Never tell people who live in difficult life condition about what they should and shouldn’t eat

The realization of unconditional peace is not determined by what people eat or don’t eat, or whether one is eating ‘pure non-animal products vegetarian food’ or ‘animal products non-vegetarian food’.

By consuming ‘pure and clean food’ or ‘non-animal products vegetarian diet’ doesn’t guarantee that one is or will be free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering. Just like by performing many years of ‘yoga practice’ also doesn’t guarantee that one is free from ignorance and the by-products of ignorance. One might still be overpowered by the sense of self-righteousness, pride and superiority, and hence, be disturbed very much by what the mind perceives/recognizes as bad, wrong, negativity, inferiority, hurtful, offensive, insulting, disrespectful, undeserving, disappointing, painful sorrow, or suffering. People can be observing vegetarian diet due to cultural/religious practice for many years, and feel proud for being ‘compassionate vegetarian’ or being one of the member of a culture/religion, but still the mind might be not free from ignorance, egoism, impurities, restlessness and suffering.

People who consume ‘particular type of non-animal products vegetarian food’ with the sense of self-righteousness, pride and superiority, might be over-powered by self-righteousness and would criticize/condemn others who consume ‘animal products non-vegetarian food’, or vice versa. This is not part of the yoga practice.

Whether it’s part of the spiritual/cultural/religious/environmental/ethical practice, or due to some other reasons that people choose to adopt a particular type of food choice based on one’s thinking/belief/thoughtfulness/conscience, but we cannot tell or interfere with people what they should or shouldn’t eat, or ‘criticizing’ or ‘condemning’ those whom we think they don’t adopt ‘that particular type of food choice’ for some reasons, as we think that we are somehow more superior than others because of our superior food choice.

Just like we ourselves want to practice yoga, but we can’t go into people’s life and tell people what they should and shouldn’t practice, or how people should and shouldn’t think/believe/behave/act and react, and we can’t criticize/condemn anyone who don’t like yoga, or who don’t practice yoga, or who aren’t interested in yoga, or who don’t practice yoga as it is, even though we see yoga as something good and beneficial for many people, provided if people allow their minds to be open, unattached towards any particular thinking and belief that has been conditioning/influencing how they think, judge, feel, expect, act and react towards all the names and forms, as those who attached strongly onto their particular thinking and belief cannot be open to inquire the truth of other teachings/practice that are different from their own thinking and belief, as they would instantly reject and object what is different from and contradicted with their existing social/cultural/religious/spiritual thinking and belief, of what they think they know, and do not want to learn/inquire/know any further about other teachings/practice that they disagree with based on their own thinking and belief, as well as there’s fear towards knowing the truth of what if their own thinking and belief from young until now is not necessarily true, but people just blind-believing and blind-following those thinking and beliefs, and fear of ‘sin’ and ‘punishment’ due to ‘losing faith in their thinking and belief’, if they start questioning the truth of their thinking and belief. We can only share our knowledge and experience in yoga with those who are interested in yoga and they want to learn from our knowledge and experience, and they are ready to allow their minds to be open to inquire the truth of everything. Even so, we can’t expect anyone of them to practice yoga diligently as it is. It’s their own freedom and responsibility whether they want to practice yoga diligently as it is, or not, after we share the knowledge and experience with them.

People have the rights or freedom to choose what they want to eat or don’t eat, even if our minds feel disagree with and disturbed by other people’s choice of food consumption.

Although it’s everyone’s freedom if they want to interfere with other people’s life, but those who truly practice yoga will not be interested in interfering with other people’s life. Never tell people who live in difficult life condition, who are or have been going through many difficulties and hardship in life about what they should eat or shouldn’t eat. People might be suffering and dying from hunger and malnutrition or diseases, due to poverty and lack of educational background being bullied, discriminated and exploited by the commercial world, and most probably don’t make enough ‘money’ to buy/get enough food not to say ‘clean’ and ‘nutritious’ food even after working very hard for many hours a day. Imagine people who have a rather easy comfortable life, who don’t need to suffer much hardship and difficult condition in life, go around and tell other people who have no choice but have to be doing hard labour work with very low income for survival while struggling to provide food and shelter for oneself and/or the family about what they should eat and shouldn’t eat.

Keep one’s thinking/belief/practice/food choice/way of life to oneself, and respect other people’s different thinking/beliefs/practices/food choices/ways of life, even if they are contradicted with our thinking/belief/practice/food choice/way of life. If people want to follow our way of life/practice/food choice, that’s their freedom, but not because we expect and believe that everyone should be like us.

There’s nothing wrong if out of our own conscience/ethical reason that we want to adopt a particular type of food choice, but we also respect others for their different type of food choice, without criticizing/condemning other people’s choices of food consumption that we don’t like or don’t agree with, that we think is bad and wrong, unethical or unhealthy.

Go beyond the name and form of ‘vegetarian’ and ‘non-vegetarian’. It’s not who you are/what you are, as many people, including yoga enthusiasts like to say, “You are what you eat.” No doubt that food intake directly influences the energy field, the physical condition and the state of the mind, but the minds that have realized selflessness/namelessness/formlessness/attributelessness/non-separateness, it goes beyond all the identifications, names, forms, attributes, dualities, separateness, energy field, the physical condition, the state of the mind, good and bad karma, easy and difficult life condition, desirable and undesirable life experiences. It’s part of the teaching of yoga of ‘Transcending all the Gunas, energy field, names and forms, attributes/qualities, dualities, the physical condition and the states of the mind’. Whatever the mind thinks and identifies as ‘I’, is merely ignorance.

Between compassion and vegetarianism…

We encourage vegetarianism for health and humanity reason, as well as to help to calm the mind for meditation, but, I do not relate vegetarianism with compassion, as compassion is beyond what we eat or don’t eat, nor to specify compassion as there’s completely no lives will be harmed by the life existence of this body and mind, unless our life existence on earth can be without hurting any living beings at all in our everyday life, whether intentionally or unintentionally, directly or indirectly.

I neither identify myself as ‘compassionate being’ nor ‘not compassionate being’. I support the teaching and practice of compassion, but at the same time, I am aware that the life existence of this body and mind cannot avoid hurting some forms of living being in everyday life, whether directly or indirectly. Just like all the elements, they have no intention to be good or bad, to be constructive or destructive, but everything is existing and cease existing due to these elements, at the same time.

If someone believes in the theory of being compassionate means that there shouldn’t be any lives be harmed at all by the life existence of this body and mind, then either we shouldn’t exist at all if we really want to be compassionate, or compassion is something unfeasible or unachievable in this life existence which cannot avoid hurting some other life forms at all.

Even though we do not wish to hurt any life forms, but just by being existing, there will be many lives be hurt by the existence of this body and mind, whether directly or indirectly. Just by eating vegetarian food cannot justify that there’s completely no life forms are being harmed by the existence of this body and mind, and during the entire process of food consumption from plowing the earth, planting, harvesting, transportation, until the preparation and cooking the plant based food.

If we are not free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, craving and aversion, we will try to protect the lives and welfare of certain living beings that we like, but we might hurt other living beings that we don’t like. Out of selfish desires, craving, aversion, jealousy, anger, hatred and fear, we might do and say things that will hurt other beings. Just like some people might show intense passionate love towards certain beings, animals, or insects that they like, but they might not be able to show loving kindness towards some other beings, animals, or insects that they don’t like. It’s like “I don’t eat beef or fish as cow and fish are living beings like us and they are so cute, but I will kill rats, mosquitoes, cockroaches, flees, worms, ants, or spiders as I don’t like them, and I think they are bad and nasty.” or “I love animals very much and I wish those who hurt any animals be condemned to hell and suffer a lot.” or “I love cats, but I hate dogs.” and etc.

Being vegetarian doesn’t necessarily mean that we are all nice and kind beings, or we are compassionate beings who are completely free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, desires, craving, aversion, discrimination, ill-will, violence, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, fear, worry, painful sorrow and suffering. While being non-vegetarian doesn’t necessarily mean that we are all bad and evil beings, or we could not be free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, desires, craving, aversion, discrimination, ill-will, violence, anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, fear, worry, painful sorrow and suffering.

There’s nothing wrong if people think and believe that being compassionate means being vegetarian not eating meat or fish products, as everyone has the freedom of thinking and believe, and it does show loving kindness towards animals and fish, by not killing any animals or fish for food consumption. But then we won’t be free being conditioned by this thinking, as we are hurting many other life forms in everyday life unintentionally, whether we are aware or unaware of it, whether directly or indirectly.

It is a very hard decision, when life existence comes to a point that we have to choose to kill for food to survive, or rather die from hunger than to kill for food to survive. I do not encourage killing and yet I do not condemn those who have to kill for food to survive. Take a look at those who live in areas that have no basic food and safe drinking water at all, and who are suffering from poverty, extreme difficult condition, hunger and thirst. They have no basic food and safe drinking water for living, not to say to have choices of what type of food they eat or don’t eat.

Everyone might have different understanding and beliefs about what is compassion. One can never argue or debate about what is compassion based on every individual different thinking and definition about what is compassion.

There’s nothing wrong if someone say that “To be compassionate, we should not eat meat or fish, nor killing any life forms.” But we are not really compassionate even though we don’t kill animals or fish for food to survive, if we are not free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, desires, craving, aversion, and all sorts of impurities like anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, ill-will, ill-thinking, feelings of hurt, defensiveness, offensiveness, obsessiveness, possessiveness, fear and worry, constantly being restless and determined by all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses.

It is up to ourselves to realize what is compassion and be free.

In the teachings of yoga and Buddhism, to be free from ignorance, egoism, attachment, identification, desires, craving, aversion, and all sorts of impurities like anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, ill-will, ill-thinking, feelings of hurt, defensiveness, offensiveness, obsessiveness, possessiveness, fear and worry, to know the truth of things as they are and realize unconditional peace beyond all the qualities of name and form, is being compassionate towards oneself and all beings. We should appreciate and be grateful towards all beings and everything that is supporting all beings to be existing, to have the opportunity to be existing in this life form to be free from ignorance.

When we realize what is oneness, non-separateness, attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness, there’s neither vegetarian nor non-vegetarian.

People can keep debate and argue about vegetarian and non-vegetarian, that’s their freedom of thinking and believe.

Be happy.