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Thread: Is Belief in Rebirth a Necessity for Buddhist Practice?

  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by chownah View Post

    All views are to be abandoned.

    Yes indeed, and that includes your views as well, chownah.



  2. #42
    Soto Zen teacher Brad Warner talks for between 3 and 4 minutes on "Life and Death and Reincarnation":



  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aloka View Post
    Yes indeed, and that includes your views as well, chownah.


    No it doesn't.
    chownah

  4. #44
    Returning to the topic again, Woodscooter asked "Is Belief in Rebirth a Necessity for Buddhist Practice?"

    and this is an article (which I've posted before in the past) by Gil Fronsdal, a teacher at the USA Insight Meditation Centre who has studied and practiced both Zen and Theravada:

    "Should I Believe in Rebirth?"

    http://www.insightmeditationcenter.o...ve-in-rebirth/

    in which he says:


    When asked if I believe in rebirth, I prefer to say that I can find no reason to believe in rebirth, and that my Buddhist practice is not dependent on the belief. Because it seems unlikely we will ever have definite proof that it doesn’t happen, I think of myself as an agnostic on the issue of rebirth. At times I have been a sympathetic agnostic, but for the most part I have been highly skeptical.
    and:


    The motivation argument for rebirth does not inspire me to even provisionally believe in rebirth. While I may not always have been smart in how I have practiced Buddhism, I have not been troubled by a lack of motivation. In fact, the idea that this lifetime is my only chance to reach some degree of liberation motivates me more than if I knew I had many lifetimes to do the work. If I expected to be reborn, I imagine that I might rest content with the practice I have already done and hope to go further in some future life. I would feel less urgency in my practice.


  5. #45
    Forums Member daverupa's Avatar
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    Thanks for that, in fact; I can forget that there are practitioners & contemplatives who are thinking clearly about such things, or who are at least trying. It's heartening, in a way.

  6. #46
    This is an excerpt from "Rebirth Doesn't Matter" by Karma Yeshe Rabgye a western Tibetan Buddhist monk and teacher:


    Today, after 35 years of study and practice I still cannot buy into the concept of rebirth. However, it does not bother me any more. I now understand that it does not matter if I believe it or not. What matters is that I am a good, kind and caring person in this life.

    I honestly do not know if I have been born before or will be born again. What I do know is that I am alive now and so this life is what is important. Gautama Buddha stated this in the Apannaka Sutra:

    ‘Even if one believes there is no other world, no future reward for helpful actions or punishment for harmful ones, still in this very life one can live happily, by keeping oneself free from anger, ill will and anxiety’.

    I wish someone had shown me this quote 30 years ago. It would have saved me a whole lot of trouble. To me this quote is a win–win situation. By following Gautama Buddha’s teachings we reduce our suffering now in this very life, and if there is a next life, we would have set ourselves up for a good rebirth. So whether you believe in rebirth or not, you will end up winning. That has to be a more realistic way of looking at rebirth.

    It has taken me such a long time to get to this point, but finally, I understand that believing or not believing in rebirth really doesn’t matter. Now I can concentrate on what really does matter, and that is reducing my suffering and the suffering of people around me.

    http://buddhismguide.org/rebirth-doesnt-matter/


  7. #47
    Forums Member Polar Bear's Avatar
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    I'd like to share an awesome sutta. It is still situated within a rebirth context in the sense that it includes the notion of birth being destroyed upon arahantship, but it does at least suggest that faith is not required, but only wisdom.

    “Is there a method of exposition, bhikkhus, by means of which a bhikkhu—apart from faith, apart from personal preference, apart from oral tradition, apart from reasoned reflection, apart from acceptance of a view after pondering it — can declare final knowledge thus: ‘Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being’?”

    “Venerable sir, our teachings are rooted in the Blessed One, guided by the Blessed One, take recourse in the Blessed One. It would be good if the Blessed One would clear up the meaning of this statement. Having heard it from him, the bhikkhus will remember it.”

    “Then listen and attend closely, bhikkhus, I will speak.”

    “Yes, venerable sir,” the bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

    “There is a method of exposition by means of which a bhikkhu—apart from faith … apart from acceptance of a view after pondering it—can declare final knowledge thus: ‘Destroyed is birth … there is no more for this state of being.’ And what is that method of exposition? Here, bhikkhus, having seen a form with the eye, if there is lust, hatred, or delusion internally, a bhikkhu understands: ‘There is lust, hatred, or delusion internally’; or, if there is no lust, hatred, or delusion internally, he understands: ‘There is no lust, hatred, or delusion internally.’ Since this is so, are these things to be understood by faith, or by personal preference, or by oral tradition, or by reasoned reflection, or by acceptance of a view after pondering it?”

    “No, venerable sir.”

    “Aren’t these things to be understood by seeing them with wisdom?”

    “Yes, venerable sir.”

    “This, bhikkhus, is the method of exposition by means of which a bhikkhu can declare final knowledge thus: ‘Destroyed is birth … there is no more for this state of being.’

    “Further, bhikkhus, having heard a sound with the ear … … Having cognized a mental phenomenon with the mind, if there is lust, hatred, or delusion internally, a bhikkhu understands: ‘There is lust, hatred, or delusion internally’; or, if there is no lust, hatred, or delusion internally, he understands: ‘There is no lust, hatred, or delusion internally.’ Since this is so, are these things to be understood by faith, or by personal preference, or by oral tradition, or by reasoned reflection, or by acceptance of a view after pondering it?”

    “No, venerable sir.”

    “Aren’t these things to be understood by seeing them with wisdom?”

    “Yes, venerable sir.”

    “This, bhikkhus, is the method of exposition by means of which a bhikkhu—apart from faith, apart from personal preference, apart from oral tradition, apart from reasoned reflection, apart from acceptance of a view after pondering it—can declare final knowledge thus: ‘Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.’”

    https://suttacentral.net/en/sn35.153

  8. #48
    Technical Administrator woodscooter's Avatar
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    Thank you Polar Bear, for referring to that sutta.

  9. #49
    I came across this article about rebirth by former Theravada Buddhist monk Christopher Titmus:


    http://www.insightmeditation.org/the...sts-who-claim-


    any thoughts?

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