Buddhism is one of the most practiced religions in the world, It is estimated that it has more than 400 millions of faithful. To be so massive and in different variants (Theravāda, Mahayana and Vajrayana, among others), its food principles have been adapted to the customs of the places where professes itself. "There isn't a single standard as for food, rather, they are recommendations that reflected the principles of Buddhism, but that they are also strongly influenced by the principles of ayurveda because its roots are in India", ensures Claudia Reinoso, Cook of the Drikung Kagyu Buddhist Center.
Therefore there is no 'Buddhist cuisine' as such, they are governed solely by this series of guidelines that are based the kind treatment of the ingredients (especially those of animal origin) and a conscious dedication during the Act of cooking. "During the preparation of the meal the tenzo (the Buddhist monastery Cook) You must take care of the perfect cleaning of all things", It ensures the text instructions for Zen Cook, written by Dogen Zenji (1200- 1253) and one of its documents issued guideline on the relation of Buddhism to feed.
To Buddhists every meal should be prepared with courtesy and consideration for others. Thus was born one of its key recommendations: not to eat meat (and some currents also includes fish). But like everything in Buddhism, is not an imposition. For example, in hilly places of Tibet if consuming animal protein. "It's part of their culture and their nutritional needs, Since it is a very cold place", explains the Cook. Another exception: the monks. By its principles of humility they must accept food offered, even if that includes a dish with meat. In both cases the animal protein must be processed with an ethical and compassionate treatment.
Find the balance
But in addition to the meat, there are other ingredients that are not recommended for active practice or spiritual retreats. Hence it is advisable to not eat 'strong' or hard-to-digest foods such as: Onion, garlic, chives, Peppers, egg and mushroom, among others. That because they interfere with the balance and 'tapan' energy channels. "The only reason is because there is required that the body is concentrated in practice. Eating them would be like doing sticks it upside down", Reinoso has, who is volunteer Cook for more than seven years in the Center. His work is one of the most important according to Buddhists, those who choose to cook their monastery into the most enlightened monks.
Fasting is also an important part of Buddhist practice, says Alex Muñoz, Vice President of Drikung Kagyu. According to its intensity and approach, you choose the proper food. "Power suits to practice that also aims to achieve a mental and physical detoxification. If it is a very intense, It is usually accompanied by specific mantras and yoga, dishes with legumes and cereals are privileged to provide energy", explains. Food for Buddhism is seen as the fuel that delivers power for active practices and follow its recommendations contributes to a fuller spiritual life.