One Meal A Day
In Brief, the Pali Buddhist practice is this:
The One-Meal-Man: In this case a Beggar eats one meal a day, after sunup, before high noon.
All Beggars ate whatever was placed in the bowl.
Eating flesh was acceptable if
It was not
To have been
1. killed by one's self
2. requested to have been killed by one's self
3. killed specifically for one.
An individual could be a vegetarian if he wished, but there was no Bad Kamma (and no rule) associated with eating something "killed on speculation" by a butcher or hunter or found dead, etc. It is the Intent that is the important thing, and in such a case there is no intent (that is, by the Beggar, or by another for the specific Beggar).
It is possible to adopt the One-Meal-Man practice and be quite fat and happy. One should approach this sort of diet with good sense. There is a reasonable period of adjustment of a few weeks during which there will be a fair to middling battle with desire for food. A six month or so period follows during which there is considerable weight loss (especially for people who are overweight) and during this time one should be careful not to exceed one's limits; this is a practice that was intended to provide adequate sustenance to a Beggar whose desire to bring Kamma to an end had already caused him to become a homeless wanderer, willing to die, if necessary, to achieve his goals. It was not designed for a modern family man working long hours or doing manual labor or who was under a great deal of stress. After a six months or so period of adjustment, the body will return to a normal healthy weight and the energy level will be high and there will be a substantial improvement in one's feelings of well being. At this point it is possible to work long hours, do manual labor and keep up with the strongest of them or work under great stress without problems. It is during the period of adjustment that caution should be taken.
One meal or many meals, all are advised to eat moderately,
Not for the Pleasure of Taste
Not out of Habit
Not to Fill Time
Not for Good Looks
Not for Show of Wealth,
But only just sufficient to keep the body going a little further on This Way, thinking:
"By this moderate eating practice I will bring old Kamma to conclusion and set going no new Kamma, and I will have sufficient sustenance, while living blamelessly."
Some of the benefits of Moderate Eating are:
One wants little
In times of scarcity one is prepared
The body is healthy: One has few illnesses and recovers from illnesses quickly
One's time is not wasted in slavery to the belly
The mind is clear and alert
One is of little trouble to one's supporters
Modern Science has done it again! Finally catching up to what was common knowledge 2500 years ago!
Living longer by eating less works at any age
It's been known for decades that an animal's lifespan could be extended by severely reducing its calorie intake, while avoiding malnourishment. Calorie restriction slows the rate of aging, as well as the development of age-related diseases. (A few hardy, if hungry, souls are testing calorie restriction on themselves to see if this holds true for humans.) But it was also thought that a restricted diet had to be started early in an animal's life to work well. Now a study on older mice in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition suggests otherwise. Stephen Spindler of the University of California at Riverside and colleagues started late middle-aged mice on a restricted diet and found the same benefits: The mice lived almost six months longer and the onset and progression of cancers were slowed. Genetic analysis revealed that the older calorie-restricted mice had patterns of genetic activity similar to those of mice on the diet from their youth. The researchers suggest that drugs that could mimic the same patterns of genetic activity might give the same benefcial effects.
Boston Globe 3/23/04
! Totally amaizing. Typically the way the people here today think. They find a natural way to extend the lifespan and diminish illness, ignore that and speculate as to the possibility of creating a pill that will do it for one.
Majjhima Nikaya 66 Latukikopama Sutta The Quail Simile Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.