Atheist, Agnostic, Buddhist, & Pagan Weight Loss Thread.

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Re: Atheist, Agnostic, Buddhist, & Pagan Weight Loss Thread.

Postby petero » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:14 am

Vanilla Orchid wrote:The LDS Church comes to mind (the Word of Wisdom cautions against alcohol, hot drinks

So... no Irish coffee? No bloody mary (I like mine with lots of cayenne)? How do these people live!?

One of the things that's attractive to me about Buddhism is that the Buddha is not a god. The Buddha is an example. Who is the Buddha? You are the Buddha.

And yes, meditation causes alpha-wave activity in the brain, and IIRC (but I could be misremembering) increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, meaning it builds brain cells and/or their connections). Probably not a bad thing to have floating around when you're trying to change habits.

Right Action and Right Livelihood are part of the Noble Eightfold Path. Right Action would prevent consumption of meat, and Right Livelihood specifically forbids business in meat, and is just something we need to see more of these days.

The diet advocated here goes really well with The Pleasure Trap, Buddhism, and the ideas of Voluntary Simplicity. Not spending as much time or psychic energy on food can open up a whole new world of activity--like taking to the streets for a national health insurance policy! :cool:

It's easy to be a naive idealist. It's easy to be a cynical realist. It's quite another thing to have no illusions and still hold the inner flame. -- Marie-Louise von Franz
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Re: Atheist, Agnostic, Buddhist, & Pagan Weight Loss Thread.

Postby Gramma Jackie » Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:05 am

Since this is a weight loss thread, just thought I would post my weight loss since getting back on track with McDougall this past week. I lost 15 lbs. last fall with MWL, then gained back 5 over the holidays. Then got back to MWL after the holidays and lost 10 and just this past week lost another 5.
So I've re-lost all I gained. :-) This plan REALLY works if a person sticks with it.
Gramma Jackie

Re: Atheist, Agnostic, Buddhist, & Pagan Weight Loss Thread.

Postby Gweithgar » Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:24 am

Good for you, Gramma! I'm still trying to crack that 170# barrier, but I just seem to keep bouncing up and down just above it. You are an inspiration. Keep up the great work!!
Cet animal est tres mechant; quand on l'attaque, il se defend
(This animal is very wicked; if attacked it defends itself)
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Re: Atheist, Agnostic, Buddhist, & Pagan Weight Loss Thread.

Postby Letha.. » Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:42 am

petero wrote:Who is the Buddha? You are the Buddha.

Yes I am! :)
And so are you. There are an immeasurable number of buddhas as described in the lotus sutra Chapter One: Bunno Kato Translation.

Thus have I heard. Once upon a time the Lord was staying at Râgagriha, on the Gridhrakuta mountain, with a numerous assemblage of monks, twelve hundred monks, all of them Arhats, stainless, free from depravity, self-controlled, thoroughly emancipated in thought and knowledge, of noble breed, (like unto) great elephants, having done their task, done their duty, acquitted their charge, reached the goal; in whom the ties which bound them to existence were wholly destroyed, whose minds were thoroughly emancipated by perfect knowledge, who had reached the utmost perfection in subduing all their thoughts; who were possessed of the transcendent faculties; eminent disciples, such as the venerable Agñâta-Kaundinya, the venerable Asvagit, the venerable Vâshpa, the venerable Mahânâman, the venerable Bhadrikal, the venerable Mahâ-Kâsyapa, the venerable Kâsyapa of Uruvilvâ, the venerable Kâsyapa of Nadi, the venerable Kâsyapa of Gayâ, the venerable Sâriputra, the venerable Mahâ-Maudgalyâyana, the venerable Mahâ-Kâtyâyana, the venerable Aniruddha, the venerable Revata, the venerable Kapphina, the venerable Gavâmpati, the venerable Pilindavatsa, the venerable Vakula, the venerable Bhâradvâga, the venerable Mahâ-Kaushthila, the venerable Nanda (alias Mahânanda), the venerable Upananda, the venerable Sundara-Nanda, the venerable Pûrna Maitrâyanîputra, the venerable Subhûti, the venerable Râhula; with them yet other great disciples, as the venerable Ananda, still under training, and two thousand other monks, some of whom still under training, the others masters; with six thousand nuns having at their head Mahâpragâpatî, and the nun Yasodharâ, the mother of Râhula, along with her train; (further) with eighty thousand Bodhisattvas, all unable to slide back, endowed with the spells of supreme, perfect enlightenment, firmly standing in wisdom; who moved onward the never deviating wheel of the law; who had propitiated many hundred thousands of Buddhas; who under many hundred thousands of Buddhas had planted the roots of goodness, had been intimate with many hundred thousands of Buddhas, were in body and mind fully penetrated with the feeling of charity; able in communicating the wisdom of the Tathâgatas; very wise, having reached the perfection of wisdom; renowned in many hundred thousands of worlds; having saved many hundred thousand myriads of kotis of beings; such as the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Mañgusrî, as prince royal; the Bodhisattvas Mahâsattvas Avalokitesvara, Mahâsthâmaprâpta, Sarvarthanâman, Nityodyukta, Anikshiptadhura, Ratnakandra, Bhaishagyarâga, Pradânasûra, Ratnakandra, Ratnaprabha, Pûrnakandra, Mahivikrâmin, Trailokavikrâmin, Anantavikrâmin, Mahâpratibhâna, Satatasamitâbhiyukta, Dharanîdhara, Akshayamati, Padmasrî, Nakshatrarâga, the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Maitreya, the Bodhisattva Mahâsattva Simha.

With them were also the sixteen virtuous men to begin with Bhadrapâla, to wit, Bhadrapâla, Ratnikara, Susârthavâha, Naradatta, Guhagupta, Varunadatta, Indradatta, Uttaramati, Viseshamati, Vardhamânamati, Amoghadarsin, Susamsthita, Suvikrântavikrâmin, Anupamamati, Sûryagarbha, and Dharanidhara; besides eighty thousand Bodhisattvas, among whom the fore-mentioned were the chiefs; further Sakra, the ruler of the celestials, with twenty thousand gods, his followers, such as the god Kandra (the Moon), the god Sûrya (the Sun), the god Samantagandha (the Wind), the god Ratnaprabha, the god Avabhâsaprabha, and others; further, the four great rulers of the cardinal points with thirty thousand gods in their train, viz. the great ruler Virûdhaka, the great ruler Virûpâksha, the great ruler Dhritarâshtra, and the great ruler Vaisravana; the god Îsvara and the god Mahesvara, each followed by thirty thousand gods; further, Brahma Sahdmpati and his twelve thousand followers, the BrahmakAyika gods, amongst whom Brahma Sikhin and Brahma Gyotishprabha, with the other twelve thousand Brahmakdyika gods; together with the eight Nâga kings and many hundred thousand myriads of kotis of Nigas in their train, viz. the Nâga king Nanda, the Nâga king Upananda, Sâgara, Vâsuki, Takshaka, Manasvin, Anavatapta, and Utpalaka; further, the four Kinnara kings with many hundred thousand myriads of kotis of followers, viz. the Kinnara king Druma, the Kinnara king Mahâdharma, the Kinnara king Sudharma, and the Kinnara king Dharmadhara; besides, the four divine beings (called) Gandharvakâyikas with many hundred thousand Gandharvas in their suite, viz. the Gandharva Manogña, the Gandharva Manogñasvara, the Gandharva Madhura, and the Gandharva Madhurasvara; further, the four chiefs of the demons followed by many hundred thousand myriads of kotis of demons, viz. the chief of the demons Bali, Kharaskandha, Vemakitri, and Râhu; along with the four Garuda chiefs followed by many hundred thousand myriads of kotis of Garudas, viz. the Garuda chiefs Mahâtegas, Mahâkâya, Mahâpûrna, and Mahârddhiprâpta, and with Agâtasatru, king of Magadha, the son of Vaidehi.

Now at that time it was that the Lord surrounded, attended, honoured, revered, venerated, worshipped by the four classes of hearers, after expounding the Dharmaparyâya called 'the Great Exposition,' a text of great development, serving to instruct Bodhisattvas and proper to all Buddhas, sat cross-legged on the seat of the law and entered upon the meditation termed 'the station of the exposition of Infinity;' his body was motionless and his mind had reached perfect tranquility. And as soon as the Lord had entered upon his meditation, there fell a great rain of divine flowers, Mandâravasâ and great Mandâravas, Mañgûshakas and great Mañgûshakas, covering the Lord and the four classes of hearers, while the whole Buddha field shook in six ways: it moved, removed, trembled, trembled from one end to the other, tossed, tossed along.

Then did those who were assembled and sitting together in that congregation, monks, nuns, male and female lay devotees, gods, Nagas, goblins, Gandharvas, demons, Garudas, Kinnaras, great serpents, men, and beings not human, as well as governors of a region, rulers of armies and rulers of four continents, all of them with their followers, gaze on the Lord in astonishment, in amazement, in ecstasy.

And at that moment there issued a ray from within the circle of hair between the eyebrows of the Lord. It extended over eighteen hundred thousand Buddha-fields in the eastern quarter, so that all those Buddha-fields appeared wholly illuminated by its radiance, down to the great hell Avîki and up to the limit of existence. And the beings in any of the six states of existence became visible, all without exception. Likewise the Lords Buddhas staying, living, and existing in those Buddha-fields became all visible, and the law preached by them could be entirely heard by all beings. And the monks, nuns, lay devotees male and female, Yogins and students of Yoga, those who had obtained the fruition (of the Paths of sanctification) and those who had not, they, too, became visible. And the Bodhisattvas Mahâsattvas in those Buddha-fields who plied the Bodhisattva-course with ability, due to their earnest belief in numerous and various lessons and the fundamental ideas, they, too, became all visible. Likewise the Lords Buddhas in those Buddha-fields who had reached final Nirvâna became visible, all of them. And the Stûpas made of jewels and containing the relics of the extinct Buddhas became all visible in those Buddha-fields.
It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
Carl Sagan
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Re: Atheist, Agnostic, Buddhist, & Pagan Weight Loss Thread.

Postby Gramma Jackie » Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:11 am

One of the things my husband misses about church is the great music. I mean the GREAT music, not some of the junk that now masquerades for music in church. He sang in the Chapel Choir in Bible college and had an excellant choir leader. He is also a pianist and organist. No matter what a person believes, it's hard to deny that the instrumental part of many hymns and other church music is beautiful---esp. Handel's Messiah. So once in awhile we do find ourselves in church for a concert. When we do, we go to the First Community Church of Columbus (OH). The choir director there is also the director of the Columbus city chorus and they put on a big (secular) holiday program every year. What I like about that church, however, is the fact that first of all they are all-inclusive and welcome people of all faiths and lifestyles. Secondly they respect the various religious world-views and even incorporate teachings of other religions, including eastern religions and world-views into their services. For instance here is an except from a recent newsletter from First Community Church of Columbus to show how they interweave the views of Buddhism and Christianity:

Jesus as Presence

by Reverend David S. Hett, Minister of Religious Life and Learning

For me, the Jesus presented in the Gospels is Pure Presence. He is already “Christ.”
In contrast, the man Jesus who walked the earth briefly 2,000 years ago, was like anyone else “born of a woman,” as Paul notes. He was not God, nor did he ever become God, except in the way that all of us are shards of the Divine.
“For Paul,” John Spong says in agreement, “Jesus…was a human life in whom God had been experienced as present.”
“Jesus” in the Gospels is Presence, and such pure presence is a capacity we all share with the human Jesus.
Substitute “Jesus” for “Buddha” in the following passage by the incredible mid-20th century spiritual teacher Karlfried Graf Durckheim, and it fits my Christian understanding:
“The Buddha image…is not something unattainable for the ordinary person. These images only symbolize the complete achievement of what is in principle possible for everyone. This is because basically everyone is what the Buddha expresses, and in the course of his development, can become it in so far as he will allow it to manifest.”
In Christian tradition, this path has been called “the imitation of Christ,” when that way is understood, reminds Episcopal priest Cynthia Bourgeault, not as imitating “those admirable qualities we see in Jesus’ being--kindness, compassion, gentleness, integrity—[that is just] putting on the outer garments. We need to go deeper,” she says, “discovering in our own selves the secret of Jesus’ capacity to open himself to life in such an extraordinary way.”
The “Jesus” I meet in the Gospels is nothing other than this capacity to open to life in an extraordinary way. Thus, in the gospel stories, when Jesus is in your boat—that is, when you are in Pure Presence—your inner winds calm even in the midst of a storm, or you can “catch” a treasure trove of abundance after a bad night’s fishing without presence.
Again, by substituting “Jesus” for “Buddha” in this quote from Durckheim, I find a mantra upon which I can meditate throughout Lent:
[Jesus] is not a transcendental god, but a human being into whom the Great Being has penetrated bringing transformation and liberation into the bright light of consciousness. And in his form is the reflection of what, from the beginning, is given to every one to rediscover at-homeness in the Center of Being.
Gramma Jackie

Re: Atheist, Agnostic, Buddhist, & Pagan Weight Loss Thread.

Postby Gramma Jackie » Mon Mar 29, 2010 12:26 pm

I am reading an absolutely terrific book entitled:

Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen
(Recipes from the East for Health, Healing and Long Life)

by Yuan Wang, Warren Sheir and Mika Ono

It is a lot more than just a cookbook with oriental recipes. It talks about East/West synthesis which is a subject I dearly love since I took a humanities course in college by the same title. It also talks about balance being the missing ingredient to eating. It says that balance is usually the first casualty when it comes to dieting and dining in the West, but that the East Asian tradition is based on whole foods and herbs with a variety of taste , textures and colors. I think that is important, because I get bored easily and need that variety to keep me on track. It also talks about HOW we eat. Seasonal eating brings us in tune with the time of year and certain foods help us with our moods. According to this book, "The East Asian view of the body as an ever-changing eco-system goes hand in hand with a dynamic approach to food and health."

It also talks about the concept of yin and yang and how it relects the natural world and acts as a touchstone to help understand the natural world. It also talks about the environment in which you eat. Although Chinese take-out as well as all other fast food has pretty much eliminated this element of dining, I think most of us who have been to a quality Asian restaurant realize how beautiful and relaxing it can be which helps us to not gulp down our food and thus digest it better. We can create such an soothing atmosphere in our own homes also.

Finally about 3/4 of the book is recipes and some really good ones at that. It is not vegan, but is pretty close to it. It has a chapter entitled "Comfort in a Cup" which is about tea and herbal drinks and in my opinion it is almost worth buying the book just for that.

I highly recommend this book.
Gramma Jackie


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