63. Still more on eating

On the second day of the waning moon in the third month of 1979, Luang Pu was staying at Prakhonchai Forest Monastery. After 8 p.m. a group of monks who liked to wander around, pitching their tents near populated areas, came to the monastery to spend the night there, too. After paying their respects to Luang Pu, they talked about what they felt was the outstanding feature of their practice, saying, “Those who eat meat are supporting the killing of animals. Those who eat only vegetables show a high degree of compassion. The proof of this is that when you convert to eating just vegetables, the mind becomes more peaceful and cool.”

Luang Pu responded,

“That’s very good. The fact that you can be vegetarians is very good, and I’d like to express my admiration. As for those who still eat meat, if that meat is pure in three ways—in that they haven’t seen or heard or suspected that an animal was killed to provide the food specifically for them—and they obtained it in a pure way, then eating the meat is in no way against the Dhamma and Vinaya. But when you say that your mind becomes peaceful and cool, that’s the result of the strength that comes from being intent on practicing correctly in line with the Dhamma and Vinaya. It has nothing to do with the new food or old in your stomach at all.”