When Sensei opened my third eye through the Kyudo Ceremony, I gave up eating meat. Well, it took me a couple of months to realise that even tiny shrimp counted as meat. Maybe it?s something to do with them not having faces we can identify with. My third eye looked inward and perceived my True Self that would not eat animals or shrimp in its wildest dreams. It said, "Pause before you chew on that chicken leg. It could be your great, great, great grandfather's!
And so they say in Sentendaido (The way of Heaven) that the souls we come in contact with have been connected to us in our previous lives. Our ancestors, because they have been so close to us are drawn towards us as fish, goats, bullocks and chickens. We ate them out of a subconscious revenge. Maybe they hated us or wanted to eat us up in some distant lifetime. After all, we have lived a 1000 lives. So do be careful about those murderous feelings you have towards that meddling aunt of yours. It was difficult at first to fathom the Buddhist concept of the transmigration of souls. But now I understand. The Buddha had himself been a helpful rabbit in some distant lifetime. Or was it a deer? Besides, as the human is the highest material plane, it made sense to believe that we progressed towards it in stages. It is only in the human body that one can attain enlightenment. Otherwise the Buddha would have remained a rabbit and rabbits cannot invent religions. However, it had not always been like this. For 42 years I had been torn between my love for animals versus my love for the taste of chicken legs. Stray dogs wandering the streets in their quest for shit and rotten foodstuff turned me into mush; bullocks foaming at the mouth as they hauled large loads uphill made me mad and the hordes of pitifully bleating goats driven unsuspecting (I hoped) towards their doom made me want to hack someone?s head off. On a long drive to some hill station, when I saw a truck load of bullocks packed tight together, their horns locked and goring each other?s flesh, I zapped the driver with so much reiki power that in a matter of minutes the truck was intercepted by a jeep loaded with indignant cops. So why was I still eating them? I wasn't strong enough without my third eye. I still recall the `Study Meeting' on the topic of `ahimsa' that led to my overnight decision. My true personality would blossom; I could finish my Dostoevsky; I would stop gasping at the top of the stairs; my compassion would grow so I'd forgive my boss for making a mess of my headlines, and I would stop creating bad `karma' for myself. I would be able to look my dogs in the eye and this time maybe they?d talk back to me. I realised too that I was eating the pain, fear and resentment of animals being slaughtered. Surely my psyche would be affected at some level? Even our teeth are not designed to tear at meat. (Ever compared a lion's yawn with yours? It's different.)
What's more, animals reared for their meat need land to graze on. Land we ourselves need desperately. How long would the population explosion allow that? And that's not all. Cattle passing wind are now being blamed for contributing hugely to the greenhouse effect. Speaking of smells, there's the constant, delicious aroma of meat curry in my home, but believe you me, it does not make me drool. Do you want to look your dog in the eye and perhaps even stop smoking like I did? And oh yes, avoid shoving your great, great, great grandfather down your gullet, so he can do the same to you next time round?
Ciao from someone who was in and now is out. P.S: Contact me I you’d like the Marvellous Kyudo Ceremony in Bangalore: firstname.lastname@example.org.