This is a query to all meditators, in regards to their type of practice. I've been practicing vipassana meditation for almost two years, and practiced candle-gazing and mantra meditation for about two years before attending my first course.
If your in NY then you are close to the Shelburne Mass center which is the oldest and most established center outside of India, it is very nice there! I just took a course there this past December. I have been to a few centers and this one is very well established. http://courses.dhamma.org/en-US/schedules/schdhara
Not sure I'd use the word necessary about a raw food diet in connection to enlightenment.
You know the Buddha died from eating poisonous pork don't you ('he' was already ill)? He spent a period only eating cow dung when he was an ascetic before renouncing those kinds of ascetic disciplines. Main instruction to monks was they could not meat if they knew a life had been taken purposely for feeding the monk.
These days nobody knows who killed what animal for whom so I think meat consumers are all to some extent responsible for the taking of every animal life that's carcass is destined for a dinner plate / food bowl.
I've been Vipassana meditator since 2002. Daily practice and all (that bit is very important if you want to progress with meditation). Spent 3-4 months serving at Dhamma Giri which was a highlight of service in centres all over.
This just came in the mail, goes to the heart of the matter:
Daily Words of the Buddha for April 07, 2011
Pāṇaṃ na hane na ca ghātayeyya,
na cānujaññā hanataṃ paresaṃ,
sabbesu bhūtesu nidhāya daṇḍaṃ.
Ye thāvarā ye ca tasā santi loke.
One should not kill a living being,
nor cause it to be killed,
nor should one incite another to kill.
Do not injure any being, either strong or weak, in the world.
Sutta Nipāta 2.396
The Discourse Collection: Selected Texts from the Sutta Nipāta, translated by John D. Ireland
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