When I became a Mitra, I made a personal commitment to stop drinking alcohol and to become a vegetarian. For me, these are reflections of the two of the five precepts (training principles – ie to live by not to do perfectly), numbers one and five.
- Not harming other sentient beings, but actively practising kindness.
- Not taking that which another is unwilling to give, but actively practising generosity.
- Not indulging our sexual (or other) cravings in ways that harm others or ourselves, but actively cultivating stillness, simplicity, and contentment.
- Not speaking falsely, but making a definite practice of honesty.
- Not clouding our mind with drink or drugs, but actively cultivating mindfulness and awareness.
I have been both teetotal and vegetarian during my life, in fact I didn’t drink at my wedding.
Becoming vegetarian has been made a little more difficult as I don’t eat cheese, which is what most places make vegetarian food with. Eating out, or on the move has been very difficult. I am travelling to France in a couple of weeks on business and I have resigned myself to eating nothing but bread for the time I am out there. I am going to arm myself with relevent French phrases to help myself and I am going to look up and see if there are any vegetarian resturants in Rennes. **edited to add, I have now been and will share my experience – see why I decided to up my posting to three times a week!**
As I have mentioned before, when I have been vegetarian in the past I haven’t done a particullary good job of it and I want to do better this time.
And so, I have resorted to basics. I choose two meals and then go to the supermarket and buy the ingredients for them. These are mainly from Hugh Ferneally Whittingstalls Veg book.
I am not a good or confident cook, so I can’t just look in the fridge and come up with a meal. If I have to do that I freeze and then go into a mild state of panic. I hope to get to the point where I will be able to order an organic veg box and cook with whatever turns up, but I am just not able to do that.
So for now, I take a very basic approach and I am slowly discovering recipies which I am then able to cook without thinking about it.
I have already found that my taste buds are adapting to this way of eating and changing how I view food.