08
Dec
11

Racial inequalities in Malaysia – so you know

taken from link

ask any Malaysia, may he be the Malays, the Chinese or the Indians, this is what is happening in Malaysia since gaining independence from the British in 1957

Few People realise that UiTM (a Malaysian University) that takes in only Bumiputera (meaning ‘natives’ but in Malaysia, it literally refers to the Malays solely excluding the native aborigines) including from Singapore!…has a current enrollment of something like 130,000 students, and it is expected to reach an enrollment of 200,000 by 2013!…

In comparison University Malaya has only an enrollment of 23,000 students, and there they are talking about ensuring that more than 60%+ are Bumiputeras in University of Malaya.

Do you know that there is a University Science Islam?…that is also producing dentists and doctors as well?? This University is different from International Islamic University, which is also producing doctors and dentists.

Do you know that UiTM has more than 1,000 PhD. holders on their staff? UiTM now takes in 200 students for medicine every year!…all Bumiputeras of course! Selayang and Sg. Buloh Hospitals have become their teaching hospitals.

If you go to the PNB website and read the Annual report of Amanah Saham Bumiputera you will realise that that fund alone has about 80+ billion….and compare that with Public Mutual a subsidiary of Public Bank, the Largest Mutual Fund in this Country, which runs some 35 Funds or so with a total value of only less than 30 billion!

Although they say that there is cap of 200,000 units in ASB…Please read the Annual Report, carefully, and you will realise that there are several thousand Bumiputeras having an Average of about One Million Units in that Fund…Tax Free, Paying anything from 8+ to 11+ % per year!…and we are only talking about that one Fund!…ASNB manages Funds to the Total Value of about 130+ billion Educate yourself

All Older Malaysians have much to be accountable for what Malaysia is today…

Tolerances had been abused, and patience had been taken for granted… We are now what we had been—–By doing nothing. Right then, that is how we had ended up to what it is today!! If we choose to remain as what we had done, then we can expect nothing more than what we already had today!!

1Malay or 1Malaysia?

Malay, Chinese and Indian are all Malaysian brothers and sisters. But BN has screwed Malaysians and Malaysia up.

Malay 1st…. Malaysian 2nd

When a Malay, a Chinese and an Indian, all Malaysians, apply for:-

1) Scholarships, Malays will get it first irrespective of how bright other Malaysians are.

2) Entry to the local universities and best courses such medicine, dentistry, law; Malays will get it first irrespective of quality. Residential hostels, Matriculation courses, MARA Uni, Malays will get 90% to 100%. (By the way, matriculation exams are internally set by their own lecturers – about thousands of straight A students in Matriculation compared to the straight A’s in STPM which are few. This is “Malay meritocracy vs Malaysian meritocracy”!)

3) Social Welfare, Malays will get it first irrespective of how poor the Malaysian rakyat is and the Malays demand that it is their right, that the govt owe them!!!.Malay 1st.

4) Business Contracts, all GLCs Malays MUST get it first irrespective of who can offer the best value, quality and unblemished track record. Even when blacklisted, Malay associations have the right to complain because the rakyat owes them a living.

5) Sharing of wealth and equity, IPOs, ASB, Malays will get it first. Even with ASB for Malays give higher returns and principal guaranteed capped at RM200K instead of other bonds for Malaysians with lower yield capped at RM50K. This is ongoing. Why Malays cannot reach 30% equities? Statistics are manipulated so that valuation of shares are based on par value (Imagine valuing CIMB, Maybank, Sime Darby etc at par value of RM1.00 instead of market value of RM12 etc. Malaysians must accept these assumptions or make sure this is hidden or else priviledges are gone..!! )

6) Low cost houses, lands, houses even bungalows , Malays will get it first because they are the supreme race and the rest of Malaysians are immigrants. Quotas for Malays are 30% to 50% with steep discounts to be subsidized by the rest of the Malaysians.

7) Important Senior management jobs, CEO positions in government linked companies, Malays will get it first irrespective of the best qualified and most capable Malaysian candidates.

8) Government linked positions, civil positions, nurses and teachers training, Malay will get them first irrespective whether they are qualified.

9) Religious land for worship or terms of God , Malays own it and the rest must obey.

10) Demonstrations, freedom of expressions, racial blurs, Malays can have their say, others under ISA …

Now you know why it is Malay 1st, Malaysian 2nd Education, welfare, economic, business policies are to benefit Malay first then Malaysian 2nd. The rest of the rakyat, who works hard, contribute to nation building will continue to be Malaysians 2nd. So it is not so difficult to understand if a Malay Indonesian Badminton player is playing against a Chinese or Indian Malaysian, those who subscribe Malay 1st, Malaysians 2nd will cheer for the Malay badminton player.

When there is a citizenship application of a Malay Indonesian and a qualified non Malay, the Malay Indonesian will get it irrespective of merits.

That is why we have Malay is 1st class other Malaysians 2nd class. This is the only country that has racism and special rights enshrined in its Constitution because Malay is supreme. So if you have the opportunity to migrate to be treated fairly and justly, why stay? Malaysians 2nd means you will always be an immigrant. Why become an immigrant with 2nd class rights when other countries are willing to give you equal rights.

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24
Oct
11

Mobile phone & brain tumour

Abstract
Objective To investigate the risk of tumours in the central nervous system among Danish mobile phone subscribers.

Design Nationwide cohort study.

Setting Denmark.

Participants All Danes aged ≥30 and born in Denmark after 1925, subdivided into subscribers and non-subscribers of mobile phones before 1995.

Main outcome measures Risk of tumours of the central nervous system, identified from the complete Danish Cancer Register. Sex specific incidence rate ratios estimated with log linear Poisson regression models adjusted for age, calendar period, education, and disposable income.

Results 358 403 subscription holders accrued 3.8 million person years. In the follow-up period 1990-2007, there were 10 729 cases of tumours of the central nervous system. The risk of such tumours was close to unity for both men and women. When restricted to individuals with the longest mobile phone use—that is, ≥13 years of subscription—the incidence rate ratio was 1.03 (95% confidence interval 0.83 to 1.27) in men and 0.91 (0.41 to 2.04) in women. Among those with subscriptions of ≥10 years, ratios were 1.04 (0.85 to 1.26) in men and 1.04 (0.56 to 1.95) in women for glioma and 0.90 (0.57 to 1.42) in men and 0.93 (0.46 to 1.87) in women for meningioma. There was no indication of dose-response relation either by years since first subscription for a mobile phone or by anatomical location of the tumour—that is, in regions of the brain closest to where the handset is usually held to the head.

Conclusions In this update of a large nationwide cohort study of mobile phone use, there were no increased risks of tumours of the central nervous system, providing little evidence for a causal association.

http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d6387

18
Oct
11

perfect CV

Even in this age of electronic application forms and e-portfolios there is still a need for doctors to maintain an up to date curriculum vitae (CV). Your CV is a career road map that enables you to identify and deal with any gaps in your experience and to respond to opportunities that may arise unexpectedly.

Whether you are applying for a new position, your consultant has requested to review your experience and achievements to date, or a colleague would like to consider you for a committee position, your CV is the key that will unlock your future.

The aim of your CV should be “to present a personal history of one’s education, professional history and job qualifications with a strong emphasis on specific skills relating to the position applied for.”

The person who is shortlisting candidates for interview will have on average only two minutes to review your CV in the first instance to determine whether your application should be considered further. Therefore when preparing your CV you should strive to be:

  • Relevant
  • Clear
  • Concise.

Remember, a good CV should make it easy for the recruiting body to determine whether you have the requisite skills and experience for the post. Ensure that before you submit your CV you match your skills and experience within it to the relevant person specification for the post you are applying for. The person specification is the criterion that will be used to determine who is shortlisted for interview. Your CV is a stepping stone to being invited for interview, where you will have the opportunity to elaborate in more detail on your career to date.

Top tips for ensuring that your medical CV stands out for the right reasons

As long as it needs to be—Your CV should give the reader enough information for them to explore relevant points during the interview. As a rule of thumb, a length of three to eight pages is sensible. Quality is much more important than quantity.

Do not waste valuable space—Don’t include a cover sheet or index in your CV, as this is a waste of valuable space and will take the reader’s attention away from the important experience and skills contained within your CV.

Easy on the eye—Avoid using differing fonts and formatting in each section (such as bold, underlining, and italics) as this will draw attention away from what matters the most in your CV—the content. Use the same font throughout (I recommend using Times New Roman or Arial) and keep formatting to a minimum.

Consistency, consistency, consistency—Ensure that the layout, spacing, and structure of your CV are consistent throughout and do not differ from section to section.

Avoid solid blocks of text—It is better to present your skills and experience in a given section as bullet points rather than paragraph after paragraph of solid text as this can be off-putting and daunting to the reader. The aim of a good CV is to make your experience and achievements leap off the page.

Do not fabricate or embellish any information—Your CV is a statement of fact, and if it is found to include information that is untrue you will at the very least lose out on your application chances and at worst land in serious trouble with the General Medical Council.

Structuring your medical CV

Separating your experience and achievements into a logical order of headings makes the life of those cross referencing your information to the person specification a great deal easier. Follow a layout of education and professional qualifications, clinical experience, non-clinical skills, extracurricular activities, and finally referees.

I would recommend that you structure your CV using the following headings.

Personal details—Include your full name and abbreviated qualifications, correspondence address, contact telephone numbers, professional email address, date of birth, nationality, and General Medical Council registration number.

Career statement—A clever way to help your CV stand out immediately is to include a personal profile paragraph on the first page that outlines your experience and skills to date and how they make you suitable for the position in question, along with your short and long term goals.

Education and qualifications—List first qualifications obtained from an educational institution—for example, postgraduate qualifications, medical degrees, and previous degrees. Also include here other postgraduate qualifications such as your membership exams, the Professional Linguistic Assessment Board test, or an advanced life support qualification.

Career history—Give your current position first and then list your previous posts. For each post include the full name of the institution, the dates that you worked, the grade and specialty, and the name of your supervisor.

Clinical skills and experience—There are two differing opinions on how best to present clinical experience. You can either group clinical experience together in a separate section or give your clinical experience after each post listed in your career history section. I think it is more concise and less repetitive if you present your clinical skills and experience in a standalone section. Remember to address any particular person specification requirements in this section.

Management and leadership experience—No matter what level you are at, doctors must show management experience, especially in the light of the Medical Leadership Competency Framework. Experience could include committee responsibilities, organising events, rota management, and supervision of juniors.

Development courses and conferences attended—It is important to show your commitment to personal development. List the courses and conferences you have attended, including the title of the course, the course provider and location, the date attended, and the duration.

Research experience—The importance you place on this relating to your career progression will depend on your chosen specialty. Present your experience as the topic of research, time spent, location, supervisor and source of funding, aims and your role, and final outcome.

Clinical audit—It is important to show your participation in clinical audit. Present your experience as month or year completed, the topic of audit, location or institution, your role, and the guidelines audited against.

Presentations and publications—These may arise from research, clinical audit, and teaching experience. List the date presented or published, title or topic, date, and location or journal.

Teaching experience—This is important and adds strength to any application as the whole medical profession relies on participating in teaching. Detail the audiences you have taught—for example, undergraduate or postgraduate, teaching methods employed, and, if applicable, say that this is an area in which you wish to continue to develop your skills and experience.

Information technology skills—More and more institutions require proficient information technology skills, so give details of any particular competencies you have. These could include statistical packages or research tools.

Personal interests—It is important to show a balanced approach to life. Your extracurricular interests relate to your ethos in life and should paint a picture of a well balanced individual.

Referees—List at least two (preferably three) referees from your current and previous posts. Include the full name, position or grade, full address, telephone number, fax number, and email address.

Final thoughts

A well structured, clear, and concise CV will be instrumental in securing you a place at interview. Once you have prepared your CV, proofread, proofread, proofread! Ask your peers to review and provide feedback and amend it where you feel necessary. Ensure that your CV aligns to the person specification and that all the hard work you have invested during your career is presented in the best possible light. Your CV is something that you should be proud of and be ready to present at short notice to secure the opportunities you need to progress your career.

 

http://careers.bmj.com/careers/advice/view-article.html?id=20004424

09
Oct
11

不求有功,但求无过 不求无过,但求有功

    在中国几千年的传统文化中,中庸之道一直被某些人视为金科玉律。“不骑马,不骑牛,骑个毛驴走中游”是这些人的处世秘诀,“不求有功,但求无过”是这些人的做事标准。他们按部就班,循规蹈矩。没有领导指示,他们宁可守株待兔、空耗时日,也绝不撒网打鱼、主动出击。这些人一般不会犯错误,但你也别指望他们能做出成绩。在一个单位,如果这种思想占了主导地位,那么这个单位就失去了生机与活力。因此,领导不可不慎对这样的部属。
    “不求有功,但求无过”者的心态比较复杂。有的是性格使然,天生谨慎,消极被动,依赖性强,缺乏工作热情和主动性,缺乏自信心,只好拿出一副与世无争的样子,“淡泊以明志”;有的是年龄使然,眼看船到码头车到站了,事业有成了,提拔无望了,于是便收起雄心壮志,只求平平安安画上个圆满的句号;有的是经历使然,因大胆探索出现过失误,遭到过不公正待遇,“负激励”使他们学会了明哲保身;有的是环境使然,由于缺乏完善的干部任用考核机制,少数地方的领导求稳怕乱,以无过为贤,喜欢四平八稳的少年老成者,视思想活跃、敢想敢干者为不安定分子。
    “不求有功,但求无过”者,在单位表现不积极,思想不活跃,默默地来,静静地走,不大引人注意。但领导不可因此就忽视了他们的存在,更不可将其视为不求上进、无可救药的庸才而刻意冷落。相反,要主动接近他们,通过谈心交流,让他们认识到工作是一个前进的动态过程,不进即是退,无功即是过,如果一个单位内所有人都持这种消极想法,单位的工作就会停滞不前。人的天性中都有被重视的渴望,领导的主动接近,会让心态消极的部属感到自己在领导眼里重要,自己的位置在单位很关键,从而激发起他们的自信心和成就欲。当然,一个人人生观的形成是一个漫长的过程,不可能通过一两次谈话就能立竿见影,这需要领导有耐心,在平常的工作中有意识地对这类部属多一份关注,发现部属有成绩时,要及时肯定,大胆表扬,在潜移默化中改变部属。
    “不求有功,但求无过”者属于被动应付型,自我要求低,领导怎么说就怎么干,不会主动考虑问题。因此,对这样的部属一定要用制度去约束他们,因为制度更具有长期性、根本性和稳定性。首先,对单位、对每个人都要有明确的目标要求。目标要切实可行,与每个人的利益紧密相连,能够吸引人、凝聚人,让部属感到有奔头。在实现整体目标的过程中,让每个岗位、每个人都有责任。对那些工作只求过得去、不求过得硬的部属,要适当提高工作标准,使部属要想实现其“无过”的主观愿望,必须“跳起来摘果子”,客观上使其“有功”。其次,健全考核制度。目标制定后,要及时进行考核,兑现奖惩,努力营造一种“无功即是过”的良好氛围,激励部属争先创优,不断进取。再次,形成良好的干部考察任用机制。对政绩平平、不求进取、没有明显缺点和不足的“老好人”,不以无过为贤;对囚工作敢闯敢试、出现失误的部属,要适当保护,不能因一次失误定终身。要辩证地看待失误,允许部属犯“合理过错”,形成正确的用人导向。
    据说英国元帅蒙哥马利曾把部属分为四类:聪明而勤快的可为高级参谋,聪明而懒惰的可为高级将领,愚蠢而懒惰的可被支配使用,愚蠢而勤快的必须开除。因为一个人愚蠢而勤快,其结果必然是不断捅娄子、惹乱子。与愚蠢而勤快相比较而言,“不求有功,但求无过”也算是一种明智的选择。当然,这并不是讲“不求有功,但求无过”者全都能力低下,不堪任用,而是说并非每个人都适合建功立业。有些人天性淡泊,与世无争,所谓“江山易改,本性难移”,领导要懂得“人各有志,不能勉强”、“成事与否,不在一人”的道理,不能苛求每个部属都能冲锋陷阵、独当一面。对少数抱定“不求有功,但求无过”者,不妨尊重其选择,学会客人之短。毕竟,“但求无过”还是有其积极意义的,可以适当安排这类部属做那些不需要有太强的创造性和挑战性的日常性、程序性的工作,发挥他们按部就班、循规蹈矩的长处。这样,定能使部属各得其所,有益工作。

30
Sep
11

France imposes first niqab fines

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15013383

add Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey to the growing list of Italy, Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium. To some degree Spain and Canada have imposed ban in some city. The current affair is that both Australia and UK will follow suit in very near future.

I was pondering in my mind, if niqad a cultural practice or a religious one?

then I found my answer 

“Muhammad Tantawi, the Grand Mufti of Al-Azhar University, the center of religious learning in the Sunni world, insisted upon a female student to remove her Niqab while touring a school, declaring that it is not a religious but cultural symbol, and called for it to be banned in schools and universities”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niqāb

17
Sep
11

did Buddha believe in Gods ?

after a few days of reading up on Buddhism, it suddenly dawn on me that Buddhism is neither a religion nor a philosophy, it is science that we human has yet to understand.

http://www.buddhacommunity.org/god.htm

Buddhist’s interpretation

It is hard to get a clear and consistent view from followers of theistic religions as to the meaning of the word ‘God’ even though it is a word used frequently in speech and scriptures. Many modern theists would scoff at the idea of a superman with a beard – a sort of cosmic Father Christmas who gets angry and does some horrible things as well as being nice to us. However, the most dominant depiction of God in the Bible is a god of violence and vengeance who fits this sort of image.
Moreover, once we move away from the ‘cosmic being’ approach things get more confusing. ‘God’ can be a word to simply refer to all that is good; or a mystical force (the holy spirit); or the complex Trinitarian doctrine, or to refer to a general belief in religion, or to refer to a powerful subjective or mystical experience. The word may also be regarded as a non-realist social construct in post-modern groups such as the Sea of Faith. God may also be regarded as a personal being with whom we build a relationship and can be guided by, or as a powerful being who set everything in motion and then left the scene (the deist god). There is also a strong thread within some theistic religions that says that ‘God’ is unknowable and indefinable.

It is hard to see how anyone can claim that god either does or does not exist without first clarifying what is meant by the word. Somewhat surprisingly, even though there is so much confusion and disagreement as to what the word ‘God’ means, some followers of theistic religions claim to be intimately connected to, and guided by, ‘God’ . We should maintain a deep and healthy scepticism about such claims. Humanity is very prone to irrational delusions. Some people seem able to believe in, and to fiercely defend, just about anything.

There is such confusion over the meaning of the ‘God’ word that it might be a good idea to stop using it. The interesting thing is that it is perfectly possible to lead a rich, fulfilled and virtuous life, to experience profound states of understanding and what might be called ‘mystical union’, without any belief in ‘God’. Even if the idea of ‘God’ can be used wisely, it comes with such a legacy of dogmatism, irrationality, and confusion, that it may be best avoided.

So, do Buddhist believe in a creator God?

A. Buddhists can believe all sorts of things – there is no authority in Buddhism which checks or enforces certain specific beliefs, and there is a rich variety of differing Buddhist traditions. Buddhist teachings encourage us to be aware of what our beliefs are and to understand these as being impermanent and conditioned mental formations. There are also teachings to help us test whether a belief is unwholesome or wholesome.

But it is true that the Buddha did not base any of his teachings on the idea of a creator God. He also made it clear that he was a perfected human and that his teaching was for humans ….and Gods. Gods (or devas) do feature in early Buddhist teachings and in Buddhist Cosmology, but primarily as examples of other types of beings, who inhabit other realms, but who are also subject to rebirth, suffering and death.

ok, so if Buddhism is not based upon God can it still be a religion?

A. This depends upon how we define ‘religion’ and to some extent does not matter too much, (perhaps we should call it a philosophy?) but some understand Buddhism to be a religion, or to at least to meet the need that religions do. A religion is often defined as involving the worship of a transcendent God and to have a supernatural outlook. So that Humanism is not a religion because it bases its approach purely on a naturalistic view – it believes that all that we can normally see and experience is all that exists.

Buddhism also has a largely naturalistic worldview; the transcendent aspect of Buddhism is called nibbana (Pali) or nirvana (Sanskrit). (Transcendent is used here to denote an experience or understanding which is beyond the scope of ordinary everyday thinking, not to imply a supernatural reality). The Buddha did not define this too much or personalise it or give it a gender, consequently Buddhism has avoided much of the conflict and interminable confusion that is associated with definitions of ‘God’. Buddhism is best described as ‘Non-theistic’. This means that it does not use ‘God’ to describe transcendent reality and the whole idea of ‘god’ is not necessary to give meaning to life and to support spiritual enlightenment..

but If there was no creator God how did the universe start? Surely it must have had an initial cause?

A. Why? How the universe started and how we come to be in our situation is a complex question. Opting for the simplistic idea that something must have created the world looks to me like an inadequate answer that does not do justice to the incredible wonder and mystery of the world. Maybe the universe did not have a start? Maybe it moves through long cycles of expansion and contraction? What created the creator God? If he has always existed then why could the universe not always have existed?

So it looks like the God idea does not really feature in Buddhism?

A. Well it depends how you define ‘God’. If you define it as the label for the realisation of ultimate truth (an interpretation that some Christian and Islamic mystical traditions might agree with) then it is close to the Buddhist nibbana. If, however, ‘God’ is defined as some sort of objective real being who created everything and has a leading part to play in our spiritual lives by rewarding and punishing us, then this is of no interest in serious Buddhist practice. However, early Buddhist thought does recognise many realms, one of which is the human realm and others which are occupied by gods. These gods have pleasant and long lives, and they may interact in a limited way with the human realm, but eventually they die and get reborn.

Islamic interpretation of God in Buddhism

http://www.irf.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=198&Itemid=141

Buddha was silent about the existence or non-existence of God. It may be that since India was drowned in idol worship and anthropomorphism that a sudden step to monotheism would have been drastic and hence Buddha may have chosen to remain silent on the issue of God. He did not deny the existence of God. Buddha was once asked by a disciple whether God exists? He refused to reply. When pressed, he said that if you are suffering from a stomach ache would you concentrate on relieving the pain or studying the prescription of the physician. “It is not my business or yours to find out whether there is God – our business is to remove the sufferings of the world”.

Buddhism provided Dhamma or the ‘impersonal law’ in place of God. However this could not satisfy the craving of human beings and the religion of self-help had to be converted into a religion of promise and hope. The Hinayana sect could not hold out any promise of external help to the people. The Mahayana sect taught that Buddha’s watchful and compassionate eyes are on all miserable beings, thus making a God out of Buddha. Many scholars consider the evolution of God within Buddhism as an effect of Hinduism.

13
Sep
11

Are Buddhists vegetarian?

Some are, some aren’t. From the Theravada perspective, the choice of whether or not to eat meat is purely a matter of personal preference. Many Buddhists (and, of course, non-Buddhists) do eventually lose their appetite for meat out of compassion for the welfare of other living creatures. But vegetarianism is not required in order to follow the Buddha’s path.

Although the first of the five precepts, the basic code of ethical conduct for all practicing Buddhists, calls upon followers to refrain from intentional acts of killing, it does not address the consumption of flesh from animals that are already dead. Theravada monks, however, are clearly forbidden to eat meat from a few specific kinds of animals, but for reasons not directly related to the ethics of killing.[1] Monks are free to pursue vegetarianism by leaving uneaten any meat that may have been placed in the alms bowl, but because they depend on the open-handed generosity of lay supporters[2] (who may or may not themselves be vegetarian) it is considered unseemly for them to make special food requests. In those parts of the world (including wide areas of south Asia) where vegetarianism is uncommon and many dishes are prepared in a meat or fish broth, vegetarian monks would soon face a simple choice: eat meat or starve.[3]

Taking part in killing for food is definitely incompatible with the first precept, and should be avoided. This includes hunting, fishing, trapping, butchering, steaming live clams, eating live raw oysters, etc.

And what about asking someone else to catch and kill the animal for me? On this point the teachings are also unambiguous: we should never intentionally ask someone to kill on our behalf. We should not, for example, order a fresh steamed lobster from the restaurant menu. The Dhammapada expresses this sentiment succinctly:

All

tremble at the rod,

all

hold their life dear.

Drawing the parallel to

yourself,

neither kill nor get others to kill.

— Dhp 130

And what about purchasing meat of an animal that someone else killed? Is this consistent with the Buddhist principles of compassion and non-harming, a cornerstone of right resolve? This is where things get tricky, and where the suttas offer only spotty guidance. In the Buddha’s definition of right livelihood for a lay person, one of the five prohibited occupations is “business in meat” [AN 5.177]. Although he does not explicitly state whether this prohibition also extends to us, the butcher’s clients and customers, it does place us uncomfortably close to a field of unskillful action.

To summarize what the suttas tell us: it appears that one may, with a clear conscience, receive, cook, and eat meat that either was freely offered by someone else, or that came from an animal who died of natural causes. But as to purchasing meat, I am just not sure. There are no clear-cut answers here.

We are all guilty of complicity, in one way or another and to varying degrees, in the harming and death of other creatures. Whether we are carnivore, vegan, or something in between, no matter how carefully we choose our food, somewhere back along the long chain of food production and preparation, killing took place. No matter how carefully we trod, with every step countless insects, mites, and other creatures inadvertently perish under our feet. This is just the nature of our world. It is only when we escape altogether from the round of birth and death, when we enter into the final liberation of nibbana — the Deathless — can we wash our hearts clean, once and for all, of killing and death. To steer us towards that lofty goal, the Buddha gave us very realistic advice: he didn’t ask us to become vegetarian; he asked us to observe the precepts. For many of us, this is challenge enough. This is where we begin.

Notes

1.

Theravada monks are forbidden to eat raw Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

3.

Monastics within some schools oism do practice vegetarianism. See Buddhist Religions: A Historical Introduction (fifth edition) by R.H. Robinson, W.L. Johnson, & Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Belmont, California: Wadsworth, 2005), p. 213.

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