they ask about it.


And on a vegetarian diet too, mostly vegan. :tongue:

Dhammakid wrote:So you probably eat at buffets everyday, huh? Seems the most economical choice if you want to eat so much in one meal. What's your exercise routine like?


No, my wife won't go for that. She likes to cook and is a great cook too. My kids and I like the buffets, but my wife wants us to be all healthy and stuff (just kidding, I like to be healthy too).

The food we prepare at home, mostly Ethiopian and Indian food is much healthier than what we eat at the buffets. They have large salad bars at the casino buffets, but there is also lots of temptation with the cheese pizzas and cheese lasagnas, etc. Okay, so you can probably tell from my rambling, that I like good food. But at least I have pretty much limited my sensual cravings to good food and good art. Beyond that I'm done, been there, done that. :tongue:

Another great advantage of the One meal a day program, is all the "saved" time. Just think how much time we spend everyday preparing food, cooking it, eating it, and then all the clean-up after that. If it is just one meal, the amount of time saved is incredible. That is one of the reasons the Buddha set-up the One meal program; for health of course, but also so that lay people would not be so burdened with providing too many alms food throughout the day. And then the monks have more time for meditation, study, pastoral duties, etc. In the same way, lay people could always use some extra time on their hands.
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7965
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Deepening my practice

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:05 pm

adosa wrote:Maybe I'm wrong here but I recollect that the precept on eating is for at the "right time" (after sunrise and before noon) and not specific to only one meal.


Correct! But there are also several places in the Suttas where the Buddha refers to himself and his monks as the "One mealers" meaning eating all of their food before noon in one meal. To be in compliance with the Vinaya, I think you are right, technically a monk (or lay person practicing the 8) could eat breakfast and lunch, but many just wait for the one big meal at lunch, like I do.
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7965
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Deepening my practice

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:09 pm

Dhammakid wrote:What's your exercise routine like?


Stairclimbing, typically about 500 to 1,000 steps per day, which is equivalent to about 35 to 70 stories.

http://www.stairclimbingsport.com/
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7965
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Deepening my practice

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:23 pm

TheDhamma wrote:
adosa wrote:Maybe I'm wrong here but I recollect that the precept on eating is for at the "right time" (after sunrise and before noon) and not specific to only one meal.

Correct! But there are also several places in the Suttas where the Buddha refers to himself and his monks as the "One mealers" meaning eating all of their food before noon in one meal. To be in compliance with the Vinaya, I think you are right, technically a monk (or lay person practicing the 8) could eat breakfast and lunch, but many just wait for the one big meal at lunch, like I do.


Here is one example:

"(He considers:) 'For all their lives the arahants are one-mealers, refrain from eating outside the time, desisting at night, so today I am a one-mealer, refraining from eating outside the time, desisting at night. By this practice, following after the arahants, the Uposatha will be entered on by me.'

Uposatha-atthangika Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya IV.255-259

And by the way, today is Uposatha Day! :smile:
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7965
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Deepening my practice

Postby Dhammakid » Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:33 pm

TD,
Ah yes, eating at home seems a more logical choice than eating out every night. That actually doesn't really make sense at all now that I think about it.

I think you're right about the time saved by eating only once per day, especially for those who prepare most of their own foods instead of eating out. More time to devote to practice and a lighter body with which to practice.

Thanks for all your help.

:anjali:
Dhammakid
User avatar
Dhammakid
 
Posts: 366
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:09 am
Location: Georgia, USA

Re: Deepening my practice

Postby kc2dpt » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:49 pm

IIRC, the rule for monks is to eat before noon and one of the optional "more intense" practices is to eat only one meal.
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
User avatar
kc2dpt
 
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm


Return to Wellness, Diet & Fitness

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests