Rebirth

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  • Mr Walker
    Member
    • Oct 2007
    • 29

    Rebirth

    Hi. Nishijima-san writes on his blog that there is no rebirth. I've tried in vain to find out whether this is something he's find in Dogen or if it's a personal belief - could someone enlighten me please...??

    Gassho
    Walker, even more confused than usual
    In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
    - John Muir
  • Fuken
    Member
    • Sep 2006
    • 435

    #2
    This may help a little:


    I like this one too:


    You could also look here:




    My own thoughts are that we are going through the process of rebirth moment to moment. But once the body is gone all that is left is your Karma.

    Hope that was helpful.

    Gassho,
    Jordan

    Ooh Harry Zap mee too please!
    Yours in practice,
    Jordan ("Fu Ken" translates to "Wind Sword", Dharma name givin to me by Jundo, I am so glad he did not name me Wind bag.)

    Comment

    • BruceS
      Member
      • Aug 2007
      • 59

      #3
      Originally posted by Jordan
      This may help a little:


      I like this one too:


      You could also look here:




      My own thoughts are that we are going through the process of rebirth moment to moment. But once the body is gone all that is left is your Karma.

      Hope that was helpful.

      Gassho,
      Jordan

      Ooh Harry Zap mee too please!
      Really good articles from hsu yun Jordon. Thanks for that.
      Cheers,
      Bruce
      The best thing I ever do is sit and do nothing.

      Comment

      • Fuken
        Member
        • Sep 2006
        • 435

        #4
        Bruce,
        You are welcome!

        Cheers,
        Jordan
        Yours in practice,
        Jordan ("Fu Ken" translates to "Wind Sword", Dharma name givin to me by Jundo, I am so glad he did not name me Wind bag.)

        Comment

        • will
          Member
          • Jun 2007
          • 2331

          #5
          Haha :lol:
          [size=85:z6oilzbt]
          To save all sentient beings, though beings are numberless.
          To penetrate reality, though reality is boundless.
          To transform all delusion, though delusions are immeasurable.
          To attain the enlightened way, a way non-attainable.
          [/size:z6oilzbt]

          Comment

          • Mr Walker
            Member
            • Oct 2007
            • 29

            #6
            Thanks guys for your enlightening insights...

            From just surfing the net, I get the impression that most Zen schools accept the concept of rebirth as fundamental, but that no schools really talk much about it - it's one of the basics of buddhism and therfore an important fundament also in Zen. However, Zen focuses more on the daily practice and less on theory and that's why it's not that much talked about. JMHO.

            And, "what died"? The process that was conveniently labelled "you" died, or rather transformed, into another process. Maybe...

            Gassho
            W
            In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
            - John Muir

            Comment

            • Fuken
              Member
              • Sep 2006
              • 435

              #7
              Harry,

              I would say that the whole universe dies and is reborn moment to moment. At least that is what my gut says at this particular moment in space and time .

              Keep in mind that I am prone to idealism though. ops:

              Gassho,
              Jordan
              Yours in practice,
              Jordan ("Fu Ken" translates to "Wind Sword", Dharma name givin to me by Jundo, I am so glad he did not name me Wind bag.)

              Comment

              • Jundo
                Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                • Apr 2006
                • 39455

                #8
                Dear All,

                The answer to the mystery of 'reincarnation' was made clear to me during my previous life as Charlegmagne ... (just kidding)

                Jordon, thank you for providing those two very special essays by the Chan teachers, Ven. Chuan Zhi Shakya and Ven. Fa Jian Shakya. I have never read such well written, complete statements of the modern Zen Buddhist point(s) of view on this subject (there are several points of view, from various angles). I have little to add to those essays, but I would underline a couple of points ...

                Yes, in our Zen practice, we do not know for sure what happens after we "die", thus we should merely take care of the life we lead in this world. What, if anything, happens thereafter is what will happen.

                Of course, as I discussed last week in my talk on turtles/tortoises, our appearance in this life seems such an unlikely happening, that I have a few suspicions that there is something special to it. But, it is just a suspicion, with little evidence. Nor is it important really. So, I just live my life.

                However, I would like to emphasize that the question of "life" and "death" becomes something quite different when we drop the words and concepts "life" and "death" from mind. Likewise when we drop from mind "before" "after" "self" and "not self". It is very hard for me to express this in words, and much easier to show ... so I tried to do so in these two talks and video essays. Might I ask folks to take another look?

                http://treeleafzen.blogspot.com/2007/08 ... tives.html

                and

                http://treeleafzen.blogspot.com/2007/08 ... death.html

                You know, from a very real perspective ... all of us now are "incarnations" of each other!

                Gassho, Jundo
                ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                Comment

                • Mr Walker
                  Member
                  • Oct 2007
                  • 29

                  #9
                  Thanks. But I cannot understand all these references to reincarnation. That requires a soul and we don't have that in Buddhism...

                  Anyway, I've seen on another site (e-sangha, and I do understand it's not universally loved...) a huge discussion of rebirth and have come to the conclusion that the jury is still out. Or, rather, that some people accept it as necessary for Buddhism, others say it's dangerous and just mumbo jumbo, others say it doesn't matter really.

                  Whatever.

                  I was just asking if Dogen wrote something about it...

                  W
                  In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
                  - John Muir

                  Comment

                  • Jundo
                    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                    • Apr 2006
                    • 39455

                    #10
                    Hi Mr. Walker,

                    Yes, opinions vary. I tend to think of the idea of reincarnation as a little baggage that Buddhism picked up from Indian Hinduism that has little relation to its central doctrines. Other schools of Buddhism might disagree.

                    In answer to your question, this is from a book of my teacher Nishijima's that I translated a few years ago, and is relates to Dogen.

                    Gassho, Jundo


                    Gudo: Ah. [The topic is] whether some ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’ exists. When I was a child, I used to think of Buddhism as a religion that believes in the existence of a ‘soul,’ in ‘reincarnation’ and the like, and thus we do such things as perform funeral and memorial services, or offer the reading of sutras for the dead. However, I was later very surprised to find that Master Dogen, in his ‘Bendowa,’ denied the concept of the imperishability of a ‘soul,’ stating: ‘It is but an heretical view that the spirit, when the body deteriorates, is released here and is born anew elsewhere, that though it seems to die here, it is born there, that it never dies and continues eternally. This is an heretical view.’ By this, Dogen stated clearly that the idea of a spirit freed from the body after death and born into some other world … that it is but the spirit that continues on in life after the body … is a teaching of Brahmanism which was prevalent prior to the advent of Buddhism, but is not a teaching of Buddhism. Our way does not focus on what may or may not occur after death ….. a question the answer to which we cannot know for sure. Thus, our focus is on just living the life before us, being a complete human being here and now.

                    Sekishin: This is the first time that I’ve heard explained that Buddhism does not believe in the immortality of a soul or like ideas. I am really surprised, and now I am a bit confused as to how best to think about Buddhism ….

                    Gudo: I think that your surprise is reasonable. Even I recall that I received quite a shock the first time I read that passage from the Bendowa. But reading those words really stimulated my young mind, and caused me to want to set off on a study of Buddhism, and a study of the Shobogenzo…. So, you never know what is going to change you life.

                    From " A Heart to Heart Chat with Old Master Gudo "

                    http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Chat-Buddhi ... 909&sr=8-1


                    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                    Comment

                    • Mr Walker
                      Member
                      • Oct 2007
                      • 29

                      #11
                      Jundo,
                      I think Gudo-san may have misunderstood... "Soul" is not a buddhist concept at all, hence Dogen's answer.

                      Whatever.

                      Gassho
                      W
                      In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
                      - John Muir

                      Comment

                      • BruceS
                        Member
                        • Aug 2007
                        • 59

                        #12
                        When I got into Buddhism, I thought the idea of rebirth made sense. The idea of a physical heaven or hell for eternity in the Christian sense never made sense to me. However, the more I study, the more confused I get.

                        Rebirth is certainly a different idea than reincarnation, which has connotations of an eternal "soul" that just takes another form. Buddhist literature seems to debunk that notion, yet at the same time some of it seems contradictory. However, the seeming contradictions may just be my misunderstanding.

                        What is it that is "reborn" though? What continues? Is it a mind stream? Is it just karma? Are mind and karma the same? I read something by Jiyu-Kennett that would suggest the reborn being has not only traces of its own karma, but also traces of karma from other beings, a kind of communal karma I guess. If the rebirth notion is true, maybe it's that communal karma she spoke of that makes each of us perceive phenomenal appearances similarly. Again, I haven't a clue.

                        If all phenomena (like us) arise from emptiness and return to emptiness like a wave arises from ocean and returns to ocean as non-wave (which was never separate from ocean in the first place), then what connection other than ocean does the second wave have to the first? This is where the notion of rebirth and karma get really confusing to me.

                        Anyway, I used to take the idea of rebirth as a given, but now I don't know. I guess it's good that I don't know, but I don't know about that either.

                        Gassho,
                        Bruce
                        The best thing I ever do is sit and do nothing.

                        Comment

                        • Ryumon
                          Member
                          • Apr 2007
                          • 1706

                          #13
                          Personally, I don't think it matters - what matters is NOW.

                          Rebirth was an idea that did not originate in Buddhism, along with many other concepts that got grafted onto Buddhism, mostly because they were in the air at the time.

                          Kirk
                          ---
                          Ryūmon (Kirk)
                          流文

                          SAT/LAH

                          I know nothing.

                          Comment

                          • BruceS
                            Member
                            • Aug 2007
                            • 59

                            #14
                            Originally posted by kirkmc
                            Personally, I don't think it matters - what matters is NOW.

                            Rebirth was an idea that did not originate in Buddhism, along with many other concepts that got grafted onto Buddhism, mostly because they were in the air at the time.

                            Kirk
                            Yep, and the more I've thought about it, the more I'm inclined to agree. What matters is this very moment. Just do no harm.
                            Gassho,
                            Bruce
                            The best thing I ever do is sit and do nothing.

                            Comment

                            • Jundo
                              Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                              • Apr 2006
                              • 39455

                              #15
                              Hi Bruce,

                              Originally posted by BruceS

                              I read something by Jiyu-Kennett that would suggest the reborn being has not only traces of its own karma, but also traces of karma from other beings, a kind of communal karma I guess. If the rebirth notion is true, maybe it's that communal karma she spoke of that makes each of us perceive phenomenal appearances similarly. Again, I haven't a clue.
                              Rev. Kennett was a fascinating woman, and a wonderful teacher. And I love many of the Practices that they have developed in her lineage. But, she also was very much the mystic, and had a bit of Joan-of-Arc about her (or Theresa of Avila might be a better reference), with many visions and voices that she heard inside. So, sometimes here interpretation of doctrine went in that direction.

                              Gassho, Jundo
                              ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                              Comment

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