< Key phrases >(Cf.)
Usually we think about reincarnation means you die and you reborn. But actually reincarnation is every moment of your life. Your body dies, your body born. You know. Hundred thousand cells die, hundred thousand cells born again. So, we are reincarnated in every moment of our life. That's for the body. Our mind also, our mind activity dies, then our mind activity born again.
By the law of karma, when you listen to the sound of the bell and you are really practicing in and out, so the sound of the bell is the cause, and breathing in and out is the practice, and bringing peace and happiness is the effect. So, the law of cause and effect is happening every moment of our life. It's the action that we relate to what is happening in the environment.
So, everything in life just goes according to the law of cause and effect. And reincarnation doesn't mean you die and you reborn. But reincarnation is every moment of your life. The moment of death is just one of the moments of death. So, if we understand like this, we understand very clear about the nature of impermanence, no self, cause and effect. What comes out to the consequences depends on how you lived your life.
In Plum Village, Thay doesn't say this word (reincarnation) but actually in the essence there is a lot. Reincarnation, law of karma is always there. But he doesn't say the actual word.
I understand that Thầy Pháp Đăng explained about reincarnation according to the interdependent co-arising, or the ultimate truth in the historical dimension (phenomenal world), using the notion of birth and death. I wonder why he didn't answer according to the ultimate truth in the ultimate dimension (noumenal world) in addition. Birth and death are just notions. The truth is that there is no birth and no death. Nothing can be born and die according to the law of conservation of energy and mass. So, there is only continuation in different forms. Reincarnation is also just a notion, not the reality if it means that the soul leaves the body upon death and enters into a new body. As Thay said, only karma may be true reincarnation.
And I understand that the reason why Thay doesn't use the word of reincarnation and karma is to avoid the deluded Buddhism like Tibetan Buddhism. It explains that the soul leaves the body upon death. But the truth is that the body and mind are always together.
Thích Nhất Hạnh and Thầy Pháp Đăng