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Thread: the Garlic and Onions blues

  1. #1
    Senior Member Daijo's Avatar
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    the Garlic and Onions blues

    *cue bongos
    I'm going to sit, Zazen
    I'm going to eat garlic and onions
    I'm not going to think about why I'm not supposed to eat garlic and onions
    I'm just going to sit, Zazen
    *stop bongos

    Thank you, I'll be here all weekend.

  2. #2
    Brilliant.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui Yugen's Avatar
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    Yes!!

    Deep bows
    Yugen
    Please take all my comments with a grain of salt - I am a novice priest and anything I say is to be taken with a good dose of skepticism - Shodo Yugen

  4. #4
    My hats off to you,
    Can smell it down in Phoenix,
    Now whats for dinner...

    ,
    Arthus
    Last edited by arthus; 05-09-2013 at 10:51 PM.

  5. #5
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Garlic and onions...

    They are here. And it's all there is.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  6. #6
    Chuck may be referring to the traditional Buddhist belief about not eating garlic and onions and some other things because they were considered too stimulating, even aphrodisiacs ... not a good thing for celibate monks. Dogen's Master in China, Ju-Ching, told him to stay away ... and from some other things (page 6 here) ...

    http://books.google.co.jp/books?id=m...onions&f=false

    Me, I personally think that it is about everyone living in close quarters in the Zen Hall ... nobody really wanting to sit next to a guy with onion breath.

    Also, I always found that garlic and onions never really attracted the women, and usually worked very well to keep them away! Vampires too.

    The Shurangama Sutra, very valued by many Zen folks, has a strong prohibition on onions. I remember a teaching by Ven Hsuan Hua, a recent but very traditional Chan (Zen) teacher from China ...

    The Shurangama says ...

    Avoiding the Plants of the Onion Group

    Beings who seek to enter samadhi should refrain from eating five pungent plants of this world [onions, garlic, shallots, leeks and chives]. If these five are eaten cooked, they increase one’s sexual desire; if they are eaten raw, they increase one’s anger.Therefore, even if people in this world who eat pungent plants can expound the twelve divisions of the sutra canon, the gods and immortals of the ten directions will stay far away from them because they smell so bad. However, after they eat these things the hungry ghosts will hover around and kiss their lips. Being always in the presence of ghosts, their blessings and virtue dissolve as the days go by, and they experience no lasting benefit. People who eat pungent plants and also cultivate samadhi will not be protected by the Bodhisattvas, gods, immortals, or good spirits of the ten directions; therefore, the tremendously powerful demon kings, able to do as they please, will appear in the body of a Buddha and speak dharma for them, denouncing the prohibitive precepts and praising lust, rage, and delusion. When their lives end, these people will join the retinue of demon kings. When they use up their blessings as demons, they will fall into the Unintermittent Hell. Ananda, those who cultivate for Bodhi should never eat the five pungent plants. This is the first of the gradual stages of cultivation.

    Master Hsuan Hua comments, in case we missed the point ...

    After people eat these strong-smelling foods, the odor lingers around them and attracts ghosts. The ghosts boldly go up and kiss those who partake of the five pungent plants, in an attempt to taste what they’ve eaten. Ghosts eat by contact, as we have learned, so those who eat these impure things are literally in the hands of ghosts who hang around and keep touching them. You may not be one who can see them, but they are really there doing just that.

    ...

    ... people who eat the five pungent plants. Because they eat such things, the gods, immortals, Bodhisattvas, and good spirits do not protect them. Therefore, the demon kings who possess great power can have their way with them. The demon king appears as a Buddha and speaks demonic dharma to them, praising sexual desire, anger, and stupidity. Having been confused by the demons, these people lose their proper knowledge and proper views and any real wisdom. Instead, they harbor deviant knowledge and deviant views. The demon king says sexual desire is good, and they believe it. “The Buddha told me so! He said it’s no problem.” That’s called mistaking a thief for one’s own son. One mistakes the demon king for the Buddha. Therefore, “When their lives end, these people will join the retinue of demon kings.” When their worldly blessings are used up, they die and obediently go over to the retinue of the demon king.

    Hmmm. Could be the case. I still like onions and garlic, and don't fret so much about the demon king. But that may only be because the ghosts and vampires already go me!

    Gassho, J
    Last edited by Jundo; 05-10-2013 at 03:25 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hmmm. Could be the case. I still like onions and garlic, and don't fret so much about the demon king. But that may only be because the ghosts and vampires already go me!
    Same here Jundo, same here.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    真 眼

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Heion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    Garlic and onions...

    They are here. And it's all there is.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Meanwhile, I am sitting over here assuming this has some deep meaning which transcends all notions.... Garlic and onions. Sometimes, I must drop my assumptions

    Thanks for sharing

    Gassho,
    Alex

  9. #9
    Senior Member Daijo's Avatar
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    I was afraid if I just outright asked "Jundo, what's the deal with garlic and onions?" I would have gotten the Zen teacher answer. You know the kind that means two different things and they're both the opposite of what's being said? In which case I'd still be scratching my head still not knowing why garlic and onions are "taboo". This little beat poem drew out the exact kind of answer I was hoping for.


  10. #10
    Senior Member murasaki's Avatar
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    Chuck, I award you the Golden Onion statue. Write more poetry -- wait, let me go find my sunglasses and white lipstick first.

    Arthus, I am in Phoenix as well! We should start a Treeleaf local sit or something.

    Gassho
    Julia
    "The Girl Dragon Demon", the random Buddhist name generator calls me....you have been warned.

    Feed your good wolf.

  11. #11
    whoa that was nice
    Jessica

    “Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet." Thich Nhat Hanh



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