Posts Tagged ‘reincarnation’

Is there a smoking gun?

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

Imagine for just a moment that we don’t die. How would that affect the way we live? It’s true that it can breed an incredible poverty inducing complacency. The belief that a person is born the way they are because of karma.

On the other hand it could give rise to an incredible sense of invulnerability. How would we live if we felt invulnerable that whatever happened? We might start making fearless choices, taking more risks.

Imgagine realising that you’ve had other senses of self that were completely different from the one you have now, that though some part of you have survived your ego hasn’t. How seriously would you take yourself then?

Reincarnation is an important doctrine in Buddhism, yet in our own personal experience it is, for most people anyway, unverified.

So why aren’t we aware of previous incarnations. Is it that we need to give each other a second chance, a fresh opportunity? Would the sense of guilt or shame as we look back be too overwhelming? Do we need to develop a profound level of compassion towards ourselves as well as towards others to be able to cope with the memories? Is compassion, like karma, a law of the universe?

If you’re interested there are some other interesting videos to watch in YouTube.

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The question of continuity

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Life is short and then you die. Or do you. I must confess I don’t know whether you do or don’t. So these are merely my reflections, my own points of view and my beliefs. Don’t consider this any other way. What I will say in my own defense is that meditation does seem to provide a little bit of insight into the unknown.

Then on the other hand practices like Zen focus on the eternal now. The ever present present. Holding one’s awareness totally focused within the present moment releases us from the past and the future. Such a skill also releases us from our baggage, and from tension.

The Dalai Lama in a forward to The Tibetan Book of the Dead: First Complete Translation said

“…there are two concepts of a person. One is the temporary person or self, that is as we exist at the moment, and this is albelled on the basis of our coarse or gross physical body and conditioned mind, and, at the same time, there is a subtle person or self which is designated in dependence on the subtle body and subtle mind… These two intrexicably conjoined qualities are regarded, in Highest Yoga Tantra, as the ultimate nature of a person and are identified as buddha nature, the essential or actual nature of mind.”

The implication that continuity of consciousness lies within the buddha nature, what he later refers to as the “unconditioned mind”. You could easily draw the conclusion that this is the same as the “ever present” awareness.

This of course is an incredible simplification, but it strikes me that this practice of ours is also a practice in continuity of consciousness.

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