View Full Version : That Which Cannot be Disbelieved

16 Dec 19, 21:37
A video from Soto Zen teacher Brad Warner ( approx 7 minutes)


Any comments about what he said in the video?

17 Dec 19, 02:15
That which can not be disbelieved is meditation for me. I agree completely with Brad; Rebirth and kamma are not essential aspects of what Buddha taught but the experience of meditation is a core aspect of buddhist practice.

17 Dec 19, 02:57
Belief is not a requirement. Practice, including personal validation and verification is. Otherwise, what is the point?

17 Dec 19, 12:41
A good talk that gets to the heart of the difference between Buddhism and the main 'religions' that rely on something magical for their authority. Take away that and what do you have? In Buddhism you have a practice that works, and has scientific evidence to track changes that take take place when you meditate. Brad, of course, was talking about the experiential effect of sitting in zazen, hard to describe but harder to ignore when you have undergone such activities over a period of time. If there is nothing else to believe, then believe your own senses in a context where nothing happens apart from you just sitting there.

One point I would like to pick up on is where he mentions reincarnation and says that he is puzzled as to why the idea gained importance in Buddhism. My own view from my own experiences of insight on the mat is that the feeling of 'oneness' which seems pretty universal in terms of what people do remember afterwards. When you are part of everything, and the feeling seems so 'right' then the brain trying to come to terms with it afterwards can easily accept that reincarnation could indeed be a possible explanation which describes nicely that feeling you get. It's only one possible logical explanation though, so isn't proof of anything. I don't hold to it, but I can see why others do. Personally it doesn't matter to me whether it exists or not.

18 Dec 19, 16:43
That was a nice talk. I've not much to add, other than I'm sure someone like Ajahn Sumedho would put it as 'the way it is'. I feel Brad is just pointing us to seeing reality just as it is, without any belief or disbelief.

19 Dec 19, 00:39
philg: "One point I would like to pick up on is where he mentions reincarnation and says that he is puzzled as to why the idea gained importance in Buddhism."

At first I had great difficulty with the concept, but then I came to understand the difference between reincarnation and rebirth, the latter of which was Buddha's teaching. We shouldn't get the two confused.

Science (cosmological) points out that on a galactic time scale we are all recycled, so rebirth is a scientific fact. Only a few of us have been given the skill to remember past lives. Buddhas, according to the children stories, apparently have that ability. All I know is that I cannot. I personally have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast until the following morning, but only if I am lucky, or at least regular.

19 Dec 19, 06:54
rebirth is a scientific fact

I think some of our modern scientists and cosmologists might dispute the fact that the literal rebirth of human beings into another human or animal body is a scientific fact!

Anyway, thats getting off the main points in this video now, so I'll start a different topic soon, based on an article I found earlier, and rebirth can be discussed again in a few hours time.

(Unless any of our members would like to (gasp!) start a topic, of course.)


19 Dec 19, 10:40
That would be reincarnation, not rebirth. I would agree. It is well established that out solar system was reborn of the constituents from a super nova. The process of which takes billions of years and the result of even more billions of years of evolution from the remnants of countless generations of life forms.

20 Dec 19, 12:26
I think I see what you are getting at Olderon. We are all connected and part of the recycling nature of the universe. They do say that atoms are so recycled here on earth that we have some bits of everyone who has ever lived in us right now, which makes for an interesting meditation subject. Not that I agree with either of the terms rebirth or reincarnation in this context, although I can see that bits of me will be part of someone else after I am dead, just as the bits I get rid of and shed while I am alive will be part of someone else now.

20 Dec 19, 13:45
Hi, philg.

Yes. The problem (scientifically) is that even humans are not capable of awareness of galactic events , including reprocessing of all living elements and nonliving elements until just recently on galactic time scales. We are just too short lived, until we developed human records which could be passed on from generation to generation.