Posted by: Upāsaka | 09/29/2015

The Suffering of Subsistence

Yesterday i was listening to a series of Dhamma talks by Thanissaro bhikkhu and in I’ve he mentions the parable of the family (mother, father and infant) who have to cruise a vast and inhospitable desert. Half way through they run out of provisions and come to the decision that one of them must be sacrificed to feed the others.  In the end they decide to kill their infant, make jerky of his flesh and thus be able to cross the desert to begin a new family. Before you get the urge to criticize the parable or the hypothetical choice made remember that the point is to bring back or awareness to the suffering involved in feeding on other beings. Can you imagine how the patents would have gent eating their only child’s flesh? Surely they would not have enjoyed it for its taste or become infatuated with its flavor. Rather it would be eaten solely to sustain the body for the task of crossing the desert.

May we train ourselves to feed only for the maintenance of body and mind, not for enjoyment, beautification or escape. May we be ever mindful of the suffering caused by or very act of eating and Mai wet not dishonor the myriad beings who have suffered simply to feed us.

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