Advice from Rinpoche

Advice from Rinpoche Aug 2009 - Eating

New Advice from Lama Zopa Rinpoche: Eating Meaningfully

At CPMT 2009, one student mentioned that eating certain types of food is cruel to other beings. Printed here is Rinpoche's solution:

…in the very, very, very reality, in the very reality, even more reality, you cannot survive your life without harming others. No way. There's no way to live life without others receiving harm, without being killed, without others suffering, there's no way you can survive even one day, you can't survive even for one day. So, this is how life is in samsara. That's why we need to be liberated: the answer, the ultimate answer is to get liberated, to get out of samsara.

As I normally say, whenever work is done in the field for this one grain of rice, so many beings got killed and received harm and somebody created negative karma, harming them. So now, this one rice came from another rice, then so many sentient beings suffered for that, died, killed, got killed … it goes on and on like that back to the very beginning of the continuity of rice when it started in this world.

So there's no way to eat this rice without some serious careful, meaningful thinking, without at least something benefiting to the numberless sentient beings who died for each of these rice grains. Especially, the really hardest, most difficult thing to do, the most painful thing, is to eat with this - only thinking about my happiness, completely ignoring all those numberless sentient beings who died, suffered, and killed, creating the negative karma for all this rice.

So therefore you can see now, the emergency of practicing Dharma becomes the most important thing in the life - more than anything else, achieving liberation from samsara for your sake and for the sake of sentient beings, for them to not suffer, not get killed - that's the main answer. The greatest purpose, benefit, is to achieve enlightenment for sentient beings. In everyday life, this is the most important thing to achieve: enlightenment for sentient beings, to liberate numberless sentient beings from oceans of samsaric suffering and bring them to enlightenment - wow!

We have met all these teachings this time, so that shows how we are the most fortunate persons in the world. But this incredible opportunity, this wish-fulfilling, perfect human rebirth where we have met all this Dharma, sutra and tantra, can be stopped anytime. So, therefore, really to learn, practice, and actualize the path is more important than anything else in life, the most important.

Teachings, May 1, 2009, Institut Vajra Yogini, France. Transcribed by Ven. Thubten Munsel and edited by Claire Isitt. Futher edited by Doris Low for FPMT News August 2009.

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