Archive for the ‘Precepts’ Category

Confession

Posted: 01/29/2011 in Buddhism, Precepts

I have a confession to make that may draw out some criticism:

Me being a vegetarian has become an epic FAIL.

I don’t have a lot to say about this. I feel I made a valiant effort, but found I just couldn’t do it. I’m not going to blame it on the fact that I moved in with my best friend who is an amazing cook, and the food he makes is irresistible. I am a big boy and I can say no if I want to.

I’m going to be completely honest here. Being a vegetarian (haha I just typed “vagetarian.” I’m still THAT LOL), turned into more of something for others than it was for me. I seriously thought more about what other Buddhists would think rather than the correct intention of not eating meat, and that’s not right. I also fell into the mindset that “oh, if I don’t become a vegetarian, I’m a hypocrite.” I guess I’m just not to the point in my practice yet where I can quit everything cold turkey that goes against the precepts.

I’ve had a rough few months personally that I won’t go into detail here, and my practice has seriously been lacking. I’m just at a point in my life where I have some shit to deal with. No, I’m not quitting this blog and I’m still a Buddhist.

That’s it, I don’t know what else to say, really.

Fishing - Silhouette

One reason I started this blog was to document the various experiences and challenges I have on this new path I have chosen to tread. Here is one challenge that is really messing with my head:

As I study more about Buddhism, I find that there are certain concepts and experiences that are so ingrained in my mind and way of life that it’s difficult to change my view to where it aligns with the precepts. I wanted to discuss one renunciation that has turned into a quandary for me, and that is the act of fishing.

Common sense tells me that fishing would fall into the “cause no harm to living beings” precept. I understand the fact that the very act of baiting a hook, whether with a live worm or plastic baits, in order to entice a fish into biting that hook and impaling itself in the mouth causes harm to a fish, and of course the worm if you use it. Trust me, I get it.

The reason it’s difficult for me to renounce is that I grew up fishing. My father was a man’s man: a carpenter, hunter, fisherman, mechanic, etc. He had quit hunting before I was old enough so I’ve never been hunting, but we still went fishing. It was wonderful out there experiencing nature, spending time just being quiet, hanging with my dad and learning how to be a man. I would give anything to be able to have him back, but those are fond memories, and I’m wavering from my topic. Anyways, when we went camping, we would always go fishing, it’s just part of that lifestyle, they go together like peas and carrots. Now that my friends want to plan a camping trip, I’m wondering what to do. I mean, besides fishing or going for a hike, what else is there to do while camping?

I can’t wait to get out into nature and just experience the fresh air and the retreat of it, but when it comes time for fishing, it’s going to be a challenge. Not just because of the questions that will be asked, but also the fact that the activity of fishing has always been fun for me. I’ve always loved going to sporting goods stores and shopping for fishing gear, organizing my equipment, the challenge of getting the fish to bite, being bummed out after a day of getting skunked, the whole she-bang. It’s so ingrained into my lifestyle, that all of the sudden refusing to do it anymore is boggling my mind. I’ve gone fishing for 30 years. I’ve been a Buddhist for less than one.┬áSome lifestyle changes are going to be hard to swallow, I completely get that. Like becoming a vegetarian, I haven’t quite been able to make that jump yet, but I digress. I’m just talking about fishing here.

What I’m saying is that I do understand that the act of fishing is the act of causing harm to a sentient being and goes against the Buddhist precepts. I just wanted to put fingers to keyboard and document an issue I’m having on my path. If anyone would like to comment about this quandary I’m having, whether it be an insight or an insult, please do.

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