Vegetables For A Long Life

Chanson du Filet Mignon
or,
Song of the Steak

óby Kuo Chin Vickers

Take a dainty bite of me
            And you'll be sorry, you will see
            That next life I will help myself
            To two of you, or maybe three...

Ah, this has been going on so long;
            Last life it was you, my dear,
     
Who sang this  Song...

Now here I am upon your plate-
            It seems we have a dinner dateó
            And as you slice my flesh from bone,
     
The life you take
            Is just your own;

For if you think that when you burp,
            Wipe your mouth,
            And leave the table
            That's the end,
            You're wrong, my friend,
            We'll meat again,
            And again...

People who think 'you only live once' are similar to those who thought Columbus' ship would drop off the edge of the earth. Not only are they wrong, but their naive is abysmal. We are born and die again and again; 'Each of us has cast off a pile of bones as high as a mountain.' Spring follows winter year in and year out, and in the same way, birth and death follow upon each other.

For this reason we must be careful what we do. Our deeds and actions (karma) determine which of the six paths of rebirth we will take at death.  The paths are the hells, hungry ghosts, animals, asuras, humans, and gods.  Having much good karma one can rise to the heavens; having done lots of evil, the hells are where we find ourselves. It is not that anyone sends us there; we plant the causes and reap the fruits of our deeds. People can be reborn as animals, animals can become people. People who eat animal flesh get themselves into a 'karmic debt', for animals resent having their lives stolen from them as much as anyone else! And so they come back as people to take their revenge. Meanwhile, having gorged his life away on, say, pig's flesh, a person dies and sinks to life as a pig until his debt is paid in full. This is awfully dangerous. Think about it, people eating people...

Roasted Soybeans

Cover beans with water and soak overnight. Drain thoroughly. Heat enough oil to almost cover beans. When it is very hot add beans. Stir them once in a while to prevent sticking and to evenly distribute the heat. They will eventually turn golden, then brown. Their flavor varies depending on the length of time they cook. They shouldn't be allowed to get too dark. They should be tender. The middle way is suggested for best results. Salt to taste. Drain off oil and save it for refuse.


Coming in future VBSís

The Vajra Bodhi Sea Publication Society is now planning a new series. The Collected Lectures of the Venerable Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua of The Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva Sutra. Translated by Disciple Bhiksu Heng Ching, Director of Translations for Vajra Bodhi Sea, this new series will replace Disciple Upasaka I Kuo Jung's translation of the Master's Standless Gatha commentary and explanatory lectures on the Heart Sutra, which will be concluded in issue twenty-five.

Watch for more of the Master's commentary on the Lotus Sutra, translated by Disciple Bhiksu Heng Ch'ien, and more exciting stories from the life of Filial Son Wang, the Great Master Chang Jen, in The Record of Water and Mirror Turning Back Heaven.


ATTENTION STUDENTS

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When professors read Vajra Bodhi Sea, their students advance quickly

and grow wise.

Students who read Vajra Bodhi Sea are always way out front.