I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

I Believe in Literal Rebirth

Yes
45
78%
No
4
7%
Indifferent
4
7%
Undecided
5
9%
 
Total votes : 58

Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Postby LastLegend » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:52 am

Beatzen wrote:I only think that it might be a more useful metaphor in our practice to work towards cultivating good karma for "the person who will take your place" - since we're talking about the same mind, but totally different self-delusions.

that way you're not just solidifying this sense of working to liberate yourself alone, easier to generate a "for all beings" sort of mentality.


If it helps with your practice to view in such way, then by all means.
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Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Postby LastLegend » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:54 am

I would rely on reasoning to understand the teachings.
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Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Postby Adamantine » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:55 am

Beatzen wrote:Well I'm certainly not going to apologize for that, Ad. I've always regarded pali sources as more authentic when it comes to the words of the buddha. I value the prajnaparamita sutras, but when it comes to teachings on dependant origination, and other technical concepts - I usually look for the pali reference. Just an ideosyncracy I have.


Well humor me and read the article: I was not asking for an apology, -merely that you further educate yourself so that you don't maintain uninformed bias.
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Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Postby Beatzen » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:57 am

LastLegend wrote:
Beatzen wrote:I only think that it might be a more useful metaphor in our practice to work towards cultivating good karma for "the person who will take your place" - since we're talking about the same mind, but totally different self-delusions.


Well in Mahayana all things come from the mind which is empty. So from emptiness, arises everything. If you believe that there is a self, then it will manifest as one and take rebirth through perception of the self. If you believe Nirvana to be pit black realm of existence, then it will manifest as one. There is such realm.


Sunyata is not strictly a Mahayana Buddhist teaching. It's also found in the Theravadin tradition, and in Hindu Shankara.

If what you're saying is how it works, then the only thing I have to add is that you can't "disbelieve" yourself into nirvana. You'd have to exhaust karma to the point of nirvana.
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Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Postby LastLegend » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:01 am

Beatzen wrote:
LastLegend wrote:
Beatzen wrote:I only think that it might be a more useful metaphor in our practice to work towards cultivating good karma for "the person who will take your place" - since we're talking about the same mind, but totally different self-delusions.


Well in Mahayana all things come from the mind which is empty. So from emptiness, arises everything. If you believe that there is a self, then it will manifest as one and take rebirth through perception of the self. If you believe Nirvana to be pit black realm of existence, then it will manifest as one. There is such realm.


Sunyata is not strictly a Mahayana Buddhist teaching. It's also found in the Theravadin tradition, and in Hindu Shankara.

If what you're saying is how it works, then the only thing I have to add is that you can't "disbelieve" yourself into nirvana. You'd have to exhaust karma to the point of nirvana.


Well. Don't get too caught up with words.

If you can disbelieve yourself into Nirvana, then there is no need for practice.
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Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Postby catmoon » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:02 am

Beatzen wrote:I'm not playing with words. It's obvious. That quote from Dogen says it all. Rebirth is all about the causal connection. Belief means nothing when it comes to reality. Reality is beyond belief.


Reality IS a belief. I mean, you believe it is there, don't you?
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Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Postby Beatzen » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:03 am

catmoon wrote:
Beatzen wrote:I'm not playing with words. It's obvious. That quote from Dogen says it all. Rebirth is all about the causal connection. Belief means nothing when it comes to reality. Reality is beyond belief.


Reality IS a belief. I mean, you believe it is there, don't you?


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Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Postby Adamantine » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:19 am

Beatzen wrote:I guess I should qualify that I think the pali sources are more trustworthy when it's an actual quotation of the buddha himself speaking. I mean the historical buddha, the human being. I don't mean the quality of the teaching is lesser in other sources. There's no way I would know that as an unenlightened being.


I am just guessing that you must be rather unfamiliar with the gamut of Mahayana sutras then.
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Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Postby Beatzen » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:31 am

Adamantine wrote:
Beatzen wrote:I guess I should qualify that I think the pali sources are more trustworthy when it's an actual quotation of the buddha himself speaking. I mean the historical buddha, the human being. I don't mean the quality of the teaching is lesser in other sources. There's no way I would know that as an unenlightened being.


I am just guessing that you must be rather unfamiliar with the gamut of Mahayana sutras then.


Well, I'm not a scholastic, and unlike you I don't have the time to study the gamut. I once read a stoic philosopher who said that a person of understanding keeps his reading regiment to a few texts, and reads those religiously. To this end, I have the Heart Sutra. I feel like it's all I really need to understand.
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Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Postby Adamantine » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:49 am

Beatzen wrote:
Adamantine wrote:
Beatzen wrote:I guess I should qualify that I think the pali sources are more trustworthy when it's an actual quotation of the buddha himself speaking. I mean the historical buddha, the human being. I don't mean the quality of the teaching is lesser in other sources. There's no way I would know that as an unenlightened being.


I am just guessing that you must be rather unfamiliar with the gamut of Mahayana sutras then.


Well, I'm not a scholastic, and unlike you I don't have the time to study the gamut. I once read a stoic philosopher who said that a person of understanding keeps his reading regiment to a few texts, and reads those religiously. To this end, I have the Heart Sutra. I feel like it's all I really need to understand.


The Heart Sutra is a great focal point for practice.

I would recommend you also take some time to study the Diamond Sutra
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Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Postby Beatzen » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:52 am

I read the Diamond sutra a couple of times about a year ago. I can't say that I really understood it, but I was really distracted by some heavy things going on with me at the time. I can't think of something that the Diamond sutra says that the Heart Sutra doesn't cover. If you realize that the aggregates are empty of self, then what else is there to understand?
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Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Postby Adamantine » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:48 am

Beatzen wrote:I read the Diamond sutra a couple of times about a year ago. I can't say that I really understood it, but I was really distracted by some heavy things going on with me at the time. I can't think of something that the Diamond sutra says that the Heart Sutra doesn't cover. If you realize that the aggregates are empty of self, then what else is there to understand?


I think of these type of sutras like a form of poetry or song: there is a rhythm and combination of words that lead one beyond the words, beyond the conceptual. . . sometimes it takes listening to a song a number of times before it penetrates one's emotional-being, or before one can understand the lyrics... similarly, sometimes it takes a number of reads and time meditating and contemplating before one has any real insight into a sutra. Your one sentence analysis is a bit trite. Endless numbers of great masters have contemplated these sutras mixed with their own practice for centuries and created vast commentaries. This wasn't out of boredom. At least, accept the possibility that unless you are already enlightened, there is more to access in the sutras than what you think you've gotten already.

This translation and commentary on the Diamond Sutra by Red Pine is interesting in that it includes sections from a number of commentaries by various Chinese masters across the ages, which could help in discerning various ways of looking at the root text...

http://www.amazon.com/Diamond-Sutra-Red ... t_ep_dpt_3
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Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Postby Sherab Dorje » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:33 pm

Beatzen wrote:I read the Diamond sutra a couple of times about a year ago. I can't say that I really understood it, but I was really distracted by some heavy things going on with me at the time. I can't think of something that the Diamond sutra says that the Heart Sutra doesn't cover. If you realize that the aggregates are empty of self, then what else is there to understand?
That the "other" is also empty. By the term "other" I mean ALL phenomena.
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One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
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Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Postby Mr. G » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:44 pm

Beatzen wrote:If you realize that the aggregates are empty of self, then what else is there to understand?


To really clarify and make sure you understand it without falling into an incorrect view. Also to elaborate and further deepen our understanding by not just knowing the aggregates, but the ayatanas, dhatus, etc.. I'm not saying rush in and start learning the Abhidarmakosha (which I think every Buddhist should), but you don't have to limit yourself. Buddhism is so rich with many nuances. It's nice to stop and smell the dharma flowers as it's not a distraction but assisting with our practice. :smile:
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    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
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Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Postby Malcolm » Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:14 pm

Beatzen wrote:Well I'm certainly not going to apologize for that, Ad. I've always regarded pali sources as more authentic when it comes to the words of the buddha. I value the prajnaparamita sutras, but when it comes to teachings on dependant origination, and other technical concepts - I usually look for the pali reference. Just an ideosyncracy I have.



The Pali Canon (as well the Agamas) does not tease out the nuances of dependent origination and emptiness

That is where Mahāyāna sutras and tantras are important.
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Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Postby Beatzen » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:16 pm

Namdrol wrote:
Beatzen wrote:Well I'm certainly not going to apologize for that, Ad. I've always regarded pali sources as more authentic when it comes to the words of the buddha. I value the prajnaparamita sutras, but when it comes to teachings on dependant origination, and other technical concepts - I usually look for the pali reference. Just an ideosyncracy I have.



The Pali Canon (as well the Agamas) does not tease out the nuances of dependent origination and emptiness

That is where Mahāyāna sutras and tantras are important.


thank you Namdrol. You inspire me to keep studying. I'm grateful to be around more learned and experienced practitioners both on and off the net.

[/young person angst]

I'll mention that I finally kicked my bad habit of reading into Alan Watts. After the guided sitting session that my Zen teacher graciously took the time to go through (she has a yurt in the back of her house here in town that she uses as a private Zendo. Last night it was rare, but we were alone the two of us) - I realized that Watts is full of shit and I've been polluting my mind with bullshit this whole time.

My teacher laughed and said "alan watts is good brain-food, but he didn't do Zen"

I ain't got the learnin' you folks do, but I wanna mention that I lurve the heart sutra. I might not have a sophisticated understanding of it, but I love reading it, and I admire Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. We chant it all the time in my sangha. Austus said it's like the trailer to a four hour movie. I said back that they usually show all the good parts in the trailers.

I will get a copy of the Diamond sutra for myself though. I think it'd be good mental floss to alternate between the heart and the diamond. What say yous?
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Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Postby Beatzen » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:18 pm

Namdrol, what's a good sutra for learning interdependance? I'm looking for something that isn't too flowery.
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Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Postby Distorted » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:16 am

This may be my ignorance but when I think of rebirth I thought of my name in my language. My father is American Indian my mother is not. Though....I will not mention my native name here on this site or my tribe. Some of our names have been carried by us personally many generations. For us these days this discussion is taboo as people's understanding it seems to vary. Though no mistake between all the disagreements is we believe that we will come back.

The next person who carries my name will be the brother to who carries my sister’s name. This will not change sixty years from now but will have additions. Often we are reminded of this in and out of ceremonial purposes. I am not all knowing on this subject and may know enough to be dangerous. Though what I have shared is what I have experienced and have witnessed. At times it isn’t very clear if we will come back so soon as human though there is not much speculation on that subject.

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Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Postby Blue Garuda » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:46 am

Believe in literal rebirth and practise in a way that you believe will lead to a fortunate rebirth.

Believe that there is no literal rebirth and practise in a way that you believe will lead to your enlightenment in this life.

Or have the best of both, and go for Tantra. LOL :)

I believe logic points towards a continuum, as we can see and prove 'change' for ourselves and cannot define accurately the 'beginning' or 'end' of a life or a universe. That said, it is study and practice which will lead us to believe in a form of change which is 'rebirth' - my heresy is that Buddha could have said all sorts of things which were later attributed to him in Pali or Sanskrit, but only our own practice can surely lead to enough validation to form a 'belief'.
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Re: I Believe in Literal Rebirth - Poll

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:23 am

Beatzen wrote:Namdrol, what's a good sutra for learning interdependance? I'm looking for something that isn't too flowery.
In another thread Namdrol gave the following Sutta http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

You can also check here for a number of other references and Sutta dealing with dependent origination
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/search_r ... &sa=Search
:namaste:
PS Whats wrong with flowery?
flowery.png
flowery.png (111.72 KiB) Viewed 204 times

flowery2.jpg
flowery2.jpg (8.18 KiB) Viewed 204 times

flowery3.jpg
flowery3.jpg (11.54 KiB) Viewed 204 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."
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