Near Death Experiences as Evidence of the Pure Land

Near Death Experiences as Evidence of the Pure Land

Postby cheondo » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:11 pm

I've recently read Dr. Jeffrey Long's book "Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near Death Experiences." It's the most recent and successful book published on the topic.

It's convinced me that the Pure Land is either real or certainly could be.

He's collected over 2500 stories of folks who died and came back. Many of these, like 40%, have visited a place that appears to be similar to a Pure Land. There are sights, sounds, etc all which resemble the Amitabha Sutra. People speak of a light that's so bright like a "million suns" but doesn't blind your eyes. There's heavenly music so amazing that they can't put it into words. One even saw a being 30 ft tall, surrounded by a lake, who was emitting pure compassion and love. She said when she waded into the waters, she lost all sense of self.

Regarding being "far away", many near death experiencers go super fast through a tunnel. Some talk about going through space. Some talk of visiting different "lands".

Not only that, but they are greeted by a number of powerful, super-compassionate beings at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes these are relatives, other times they appear as highly developed spiritual beings.

See any similarities to Pure Land here? Personally, I'm blown away by all this. These are not old tales told by old monks. These are materialistic westerners who's lives were completely changed by their experiences.

The website is http://www.nderf.org/

In my mind, these powerful experiences represent a real bridge to doubters, myself included, to help people realize that there is or definitely could be a pure land.

Amitoufo,

Cheondo
http://purelandway.wordpress.com/
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Re: Near Death Experiences as Evidence of the Pure Land

Postby Mr. G » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:13 pm

Related thread: Pure Land Death Stories
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: Near Death Experiences as Evidence of the Pure Land

Postby Nosta » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:58 pm

Unfortunatly, such sights of a place filled with light, etc, etc are more related to the Christian Paradise than PureLand: first, the witnesses were westerners with no affinity to pure land, secondly, you the descriptions are vague enought to fill on any religion you wish.

But i was about to create a topic where i would raise a similar question: why do we have so much near death experiences describing a beautiful place if we take into account that only a very small percentage of people will rebirth on a paradise/deva world? Why there are so many NDE stories like that? These stories prove the existence of God and Paradise, they do not prove that in next life you will have some random rebirth, and that makes me confuse since it goes agains what i believe.

As a side note, the OP said: These are not old tales told by old monks. These are materialistic westerners who's lives were completely changed by their experiences.

I tottaly disagree with that. "old monks" are monks with highly developed concentration power, wise people with Dharma in their hearts. Western people is...just that, people like me and the everyday guy, with little dharma skills, guys that see TV, plays computer, go to work, read a book, doing this and doing that...we [westerners] have no conection with death, compassion or with dealing with our toughts. We are just wandering monkeys, not wise monks.
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Re: Near Death Experiences as Evidence of the Pure Land

Postby Nosta » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:04 pm

I think that such stories are good for faith, but in this particular case i dont think that they prove the existence of Pure Land as i explained.
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Re: Near Death Experiences as Evidence of the Pure Land

Postby Nosta » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:33 am

Thats also true.
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Re: Near Death Experiences as Evidence of the Pure Land

Postby Nighthawk » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:43 am

Thanks for sharing Cheondo!
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Re: Near Death Experiences as Evidence of the Pure Land

Postby Nighthawk » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:55 am

Nosta wrote:Unfortunatly, such sights of a place filled with light, etc, etc are more related to the Christian Paradise than PureLand: first, the witnesses were westerners with no affinity to pure land, secondly, you the descriptions are vague enought to fill on any religion you wish.

But i was about to create a topic where i would raise a similar question: why do we have so much near death experiences describing a beautiful place if we take into account that only a very small percentage of people will rebirth on a paradise/deva world? Why there are so many NDE stories like that? These stories prove the existence of God and Paradise, they do not prove that in next life you will have some random rebirth, and that makes me confuse since it goes agains what i believe.

As a side note, the OP said: These are not old tales told by old monks. These are materialistic westerners who's lives were completely changed by their experiences.

I tottaly disagree with that. "old monks" are monks with highly developed concentration power, wise people with Dharma in their hearts. Western people is...just that, people like me and the everyday guy, with little dharma skills, guys that see TV, plays computer, go to work, read a book, doing this and doing that...we [westerners] have no conection with death, compassion or with dealing with our toughts. We are just wandering monkeys, not wise monks.


Have you read the tibetan book of dead? If not you'll gain a lot better understanding when it comes to NDEs.
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Re: Near Death Experiences as Evidence of the Pure Land

Postby cheondo » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:48 am

Nosta wrote:Unfortunatly, such sights of a place filled with light, etc, etc are more related to the Christian Paradise than PureLand: first, the witnesses were westerners with no affinity to pure land, secondly, you the descriptions are vague enought to fill on any religion you wish.

But i was about to create a topic where i would raise a similar question: why do we have so much near death experiences describing a beautiful place if we take into account that only a very small percentage of people will rebirth on a paradise/deva world? Why there are so many NDE stories like that? These stories prove the existence of God and Paradise, they do not prove that in next life you will have some random rebirth, and that makes me confuse since it goes agains what i believe.

As a side note, the OP said: These are not old tales told by old monks. These are materialistic westerners who's lives were completely changed by their experiences.

I tottaly disagree with that. "old monks" are monks with highly developed concentration power, wise people with Dharma in their hearts. Western people is...just that, people like me and the everyday guy, with little dharma skills, guys that see TV, plays computer, go to work, read a book, doing this and doing that...we [westerners] have no conection with death, compassion or with dealing with our toughts. We are just wandering monkeys, not wise monks.


You missed my point and are just plain wrong on every account. Read the Amitabha Sutra, then read the NDEs. Finally, Christians, especially Catholics, and Muslims are mostly against the NDE literature. It does not fit their expectations at all.
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Re: Near Death Experiences as Evidence of the Pure Land

Postby gyougan » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:29 pm

Thank you very much for sharing!

I'll have a closer look. This seems interesting!
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Re: Near Death Experiences as Evidence of the Pure Land

Postby gyougan » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:41 pm

cheondo, your blog posts are very inspiring. Thank you very much those posts!

Your "7 reasons" made SO much sense!
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Re: Near Death Experiences as Evidence of the Pure Land

Postby Jesse » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:29 pm

I am pretty curious about NDE's as well, and their relevance to Dharma. While I have not had a NDE, I did have an experience in my life that is usually only described by people who have had them. I have always been fairly relentless in my questioning of life, and often times get carried away by it, as was the case that particular night. I was quite depressed and distraught with my inability to actually derive any meaningful answers to my philosophical questions about life, and upon giving a very serious 'What is this?! (life)" thought, prayer, call it what you will. I experienced a feeling of love so absolutely brilliant and beautiful I was brought to tears, in the experience there was a vague understanding that I was the universe and the universe was I, or that was my understanding at the time anyway. The dim understanding was the feeling of love was everything, including myself.

It is probably in part a big reason for my perusing Buddhism, as I have always been an agnostic, but practicing Buddhism has only increased my understanding of that experience. -- I apologize if this is a bit off topic, but I wanted to share that.

"People speak of a light that's so bright like a "million suns"
-- That is almost certainly how I would describe the feeling of love I experienced.
"We know nothing at all. All our knowledge is but the knowledge of schoolchildren. The real nature of things we shall never know." - Albert Einstein
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