I have recently read Ajahn Chah’s biography Stillness flowing, and one of the things that I noticed was the importance he (and the forest tradition) gave to eating everything from the alms bowl. There is a funny episode when Ajahn Chah is invited to have lunch with the king, and another monk asks him whether he is not embarassed to eat in a bowl in front of the king - to which Ajahn Chah replies ‘aren’t you embarassed to eat in a plate in front of the Buddha?’.
Anyway, why was this external symbol so important according to you? (like many other external symbols in that tradition). Aren’t these external things a bit like rites and rituals?
Also, in view of a recent discussion on the benefits for health intermittent fasting here: here:Daily Fasting Improves Health and Survival, Independent of Diet Composition and Calories
I thought it would be interestingo to raise the question of food combining, since according to many (you can Google e.g. Shelton or ‘food combining’) eating all sorts of foods together in one go is not very healthy. I like for example this analogy by Didier Sornette:
Think of our digestive system as a complex chemical plant. Let me
dare the following analogy: the way we mix foods is akin to requiring that a chemical
oil refinery should be able to process in the same unit both heavy viscous tar oil with light crude oil
together with purifying water for drinking and transforming coal into benzine! For an industrial unit,
this is clearly impossible. But this is the kind of task that we require our body routinely to perform.
Being highly adaptive, our digestive system does much better than any oil refinery and complies with
our erratic and irrational or irresponsible unconscious behaviors, but at the cost of tapping our energy
and of suboptimal absorption of the vital elements.