Buddhism is a faith founded by Indian Prince Siddhartha Gautama back in the 6th Century BC. It is one of the oldest and most prevalent religions in Asia and South-East Asia. Today its influence can be seen rapidly growing in the west. Like most religions, Buddhism too follows strict codes and guidelines. One of these is the practice of dietary restrictions.
According to Jonah Engler, Buddha greatly advocated eating simple and wholesome meals. He believed that what we put into our bodies affects not only our physical health but also our mental and spiritual states. Even today, Buddhists strongly abide by these dietary restrictions and practices in an attempt to escalate their journey to Nirvana. If you’re someone who intends to practice Buddhism, understanding and remembering these restrictions is vital as diet is an important part of this faith.
Jonah Engler’s Guide to Buddhist Dietary Practices
Eating vegan and avoiding meat is common among Buddhists. The reasons for this are manifold- some believe that by not eating meat, they will reduce the amount of pain and suffering in the world. Others believe that it is more respectful to refrain from eating sentient beings. Many also find that a vegetarian diet is healthier and more sustainable than one that includes meat.
There are, however, some Buddhists who do eat meat- though they are in the minority. These Buddhists often come from cultures where eating meat has been traditional and commonplace for centuries. They may feel that vegetarianism is simply not feasible or practical for them.
Like most religions, Buddhists, too, choose to avoid all forms of alcohol. This is because alcohol can lead to a loss of control and mental absence, linked with negative behaviors such as aggression and violence. It can also cause health problems in the long term. Buddhists are also typically supposed to avoid other drugs and substances that can lead to addiction and harmful behavioral practices. These include cigarettes, tobacco, and gambling.
Intermittent fasting is also common among Buddhists- especially during religious holidays and festivals. Fasting is seen as a way to purify the body and mind of toxins and show respect for the Buddha. It is a means of gaining control over your mind and learning the art of self-discipline. There are different ways that Buddhists can fast. Some may choose to completely abstain from food and drink for a period of time, while others may only eat certain foods for a small period or avoid certain types of food.
Benefits of the Buddhist Diet
Jonah Engler emphasizes that many benefits come with following a Buddhist diet. Firstly, it is a very healthy way of eating as it focuses on whole, unprocessed foods. This can help to improve your overall health and well-being. It can also help you feel more connected to nature and the world around you. Additionally, following a Buddhist diet can help you to develop feelings of compassion and respect for all living beings.
Bottom Line If you’re thinking of following a Buddhist diet, remember that it’s not about restrictive eating or depriving yourself of enjoyment. Instead, Jonah Engler emphasizes that the Buddhist diet is about eating in a way that nourishes your mind, body, and soul.