Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Reincarnation, Rebirth and Continuation +α

Watch the following Thay's Dharma Talk deeply.

The followings are the excerpts that I feel precious.

(from 1:00:23)
So, the insight of impermanence, the insight of no self can help everyone, including the judges, politicians and so on. Nothing can remain the same forever, even for two consecutive moments. 

In the beginning, we had another verse for listening to the bell. 
  "I listen, I listen, this wonderful sound brings me back to my 
  true self." 
  (I, me, my = ego or separate self, true self = non-separate self) 
But many people did not understand the word, 'self'. The Buddhism does not teach, does not acknowledge the existence of 'self'. Why do you say, "I listen, I listen, this wonderful sound brings me back to my true self."? I think if we should not be dogmatic, we can speak about the self. If we understand that self is made only of non-self elements. Self the self if there is a self. And then the self is made only of non-self elements. So, it's equal to non-self. So, we should not be caught in words. To say there is no self, that is correct. But to say there is a self, that is correct also if you understand that self is made of non-self elements. You see? So, you don't have to fight. Buddhism is very tolerant. If you are not tolerant, you are not open, you are not a Buddhist. You don't claim that you alone retain the truth. 

(from 1:09:08) 
So, things are always changing and taking new forms. That is reincarnation. That is rebirth. And you don't need to wait until disintegration of this body in order to be reborn, to be continued.  ... 

So, if you are a student of Tibetan Buddhism, you don't need to wait until your teacher dies in order to go and look for his rebirth. He is around already. He is maybe in you. And you can identify him while your teacher is alive. You can identify his continuation while he is still alive with his present body.  ... 

So, we have to learn to see ourselves differently. We should not identify ourselves as this body only, this feelings, emotions, perceptions and mental formations only. Everyday you produce a lot of thoughts, speeches and actions. And these (karma) will continue you. ... 

You continue always with your karma like the clouds continue always with the river, with the ocean, with the snow, with the tea and with your ice cream. ... 

Birth and death happen in every moment. This very moment, many thousands of thousands of cells are dying in their bodies. That is happening now. Don't think that death will be later on. It will be when you reach the age of 80 or 90. No. Death is taking place right in this moment. You are dying now, in the here and the now. 

Why are you so afraid of dying? Because you are dying in every moment now. Many cells are dying so that many other cells are born. And this moment you are born. You have a happy birthday all the time. A happy moment every time. 

We are so busy. We don't have a time to organize funerals of our cells. We don't have a time to celebrate birthdays of our new cells. The birth and death are always together. Without one or the other can not be. Birth goes with death all the time. ... 

So, you are reborn in every moment of your daily life. And meditation allows you to see your rebirth. Every time you produce your thought, you are reborn for the better or the worse. And we are responsible for our actions because every thought, every speech and every action carries our signature. You are a river and you have a name.

(from 1:24:52)
If you are a skilled practitioner, and with only one in-breath you can transform a painful feeling into joy. A mindful in-breath can shed a lot of light on that, on the suffering. 

(My commentary)
As Thay said, we need to be careful about Tibetan Buddhism because the rebirth must come after the death in their understanding. They believe that the subtle consciousness leaves the body after the death. 

We need to understand that there are two versions of self. One is ego = separate self, and the other is true self = non-separate self, or awareness. Enlightenment or awakening means self-transformation from ego to awareness.

Thay explained about Right Thinking. I understand what it means. But the word, 'Thinking' is very confusing. That's because all thoughts cause separations which brings about afflictions and sufferings. So, every thinking is Wrong Thinking and non-thinking is Right Thinking. In this sense, in order to avoid misunderstanding, 'attaining insight' is much better than 'Right Thinking'.


Thích Nhất Hạnh