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Thread: Mindful Consumption

  1. #1

    Mindful Consumption

    I have been reading Thich Nhat Hanh's book Anger and I am curious as to what the sangha has to say on mindful consumption.

    He talks about how everything we consume, both with our mouths and senses, can bring anger into us. For example, if one were to eat a chicken that was raised under terrible condition one would be consuming anger. Or, if one were to watch a television show the glorifies violence one would be consuming anger.

    Personally, I have trouble with the concept of energies transferring from one thing to another, i.e. eating an angry chicken, but I definitely agree with him about things we see or here channeling certain 'energies' into us.

    What do you think? Should mindful consumption go as far as avoiding angry chickens? Does seeing or hearing about glorified violence, hate, etc. cause arousal of such things within us?

    Peace,
    Sean

    edit: Had some mistakes with html cde for the italics. All fixed :-)

  2. #2

    Re: Mindful Consumption

    Quote Originally Posted by PaxAnimi
    I have been reading Thich Nhat Hanh's book Anger and I am curious as to what the sangha has to say on mindful consumption.

    He talks about how everything we consume, both with our mouths and senses, can bring anger into us. For example, if one were to eat a chicken that was raised under terrible condition one would be consuming anger. Or, if one were to watch a television show the glorifies violence one would be consuming anger.

    Personally, I have trouble with the concept of energies transferring from one thing to another, i.e. eating an angry chicken, but I definitely agree with him about things we see or here channeling certain 'energies' into us.

    What do you think? Should mindful consumption go as far as avoiding angry chickens? Does seeing or hearing about glorified violence, hate, etc. cause arousal of such things within us?

    Peace,
    Sean

    edit: Had some mistakes with html cde for the italics. All fixed :-)
    Hi again Sean,

    You have been asking some big questions today. Time for me to tell you to JUST GO SIT for awhile! Too many thoughts fill up that 'glass jar' of the mind I showed you last night.

    But let me offer an opinion here. I don't think I believe in literal 'waves' or 'energies' of hate, anger and violence ... but such acts and attitudes have effects on other people and on our own lives.

    We had some exchange on vegetarianism awhile back, and opinions differ. I do believe that we should be kind to animals, even if we consume them (I hope that is possible). I do not like to see violence in the media, whether fiction or real life. There is good evidence, however, that we enjoy sports, violent tv shows and movies, because the more primitive parts of the brain NEED that as a surrogate for actually going out and hunting a mammoth or killing the neighboring tribe. In other words, we are still wired for violence, and express that need through watching football.

    Our Buddhist practice must not deny that we are human beings, both our loving and violent sides found within all of us. We are just thinking animals. Our Buddhist practice, in my view, is just a tool to redirect that boat (to use my sailing analogy again) down healthful channels.

    Enough deep thought for today. Good-night!! Gassho, Jundo

  3. #3
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    You know, I read stuff like that (the idea that eating an unhappy chicken passes on energy of anger) and I just have to chuckle. Sure, there are things we don't understand, but that sounds like new-age mumbo-jumbo. This said, there is some truth to it. Chickens raised in mailboxes are certainly more stressed than free-range chickens, so their bodies may produces stress hormones that remain in their meat. Hence, eating them might pass on more of these hormones (either directly or in metabolized forms) that may have some effect on us.

    Personally, I gave up eating those chickens ages ago, when I learned how they are raised. I'm fortunate to live in a rural area where we can get chickens and lambs raised in what could be called "respect". We don't each much meat, but we buy chicken and lamb from someone who treats them well, raises them outdoors, and kills them with dignity. I think the awareness of such things can make us more compassionate, so it's worth thinking about.

    Kirk

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