Friday, 22 January 2010

6 FAQs on Veg*ism

Moonpointer has a very useful series of Frequently Asked Questions on being vegetarian or vegan, including many links to useful resources for more information. It is based on discussions that arose from the The Daily Enlightenment E-newsletter article Why Veganism is Not an Extreme Way of Life and covers several different perspectives. I feel it makes quite a compelling case for being vegan which has given me considerable food for thought. ;-)

It also draws my attention back to the Surangama Sutra which I have wanted to read / study for a while now due to it's central place in the Chan school of Chinese Buddhism and several personal encounters with aspects of it, particularly the mantra.

Donald Watson the founder of the Vegan Society, is quite an inspiration for compassionate and healthy living.

A quote to finish with:

"Practical veg*ism is a 'Middle Path' that veers away from extremes of unhealthy apathy to the plight of animals and unhealthy obsession with unrealistic demanding of absolutely no death to be involved in one's food."

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Untie the Boat

When we first brought one of our teachers to the States, we asked him what he thought of the American dharma scene. We had started these different centers and were very proud of what had happened. He said that he thought it was wonderful but that sometimes American practitioners reminded him of people sitting in a boat rowing very strenuously, with great sincerity and effort, but refusing to untie the boat from the dock. He said we reminded him of that in our fixation on transcendental experiences to the neglect of a sweeping view of how we're behaving day to day, how we're speaking to our family members, how we're taking care of one another, or whatever. That's why I think it is tremendously important to continually open and expand our understanding of where freedom is and where the dharma lies.

Sharon Salzberg, "The Dharma of Liberation," from the Spring 1993 Tricycle. Read the complete article.

Received as Daily Dharma from on the 24th of December 2009


A very nice reminder that spiritual practice can easily be compartmentalised and seen as separate from our life, rather than living our whole life as our spiritual practice. Also a good reminder to check now and then to see if we are too busy chasing enlightenment to look after the people and things around us that need attention.