There’s nobody around at the Zen Center at the moment. I’ve got the whole Monastery to myself. Almost. One of the long term residents is here, but one doesn’t get to see her much. She’s in her room all day long except when she gets hungry.
All of the grounds, all of rooms, the Zendo, the Kaisando, the library and living room, all mine for the day 🙂 As it was yesterday and as it will be tomorrow. And I’m making good use of it.
As I usually do, I’ve done some sitting during the day. And today, what a lovely mild weather we had, I sat outside for a few zazen periods. The cat that lives here at the Zen Center, Gaya, often comes to me while I sit outside. And she did so today too. And today it was a bit special, because she came to bring me a present: a beautiful little field mouse with a light brown fur coat, a white belly and little yellow teeth. I could see from the eyes it was dead. The perfect little feet didn’t move anymore. What a nice gift.
And I gave it back to Gaya. She ate it with delight. All of it. Within maybe two minutes, the little mouse was gone.
There is no good or bad in nature. Gaya did what cats do. And it reminded me of a recent discussion I had on vegetarism. I strongly feel that human beings are rational beings, spiritual or religious beings and biological beings. And in the order of biology the human being is an omnivore. Our bodies are functioning in such a way that we can eat and digest both plants and meat. In evolution once we turned into scavengers our body got enough protein to evolve the very brain we nowadays have.
Doesn’t mean that we have to eat meat on a daily bases. Just once in a while a little meat or fish to help protein, iron, vitamins such as B12 to find their way into our system.
So I’m not a vegetarian by conviction. I do mind what meat I eat. Where does it come from? Was it wildlife or did it come from a biological and animal friendly farm for cattle breeding? Wild caught fish that is ecologically okay? It’s hard to find the right meat or fish and once found it is often quite expensive. But, hey, that’s the rational human talking. The spiritual one and the biological one like this way of eating just enough of the right stuff.