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Dalai Lama Statement on his Reincarnation

With a focus on the Tibetan, Nepalese, and Mongolian forms of Mahayana Buddhism

Re: Dalai Lama Statement on his Reincarnation

Postby klqv on Sat May 12, 2012 2:23 pm

Anders Honore wrote:
klqv wrote:it's a good point, that. it's not really just that the buddha was thinking / preaching in a pre scientific world so can be forgiven. but that if there's no rebirth then a lot of what he said can only really be understand as a kind of delusion - his awareness of past lives etc.


That is more or less what I was getting at, yeah.

cool!

i like the middle ground between rebirth and materialism. i really very doubt that there'll be scientific evidence for rebirth; ever. but i think there's good philosophical reasons [i really do!] for rejecting annihilation / materialism. what's annoying is that i'm the only person i know occupying this middle ground, so i have to work out for myself what i think of dukkha etc.. maybe i mentioned this already... anyway, the moralistic interpretation of rebirth that has been written about by j.c. jennings. it doesn't seem to make sense because when the buddha remembers a past life, it's not clear how that person's karma could be effecting the buiddha anymore than any other of his contemporaries, or how there can be a 1:1 relation, or how if ananda is lazy [ :lol2: ] sakyamuni doesn't experience the result of that - only his actual past - definite and limited - lives.
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Re: Dalai Lama Statement on his Reincarnation

Postby Gregory Wonderwheel on Sat May 12, 2012 5:11 pm

klqv wrote: well maybe anyway. FWIW i probably don't believe in rebirth though...
i really very doubt that there'll be scientific evidence for rebirth; ever.

It really depends on how one defines "rebirth" and what one accepts as "scientific evidence."

What is the scientific evidence of a tooth ache? What is the scientific evidence of "hunger" as opposed to "malnutrition"?

What is the scientific evidence of a memory of childhood? This very life is the life that will be the former life of the next life and in that way this life is the proof of the past life as well.

Our current state of scientific ability in this area of determining the workings of karma and rebirth is about on par with the scientific ability to determine the workings of genes in the time before Darwin. Yet today we have maps of genomes. The working of karma is no less, and perhaps far more, complicated and complex than the working of genetics.

Getting back to the opening topic, what is most interesting to me is that Tenzin Gyatso, the current Dalai Lama, is trying to redress what I take to be the abuse of the karma and rebirth by bringing the separation of church and state into the institution of the Dalai Lama. Rebirth is a fact. But what people think about rebirth is often confused by their belief in personality. The Dalai Lama institution is just one example of that confusion.

All tools such as the analytical and ontological tools of karma and rebirth have a use and therefore by definition can be abused. The social cultures of both India and Tibet have abused the tool of karma in different ways. In India, for example, karma is abused culturally by interpreting karma to mean that people deserve their social conditions, when in fact karma is a teaching of action and responsibility and says that it is our karma now and today if we don't work to alleviate the suffering of social conditions.

In Tibet, the abuse of karma has been in the tulku system and sees its stereotypical abuse in the institutional system of the Dalai Lama itself, in which the illusion of personality has been exalted to near deification and the illusion of personality has been turned into an institutional rulership like an emperor or a pharaoh. In other words, not letting a "common" rise up to lead a nation but only letting the "same person" lead a nation over and over again is inherently an abuse of the very idea of karma and cause and effect. It may even be rationally argued that Tibet's current situation in relation to the Chinese invasion and materialistic oppression is the karmic result of the institutional oppression of the Dalai Lama leadership system.

Rebirth is a fact. But what we think about ego, person, individuality and personality confuse our ability to understand the fact of rebirth. For example, where is the source of the Mississippi River? In what state of the USA is the source of the Mississippi? This is a very similar question to understanding rebirth? The water in the river has flowed to here from upstream, but from where? The usual and conventional consensus is that the source of the Mississippi is in Minnesota only because a convention is applied on top of the actual facts. For the river, the convention is that whenever we go back upstream we take the fork in the river that has more water flowing from it. In this way we choose one branch over another and eventually arrive in Minnesota. But in the lower Mississippi, there is water from the Missouri and Ohio rivers and the Mississippi watershed actually drains areas of 31 states. So, all 31 states are the actual source of the Mississippi.

Likewise with us and the Dalai Lama. Tracing the Dalai Lama's rebirths back upstream is just a conventional decision like the convention of choosing the larger of any two branches to find the source of the river. In determining any person's rebirth there are conventional or unconventional decisions to be made that force the conclusion based upon those very decisions. It is a fact that the stream or river of consciousness that we have has flowed down into our present awareness and that this flowing down to us is what is meant by rebirth, but it is the conventional decision of calling a personality a person, of conceiving of an ego, that colors our fantasies about rebirth and about who we are in this life and were in past lives. For the Tenzin Gyatso to say "I was Gedun Gyatso in the past" may be true, but it is not an exclusive truth, and it is only a conventional truth--like the Mississippi river saying "I came from Minnesota"--that ignores many other aspects of Tenzin Gyatso that have come from other streams of consciousness other than Gedun Gyatso.

So here's the outline of how the convention of going upstream looking for the source of the river works in picking a reincarnated person like a Dalai Lama.
Tenzin Gyatso wrote:The ways of recognizing reincarnations

After the system of recognizing Tulkus came into being, various procedures for going about it began to develop and grow. Among these some of the most important involve the predecessor’s predictive letter and other instructions and indications that might occur; the reincarnation’s reliably recounting his previous life and speaking about it; identifying possessions belonging to the predecessor and recognizing people who had been close to him. Apart from these, additional methods include asking reliable spiritual masters for their divination as well as seeking the predictions of mundane oracles, who appear through mediums in trance, and observing the visions that manifest in sacred lakes of protectors like Lhamoi Latso, a sacred lake south of Lhasa.

When there happens to be more than one prospective candidate for recognition as a Tulku, and it becomes difficult to decide, there is a practice of making the final decision by divination employing the dough-ball method (zen tak) before a sacred image while calling upon the power of truth.


This is no more or less accurate in determining the real reincarnation than the convention of choosing the bigger of two tributaries as the real river and the smaller as the real tributary when both are in fact just different sizes of tributaries.

Tenzin Gyatso is now faced with the looming promise of Communist China to pick the 15th Dalai Lama. This prospect is at the core of his current educational initiative to inform people about the workings of karma resulting in reincarnation and rebirth.

Tenzin Gyatso wrote:In the recent past, there have been cases of irresponsible managers of wealthy Lama-estates who indulged in improper methods to recognize reincarnations, which have undermined the Dharma, the monastic community and our society. Moreover, since the Manchu era Chinese political authorities repeatedly engaged in various deceitful means using Buddhism, Buddhist masters and Tulkus as tools to fulfill their political ends as they involved themselves in Tibetan and Mongolian affairs. Today, the authoritarian rulers of the People’s Republic of China, who as communists reject religion, but still involve themselves in religious affairs, have imposed a so-called re-education campaign and declared the so-called Order No. Five, concerning the control and recognition of reincarnations, which came into force on 1st September 2007. This is outrageous and disgraceful. The enforcement of various inappropriate methods for recognizing reincarnations to eradicate our unique Tibetan cultural traditions is doing damage that will be difficult to repair.

Moreover, they say they are waiting for my death and will recognize a Fifteenth Dalai Lama of their choice. It is clear from their recent rules and regulations and subsequent declarations that they have a detailed strategy to deceive Tibetans, followers of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and the world community. Therefore, as I have a responsibility to protect the Dharma and sentient beings and counter such detrimental schemes, I make the following declaration.
[...]

It is particularly inappropriate for Chinese communists, who explicitly reject even the idea of past and future lives, let alone the concept of reincarnate Tulkus, to meddle in the system of reincarnation and especially the reincarnations of the Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas. Such brazen meddling contradicts their own political ideology and reveals their double standards.
[...]
When I am about ninety I will consult the high Lamas of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions, the Tibetan public, and other concerned people who follow Tibetan Buddhism, and re-evaluate whether the institution of the Dalai Lama should continue or not. On that basis we will take a decision. If it is decided that the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama should continue and there is a need for the Fifteenth Dalai Lama to be recognized, responsibility for doing so will primarily rest on the concerned officers of the Dalai Lama’s Gaden Phodrang Trust. They should consult the various heads of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions and the reliable oath-bound Dharma Protectors who are linked inseparably to the lineage of the Dalai Lamas. They should seek advice and direction from these concerned beings and carry out the procedures of search and recognition in accordance with past tradition. I shall leave clear written instructions about this. Bear in mind that, apart from the reincarnation recognized through such legitimate methods, no recognition or acceptance should be given to a candidate chosen for political ends by anyone, including those in the People’s Republic of China.


Tenzin Gyatso is walking the razor's edge trying to figure out whether the whole institution of the Dalai Lama should be scraped because of the Chinese Communist threat to usurp it as well as the Tibetan's own abuses of the system of tulku recognition, and on the other hand recognizing how the institution is integrated into the very fabric of Tibetan culture and society.

While he is grappling with how to preserve the best part of the tool from abuse in Tibet, we in the West who are faced with the idea of reincarnation as a foreign or alien idea (if we have no relation to or knowledge of the hidden tradition of reincarnation within Christianity or in the Western traditions that have not been successfuly stamped out by orthodox Christianity) have to approach it with an open mind that takes into account the distortions and confusions that we bring to the question based on our own presumptions and assumptions about the ego, person, individuality and soul.

_/||_
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Why you do not understand is because the three carts were provisional for former times, and because the One Vehicle is true for the present time. ~ Zen Master 6th Ancestor Huineng
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Re: Dalai Lama Statement on his Reincarnation

Postby klqv on Sat May 12, 2012 7:05 pm

Gregory Wonderwheel wrote:
klqv wrote: well maybe anyway. FWIW i probably don't believe in rebirth though...
i really very doubt that there'll be scientific evidence for rebirth; ever.

It really depends on how one defines "rebirth" and what one accepts as "scientific evidence."

What is the scientific evidence of a tooth ache? What is the scientific evidence of "hunger" as opposed to "malnutrition"?

ok. what is the reliable evidence for rebith?

the reason i mention science is that scientists would say that the evidence for rebirth is unreliable, not our evidence for toothache. we can't fully explain tooth ache but we can explain memories of past lives.
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Re: Dalai Lama Statement on his Reincarnation

Postby klqv on Sat May 12, 2012 7:42 pm

that past lives are not quite like toothache [maybe i only have memories of toothache but so does everyone and surely these can be verified in a sense] may seem like a minor point but there's just no evidence for it from faith in the dharma.
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Re: Dalai Lama Statement on his Reincarnation

Postby sunyavadi on Sat May 12, 2012 11:17 pm

I have memories from a previous existence. These came up when I was in my early teens. One took the form of a poem which was practically dictated to me, which contained ideas that I had no reason to understand. (I don't have it any more, but I remember one or two lines from it.) Another was a vivid recollection of the fact that at some time in a former life, I had known something of great significance, and the only thing I had to do was remember it. That experience only lasted for a moment, but it was impossible to doubt. That is why I have been studying spiritual books and practicing meditation all these years. I don't usually talk about it, as it is not very well understood in our society.

The thing to remember is that this life, or even many lives, are not the reality. The reality is what we need to awaken to. The fact of rebirth is not any more amazing than the fact of a single birth. It is just what happens. The point is to use this life wisely to awaken to truth.
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Re: Dalai Lama Statement on his Reincarnation

Postby LearningPatience on Sun May 13, 2012 2:31 am

Your story, sunyavadi, sounds so familiar. I thought you might like this quote from Eiseley.
Thanks for all your thought provoking posts.


“They tell an old tale in camping places, where men still live
in the open among stones and trees. Always, in one way or
another, the tale has to do with messages, messages that the
gods have sent to men. The burden of the stories is always the
same. Someone, man or animal is laggard or gets the message
wrong, and the error is impossible to correct; thus have illness
and death intruded in the world.
“Mostly the animals understand their roles, but man by
comparison seems troubled by a message that, it is often said,
he cannot quite remember, or has gotten wrong. Implied in
this is our feeling that life demands an answer from us, that an
essential part of man is his struggle to remember the meaning
of the message with which he has been entrusted, that we are,
in fact, message carriers. We are not what we seem. We have had
a further instruction.”
From: “The unexpected Universe” L Eiseley
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Re: Dalai Lama Statement on his Reincarnation

Postby sunyavadi on Sun May 13, 2012 9:21 am

Beautiful passage, thank you, Learning Patience. Rings so true to me.
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Re: Dalai Lama Statement on his Reincarnation

Postby Gregory Wonderwheel on Sun May 13, 2012 3:51 pm

klqv wrote:ok. what is the reliable evidence for rebith?

the reason i mention science is that scientists would say that the evidence for rebirth is unreliable, not our evidence for toothache. we can't fully explain tooth ache but we can explain memories of past lives.

IF there is going to be an honest investigation of reincarnation from a scientific perspective, then the presumptions must be discarded at the beginnning of the investigation. A hypothesis needs to be formed and researched to see if it can be established.

Here areTenzin Gyatso's own words from the letter about framing the question.

Tenzin Gyatso wrote:For those who remember their past lives, rebirth is a clear experience. However, most ordinary beings forget their past lives as they go through the process of death, intermediate state and rebirth. As past and future rebirths are slightly obscure to them, we need to use evidence-based logic to prove past and future rebirths to them.

There are many different logical arguments given in the words of the Buddha and subsequent commentaries to prove the existence of past and future lives. In brief, they come down to four points: the logic that things are preceded by things of a similar type, the logic that things are preceded by a substantial cause, the logic that the mind has gained familiarity with things in the past, and the logic of having gained experience of things in the past.

Ultimately all these arguments are based on the idea that the nature of the mind, its clarity and awareness, must have clarity and awareness as its substantial cause. It cannot have any other entity such as an inanimate object as its substantial cause. This is self-evident. Through logical analysis we infer that a new stream of clarity and awareness cannot come about without causes or from unrelated causes. While we observe that mind cannot be produced in a laboratory, we also infer that nothing can eliminate the continuity of subtle clarity and awareness.

As far as I know, no modern psychologist, physicist, or neuroscientist has been able to observe or predict the production of mind either from matter or without cause.

There are people who can remember their immediate past life or even many past lives, as well as being able to recognise places and relatives from those lives. This is not just something that happened in the past. Even today there are many people in the East and West, who can recall incidents and experiences from their past lives. Denying this is not an honest and impartial way of doing research, because it runs counter to this evidence.


The scientific inquiry should begin from this kind of standpoint, rather than from the usual materialist and reductionist standpoint that doesn't even accept the basic fact or concept of the mind but sees "mind" as an epiphenomenon of the brain. For example, Thomas Huxley, in the 19th century, remarked that mind is to brain as the whistle is to the steam train – a mere epiphenomenon, and this perspective has continued as context for modern establishment science with alternative views of consciousness having to argue against this point of view.

(For an interesting little review paper asking How does the physical brain give rise to the psychological mind? And another brief paper echoing the Dalai Lama's words above about science not explaining mind at "The experience of consciousness and mind is so different from the functions of the brain that so far no scientific theory is capable of accounting for the missing subjectivity within the brain." And here's a negative reviewof David Chalmer's book The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory based on the idea "that objective scientific investigation of the human brain has allowed us to understand that mind is just a functional consequence of complex brain activity," and calling any argument for the independent or autonomous experience of consciousness by the pejorative label of "dualism.")

Using Tenzin Gyatso's logic as foundation, we would begin a scientific inquiry with these logical premises:

(1) the logic that things are preceded by things of a similar type,

(2) the logic that things are preceded by a substantial cause,

(3) the logic that the mind has gained familiarity with things in the past,

and (4) the logic of having gained experience of things in the past.

From the truly (as opposed to psuedo) scientific point of view, we have to begin with the knowledge that our presumptions restrict how we perceive. When Gallileo told people the sun is at the center of the solar system and the earth moves around the sun, he was scoffed at because people had the plain knowledge of their own eyes to see the sun moving around the earth. Likewise, with the transiiton between the idea that the earth is flat and that it is just silly to think that the earth is round because there are poeple on the other side who would fall off. Until there is a shift in the paradigm of the worldview, the new hypothesis is not accepted. Most people have to make this shift based on faith because they don't have the first hand evidence or tools. People who aren't mathematicians or astronomers simply had to believe that the people making the claim were telling the truth. But in the change over period, there were even mathematicians and star gazers who wouldn't even consider the evidence at first because they didn't have the conceptual tools to consider it. Once the paradigm shift is made, then someone who is not a mathematicial or astronomer can look into the sky and see the very same movements of sun and moon as now showing the earth at the center when before the same evidence was used to prove the previously erroneous conclusion.

When a child is born as a violin prodigy, what is the so-called scientific explanation? Random chance? Genes? There is no basis to believe these explanations as any better explanation than rebirth except for the basis of the presumptions that are made and presume to rule out rebirth from consideration at the get go. If we presume and accept the logic that an adult who is adept at the violin has become so because of long practice, familiarity and experience, then we must ask at what point did the child who is adept acquire the long practice, familiarity and experience? To study this question scientifically we have to presume that there is a way for the transmission of the adeptness to occur and investigate the possibilities, not rule out the possibility entirely.

We can't begin by saying there is no evidence for that hypothesis therefore there is no point in exploring the possibilty of the hypothesis. That is just not a scientific attitude. If Einstein said he wasn't going to investigate any theory for which the satisfactory evidence didn't already exist, then we would not have a general therory of relativity, E=mc2, etc.

So let's begin by acknowleding that there are some intersting facts such as memories of past lives, child prodigies, etc. for which we have no satisfactory explanation according to our current knowledge and logic, then open the door to the hypothesis of rebirth, then explore the possibilities, first with thought experiments as Einstein did, then devise practical field experiments that can test the hypothesis.

_/|\_
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Why you do not understand is because the three carts were provisional for former times, and because the One Vehicle is true for the present time. ~ Zen Master 6th Ancestor Huineng
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Re: Dalai Lama Statement on his Reincarnation

Postby Jage on Sun May 13, 2012 7:54 pm

Jiddo Khrisnamurti was chosen by Leadbeater by the basis of rebirth. But it seems he de-bunked it by not talking about rebirth in his discourses. He de-bunked even the existence of Ascended Masters.
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Re: Dalai Lama Statement on his Reincarnation

Postby sunyavadi on Mon May 14, 2012 2:08 am

Gregory Wonderwheel wrote:So let's begin by acknowleding that there are some intersting facts such as memories of past lives, child prodigies, etc. for which we have no satisfactory explanation according to our current knowledge and logic, then open the door to the hypothesis of rebirth, then explore the possibilities, first with thought experiments as Einstein did, then devise practical field experiments that can test the hypothesis.


As I think came up in this or maybe another thread, that is what Ian Stevenson's research at the University of Virginia attempted to do. His research program has now been taken over by Jim B Tucker. The department at University of Virginia where this research is undertaken, The Division of Perceptual Studies, was started by Ian Stevenson, partially with funds provided by Chester Carlson, who was also a major early supported of the Rochester Zen Centre. The department is also home to Edward Kelly, whose book Irreducible Mind provides evidence for all manner of mind-related phenomena that resist materialist explanation.
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Re: Dalai Lama Statement on his Reincarnation

Postby klqv on Mon May 14, 2012 6:51 pm

yay for the dali lama [he's in my news being celebrated]!!
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Re: Dalai Lama Statement on his Reincarnation

Postby l_rivers on Mon May 14, 2012 11:47 pm

I have been away for a couple of days so I've missed this incredible thread.

So 1st off I'd like to say that with the Mahayana altruistic motivation to practice benefit all beings any kind of rebirth or reincarnation is moot in my perspective, because the more you open your heart the more all other human beings are equal in your view as targets of reaping the benefit of wholesome seeds you plant now with the idea that they will come into fruition is more wholesome landscapes in the future.

As for the Buddha remembering past lives, providing evidence from religion that his use of the current cultural Indian concept of reincarnation was not just skillful means - I can only say that in my perspective Siddartha was like a man who opened a door by discovering a new continent, a stroke of unprecedented human genius, but nevertheless a first step that made the way for other people to discover the various regions on that continent in the sense of the 3 turnings of the wheel of Dharma. In other words I see him as a human being who changed history but was not in any sense larger in scope than other human beings beyond his achievements in liberating his own mind and transforming his own reality.

But before will we go in to any of us any farther we have to bring up the problem of the Buddhas omniscience. Shantarakshita made probably the greatest rational defense for the Buddha's omniscience I have ever heard of. 1st you have to decide does omniscience mean “having the wisdom to know everything necessary there is to know about what wisdom is in a given situation” or “knowing everything that is possible to know at all”. Needless to say as a teacher that 1st kind of omniscience really is the one that counts. Does knowing how many pennies are in the pocket of a pie maker in Paris add anything to your respect for the Buddha? That's the kind of magical knowing that impresses silly people at circuses where it is fake. Would really being able to do that add anything that was meaningful to someone who was able to know the absolute truth of their experience of the moment or how to give you a push into liberation?

The respect I feel for the Buddha is for actually “getting it” about the distinction of absolute and relative truth and the amazing perception that not only was there no self to the person, but that thing that we thought was a self is a system of aggregates in karmic dependent origination. That was a knowing worth knowing that made a difference in the way people know about things.

It is an interesting point that it is at the point of discussing this distinction in the 2 senses of the word the Buddhist omniscience that Shantarakshita had to resort to faith and jump out of logic a little.

It is in my perspective only that it is important for the Buddha to have been a man such as I for his footsteps to be something in which I can place my feet.

I love the depictions of the eternal Buddha in the Lotus Sutra and the Tesseract infinite regress of mirrors of the Avataṃsaka Sūtra with its every point is connected to every point in all points are wave-functions collapsing into global fields of connectedness.

To me such sutras are the medicine that overcomes the limits of prejudiced mind.

I don't see a conflict between a human Buddha and a ‘non-conceptual turns your words to gobbledygook no matter what you try to say about it’ Buddha.

They are as united as the particle and wave descriptions of the physical universe. They are an artifact of our finite mind.

But because I think the Buddha's intent had not only to do with achieving a high degree of wisdom insight, but transforming your human incarnation into one that benefited other beings, that makes those parts of the Dharma that have to do with making ethical choices of awareness more central then other parts of the teachings which engage you in a magical reality.

In a weird way I almost think of thinking about past lives and future lives as a kind of less than ethical past time because it distracts you from looking at your mindfulness and judging your own behavior as to what kind of seeds it's planting.

But again that is just my way of thinking and I know that it's not meant to be everybody's cup of tea. In a way you could say it's the way I have to think about Buddhism so I can be a Buddhist too.

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Re: Dalai Lama Statement on his Reincarnation

Postby sunyavadi on Tue May 15, 2012 11:25 am

l_rivers wrote:In a weird way I almost think of thinking about past lives and future lives as a kind of less than ethical passtime because it distracts you from looking at your mindfulness and judging your own behavior as to what kind of seeds it's planning.


Well said. I read somewhere, the wise only concern themselves with causes.
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Re: Dalai Lama Statement on his Reincarnation

Postby myojo on Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:45 pm

Does anyone believe that the Dalai Lama had a way of conditioning his rebirth in a specific body?
This is quite apart from a belief in rebirth.
If there is a belief in rebirth - what is it that is reborn (no book quoting!)?
Has anyone read Adyashanti's account of experiencing 'former lives'?
Also, there is a great account in 'Life as a Siamese Monk' by Richard Randall.
Does anyone have any personal experience of former lives?
There is a specific meditation which can be cultivated whereby one remembers what seem to be former lives.
My first teacher had personal experience of this.
For my part, I cannot remember much about yesterday and I am not sure wether those memories are what actually happened.
Perhaps this consciousness just appeared and picked up this body and memories.
Even to say this consciousness is absurd. Consciousness is Myojoing at the moment - that's all I know.
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Re: Dalai Lama Statement on his Reincarnation

Postby A Philosopher on Fri Aug 31, 2012 3:46 pm

Maybe not a proof but it made me, and many of my friends think; surely very interesting:

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Re: Dalai Lama Statement on his Reincarnation

Postby fukasetsu on Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:42 am

myojo wrote:Does anyone believe that the Dalai Lama had a way of conditioning his rebirth in a specific body?

There's no such thing as a volitional agent which has the "power" of chosing a specific anything.

If there is a belief in rebirth - what is it that is reborn (no book quoting!)?

where there's fule, there's fire.

Has anyone read Adyashanti's account of experiencing 'former lives'?
No interest in such tales, so whatever I read by anyone I would always skip such accounts.
Does anyone have any personal experience of former lives?

The person is not what gets reborn, so how can we speak of personal experience?
Here's a funny tale though, a few times a year when living with my ex, I had sudden memories of entire events of which I was sure were not "mine"
When I told these memories, it turned out it were events from her childhood, which she never told anything about.
We're both "alive" [they say] and this memory is suddenly in the mirror I used to call "me"
Now I still have these memory episodes of entire events sometimes which also are "not mine"
from who are they? is it from the "past", "the future", "me or not me"? .... I don't care, if someone would show me "prove" [a news article]
or something which would match my memory of an event hundred years ago, and then come to the conclusion that it was a "past live" of mine,
I'd just walk on and laugh it off [basically the same thing when anyone speaks of causality]

There is a specific meditation which can be cultivated whereby one remembers what seem to be former lives.

I fail to see how that would raise anyone's interest to start up such a cultivation, but whatever rocks anyones boat.


Consciousness is Myojoing at the moment - that's all I know.

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Re: Dalai Lama Statement on his Reincarnation

Postby myojo on Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:41 pm

I used to be interested in all the rebirth stuff - I think it is just an extension of self obsession and fear of annihilation.
I don't really know if it happens or appears to happen.
Not interested anymore now though.
Mind stuff is just mind stuff.
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Re: Dalai Lama Statement on his Reincarnation

Postby flaneur on Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:11 am

"Therefore, as long as you are a Buddhist, it is necessary to accept past and future rebirth." hhdl

for me it's about the end of suffering. i don't understand the relevance of metaphysics or dogma.
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Re: Dalai Lama Statement on his Reincarnation

Postby Carol on Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:05 pm

flaneur wrote:"Therefore, as long as you are a Buddhist, it is necessary to accept past and future rebirth." hhdl

for me it's about the end of suffering. i don't understand the relevance of metaphysics or dogma.


For some it is relevant to ending suffering.

My teacher, on the other hand, said it was not necessary to believe anything, but it is necessary to practice with an open and inquiring mind.
Practitioners who cultivate the personal realization of buddha knowledge dwell in the bliss of whatever is present and do not abandon their practice.
~Lankavatara Sutra
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Re: Dalai Lama Statement on his Reincarnation

Postby Possum on Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:02 pm

Carol wrote:
flaneur wrote:"Therefore, as long as you are a Buddhist, it is necessary to accept past and future rebirth." hhdl

for me it's about the end of suffering. i don't understand the relevance of metaphysics or dogma.


For some it is relevant to ending suffering.

My teacher, on the other hand, said it was not necessary to believe anything, but it is necessary to practice with an open and inquiring mind.

There are scholars who say that the Buddha was not especially interested in metaphysics, although none of them has said that he was a materialist who took it upon himself to denounce supernatural belief as superstition.

I agree with what Carol said, with emphasis on the words "For some." Sometimes, I get tired of one-size-fits-all teaching.
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