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Philip Glass (1937- )

Philip Glass (born January 31, 1937) is a three-time Academy Award-nominated American composer. He is considered one of the most influential composers of the late-20th century.

from Glass, Philip, “Vegetarianism as Practice”, in Kaza & Kraft (eds), 2000, Dharma Rain – Sources of Buddhist Environmentalism, Shambala Publications, pp. 342-343.

The familiar arguments in favour of a vegetarian diet are usually based on issues of either health, environment, or ecology. But there remains another approach to vegetarianism, specifically Buddhist in nature, which for me is the most persuasive. Here I mean vegetarianism as an actual practice.

After being a vegetarian for thirty-five years [ie from 1965] I still occasionally catch myself regarding fish as food. But my own view has changed enough so that now I truly believe it possible to transform our habitual mental patterns through this practice and to arrive at a perception of fellow sentient beings that is in complete accord with a Mahayana Buddhist point of view.

from When less means more - The Guardian Profile: Philip Glass - Saturday November 24, 2001:

A Buddhist and vegetarian (and a vegan until his friend Doris Lessing convinced him of the dangers of dwindling bone density), [which of course is nonsense, see: Milk, Calcium, and Bone Density - A Catch-22]

A fresh Glass for toasting - December 20, 2004 -

At the controls, Glass, 66, is a pretty distinctive presence with intensely shining eyes, the clear skin of a vegetarian and a shock of wildly curly hair.

from The Happy Little Minimalist, about Composer Nico Muhly - Oct 7, 2007,

. . . and soon we will be picking up a score from composer Philip Glass, Muhly’s de facto boss, who’s eating dinner at the vegetarian kosher Indian joint Madras.

from a Review by Norm Phelps, on, 2007:

For centuries a stronghold of meat eating in the Buddhist world, the Vajrayana, is opening up to vegetarianism at a pace no one could have predicted. In 1994, composer and Tibetan Buddhist practitioner Philip Glass could tell Tricycle magazine that he had never met a vegetarian lama, “from the lowest rank to the highest.” Today, a growing number of the generation of young lamas who grew up in India and Nepal are promoting vegetarianism as an essential expression of Buddhist compassion. The organizations they are forming, such as the Universal Compassion Movement and Tibetan Volunteers for Animals, are saving the lives of animals daily and having a profound effect on Tibetan Buddhism. And on April 6, 2005 the highest lama of them all – the Dalai Lama – announced to a wildlife conference in New Delhi that “Lately I have also turned to a vegetarian diet.” [in fact the Dalai Lama had been vegetarian before, and is still somewhat on and off]

from Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts - by Cathleen Rountree - posted on April 24, 2008:

Family members, friends and collaborators converge at the Nova Scotia summer home, where Glass makes vegetarian pizza from scratch and simultaneously describes his creative process.


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