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Thread: There is not enough.

  1. #1

    There is not enough.

    So, my face book quote for the day was from Takahashi's " Zen" where Dogen says " if we do not have enough rice to eat, then we shall simply drink boiled water, and sit." A dear friend of mine made a comment that; should they have no food, they simply run to Costco and load up... to which I reply, " I'm sure if Japan had a costco seven hundred years ago, Dogen Roshi would have sent a monk there now and then to restock...I have several within 10 minutes from me, a perk of living in Washington; so that's a frequent stop. Over all...a day without eating wont kill us..it's not good, but one day wont do us harm...so, we simply sit..and while sitting we forget the hunger, the urge for food, wondering if we can collect alms of rice, or coin for rice...for that moment....we are only sitting, and nothing more.

    I by all means don't suggest starvation, but the principal of the saying comes to me like this: We sit...I'm hungry at the moment, but will not be when I sit...my koshi-ita on my hakama is pressing into me too tightly, but not when I sit, I have a head cold, a backache, and splinter under my thumb...but not when I sit. Why is it that there are none of these things while sitting? It is because I am sitting...there is nothing more to it..my splinter, cold, backache, koshi, and hunger will still be there when I am done sitting for the day, and can be delt with when appropriate.

  2. #2

    Re: There is not enough.

    In a lot of places a monk's diet is not much because not much is required. Sitting all day doesn't waste that much energy. However, if your running around doing a job, the situation is a bit different. Sometimes perhaps it might be good to not worry about that stuff and just sit. I don't go grocery shopping as much as I used to, and when I do, it's just basic stuff.

    I remember being really surprise when I went to the basement of a monastery and saw all the huge containers of dry goods. I was like "Helllooo. Moderation?"

    But anyway...

    Gassho

  3. #3

    Re: There is not enough.

    I think of it like this: You got it, then you got it. You don't, then you don't. Maybe you should get it; in older times they farmed.

    Things are a lot easier these days, or "convenient". Of course doing too many jobs at once isn't always useful, so one person grows the food and the other person eats it and does something else. Isn't sharing great? And those who don't have anything, well, we can help them out too.

    We have store and a dining hall here where I eat. I just bought a muffin and milk for breakfast.

    Gassho

  4. #4
    Senior Member Shonin's Avatar
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    Re: There is not enough.

    I give thanks to those who don't have much as it's another opportunity to nurture compassion. So they give too.

    _/_

  5. #5

    Re: There is not enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by aikoku tora
    ... I have a head cold, a backache, and splinter under my thumb...but not when I sit. Why is it that there are none of these things while sitting? It is because I am sitting...there is nothing more to it..my splinter, cold, backache, koshi, and hunger will still be there when I am done sitting for the day, and can be delt with when appropriate.
    There is no head cold, backache, splinter or thumb, no "I" to sit.

    I sit with a head cold, backache, splinter under my thumb ... HURTS! ... as I sit.

    Sometimes more one pole, sometimes more the other ... sometimes both at once, sometimes neither ... sometimes not even that.

    All is sitting, on and off the Zafu. Sitting as sitting just sitting.

    Gassho, J

    ____________________________________________

    PS - Ya know, a few days of healthful fasting is not a bad practice ... and many religions incorporate that to some degree. I mean, we probably don't want to go as far as "skin and bones" Shakyamuni did before he was the "Buddha" and realized "moderation" ... but a day or two of fasting is a nice practice ...



    Food is necessary, in healthful balance and moderation. Even though it was the custom for begging monks in the warm climate of Southeast Asia to not have a meal past noon ... in colder climates like China and Japan, especially where monks had to do more labor ... the monks clothed themselves in heavier robes and added an evening meal (not technically a "meal", because referred to as medicine) ...

    Yakuseki???

    Lit., “medicine stone”; the Zen monastic supper. In Buddhism it was originally forbidden to eat after noon. However, in China, where Zen developed, it was cold in the winter, so the monks would put heated stones against their abdomens to assuage the pangs of hunger. These stones were called "medicine stones." Later a light meal, consisting of the day’s leftovers, came to be served, and this was named after the stones used to ease hunger.
    By the way, the diet in a Japanese Zen monastery, over the long term, is not so healthy. Hign in sodium, low in fruit and many vitamins, LOTS of polished rice ... with all that sitting,, one tends to get a bit bound up. Even now at Eiheiji and such places, monks have to watch out for beriberi (!! ... from lack of B vitamin in poished rice) and such. The Zen vegetarian diet is traditional ... not necessarily scientifically balanced like modern veganism. Here is a magazine article (find the top of page 42 by searching "Eihei-ji") that is very positive on the topic, but which quotes a Tenzo (head cook) at Eiheiji that the monks do not need nutrition ... they can live on gratitude ...

    http://books.google.com/books?id=jOkDAA ... ji&f=false

    Finally, Costco has come to Japan ... I do not know if Master Dogen would have shopped there. My wife does. The pizza is tasty.


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