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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: TroySantos ()
Date: September 24, 2007 08:30AM

Been away for a while. Internet is down at the temple and I haven't been getting out until just recently. There was a killer typhoon that hit the island recently. Wiped us out pretty thoroughly. Been digging out the whole week. We're right next to a big river which overflowed, flooding the temple and other nearby places. Water was about waist high in my room and so most of my books and various papers got wetter than I cared to clean and dry and otherwise take care of. So off they went.

I've been wanting a major clean up since I arrived at the temple in May or so. Well, this really isn't the way I'd like to have it done but it's done. The temple feels much fresher now. Bizarre, actually. There's still lots to clean and lots to do. Just finished cleaning bathrooms a little while ago. Man.

I recall that the Nile river used to flood every year until the Nasser Dam went up some decades ago. I recall reading that the silt that the overflowing river brought to the land adjacent to the river, all along it's length, made the land fabulously fertile for agriculture. So, on the one hand, I sort of hope we don't end up bringing in a tractor of some sort to remove the layer that the river deposited. It's very very fine. On the other hand, who knows how clean or dirty that silt is. I am not saying anything to anyone about this, except to my friend Sunmi. But I'm not going to try to influence what happens to that silt. Nobody has ever followed my suggestions regarding the garden. And I don't have any suggestions with regard to this situation.

One thing that really gets to me is the extent that things are getting thrown out. I mean, sure, there was so much junk at the temple it was ridiculous. Ridiculous. Most of that is gone now. Really, MOST. But, many of those things were still useful. Garbage is burned on this island. I suppose that's the best way to deal with garbage here, I mean, things that can't be recycled. But, boy, there's really no GOOD way to deal with garbage. Even recycyling isn't always a good option. So, garbage, and the affects it has on living things (plants and animals) is a disgrace, a despicable shame. A big fat stain on humanity. And, the money that it's going to cost to replace a lot of the things that we're going to want and need in the near future, is going to exhaust someone's bank account!

Through it all, I've maintained a mostly raw diet. There were a couple of nights that I ate some nori rolls. I was open to the idea so I had some. But of course I didn't stop at just a couple or a few. I ate quite a few. I removed the non vegetarian stuff but still, ate too much. A guy who knows I usually don't eat this sort of stuff saw me, then the next night brought in some stuff that he said was vegetarian. I really had intended to not eat that stuff again, but because I felt it was the courteous and polite thing to do, I ate it. Because I like the taste, and because he brought some just because he knows I eat only vegetarian. But, as usual, it did have some animal flesh in it. Some kind of seafood thingy. I forget the word for it. I didn't want to offend him so I just ate it without checking to see if there was any of that fish stuff in it. But when he wasn't looking, I checked and sure enough. I didn't notice the taste but saw the fish stuff so stopped eating it.

Aside from that though, most of my days have been high raw. Some junk, typically. But not THAT much. By far, most of my food has been fruit and vegetables. Lots of vegetables lately. Like 80/10/10. Been really close to that ratio except the days when I've eaten sort of a lot of brazil nuts! I've been working as hard as nearly anyone, save for the two old ladies, one of whom is always busy. But that's her character. She makes herself busy. And she's been grumpier than usual. What a witch! I do feel real sorry for her though. It must be hard to live her life. I've worked as hard, in a physical way though, exerting as much energy and strenght as anyone except a 78 year old man who is amazing. Drinks every day, about a pint of alcohol, in the morning, throughout the day, and before going to bed. About a pint, I guess, all day. Every day. Smokes too. Has been doing both for about 60 years. Yet the guy is amazingly strong and has so much energy. He told me a little while ago that if you drink a lot, you won't have much money, but it's good for your health!

We've been sleeping in the same room. My room's been trashed so I moved in to another room temporarily. He arrived from some other place in the country. There are tons of mosquitoes at this time of year. He, for some reason, just won't keep the door closed. Damn. So, of course, what happens, mosquitoes get in. And when they buzz around him while he wants to sleep, he gets irritated. So he grabs a towel and flails it above his head, down to his knees, over and over again. He does this about five times, then stops. Last night, I heard it and, though I've heard it many times now, I was surprised. I was reading with a headlamp around my head, looked over, and, in the dim brightness (!?) I could see an arm with a towel of some sort going up and down, up and down, going WHOOOH WHOOOH WHOOOH. I had had enough. It was comical, and I chuckled, but I wanted to sleep. So I got up, grabbed my bedding, and went into a room that had just been vacated by the two old women. They went to sleep in their rooms for the first time in a week, thank you!

Autumn is around the corner, or has it arrived? Anyway, tangerines are all over the place and they will be until early next year. My friend's parents have a tangerine orchard. Organic. I expect to be their most regular customer. I'll buy them by the crate.

Enough. Troy.



This way is not compatible with Zen practice. This way IS Zen practice. - Dr. Doug Graham

Nothing whatsoever should be attached to. - Buddha

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: Jgunn ()
Date: September 24, 2007 11:20PM

TroySantos Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
Water was about
> waist high in my room and so most of my books and
> various papers got wetter than I cared to clean
> and dry and otherwise take care of. So off they
> went.
>
hehe mother nature has a interesting way of helping us clean up doesnt she? tongue sticking out smiley


Garbage is burned on this island. I
> suppose that's the best way to deal with garbage
> here, I mean, things that can't be recycled. But,
> boy, there's really no GOOD way to deal with
> garbage. Even recycyling isn't always a good
> option.

this drove me nuts as well travelling around india and nepal ... i found out coca-cola was the major bottled water manufacturer there and yet they have no recycling projects in place to deal with all the water bottles in nepal and everest region SHAMEFULL !!


about your question about the weeds in the garden ... when weeds are left to rot in a growing garden they extract nitrogen from the soil to rot that would otherwise be taken up by the plants that are growing which stunts the plants growth .. its better to cut them and compost them then add the compost back to the soil to enrich it .. im suprised they dont compost there as its certainly worthwhile ! smiling smiley

...Jodi, the banana eating buddhist

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: TroySantos ()
Date: September 29, 2007 08:26PM

Jodi, I'd like to comment on your comment about gardening. My understanding about losing nitrogen is like this. When carbonacious (dry grasses and weeds, as well as saw dust and other carbonacious things) are mixed into the soil, nitrogen from the soil is used to break it down. I've not known of any such problem with green, fresh weeds and grasses. I've experienced first hand the one I mention here. I've seen the stunted growth. I haven't noticed anything like what you've mentioned. I'm not saying I disagree or, certainly not, that you're wrong. Just that I haven't noticed this. Thanks for the comment.



This way is not compatible with Zen practice. This way IS Zen practice. - Dr. Doug Graham

Nothing whatsoever should be attached to. - Buddha

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: TroySantos ()
Date: September 29, 2007 09:30PM

Typhoon Nari hit Sunday, Sept 16, 2007. Supposedly the worst in 80 years. I don't know if that means there was a stronger one 80 or so years ago or if records only go back that far. Anyway, this was a rough one.

We've still got lots and lots of clean up to do. I'm not back in my room yet. The floor heating system has been taking time, and I've been helping more with other people's things than with my own things. I have made a big dent in the work I need to do to get back in my room though. But tomorrow I'll need to go to Japan to change my visa status so I can come back and work at a private school outside the temple. I'll start Oct 8th. Same school I used to work at. Same contract and everything. I'm pretty optimistic that things will go well. A year seems like a long time to do this but I'm optimistic just the same.

I've been about 90% raw during this time of clean up. Lots and lots of heavy work. I'm amazed at how well I've been able to manage. The strength, energy and stamina I've experienced is new to me. I don't want to brag but I'm so surprised. So if anyone is reading this and not sure that strength, stamina, and energy can be sustained on a raw diet, I'll say it can. I can't attest to it in the long term, but others do, and I believe that most of them are honest about it.

Another important factor is mental ability. I feel like I've been getting A's here too. Really, the ideas I've seen pop out of me and that I've spontaneously made real ..., I'm really pleased that the guys upstairs are coming through. A few others seem to notice as well.

Another important factor is mood, emotions. I haven't done quite as well here. But not badly either. Kong Yang-ju has been a real b***h lately and I've not responded very nicely to her on a couple of occasions. And I once got angry at Sunmi, my friend. I apologized to them both though, so that is a plus. I've not slept as much as I need to and I attribute the irritability more to lack of sleep than diet. So why don't I sleep as much as I should? You'd think with all the hard work that I'd be so @#$%& I'd peter out. But I think too much. Just don't stop the thinking. The guys upstairs too often work way too much OT. And anxiety. Something I've been dealing with since childhood. Worry about not being good enough. What trash. The thinking is a result of the anxiety, for sure.

This morning I was working alone. It was a cool, dreary day. Misty, sprinkling, or overcast all day from morning til dark. I like working and being with others. I like time alone too. But this work that I was doing this morning, cleaning, I would really have enjoyed some company. 'long about lunch time, maybe around 11:30 I smelled something cooking. Boy, did that ever smell GOOD! I thought to go take a peek. See what it was. Just look at it! But, no, I told myself that happiness doesn't come from a warm meal on a cool dreary day like today. It comes from letting go. Then I realized that I was attaching to some ideal of what happiness is, so I let that go and just got back to work! Didn't go for the lunch though I was pleased that I was invited. I enjoyed my smoothie well enough. But you know, eating this way can be really alienating. I don't feel very comfortable bringing a bowl of fruit for, or a bowl of a smoothie just for myself to eat with the others. Or if it's dinner time, then a big salad or a green smoothie. It just doesn't feel right. Maybe it's something I should work on. Maybe I should try it more often. I've done it in the past and it's always been awkward. But, tell ya what, I'll try it again. Go at it with a different attitude. I'll come back from Japan Tuesday afternoon. So, maybe Tuesday if I come back in time for dinner, or maybe Wednesday. There aren't a lot of opportunities actually, that I'm interested in going to eat with others. So, maybe when I feel like I'd like to sit and eat with good company, I'll try it then. Anyway, I've got the intention to eat my food with others. Ah, you know, I did do this last week. Sat there with a green smoothie that I'd just blended up. A couple of others did try it but they didn't like it so well. I thought it was great. They all knew the recipe cuz I'd made nearly the same thing the day before, and had told them about it. And now that I think of it, I didn't feel so very awkward. Awkward, but I can live with it. So, I'll do it again. I am the only one who gets a fresh meal at nearly every meal. I did have some instant ramen for dinner last night. That was after my own meal. A couple of hours later, still feeling a bit lonesome and cold, I heard people talking and dishes clanging, and got that clanging in my heart! So I trekked on over to the kitchen where they were all eating. I nosed myself up to the screen door and was invited in. I saw that they had the instant ramen there. I told them that sure, I'd like to have some if there were any more of the ramen things. They said there was and rushed to make space for me. It was the fun atmosphere in part that I wanted. Had I brought in some of my own food just to be amongst the others, it wouldn't have been the same. Or to have just sat there with them, also, wouldn't have been the same. I really enjoy being with people. Eating is one way to do it. But I seldom eat what they all eat so my time to just sit with people is limited. The rest of the day I work or do other things. Occasionally I'll make some time to just go sit with someone and be with them. Not so often though.

I could take some food to go sit and eat with the kindergarteners. I did this once with a big fat watermelon. They all looked but I was okay. I'd do this with bananas but they always beg for some when they see me eating bananas. With 90 or so kids there's no way I'm going to give any of them any of it. And so bananas are not a good choice for a lunch with the kids. We'll see. Maybe a smoothie or a fruit salad. And it'd be a positive influence on the kids. I don't care what the adults say, a kid eating fruit is better off than eating the slop that they are so eager to have plopped onto their trays. Reminds me of some of the muck we've been shoveling into sacks to be hauled off to the incinerator!

Enough. A long one, sorry.



This way is not compatible with Zen practice. This way IS Zen practice. - Dr. Doug Graham

Nothing whatsoever should be attached to. - Buddha

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Re: Raw meditation
Posted by: dave6 ()
Date: October 16, 2007 05:31PM

Hi! I was quering about the buddhist diet and there beliefs towards a raw diet as well. I recently did a 8 day silent retreat at a buddhist temple and found juicing and eating raw very beneficial with regards to my mindful practice.

I did a similar silent retreat the year before and eat a vegetarian cooked food diet which seemed to numb and close my mind to the practice.

I have always wondered, why do buddhist not eat raw food as you can connect the mind to higher states more easily. I have met a couple of lama's who have been known to be enlightened but they still have coOked meat once in a while? It dosen't make any sense!

From experience and teachings i have found meditation very effective. It is not easy and requires a lot of time and commitment, this is what i think puts a lot of people off!

Instead of starting meditation with a mind that constantly does battle with its own thoughts; the mind that eats cooked food, why not encourage a healthy tranquill mind from the beginning and make the journey more enjoyable rather than a chore;a diet on raw food!

I remember my first 30 day raw experience 1 year ago i was into the second week and i was driving my van. There was a strange feeling of nothingness that i had never came across before. Normally i could only go into this state with meditation and with my eyes shut so to experience it outside was amazing. My mind became settled and there was no longer a constant turn over of thoughts and doubts, no matter how much my mind tried to go back to the constant turnover of negative thoughts and emotions they would fade away before i could allow them into my conciousness.

I have been meditating everyday for 4 years now and can only enter that state on a raw food diet. There is no battle of thought or trying to solve deep emotional issues it all becomes clear and negativity fades away. It is totally bizarre but feels so natural, like finally coming home.

has anybody else experienced this?

David

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: TroySantos ()
Date: October 21, 2007 12:54AM

NOTHINGNESS; MIGHT THE ABBOT BE ON TO SOMETHING?!

NOTHINGNESS
David, I can't say I've ever experienced anything like this, even in meditation.

In your last paragraph, you say this: "There is no battle of thought or trying to solve deep emotional issues it all becomes clear and negativity fades away. It is totally bizarre but feels so natural, like finally coming home."

I wonder if this is something you experienced once or more than once. I wish you more of the same, and the wisdom to not attach.

MIGHT THE ABBOT BE ON TO SOMETHING?!
Had a most wonderful breakfast this morning. Persimmons, of course. Some really really soft ones. In the US, I only knew of two kinds, Fuyu, and Hachiya. If I'm not mistaken, Persimmons are native to China. Korea is pretty darn close to China. So it is natural that there'd be more varieties here than in the US. Here, the kinds that I'm eating now are soft like the Hachiya, and about the size of Fuyu. Delicious. Scrumptious. Fabulous. Love 'em. I've been getting 'em super cheap from a wholesaler. Older ones that people prefer harder. I prefer them softer. So I get tons for cheap. And man I have the most delectable meals.

Anyway, this morning, I was outside my room eating them. The abbot came by to do something with the boiler near my room. He saw me eating, saw I had some bananas and asked for one. (Thai monks should not ask for food. Only accept, or not accept, that which is offered. But this is not Thailand, and not Theravada Buddhism. Quite a few surface differences, as well as more significant differences.) Sure, I gave him one. But I wanted him to try the Persimmons.

After the banana he had a Persimmon. I gave him one of the really soft ones. Then another, then another, and one or two more after that. We stood there, outside my room, on a chilly October morning, enjoying the most delicious foods. I couldn't help but laugh. He ate them with a bit of gusto!

He mentioned something about me being strong. I told him I'm not strong but that I'm plenty strong enough. And that I've got plenty of energy. I thought to mention that I am usually in a good mood too, but at that moment I thought about bad moods that I've had recently so didn't say anything about usually being in a good mood. I think he's aware just the same.

Afterwards he walked away with his hands hanging in front of him. You know when you get your hands messy and you walk with them hanging sort of limp in front of you as you walk to the sink or someplace to wash them? That's what he did. I looked at him like this and laughed. He looked back at me and laughed.

He said we'll go buy some fruit. I said I'd go anytime.

He's been super warm to me lately. I don't understand it. Sometimes when we cross paths at the temple, he'll smile broadly to me. Yesterday, I told him I needed to go out to buy some colored paper for a kindergarteners game that I'm making (Twister, only with square spots instead of the circles). He drove (Thai monks never ever drive) me to the stationery store, then waited while I was inside. I guess I took a bit longer than he'd anticipated so he came into the store. I was just about to pay when he walked in. The clerk gave me a discount, must have been because of his presence.

And my friend Sunmi seems to be eating more fruit, and perhaps less meat. I don't know why, I haven't asked. We'll see what happens with these two people.

I haven't been eating as much vegetables lately. Really interested in the idea that if you don't like the taste of something, if something just doesn't appeal, then don't eat it. I like some vegetables, but not many, and nowhere near as much as I like fruit. And persimmon season is .... It's a long one too. Yum.

Enough. Time to get ready to go to the Dharma Hall.

I will just say though that I'm super glad to be living at the temple. My boss at the English school has said many times that he wants me to go live at the apartment that he would rent for me but I want to stay here. I asked the abbot yesterday if it's okay that I continue to live here. I told him that I will only be able to work two or three hours a day. I feel that only working 2 or 3 hours a day at the temple might upset someone. Might sort of look like I'm using the temple as a cheap place to live while I make money outside the temple. He said, "No problem. No problem." He knows a few English words. And he uses them with me often.

Okay, this is enough.

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: Jgunn ()
Date: October 21, 2007 03:33AM

i love your ongoing story Troysantos smiling smiley i wonder if you maybe donated a couple of dollars or brought in some fruits and veggies for the others if that would make everyone feel like your not just using the temple as a cheap place to stay smiling smiley

...Jodi, the banana eating buddhist

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: TroySantos ()
Date: October 21, 2007 12:23PM

Jodi, I'm glad you like what I write. The temple often has lots of fruit. I do donate money to the temple. I do sometimes offer food to others. I also sometimes buy various foods from outside the temple and offer to others inside the temple. Like, there's a local food that I really like myself. It's a buckwheat flour pancake thing, rolled up with some cooked giant radish shreds and a bit of sesame inside. For some reason I love this thing. I sometimes buy them for others. And, of course, I do some work, and I teach the kindergarteners for free. So, hmmm ... looks like you're helping me rid myself of my worries!! Thanks.

It's a little late and I wanna study some Korean before bed.

Thanks so much for sharing. I like the quotes you put at the ends of your posts.

Troy.



This way is not compatible with Zen practice. This way IS Zen practice. - Dr. Doug Graham

Nothing whatsoever should be attached to. - Buddha

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: TroySantos ()
Date: October 28, 2007 11:38AM

It's persimmons season and I'm so glad. I've been enjoying the hell out of these little orange guys. I've been getting them super cheap. At least, cheap for Korea. This has got to be one of the most expensive places on the planet to get a fruit fix. But a lady who works here at the temple has helped me get them super cheap. About 20 cents or so each. As a percent of salary, that's pretty cheap. And boy do these little buggers ever taste good. The abbot has been coming regularly to enjoy the suppleness and savor the flavor. Or, well, those are the things that I do anyway. I asked my friend Sunmi yesterday, as we both stood enjoying one, what's better, a plate of rice or one of these? She just smiled. I don't think she agrees completely but she does also enjoy them. And the other monk here at the temple got pretty interested yesterday. We talked about eating raw foods as a way of life. He's been sick and isn't really getting better.

And just today, I did heavy work all day long. Felt great. Worked with others. They sure took notice. This guy who seldom eats rice working so hard. They notice. I don't suppose anyone's going to change their ways but at least they notice.

It's funny, when I work real hard, physically hard labor, I don't feel hungry. I can work and work for long stretches of time. But if I don't get enough calories I feel it the next morning. I wake up feeling really lethargic and out of energy. I feel good now though so suppose I'll be okay in the morning. Been eating vegetables right out of the green house too. Some local cabbage family plant that I have enjoyed for many months now. And there's mallow too. Delicious.

Now that the one monk has shown interest I feel more motivated to really stay high high raw.

One part of me wants to show people that this diet is possible, and get them to think that it's maybe even better for health. One part of me really enjoys this food. (One part of me hasn't given up on various cooked things - junk as well as other, less harmful things.) Same with the heavy work. One part of me really really enjoys it a lot. One part of me wants to be "a man" and show off = EGO. One part of me wants to show others that a person eating a diet of mostly raw foods can do the heavy work too. I showed the monk and Sunmi pictures of Fruitarian One and they were quite impressed. Thanks F1, wherever you are!!

Enjoy those persimmons. They'll be available here until early next year. I'll have persimmon orange skin before long! Just right for Halloween!

Troy.



This way is not compatible with Zen practice. This way IS Zen practice. - Dr. Doug Graham

Nothing whatsoever should be attached to. - Buddha

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: TroySantos ()
Date: November 04, 2007 11:47AM

Still loving the persimmons. Just got another huge amount of older ones, harder to sell, for so so cheap. And they're so so good. Wow. Can't believe it. It's not just my opinion, others have enjoyed some too.

One of the monks, I sometimes call him the yoga monk in my diary here, has become very interested in a fruit based diet. He's got some liver problems and his belly is really bloated. I've been telling him for months and months that beans and rice are hard to digest. He just a little while ago told me the very same thing. And he walked in the door a little while ago carrying fruit. He got more than ten Hachiya persimmons, 12 Fuyu sized persimmons which are soft like the Hachiyas, and some other fruits. Plus some fruit juice. I told him to watch out for the sugar in these things. He said they're 100% fruit juice. I looked at the label and then he did. He had to agree with me. Hardly 100% fruit juice. No white sugar but who knows what those other things are.

Anyway, he is interested. I warned him about doing this in winter when it's hard for seasoned raw fooders. He mentioned that he keeps his fruit in his room. The floors in Korea are mostly all heated. Floor heating systems. My room is the same. I've been keeping my fruit warm too. Warm, cooked foods still have a strong appeal but having warm fruits around sure helps. Don't know if this will be possible at school though as we don't have floor heating there. We'll see if I can manage to keep foods warm somehow.

Anyway, I'm super jazzed that the yoga monk here has taken an interest in raw foods. I don't hold on to the hope that he'll become a solid raw foodist. I'm pleased though that he's intersted. He says he notices his concentration during meditation is much sharper. He's been meditating for 20 years and is really impressed with how sharp his meditation is. And he says he can feel the healing effects in his belly area, with regard to his liver.

Just had a ton of Chinese Mallow today. Tastes so so good. Right out of the green house. I went in and just munched on all the plants we had there. Didn't leave any of the big leaves. There is a local plant in the cabbage family that I've liked well. But when I compared the mallow with the cabbage family one, wow, the mallow won hands down. Maybe next time the mallow won't fare so well. But I have always liked this plant. Delicious.

Time to get some Korean language studying in. I have been feeling so motivated lately to study. So want to be able to commmunicate better with people.

Troy.



This way is not compatible with Zen practice. This way IS Zen practice. - Dr. Doug Graham

Nothing whatsoever should be attached to. - Buddha

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: TroySantos ()
Date: November 23, 2007 05:48AM

Just a quick word to say that I'm still alive, still mostly raw, and feeling pretty good about life. I've been busy with other things so haven't posted. Don't know when I will write a real post. Life is pretty much the same as always. Mostly raw, mostly cold!, and mostly really enjoyable. I'll write again sometime. I occasionally look at the main forum just don't say anything. Time.



This way is not compatible with Zen practice. This way IS Zen practice. - Dr. Doug Graham

Nothing whatsoever should be attached to. - Buddha

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: gwenqi ()
Date: December 01, 2007 07:32PM

I love your posts/blog. Very interesting. I am a lay Zen Buddhist priest in America. It is good to read these things to find that our experiences are so much shared experiences.

Gwen

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: TroySantos ()
Date: December 09, 2007 07:29AM

You're a lay Zen priest in the US. Boy, do I ever want to talk with you!

Where are you? What sort of practice do you have? I guess I'd just ask if you do Soto, or Rinzai, or some kind of combination, or, maybe these labels aren't really appropriate.

Do you know of any rawfooders living at temples? Or, any temples where rawfoodism is accomodated? I don't want to make raw food a must, but I sure don't want to go back to the other stuff. I'll go out with others from the temple, for a year end dinner celebration but I have mixed feelings about the food. I've eaten it before and it's so heavy. Anyway, never mind that, I'll manage. Don't worry, don't think about it, don't eat a lot ....

I expect to go back to the US next year. Want to live at a temple. A Zen / Seon temple. I'm interested in a Rinzai temple. I only know of one in the US. Choboji in Washington State. Genjo Marinello is there. I've heard some of his Dharma Talks on iTunes and think he's the @#$%&! Really great.

Know of any others? Or maybe Korean temples? I do hwadu practice and suppose I'll continue it in the US.

Plus, there's a woman here (!!) that may go to the US with me, as my wife. No plans as of yet but we're getting a bit serious! Honestly, I have thought for years now that I'd probably never marry again. But ....



This way is not compatible with Zen practice. This way IS Zen practice. - Dr. Doug Graham

Nothing whatsoever should be attached to. - Buddha

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: Jgunn ()
Date: March 07, 2008 06:37PM

Mr. Santos where are you ?? need an update on your adventures smiling smiley

...Jodi, the banana eating buddhist

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: TroySantos ()
Date: March 21, 2008 04:44AM

HIYA!

Thanks Jodi for forcing me to write!

Yeah, I'm still around. I don't get onto this board much anymore, and this diary even less often. I still eat much the same way and live life much the same as before. I've just been very busy lately, and decided I'd be better off lopping off some things to make life less busy, less hectic. This is one of those things. I do still from time to time peek at some things on the main forum.

So glad the weather has been warming up. I have never done well in cold weather. I had a long cold at the end of last year. Seems I haven't had any colds since then. I thought I'd had one recently but now consider that the symptoms I had came from something that I must have breathed in, got lodged in my throat, and caused some cold-like symptoms. I've been going through some old garbage lately, looking for recyclables, and generally trying to make the trash pile somewhat more environmentally sensible. We had a bad typhoon hit the area last September and still have lots and lots of the trash sitting on the road just outside the temple. Thought I could go through it and remove lots of recyclables and other things so they wouldn't go to landfill and to the incinerator. (Turned out I didn't make that much of a dent.) There were more than a few days when I that old garbage was directly below my mouth and nose. Maybe I'm being foolish, but I now consider that the cold-like symptoms I had came from that stuff.

Been feeling good for the most part. Still, I don't thrive. I would really like to feel "glad to be alive" or something like this. Fresh, vital .... I don't and seldom ever have in my life. Only for moments here and there through the years.

I understand the idea that our health is only as good as our weakest link in our lifestyles. My two are probably my diet and sleep. I have eaten mostly raw for years and years but the minority has, for the most part, consisted of lots of junk food, chocolate, pastry, potato chips, and what not. The other part of my non-raw diet has consisted of more sensible stuff, but that's the minority of the non-raw part.

A few days ago I did a three-day fast, from a Sunday to Tuesday. The first day wasn't so rough. I was at the temple, working. I had some brown sugar in the morning and probably some in the evening too. Felt fine, in part thanks to the sugar! The next day I had lots of the stuff. I was at work, teaching elementary school kids at the private English school where I work here in South Korea. It's not a quiet place. I really dislike the enormous commotion of kids running, screaming, banging on everything. Anyway, this is a limp excuse but it's the one I used to just paste over everything with brown sugar all day. Felt like hell most of the day at school, had a headache and my stomach didn't feel so great! The next day I woke up with the headache intact. But I'd decided I wasn't going to do the brown sugar dance again. I did have some bamboo salt (it's considered fabulous for health here) but not that much. Felt fine the whole day. Even in the midst of the kids.

Hardly a real fast, because of the sugar, the salt, and the commotion. But, I didn't eat any "food" so it was a rest in a sense. The most significant thing I got out of it was an increased sense that I can stay away from the junk. I haven't felt the urge to buy any of it since before the fast. The urge has been very mild for some time now.

Before the fast I decided to stay away from it all for at least 7 days. I did that. The day I broke the fast was typical of me. I had bought some treats for my kids the Friday before I started the fast. The day to give them to the kids was the Tuesday I broke the fast. Well, I gave the kids the treats and of course had a few myself. But the few was the trickle that broke the dam. I have always caved in with just a little of anything "prohibited"! Got really thirsty the whole evening.

Anyway, today is Friday, a few days after breaking the fast. I still haven't had any junk, and this is something of a milestone for me. Don't feel the strong urge for it either. Strange. Really strange. There is still the urge but it has subsided considerably.

The rest of the non-raw part of my diet is much more sensible than before the fast. Of course, this is only a few days on since the fast, but I feel momentum that is rare for me. I realize that I could very well jump ship but feel that this won't happen anytime soon. And I don't really mind having a bit of junk. It's just that in the past, the little bit has always broke the levee, so to speak.

The other link, sleep, well, I work on that too. But not in that I get lots more sleep. Eventually, this is what I intend. But not now. At present I have an alarm clock that I use to get up just a bit after 6am. Going to bed around 11 pm is becoming easier. So, some stability. With food, and with sleep.

I've been really inspired by some posts by Bryan, the moderator (or, maybe used-to-be-moderator, I don't know if he still is) where he wrote about how his state of health soared after really really really sleeping, for hours and hours a day, for months and months. He wasn't working at the time. He'd taken time off, or quit the job he'd had, I forget. Anyway, come October, I won't be working here anymore. I intend to go to Thailand and / or to Vietnam for some months. Before I go, I will look for a place to sleep sleep sleep. I know some people in both places so it seems possible.

Time to go. And this has been a long one.

Thanks again, Jodi.



This way is not compatible with Zen practice. This way IS Zen practice. - Dr. Doug Graham

Nothing whatsoever should be attached to. - Buddha

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: Jgunn ()
Date: September 30, 2008 06:51AM

well mr. santos its been 6 months since we saw the lastest and greastest stories from the far east smiling smiley

please do tell what has transpired!! =D

...Jodi, the banana eating buddhist

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Re: Raw at a Buddhist Temple in South Korea
Posted by: TroySantos ()
Date: December 26, 2008 01:38AM

Jgunn Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> well mr. santos its been 6 months since we saw the
> lastest and greastest stories from the far east
> smiling smiley
>
> please do tell what has transpired!! =D

Thanks so much Jodi, for lighting fire under my butt. And I like your signature picture.

I am still here at the temple. I still eat mostly raw. Recently I decided to eat one cooked meal a day because it's so much easier to feel warm after eating a cooked meal. But, like mostly everything else in my life, this hasn't really lasted either. I could go on and on about why but never mind. One reason though is that I've started a martial art practice. That should help keep me warm. Plus I've got a couple of warm jackets that are great.

Last week I decided I'd leave the temple. Because I'm doing this martial art practice outside the temple, at the same time as people here at the temple meditate. I feel like it's not really right for me to live here, but not do the practice. So I told the head monk but, with a bright shiny smile, he asked for confirmation that I want to practice a martial art. I said yes and he said it's okay for me to stay if I want.

And, I said that I don't really want to work much here. After deciding to leave, I thought about the freedom that I'd have if I left. Boy did that ever feel enticing. The head monk said okay to this too. So, the challenge is mine. Can I live here without working much? It feels so so wrong.

One thing about food and eating. Something I noticed last night while eating a persimmon. Wonderful tasting little goody. There's something in that taste that I don't know how to describe. There's a little spike, a little twist, a little zap in there. Son of a gun. Son of a gun. The thought arose that I really like this taste.

Then a moment later a thought arose that the taste evokes a response in me, a feeling, and that this is what I really like. I've noticed this sort of thing before. I think the first time I noticed it was with an avocado many years ago. A sensuous, sexual feeling arose. You can probably imagine. I feel that the things we like and dislike in life are internal things, not the "10,000 things" in this world.

I guess I'll say a few things about Koreans. I hesitate to say this but, well, I'll do it gingerly. I can't say that I like many things that I have experienced with many Koreans. And, in light of the above paragraph, I should say that the feelings that arise in me as a response to what I experience in the presence of many Koreans .... That's what I don't like. Sometimtes it's obvious. Like, when I feel a tightness in my chest after this or that conversation with someone.

I feel that most of the people I know here aren't very open with me. I feel like there are too many secrets for my taste. So lies and deceptions or maybe other things on the part of many of these people that I've had a lot of contact with. Like, my boss at the private English school, a lady here at the temple, and, a "friend" who I know from the temple. Even the head monk ... I seriously wonder if he was being honest with me on a couple of occasions. The first is when I was going through the process of becoming a novice here. Last summer. It took months and months before I finally gave up. The paper work, he said, wasn't coming through. I just believed it at the time. But, then there were a couple of other minor instances when I didn't feel so certain that he was telling me the truth.

In some Zen books I've read they say that the Buddhist precepts (one of which is to not lie) are not so important once you've woken up. You follow them or break them as is appropriate to the moment. So, I wonder if there is some reason that the head monk saw to lie to me. Of course, it may very well have been that the paperwork just didn't come through. When I lived with the Santi Asoke group in Thailand the monks there kept strictly to the Buddhist precepts. Very very strictly.

There was a time, while I lived with the group, when I lied to a friend there. But after lying to her, I realized that it was because I was uncomfortable with the truth. I lied to her because I wanted to avoid the truth myself. After that it occured to me that it could be that there could be a deeper reason for this fourth precept - to not lie or deceive. That is that if we hide ouselves from the truth of little things in life, then it's much much more likely that we'll cover ourselves from reality. Supposedly, that's what's what we're really avoiding. The ego self doesn't want to let go of control. More than a few Zen books talk of deeper, esoteric meanings of Buddha's teachings. But I've never read or heard this sort of thing about a deeper reason for the fourth precept.

I'll wrap this up by saying I don't know how much longer I'll be around at this temple. For the past 20 odd years I've moved every two years or so. Even if I stay here until the end of my teaching contract in October, it'll be about 2 1/2 years since I came to live here. The main reason I stay here is for the challenge. There's a lady here, who I've written a lot about in this diary, who seems to really hate me. She never has a nice word for me. I fear her criticism. I fear her hatred towards me. Actually, it's more my own thinking that is so fearsome! So, there's "her hatred" and my conscience. Can I live here without working so much? The old lady is quite busy here. And, there's another old woman, about 90 years old, who sweeps the grounds. Shouldn't I help them more? Why in hell did the head monk say it's okay to live here and not work? He even called the old lady who hates me and told her to not give me any work!!

In a recent post I wrote about accepting yourself, the last person to write linked a thread started by Bryan. I've read that thread and have adopted some of Bryan's advice.

I realize that I feel good about myself if I feel that I look good, or if I feel like others see me as a hard working, smart person, or a morally good person. So many conditions. Why not just accept myself without putting up all these conditions on happiness? Letting go. This is so central to Zen teaching. So, to let go of those conditions.

Okay, now, I will stop.

Troy.



This way is not compatible with Zen practice. This way IS Zen practice. - Dr. Doug Graham

Nothing whatsoever should be attached to. - Buddha

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