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Thread: WHAT IS ZEN? - Chap 6 - Beliefs and Ethics - P. 59 To bottom of P. 67

  1. #1

    WHAT IS ZEN? - Chap 6 - Beliefs and Ethics - P. 59 To bottom of P. 67

    Dear All Good People,

    We will read the first half of Chapter 6 this time, ending at the bottom of P. 67 (where it begins to discuss the Precepts). Our topic is Rebirth and Karma. We will go a little slower because of all the study readings for Jukai, but we will keep going (I promise to finish within this lifetime).

    I think that Norman Roshi is a bit fuzzy and ambiguous in discussing these topics this week, although I think it is really necessary. He doesn't seem to reject ideas of Rebirth and a very mechanical ("Good intentional actions lead to good results in this life or some future life, and likewise for bad") view of Karma, but neither does he really affirm them, and he leaves the possible details an open question. In fact, it seems pretty clear that a very literal and mechanical view of Rebirth and Karma has been an important part of Buddhism for thousands of years, and likely from the earliest teachings. Dogen's writings indicate that he believed in future lives and the system of Karma, as did many other Zen Ancestors of the past. He encouraged us to do good, and believed that volitional bad acts will be paid for in this life or a future life. Nonetheless, ideas of Rebirth where never so important to Dogen and most other Zen masters of the past or present compared to many other schools of Buddhism (such as the Tibetans and Theravadans who hold such beliefs to be very important in their teachings). The reason is the emphasis in Zen on this life, and the ability to be enlightened in this life to see through the cycle of birth and death.

    I am also personally very skeptical on extremely detailed systems of Rebirth, although I close my mind to no possibility. It just is not so important to my practice. I sometimes write ...

    Now, don't get me wrong: I believe that our actions have effects, and I believe that we create "heavens" and "hells". I see people create "hells" within themselves all the time, and for those around them, by their acts of greed, anger and ignorance. .I see people who live in this world as "Hungry Ghosts", never satisfied. I also believe that we are reborn moment by moment by moment, so in that way ... we are constantly reborn, always changing (the "Jundo" who began writing this essay is not the same "Jundo" who will finish it). Futhermore, I believe that our actions will continue to have effects in this world long after this body is in its grave ... like ripples in a stream that will continue on endlessly.

    But what about those future lives, heavens and hells? Will I be reborn as an Asura or a cocker spaniel?

    My attitude, and that of many other Buddhist teachers, is that ...

    If there are future lives, heavens and hells ... live this life here and now, seek not to do harm, seek not to build "heavens" and "hells" in this world ... let what happens after "death" take care of itself.

    And if there are no future lives, no heavens or hells ... live this life here and now, seek not to do harm, seek not to build "heavens" and "hells" in this world ... let what happens after "death" take care of itself.

    Thus I do not much care if, in the next life, that "gentle way, avoiding harm" will buy me a ticket to heaven and keep me out of hell ... but I know for a fact that it will go far to do so in this life, today, where I see people create all manner of "heavens and hells" for themselves and those around them by their harmful words, thoughts and acts in this life.

    And if there is a "heaven and hell" in the next life, or other effects of Karma now ... well, my actions now have effects then too, and might be the ticket to heaven or good rebirth.

    In other words, whatever the case ... today, now ... live in a gentle way, avoiding harm to self and others (not two, by the way) ... seeking to avoid harm now and in the future too.
    If you would like to read a couple of essays on Karma and Rebirth which I wrote awhile back, here they are.

    Jundo Tackles the 'BIG' Questions - VI (Karma)
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...VI-%28Karma%29

    Jundo Tackles the 'BIG' Questions - VII (Life After Death?)
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...fter-Death-%29

    There are many Buddhists today who say you "can't be Buddhist unless you believe in [very literal] Rebirth and Karma." I just don't believe so. See you in hell if I am wrong, I suppose. However, you may form your own views on this, and your insights are as good as anyone alive.

    Just be good.

    Gassho, J

    SatTodayLAH
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-30-2018 at 03:38 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  2. #2
    Thank you for this Jundo. =)

    For me, rebirth and karma are right here, right now. The actions we do have an affect on the world around us, whether they be good acts or bad acts. I have to be honest and don't care much for karma or rebirth in our next lives ... for me what does it matter? What is important to me, is what is happening now in this life. Rebirth can happen in each breath, in each moment of sitting, in each moment of acceptance of this life as it is, in each moment of understanding/clarity. It is in those moments where we can either break the chain of negative karma and/or produce karma that benefits all sentient beings.

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Sat/LAH
    RINDO SHINGEN
    倫道 真現

  3. #3
    Shingen...gassho well said. Looking forward to reading this section.

    James F
    Sat

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Shingen . Well said. You've expressed my thoughts on the topic.


    Tairin
    Sat today

  5. #5
    Also in agreement with Jundo and Shingen. I always suspected that some people's belief in literal rebirth is just wishful thinking. They can't bear the thought of there being no consciousness beyond this. So over the centuries we've come up with all these theories to support our egos. I've heard people say they believe in "life after death" because they fear the alternative. That's it? Well if there is none you wouldn't know anyway would you? Were you sitting around ten million years ago agonizing not being born yet?


    Gassho
    Sat Today / LAH
    James

  6. #6
    "Alive or dead?"
    I'm not saying! No, Im not saying!

    Gassho

    MyoHo
    ST
    stitch by stitch....

  7. #7

    WHAT IS ZEN? - Chap 6 - Beliefs and Ethics - P. 59 To End of P. 67

    IMG_0067.JPGIMG_0068.JPGIMG_0069.JPG



    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_
    Last edited by Jishin; 09-09-2018 at 08:34 PM.

  8. #8

    WHAT IS ZEN? - Chap 6 - Beliefs and Ethics - P. 59 To End of P. 67

    Disciple to master:

    What happens when we die?

    Master to disciple:

    How should I know? I am not dead yet.

    ----------------

    Death Certificate: cause of death - birth.

    ----------------



    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

  9. #9
    But most Zen Buddhists don't quite believe that we just end up in the grave as dust either.

    The wave on the sea rises and falls, but the wave is just the sea, and the sea rolls on and on. A leaf on a tree is just the tree and, when the leaf falls, the tree that is the leaf grows on. If we are just this universe all along then we never truly were "born" apart, nor do we truly "return" when we die to what has never been left (Zen Buddhism 101).

    Something strange is afoot. A friend of mine once noted that, since something so seemingly ridiculous happened as your and my popping up in the middle of time and space with these lives, looking at all the physics and chemistry, biology and every twist and turn of history seemingly necessary for that fact then, well, there is likely more to the story then meets the eye. Maybe the ridiculous, since it happened once, might ridiculously happen again and again. Maybe some fix is in and the deck is loaded. And even if it is all blind luck and the deck is fair, keep dealing those cards long enough (or play with enough decks side by side) and, sooner or later, every hand comes up ... again and again. So, see you guys in the next deal.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-10-2018 at 03:08 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  10. #10

    WHAT IS ZEN? - Chap 6 - Beliefs and Ethics - P. 59 To End of P. 67

    I donít know.

    Your grandfather punched mine. My father punched yours. You buy me an ice cream. My son buys your son and ice cream and a teddy bear. Your grandson gives mine a great job.

    My grandson says what great Karma!

    My grandfather says what bad karma!

    You and I met in at least 2 previous lives, father and grandfather and meet again in the future through our children and grandchildren. When we shake hands we have shaken hands and will shake hands again countless times from a linear time point of view where birth and death are arbitrary points in time. But time is not always linear.

    No self, no karma, no problem. No wave, no karma, no problem. Just sea. Just emptiness.

    It always comes down to not one, not two. No karma, karma. If not one and not two, then the middle way sounds good.

    I like emptiness. Itís more relaxed, more fun. But that's just me. Others tend to like form, a little rigid for me. Teachers like the middle way. Balanced views. Correct but boring sometimes.

    Zen philosophy is necessary until itís no longer necessary. Then burn the books and chop wood, fetch water and Shikantaza.

    Or not.


    Gasho, Jishin, _/st\_

    IMG_0231.JPGIMG_0232.JPG

    Last edited by Jishin; 09-10-2018 at 03:20 AM.

  11. #11
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    ...
    Something strange is afoot. A friend of mine once noted that, since something so seemingly ridiculous happened as your and my popping up in the middle of time and space with these lives, looking at all the physics and chemistry, biology and every twist and turn of history seemingly necessary for that fact then, well, there is likely more to the story then meets the eye. Maybe the ridiculous, since it happened once, might ridiculously happen again and again.
    ...
    It sounds a little like one of the heavily criticised 'scientific god-proves' (not necessarily the christian one);
    stating, that the complexity, from all living and dead things and the interactions is so intelligent designed, that there has to be a creator.

    Personally, I think, that this idea originates in looking from the wrong side at the development.
    When looking from the seemingly end of a development to its long, long ago, origin, it is only natural, that we're not able to see direct cause and action.
    But isn't that the nature of hypercomplex systems?
    To me, it feels a little like this may be the origin of Karma and Rebirth thoughts.
    Hundreds of thousands of years of development are just too complex to understand when looking from the end of it.

    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  13. #13
    Fischer just about sums me up with this ..

    I would never question anyone who told me he or she is sure there is rebirth.Nor would I question someone who is sure there is no rebirth...I myself don't know. That doesn't mean I don't have a feeling of certainty about rebirth. I do. But anything I say about it is going to be wrong
    I don't know, I can't know, no-one can. Fischer is right in a way to be 'a bit fuzzy and ambiguous', I feel that this represents the Western zen approach to karma and rebirth pretty well. It seems to me that the important thing is to keep the hand of thought open, knowing as we do that we are all deluded beings living our own version of reality inside a greater and much different reality. Acknowledging that, how is it possible to say yes or no without anything to support that conviction, except the concepts created by our own minds?

    There are certain things that I have had difficulty with; Tertons and temas, rainbow bodies, bardo states, incredible shrinking lamas, the precise and detailed karmic laws. That's partly why I chose to relocate from the Tibetan path to this one. I have also had difficulty with the idea of Immaculate Conception and the Resurrection, which is why I was never a Christian.

    I don't recall at any point in my childhood ever believing in God or Father Christmas but I do recall believing truly that if I deliberately stomped on an ant or an earwig, that one day a giant size ant or earwig would come back and stomp on me. I was about 7 years old and not a Buddhist and believed in some really strange things, because as a child, my hand of thought had not yet learned to close.

    There's something - me but not 'Me', that is, and I believe, always was and always will be; something that was never born and therefore will never die. And that which isn't me, but is me, you, all of this, the whole enchilada, is that thing which will always be. But then, as a child my ambition when I grew up was to be an air hostess or a Native American, so obviously 'anything I say about it is going to be wrong'.

    We can't know, and not-knowing is good, it keeps us investigating and questioning and looking; it keeps the hand of thought open and receptive, it keeps us sitting.

    My worthless two centesimi
    Gassho
    Meitou
    satwithyoualltodaylah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  14. #14
    I have been going through these excellent comments and then I was reading Instructions for the Cook and this jumped out at me; "Therefore rejoice in your birth into the world.....Considering the innumerable possibilities in the timeless universe we have been given a marvelous opportunity."

    Gassho
    Sat Today / LAH
    James
    Last edited by James; 09-10-2018 at 11:34 PM.

  15. #15
    Thank you, everyone, for this discussion. It is clarifying. There is one sentence in the reading, on p 67 that expresses what makes sense for me in Zen:
    Anyone who purports to have it all figured out, that her religion has the final answer to all the horrific things that happen in this lifetime so that all can be received with equanimity and nothing will ever challenge faith, is either kidding herself or is in some sense monstrously removed from what it actually feels like to be a human being among other human beings.
    I think the idea of keeping open the hand of thought is beautiful.

    Gassho,
    Onkai
    Sat

  16. #16
    Eishuu
    Guest
    I really liked the way he discussed these issues. I liked the fact that he was saying it is more complicated than: if you do good then good things will happen to you. I feel as though karma has been used historically to blame people who are suffering (because of poverty, disability, illness) for their suffering by saying it's their karma. I've read this happening in the history of Buddhism. It just seems cruel to me. I think there are ways in which this kind of behaviour is still going on today.

    I used to have a weekly confession practice with a friend, before I got into Zen. It was really useful. Is this not done in Soto Zen other than the Verse of Atonement? It was useful to identify specific breaches of precepts and confess them. It really kept us on our toes.

    I wasn't keen on his "Maybe the bad things that happen to good people aren't really bad". I get it to a certain degree, but there are horrific things that happen, and not just as one off events, but that go on for years, decades. So I was happy when he addressed this in the next paragraph. His sentence "What is, is. It's just like this, not some other way. And our practice is to make use of what is" really hit the nail on the head for me. That right there is why I practice Zen....when life gives you lemons...

    In terms of rebirth, for a long while my position has been how can I understand rebirth when I don't even understand what this present moment really is?

    Gassho
    Eishuu
    ST/LAH

  17. #17
    Member Getchi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Between Sea and Sky, Australia.
    You know, some dead guy once wrote something. He wasn't dead just yet.

    Before he died, people loved him. After He died, they still did.

    THat man was Dogen, and now I(WE) benefit.


    Instant Karma (1000 years later).



    Same technique, different ingredients 10,000 Kalpa's over....





    Gassho,
    Geoff.

    SatToday,
    LaH.
    Nothing to do? Why not Sit?

  18. #18
    I have often wondered if the original Buddha hadn't lived in India, would reincarnation be a foundational idea of Buddhism? I don't believe that Buddha, after his enlightenment (whatever that is), was suddenly omniscient or infallible. If the culture in which he developed had some other prevalent idea about what happens after death, would we be mulling over that instead of rebirth?

    Shinshou (Dan)
    Sat Today

  19. #19
    Eishuu
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinshou View Post
    I have often wondered if the original Buddha hadn't lived in India, would reincarnation be a foundational idea of Buddhism? I don't believe that Buddha, after his enlightenment (whatever that is), was suddenly omniscient or infallible. If the culture in which he developed had some other prevalent idea about what happens after death, would we be mulling over that instead of rebirth?

    Shinshou (Dan)
    Sat Today
    Good point. I wonder that too.

    Gassho
    Eishuu
    ST/LAH

  20. #20
    Member Geika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    San Diego County, California
    Shinshou and Eishuu, I also wonder about that. There are some similarities to Yoga as well.

    Sat today, lah
    迎 Geika

  21. #21
    Hi Guys,

    First, I just heard from Norman Fischer. He will be coming to lead a netcast Zazenkai here at Treeleaf for us in the coming weeks. Dates and details to be discussed.


    Quote Originally Posted by Eishuu View Post
    I used to have a weekly confession practice with a friend, before I got into Zen. It was really useful. Is this not done in Soto Zen other than the Verse of Atonement? It was useful to identify specific breaches of precepts and confess them. It really kept us on our toes.
    Our is abbreviated as our recitation of the Verse of Atonement during our weekly Zazenkai, and it is also fine to Practice daily ...

    VERSE OF ATONEMENT:

    All harmful acts, words and thoughts, ever committed by me since of old,

    On account of beginningless greed, anger and ignorance,

    Born of my body, mouth and mind,

    Now I atone for them all


    I find that all is there if one recites with sincerity, learning and atoning for the past, doing one's best for the future. I sometimes speak of "Atonement" and "At-One-Ment" ...

    Human beings will make mistakes.

    However, what we do with those mistakes ... whether we learn from them, seek not to repeat them, and repair the damage we have created ... makes all the difference in the world.

    What's more ... we ARE Buddha too, right now and all along. Thus, even amid all our big and small mistakes ... there is no mistake, nor could there be.
    https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/show...ight=atonement
    Many Zen Sangha undertake a monthly Ryaku Fusatsu confession ceremony, which is rather very much like our Jukai Ceremony in content. You can read about it here, in an essay by my friend Rev. Nonin. I feel that a sincere Verse of Atonement and (most importantly) the actions which follow say it all ....

    Gassho, J STLah

    ============

    What is Ryaku Fusatsu? - by Nonin Chowaney

    At Nebraska Zen Center / Heartland Temple, we perform an ancient chanting and bowing ceremony called Ryaku Fusatsu (Jap.) once a month. We also refer to this ceremony as our Precept Ceremony, for in it we re-affirm our commitments to live according to the Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts, our Ethical Guidelines for everyday life. I'd like to explain what this ceremony is and how we perform it here.

    Ryaku Fusatsu is indeed ancient. Its roots go back to Pre-Buddhist India, to ancient Vedic lunar sacrifices performed on the nights of the new and full moon. By Shakyamuni Buddha's time 2600 years ago, these sacrifices were no longer performed, but the new and full moon occurrences were still observed by Hindus as holy days of purification and fasting, days when the Gods came to dwell in the house. They became known as Upavastha(from the Sanskrit upa, near and vas, dwell).

    Legend has it that Shakyamuni Buddha's followers also gathered on those days, perhaps because they didn't want to be left out. They would sit down and meditate together. Later, lay disciples – in whose homes the monks and nuns would sometimes gather – wanted some teaching, so the monks began to recite the 227 rules of the Patimokkha discipline, the rules governing everyday conduct for monks and nuns (257 for nuns). This recitation developed into a confession and repentance ceremony, during which the monks and nuns would speak up if they had violated any of the rules and vow to do better in the future.

    This ceremony is still performed today, at the same time and in the ancient way, by Theravadin monks and is called Uposatha in the Pali language, a variation of the old Upavastha, the, "near-dwelling" of the Gods on the ancient Hindu holy days. In Mahayana Buddhism, the spirit of the ceremony is preserved, but the 227 rules are not recited, because Mahayana sects have abandoned them. Instead of the confession being made to other monks, it is made directly to Buddha.

    The ceremony was transmitted, with lots of changes and developments, from India through China to Japan and now has been transmitted to America as Ryaku Fusatsu [略布薩], as it is known in Soto Zen Buddhism.

    "Ryaku" means, "abbreviated," or "simple." This distinguishes the ceremony from a "full fusatsu," a complicated, elaborate event still performed in Japan once or twice a year in some large temples. It takes two to three hours to complete. The simple ceremony we do here takes about forty-five minutes. "Fusatsu" means, "to continue good practice," or, "to stop unwholesome action (karma)." The name conveys the spirit of repentance and confession present in the Theravadin Uposatha Ceremony. Ryaku Fusatsu today, as performed in Soto Zen temples, includes the reading/transmission of Buddha's precepts, lots of bowing, and some of the elaborate, beautiful chanting common to Soto Zen Buddhism in Japan but rarely heard in America.

    The ceremony has a series of parts. It begins with an incense offering to all Buddhas throughout space and time. We then chant the Formless Repentance: "All my past and harmful karma, Born from beginningless greed hate and delusion, through body, speech, and mind, I now fully avow.” After our repentance, we invoke the presence of all Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Ancestors and call up their wisdom and compassion by chanting the names of a series of representatives, Shakyamuni Buddha, Maitreya Buddha, Manjusri Bodhisattva, Zen Master Dogen, and others. Then, we chant the Four Bodhisattva Vows: "Beings are numberless; I vow to free them, Delusions are inexhaustible; I vow to end them, Dharma gates are boundless; I vow to enter them, Buddha's way is unsurpassable; I vow to realize it."

    After the Four Vows, the Ino (chanting leader) receives Wisdom Water from the Doshi (service leader) and purifies the room by sprinkling it around the perimeter. Then, the Doshi, acting as Preceptor, reads Zen Master Dogen's "Essay On Receiving and Conferring the Precepts." In the middle of this reading at Heartland Temple, we have instituted the practice of taking the Precepts together. The Doshi reads each precept and asks the sangha if they will “receive and maintain this precept.” The sangha replies, “Yes, I will” after each one. These are the Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts we use during the ceremony:

    THREE REFUGES

    I take refuge in Buddha

    I take refuge in Dharma

    I take refuge in Sangha

    THREE PURE PRECEPTS

    A follower of the Way does no harm.

    A follower of the Way does good.

    A follower of the Way lives to benefit all beings


    TEN PROHIBITORY PRECEPTS
    I am reverential and mindful with all life; I am not violent; I do not willfully kill.

    I respect the property of others; I do not steal.

    I am conscious and loving in my relationships; I do not misuse sexuality.

    I honor honesty and truth; I do not deceive.

    I exercise proper care of my body/mind; I am not gluttonous; I do not abuse drugs

    or encourage others to do so.

    I recognize that words can hurt others; I do not slander.

    I am humble; I do not praise myself or judge others.

    I cultivate letting go; I do not attach to anything, even the teaching.

    I cultivate inner peace; I do not harbor ill-will.

    I esteem the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha; I do not defame them.

    We then take refuge in the Three Treasures by reciting the following:

    I take refuge in Buddha.

    May all beings

    embody the great Way,

    resolving to awaken.

    I take refuge in Dharma.

    May all beings

    deeply enter the sutras,

    wisdom like and ocean.

    I take refuge in Sangha.

    May all beings

    support harmony in the community,

    free from hindrance.

    Ryaku Fusatsu ends with the Doshi reciting an Eko (merit transfer), which reads, “On this full moon night, we offer the merit of the Bodhisattva's way throughout every world system to the unconditioned nature of all being.” The Sangha then chants the closing verse, "All Buddhas, throughout space and time; all honored one, bodhisattvas, mahasattvas [great beings]; wisdom beyond wisdom, maha prajna paramita [great perfect wisdom].

    Ryaku Fusatsu offers us an opportunity to acknowledge all past action (karma), to receive the precepts, and to rededicate ourselves to the practice of the Bodhisattva's Way. We perform this ceremony at Nebraska Zen Center / Heartland Temple every month, as close to the evening of the full moon as possible to conform to the ancient tradition.
    Last edited by Jundo; 09-11-2018 at 11:23 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  22. #22
    Eishuu
    Guest
    Thanks Jundo. I like the wording of that ceremony.

    Gassho
    Eishuu
    ST/LAH

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Eishuu View Post
    Thanks Jundo. I like the wording of that ceremony.

    Gassho
    Eishuu
    ST/LAH
    So do I. By coincidence I was reading about Fusatsu a couple of days ago but can't remember where (this is getting old!). I'm thinking it would be nice to adopt this as a full moon practice, thanks for the info Jundo.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    Satwithyoualltoday lah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  24. #24
    I also wonder if our modern aversion to rebirth (or even reincarnation) is based on materialism, an embracing of science at the expensive of direct experience, and the feeling that now we "know better." As stated before, I don't think Buddha was infallible, but the assumption these days seems to be that we now know what he didn't know. I find that line of logic a little strange, given that much of the beginner's motivation to practice is based on the feeling that he knew something that we don't know.

    I asked one of my boys what he thinks happens after we die. Be believes in reincarnation. He's eleven years old. He's hoping that next time around, he's the dad and I'm his son. I'm not sure how to feel about that....

    Shinshou (Dan)
    Sat Today

  25. #25
    Ryaku Fusatsu offers us an opportunity to acknowledge all past action (karma), to receive the precepts, and to rededicate ourselves to the practice of the Bodhisattva's Way.
    Thank you, Jundo. I liked getting to know the details of this Ceremony.

    Gassho
    Washin
    sat/lah
    Wa (和) Harmony
    Shin (心) Heart-Mind

  26. #26
    Member Seishin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France
    Been meaning to comment for a few days but collecting my thoughts.

    From a rebirth reincarnation stance I am very sceptical and keep an open mind. Personally I believe an offer or availability of an afterlife or rebirth be that within Buddhism or the heaven/hell of other religions, stems more from a mechanism to get the populace to live a good life and the threat of hell and damnation or paradise was a simple visual and verbal warning to the folk that lived 2000+ years ago. At the end of the day I just don't know and won't until this journey ends.

    However, I certainly subscribed to the notion that Jundo frequently cites, in the we transcend the Six Realms constantly over our life time and frequently even in a 24 hour period. The impact of causation could not be more apparent and I guess our practice brings us back to the human realm. I'm sure folks will have their own examples but for me, I dropped into Hungry Ghost land yesterday evening, when stumbling on a couple of guitars, one a gorgeous Burgundy Gibson Les Paul the other a classic Telecaster. Not expensive but very desirous. After a few minutes looking at the specs and thinking Mmmmmmm maybe, I looked to my left to see my six (yes 6 !!!!) go to guitars and swiftly arrived back in the human realm. That's not to say these won't be future purchases, as they will be loved and cherished and when they do I'll be in the Heavenly Realm for a few short moments. But for the Hungry Ghosts have been put back in the box .................................... no doubt they'll make an appearance later today.

    One question. I still have difficulty understanding/accepting is the Karmic energy or "life essence" that brings all our atomic and sub atomic particles together for if we are luck three score year and ten or more these days. The force that has always been there and always will be. It is kinda at odds with my being brought up with the purely biological "creation" of life. But here's the question ..........................

    Do Buddhist see Ghosts and if they do what do they make of them and how do they explain them ?

    Not long after moving into our French 1860 country house and this is something I've not shared with my wife, I was convinced there was a presence in our bedroom that appeared every few nights or so. It was always the same figure, always by the door but never threatening. I was also convinced I was wide awake but it could have been a persistent dream but did not seem so. Or it could have been too much wine but she appeared on days when I had not been drinking. All stopped after 3 or 4 weeks but this happened on around 10-12 nights. Now I am the biggest sceptic on this kinda of thing and if someone else had told me this I'd think it was BS but now .................. I DONT KNOW ...................


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart



    Sat Today / lah

  27. #27
    Hi Jundo,

    I agree with Shingen here. I truly believe rebirth happens here and now and we don't have to wait to get another life in order to have another shot at doing things right. As you have said in the past: at this very moment I am not the same person that logged into Treeleaf a few years ago, and I am not the same "I" I was 10 minutes ago.

    This is a super important breakthrough because it gives us responsibility of our actions and our own consequences.

    Heaven, hell, nirvana... they are all happening right here in real time. It's up to us and how we lead our practice that we have a choice where to spend our days.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Sat/LAH
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

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