Vegetarianism and Dhamma

There are regular odd ideas that pop up around this topic.
I saw this on another forum.


“Good Heart, Good Mind: The Practice of the Ten Perfections”

"…the [first] precept is phrased in such a way that eating meat does not go against the precept, but you still have the kamma of eating the flesh of the animal that had to die for that.

This is one of the reasons why monks have a reflection every day on the food they eat, which is that they’re incurring a debt and only through the practice can they get beyond that debt. You take the time to reflect on the fact that simply having a body requires that you place a burden on many other beings, which gives you a good motivation for trying to find a happiness that doesn’t need to feed. One of Ajaan Lee’s reflections is that when you’re about to die, the spirits of all the animals whose bodies you ate are going to come thronging around, asking for some merit. If you don’t have any merit to give them, they’ll take you with them. But if you have lots of merit to dedicate to them, they’ll be happy to take your merit instead."

@RobertK Is this really taught by Ajahn Thanissaro?

When I visited his monastery in 1999, the available food was that of a strong meat eater diet… It was very difficult to get vegetarian food. His disciple named Ajahn Jessie managed to stay a vegetarian, but he was not getting healthy meals. We joked about the four pork groups instead of the “four food groups”.

I wonder if Ajahn Thanissaro has changed and is now a vegetarian?
There are no such events written in pāḷi mula texts or even commentary or tika that I have ever heard of which mention such strange events as mentioned by Ajahn Thanissaro or Ajahn Lee.

Being a vegetarian is a good idea though. One can remove the habitual kamma for being a meat eater, just in case one is born as an animal. If so, perhaps, the odds of being a hunting animal are less, but not guaranteed. Nothing is guaranteed in samasara until the first stage enlightenment.

One can also be a vegetarian for compassionate reasons or health reasons. One can reflect that these raised animals were once your mothers or brothers in samsara… You can reflect that you don’t want to support wrong livelihood and refuse to buy meat. However, monks are off of the system in which consumerism dictates the killing of animals for meat. As lay consumers, it gets tricky with modern methods of killing. Normally, before refrigeration (which was not that long ago), meat was slaughtered locally. The consumer was a few more degrees closer to the killing. It is difficult to say now with modern times and methods.

I wrote this a while back. It would be good to post your thoughts on it.

Yes, from his book…

I just love how those who are against the Pali commentaries end up writing their own or promoting other personal commentaries.

Ajahn Lee’s meditation method is very close to the Indian chakra meditation. I learned that method in the 90’s by a controversial teacher using ah hum om with the heart throat and crown chakras with the breath. That is in ven Thanissaro’s meditation book. All that said, it think I remember reading it listed in one of the abhidhamma commentaries (as a footnote) as well. Dhatukatha? Or puggalapññatti? Pts.

Never the less, back to the animals coming near death… It is quite common in NDE to experience a very long life review where you feel the emotions of all of those you interacted with from the other beings’ points of view.

Perhaps this happens as part of the pre- maranajavana stage where the previous kammas come up and one gets taken as the next life patisandhi. I don’t believe it is death though.

What would be the result, if such a monk wrote a popular Vinaya book for monks?

Even the less knowledgeable Sammaditthi-monks are not allowed to comment on Vinaya.

Vinaya is the sphere of the Omniscient Ones.

I don’t understand what you are saying. It is perfectly fine to write a manual for monks for the existing vinaya rules. This is very common. Because of this, your comment is strange to read and I don’t understand what you are saying.

I don’t understand who or what you are speaking about. We have a modern discourse interface that has a nice quoting method so we know what you are talking about with long threads.

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How interesting, I wonder if this is just a reflection he makes when eating meat, similar to how monks are to reflect that they are eating all almsfood as debtors until they are arahants, even tho that is not true in a literal kammic sense. Or if Ajahn Lee legitimately believed/saw this occurence.

I always think that eating meat is just like consuming dead animal corpse.

The animals don’t die because of the eater, specifically. Even you don’t consume it, it is dead already.

Eating meat is permissible by the Blessed One, with the conditions as mentioned in Jivaka Sutta.

Upon fulfilling the conditions, eating meat will not partake of the demeritorious kamma of killing the animals.