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Thread: Why aren't Buddhists Supposed to Eat Garlic and Onions?

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    Why aren't Buddhists Supposed to Eat Garlic and Onions? 
    #1
    Bluelighter MyFinalRest's Avatar
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    I was thoroughly familiar with buddhism adhering to a vegetarian diet, but I also came across some info a while ago that included that garlic and onions should not be consumed either?

    I was wondering why.
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    #2
    Lots of diets that are prescribed in the context of spiritual practices omit powerfully flavored foods like garlic, onions, salt, peppers, and spices. The idea is, basically, that the strong flavors "ground" you in the external physical world, so that you are less aware of and sensitive to the subtle patterns that you need to be observing inside yourself.
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    #3
    Bluelight Crew Vader's Avatar
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    So it's an ascetic kind of thing?
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    So it's an ascetic kind of thing?
    No. Its part of buddhism.
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    #5
    Makes sense. I would prefer to be able to experience the more intense flavors without having it become a distraction. Some meditation centers have specifically opened up on noisy downtown city streets to get their members to meditate amongst the chaos.
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    #6
    Bluelight Crew Vader's Avatar
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    No. Its part of buddhism
    Are they mutually exclusive?
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    So it's an ascetic kind of thing?
    As far as I know, not quite. Asceticism conjures the image of self-discipline simply for the sake of resisting temptation. Eating a blander diet has a different function altogether, which is to provide something almost like sensory deprivation for the taste buds, so as to minimize distraction from the divine within.
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    #8
    Bluelight Crew B9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Legerity View Post
    I would prefer to be able to experience the more intense flavors without having it become a distraction. Some meditation centers have specifically opened up on noisy downtown city streets to get their members to meditate amongst the chaos.

    I can relate to that - thing is you might want to try walking before you run - but as a goal to attain definitely worthwhile to try & challenge yourself. A fly in the ear is distraction enough for me
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by B9 View Post
    I can relate to that - thing is you might want to try walking before you run - but as a goal to attain definitely worthwhile to try & challenge yourself. A fly in the ear is distraction enough for me
    Hehe I'm the same man, and I have a tendency to jump way ahead of myself. I tried meditation for years and it did teach me a lot, but it seems that it isn't the most effective way for me to become grounded. I switched to yoga recently and I found that it works better for me to in tune with my body. I seem to do better with movement; dancing is also another way that I've been able to lose myself and just dissolve.

    I found it interesting in an article on Tantra that some people will use alcohol as a tool. They'll start with a tiny sip, remaining fully present and making sure that they do not get intoxicated. And then continue to increase more and more until they are consuming large amounts without it having any effect whatsoever. Sounds kind of interesting but at the same time if I'm not using a substance for an effect I rather just not use it at all.
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    #10
    Bluelight Crew B9's Avatar
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    Thing with Yoga is I perceive it to be largely carried out by ultra flexible overly suntanned women in their fifties. I am spectacularly inflexible, only faintly tanned as a by product of working outdoors from time to time , I'm not a woman & not yet in my fifties.
    If I actually knew what Yoga meant I might give it a whirl. Dancing sounds good - I always admired Sufism. - or I admired what I read about it & I think I can relate to trance dancing as an equivalent to meditation as a route to the place where the entrance to the path lies.
    So please tell me about the Yoga that is not about the mahogany hued middle aged female contortionists.
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    #11
    go to the countries where Buddhism originated and is largely practiced still today-- monks eat whatever they get, be in meat, garlic, onion, or vegetables.
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by B9 View Post
    Thing with Yoga is I perceive it to be largely carried out by ultra flexible overly suntanned women in their fifties. I am spectacularly inflexible, only faintly tanned as a by product of working outdoors from time to time , I'm not a woman & not yet in my fifties.
    If I actually knew what Yoga meant I might give it a whirl. Dancing sounds good - I always admired Sufism. - or I admired what I read about it & I think I can relate to trance dancing as an equivalent to meditation as a route to the place where the entrance to the path lies.
    So please tell me about the Yoga that is not about the mahogany hued middle aged female contortionists.
    There's so many different styles and schools of yoga. But in general most classes seem to be focus primary on physical postures which is just one part. I'm really not an expert. But the approach that I tend to lean toward is not using it for physical fitness but more to become grounded through body awareness. More gentle. So whether a person is flexible or not, that doesn't prevent them from feeling the posture and breathing into it. And more flexibility develops with them as a byproduct.

    And if one believes that emotional blocks can in fact manifest with body tension and other symptoms, this can be a way of releasing them.

    I still have much to learn. But it feels very healing to the body while also being a form of meditation for me.
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    #13
    Bluelighter 8ft-Sativa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Changed View Post
    go to the countries where Buddhism originated and is largely practiced still today-- monks eat whatever they get, be in meat, garlic, onion, or vegetables.

    Exactly! I have hung out with monks in India/Nepal and Cambodia and they eat anything. while most ate meat (some didn't) they all loved food. Garlic and onion being a big part of that.

    They weren't able too eat after 11pm though they all had that in common.
    Last edited by 8ft-Sativa; 13-09-2011 at 03:52.
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    #14
    Bluelighter modern buddha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonyham View Post
    No. Its part of buddhism.
    I guess I'm not Buddhist, then. That's okay.
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    #15
    Well yeah, i guess so! You either are or you aint.. its the equivalent of people stouting they are christian when they dont go to church. Rules are rules and there are no less important parts of written scripture than the next.
    Last edited by moonyham; 13-09-2011 at 04:54.
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by moonyham View Post
    Well yeah, i guess so! You either are or you aint.. its the equivalent of people stouting they are christian when they dont go to church. Rules are rules and there are no less important parts of written scripture than the next.
    Absurd... you don't need to go to church to be a Christian, and there certainly is no code that defines what a Buddhist is or isn't.

    Look at the multitude of variations of Buddhism from America to Thailand to Japan-- each one is severely different and each has its own rules, its own customs, its own teachings, etc... Is one more Buddhist than all the rest? maybe Theravada forest Buddhism (because that is very closely related to how the earliest monastics under Siddhartha supposedly lived), but that doesn't mean a Mahayanist in China is any less of a Buddhist.
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    #17
    Bluelight Crew B9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonyham View Post
    . Rules are rules and there are no less important parts of written scripture than the next.

    Exactly - so when the greedy bastards get reincarnated as onion flies & then killed off by monks who are lovingly tending the garlic & onion beds the karmic circle will be complete.
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    #18
    Bluelighter hyroller's Avatar
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    lol - what I pity, I believe/follow quite a few Buddhist ethos, but am a huge fan of putting mass amounts of garlic in my food (yep, stay away ) so I guess this precludes me from ever fully becoming one... interesting 'rule'!
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    #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    So it's an ascetic kind of thing?
    Buddhism doesn't really like asceticism because really depriving yourself of things can be ultimately as distracting as trying to do too much, i.e. not eating results in constant hunger. I think the useful term might be anaesthetic, where we're looking at that word from it's roots i.e. an-aesthetic, not aesthetic.

    Onions aren't really that strong of a flavor though, or maybe I'm just eating the wrong onions...
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    #20
    Bluelighter delta_9's Avatar
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    I read a book not too long ago about seon monastics in korea and it mentioned how they don't eat garlic and onions. Apparently these flavors are potent aphrodisiacs, and are best avoided by celibate monks. In order to keep the diet from becoming too bland, they eat plenty of kimchi(minus the onion of course) and red pepper.

    This certainly is not a rule for Buddhists worldwide however. As far as I'm aware, there are no dietary rules for the laity or the sangha.
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    #21
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    Are they mutually exclusive?
    Nope. Asceticism plays a key role in many variants of Buddhism, though given the development of the "middle path", starker asceticism is more often retained in various Hindu practices.

    Quote Originally Posted by moonyham
    Well yeah, i guess so! You either are or you aint.. its the equivalent of people stouting they are christian when they dont go to church. Rules are rules and there are no less important parts of written scripture than the next.
    How do ascetic practices violate core tenets of Buddhism?

    ebola

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