Karma and Reincarnation

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Karma and Reincarnation

Postby jianblade » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:35 pm

Does one need to accept the concepts of reincarnation karma and the wheel of samsara to follow the teaching of the Buddha? I don't feel comfortable believing
In said things...
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:46 pm

jianblade wrote:Does one need to accept the concepts of reincarnation karma and the wheel of samsara to follow the teaching of the Buddha? I don't feel comfortable believing
In said things...


No, you can practice meditation and follow ethical teachings whether you subscribe to the metaphysics taught in Buddhist doctrine or not. That said, it's worth educating yourself on the arguments for Karma and Rebirth, and understanding how they fit into Buddhism. Rather than saying you do or don't believe, i'd just start out taking what you find useful and learning what you can, then drawing your conclusions. It's not as if all Buddhist agree on things either!
"We're chained to the world and we all gotta pull" -Tom Waits
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby TaTa » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:11 am

jianblade wrote:Does one need to accept the concepts of reincarnation karma and the wheel of samsara to follow the teaching of the Buddha? I don't feel comfortable believing
In said things...


Of curse not. Take the teachings as advice and see what you can get from them.
If you progress deep on the path then you should study karma and rebirth, check, double check and take that as your working hypothesis, like for example brain scientist use the hypothesis of brain=mind and work from that point. People often forget that this things are supposed to be corroborated though deep training in meditation. For example someone with great samadhi should be able to remember past lives.

One can get LOTS of benefits from buddhism without accepting its world view. That being said, someone once asked a tibetan master if you have to believe in reincarnation to become a buddha and he said "no, you have to KNOW reincarnation to become a buddha".

Just my two cents.
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby dude » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:29 am

jianblade wrote:Does one need to accept the concepts of reincarnation karma and the wheel of samsara to follow the teaching of the Buddha? I don't feel comfortable believing
In said things...


Are you asking whether you can start to practice without believing in them?
I say absolutely you can. I didn't believe any of it when I started. I didn't DISbelieve but
I wasn't swallowing anything whole either.
What's important is whether you can listen to the teachings, put them into practice and see what they will do for you.
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby dude » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:34 am

One can get LOTS of benefits from buddhism without accepting its world view. That being said, someone once asked a tibetan master if you have to believe in reincarnation to become a buddha and he said "no, you have to KNOW reincarnation to become a buddha".


That's very very true.
Only a Buddha really knows, having seen it first hand.
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby smcj » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:45 am

No, you don't have to buy it. My advice it to put it on the back burner, but keep the subject open. Not only in this scenario, but in almost all of Dharma having an open mind is fundamental for making progress. The best that any of can do is use the idea of karma and reincarnation to expand our narrow view of life, and use them as a working hypothesis until such time as we are enlightened and can see the workings of karma for ourselves. For instance I now believe in karma and reincarnation, but I didn't for many years. I can't tell when the change happened either. It was very gradual.
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby seeker242 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:24 pm

I would say no you don't need to accept it just to practice Buddhism, but at the same time you don't need to reject it either. :smile:
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby smcj » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:58 pm

seeker242 wrote:I would say no you don't need to accept it just to practice Buddhism, but at the same time you don't need to reject it either. :smile:

I hate it when somebody says what I was trying to say in simpler and clearer way. :tantrum:
A human being has his limits. And thus, in every conceivable way, with every possible means, he tries to make the teaching enter into his own limits. ChNN
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby oushi » Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:07 pm

jianblade wrote:Does one need to accept the concepts of reincarnation karma and the wheel of samsara to follow the teaching of the Buddha?

You need to follow them, to follow his teachings, simply because those were his teachings. You cannot follow his teachings without following his teachings... On the other hand, there is no requirement unless you establish a goal. If your goal is the same as Buddhas, who are people here to tell you what is and what isn't required? You assume that Buddha sometimes talked crap, and here you will find people confirming it? Hmm... that would imply that there are people here with greater knowledge about the Dharma then Buddha himself.

So, what do you expect from following his teachings?
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby duckfiasco » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:39 pm

All of the traditions of Buddhism are full of practices and advice that can immediately benefit you and those around you.
You don't have to put some abstract statements in the "true" basket to get past the front gate.
Buddhism is concerned with suffering and the end of suffering. Not collecting shiny new ideas and practices to put on a shelf.

It's said that there are 84,000 gates to the Dharma. Our particular mix of suffering is so different from person to person. There's no single statement or idea that will solve our problems. We just have to start where we are.
For me, that was mindfulness of breath meditation, called anapanasati. I had no patience for metaphysics, and I was able to benefit immediately. I recommend looking into this.
Thinking things like "I have ten fingers and also I was a fat cobbler in Europe in a past life" is hardly the same thing as insight gained about your pain, earned from steadfast meditation.
By practicing basic ethics and meditation and exposing yourself to Buddhist teachings, at the very least you will find your suffering diminishes.
Yet this is overlooked as some people deem something like Buddhism as "unworthy" based on a thought barely two sentences long.

Consider also that in the question "is rebirth real/true?" we often have the standard "...as real as I am and my perceptions are?"
This "me" and "my perceptions" are a large focus of Buddhist practice and meditation. You may discover some interesting things about them in time.
And at a later point, who knows? It might become useful to take things like rebirth or karma as a working hypothesis. They are there for a reason, even if we can't see it from our current vantage point.

Best of luck! I hope that whatever you do, your suffering diminishes and your happiness increases, in this very life ;)
Namu Amida Butsu
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Berry » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:42 pm

jianblade wrote:Does one need to accept the concepts of reincarnation karma and the wheel of samsara to follow the teaching of the Buddha? I don't feel comfortable believing
In said things...


This present lifetime is all you have right now. Practice the Dharma with sincerity in your daily life and the rest will take care of itself.
.
"Don’t burden others with your expectations. Understanding their limitations can inspire compassion instead of disappointment " ~ Chagdud Tulku
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Lindama » Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:06 am

jianblade wrote:Does one need to accept the concepts of reincarnation karma and the wheel of samsara to follow the teaching of the Buddha? I don't feel comfortable believing
In said things...


As far as I know, Buddhism is not about beliefs, neither is awakening. If that is so, we can all relax. As you have seen, ppl have shared their particular relationship to your question... no wrong answer! So, it seems to me that there is no one answer. I can't support belief either, but I'm not sure that anybody is asking us to do that. It is ultimately for ppl to see for themselves.

The mystery of reincarnation seems to be familiar ground for those who have gone beyond. Personally, it has a bit of resonance for me, but I stop short of belief. In the meantime, it's not so hard for me to understand reincarnation as a simple transformation each time I take a breath, see something that I hadn't seen before, watched my behavior change after touching something new, dropping a grudge and opening my heart... anything that hints of a small death and rebirth in my life, however simple. Isn't that the human level of reincarnation and impermanence? Isn't that where we start?

If we are honest, nobody can change our minds, until we do and see the world from the inside out.
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:00 am

Except that karma and rebirth are not "beliefs". ;)
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby oushi » Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:20 am

Sherab Dorje wrote:Except that karma and rebirth are not "beliefs". ;)

So, what are those? Tell me how do you experience those?
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:54 am

Concepts and beliefs arise around the operation of karma and rebirth (like around the operation of gravity) People choose to believe in it or not, agree with it or not, explain its existence (or non-existence) in one way or another, prove (or disprove) it in one way or another, etc...

How do I experience them? As I am (and you are) experiencing them right now.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby oushi » Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:18 am

Sherab Dorje wrote:How do I experience them? As I am (and you are) experiencing them right now.

What do you mean by "them". How do "they" manifest right now?
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:14 pm

Yawn.jpg
Yawn.jpg (5.73 KiB) Viewed 997 times
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby oushi » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:41 pm

So, your wisdom ends here...
You make a positive assertion which you cannot prove.
Yawn, indeed.
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby Sherab Dorje » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:51 pm

No. It's not like that at all. I already answered your question and am not interested in engaging in the familiar word games that you are in the habit of engaging in:

What is A?
A is B
Yes, but what is B?
B is C.
But what is C?
C is D.
Ad nauseum...

BORING!
Last edited by Sherab Dorje on Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Karma and Reincarnation

Postby oushi » Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:05 pm

Sherab Dorje wrote:No. It's not like that at all. I already answered your question and am not interested in engaging in the familiar word games that you are in he habit of engaging in:

What is A?
A is B
Yes, but what is B?
B is C.
But what is C?
C is D.
Ad nauseum...

BORING!

This is called investigating.
Parroting can be boring... especially when you cannot explain what your own words mean. You cannot explain those concepts because you hold them as beliefs, that is, words and sentences that you heard or read. I asked you about C and.... you had no courage to admit that you don't know. That's BORING!
If you knew rebirth and karma manifestation, you would be delighted in sharing it. But, somehow you felt butt-hurt when I asked for details. What does that tell us?
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