The Buddhist Review

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Winter 1994

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In This Issue

Special Sections

Special Section

Meat: To Eat It or Not—Lama Shabkar

One day as I went to refresh myself In the middle of a meadow, Many goats and sheep came from all sides And gathered around me.  Among them, an old sheep spoke: “Old monk, neither virtuous nor sinful, I have something to tell you.” “Alright,” I said. “Come on, tell me.” He went on: “I have […]

By Lama Shabkar

Special Section

Meat: To Eat It or Not—Kate Wheeler

Adolf Hitler was a vegetarian; the Dalai Lama, the embodiment of compassion, eats meat by his doctors’ orders. Clearly, there’s more to mind than what is put into the mouth: yet, as long as food remains a fundamental part of life, these choices are a proper focus of spiritual awareness. Every bite of macaroni contains choices […]

By Kate Lila Wheeler

Special Section

Meat: To Eat It or Not—Zen Master Ryokan

Once Ryokan was traveling with a young monk. At a certain teahouse they received food that contained fish. The young monk left the fish untouched, as is the orthodox Buddhist custom, but Ryokan gobbled it down without a moment’s thought. “That food has fish in it, you know,” the monk said to Ryokan. “Yes, it was […]

By Zen Master Ryokan

Special Section

Meat: To Eat It or Not—Bodhin Kjolhede

Not long ago a Zen teacher, during the course of an introductory workshop, stated three times, vehemently, “Buddhism is not vegetarianism.” He later argued that to be vegetarian is a kind of attachment. What are we to make of such assertions? First of all, let us agree that Buddhism is not vegetarianism. Neither is it “virtue,” […]

By Bodhin Kjolhede

Special Section

Meat: To Eat It or Not—Philip Glass

The familiar arguments in favor of a vegetarian diet are usually based on issues of either health, environment, ecology, or—from the Buddhist point of view—of compassion. Of these arguments, some are easier to dismiss than others. Take health, for example. The fact is that very few people (apart from South India where vegetarianism is part of […]

By Philip Glass

Special Section

Meat: To Eat It or Not—Gelek Rinpoche

We Tibetans like to eat meat. We don’t care if it’s healthy or not—we like it. Basically, eating meat is a negative. It’s not great. In the old Tibetan practice, if you get the meat from a market and can make sure that it wasn’t killed for you specifically, it’s okay to eat it. I don’t slaughter […]

By Gelek Rinpoche

Special Section

Meat: To Eat It or Not—John Stevens

  As a young Indian prince living nearly three millennia ago, Gotama (Buddha’s original name) enjoyed the finest delicacies available to the warrior caste of that ancient era: sali, a high-quality long-grain rice; dairy products such as ghee (made from cow, goat, or buffalo milk), butter, and curds; meat, especially goat, fowl, venison, and beef; fish and […]

By John Stevens

Special Section

Meat: To Eat It or Not—John McClellan

  There would seem to be little justification for eating meat. There’s no nutritional need, it’s hard on the earth, not that good for us, and the factory conditions in which we produce “animal products” are so appalling they beggar description. But not eating meat might be playing things too safe. The function of all our […]

By John McClellan

Special Section

Meat: To Eat It or Not—Shakyamuni Buddha

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Rajagaha in the Mango Grove of Jivaka Komarabhacca. Then Jivaka Komarabhacca went to the Blessed One, and after paying homage to him, he sat down at one side and said to the Blessed One: “Venerable sir, I have heard this: ‘They slaughter living […]

By Shakyamuni Buddha

Special Section

Meat: To Eat It or Not—Stuart Smithers

What the historical Buddha ate for his last meal has been the subject of much debate. The controversial passage from the  Mahaparinibbana Sutta, the sutta that recounts the Buddha’s final days, tells us that on his last night the Buddha rested in the home of Cunda, a metalsmith apparently known to the Buddha. In honor of his […]

By Stuart Smithers


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Editors View

Buddha and The Beasts

Westerners who know little of Buddhism often associate it with vegetarianism. Zen monks in Japan are mistakenly thought to subsist on a diet of nothing but brown rice. A book of “famous vegetarians” features an image of Shakyamuni Buddha on the cover, but it makes no mention of Adolf Hitler, despite his well-documented vegetarian eating […]

By Helen Tworkov

In the News

In the News Winter 1994

More Prisons Than Monasteries: The True Map of Tibet “On This Spot: An Unconventional Map and Guide to Lhasa” begins where other commercial guidebooks and maps of Lhasa end. That, according to The International Campaign for Tibet (lCT), who published the map, is precisely the point. This two-sided 20 x 24 inch map of Central […]

By Tricycle

What Does Being A Buddhist Mean To You

Re: Anti-Aging Cream

  Ann Setko Iversen Potter Vancouver, Washington “I listen to the sounds of nature and follow its suggestions in daily life. The whole universe is one nonstop motion of flowing time that all things are subject to. We’re born, and decay. What a fuss. The use of anti-aging cream, if such a thing exists, seems […]

By Tricycle
metta love

Dharma Talk

What Love Is

On the spiritual path, there’s nothing to get, and everything to get rid of. The first thing to let go of is trying to “get” love, and instead to give it wholeheartedly.

By Ayya Khema


Beyond Optimism

Ken Jones Jon Carpenter Publishing: Oxford, U. K., 1993. 212 pp., £9.99 (paper). Beyond Optimism is good, albeit occasionally bitter, medicine for a species caught between two conflicting realities—total dependence on wealth created by unsustainable economic growth, and the deeper reality of a planet gradually withering under the impact of it. Ken Jones, a long-practicing […]

By Allan Hunt Badiner


Letters to the Editor Winter 1994

The Real Problem—Not I was very disappointed in the article “Becoming Buddha: The Life and Times of Poet John Giorno” [Vol. IV, No.1]. His life is not exemplary in any shape or form. The real problem is not that he is gay, but that he has such poor taste and this poor taste also includes […]

By Tricycle