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How do you stop rebirth?

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How do you stop rebirth? Matthew Wight 9/18/10 1:44 AM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Trent . 9/18/10 2:11 AM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Matthew Wight 9/18/10 11:16 AM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Trent . 9/18/10 11:35 AM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Matthew Wight 9/18/10 12:06 PM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? tarin greco 9/19/10 1:42 PM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Matthew Wight 9/18/10 12:44 PM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Chuck Kasmire 9/18/10 1:13 PM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? tarin greco 9/18/10 1:29 PM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Chuck Kasmire 9/18/10 2:52 PM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Trent . 9/18/10 1:53 PM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Matthew Wight 9/20/10 2:46 AM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Trent . 9/20/10 3:46 PM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Matthew Wight 9/20/10 11:37 PM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Trent . 9/21/10 12:52 AM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Matthew Wight 9/21/10 1:01 AM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Matthew Wight 9/21/10 1:30 AM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Trent . 9/21/10 9:59 AM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Matthew Wight 9/21/10 12:02 PM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Neil Hughes 9/21/10 12:40 PM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Matthew Wight 9/21/10 1:25 PM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Trent . 9/21/10 2:48 PM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Daniel Johnson 9/23/10 1:35 PM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Matthew Wight 9/24/10 12:54 AM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Daniel Johnson 9/30/10 6:09 PM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Matthew Wight 10/1/10 11:12 PM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Jeff Grove 9/21/10 3:56 AM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Matthew Wight 9/24/10 9:05 AM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Chuck Kasmire 9/25/10 8:37 PM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Michael Zaurov 9/26/10 2:33 AM
RE: How do you stop rebirth? Matthew Wight 9/30/10 2:39 AM
How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/18/10 1:44 AM
I was told by master Wang Liping of the taoist dragon gate school (longmen pai) that I would have to cut the root of the spirit to end rebirth. I never really got an in depth answer to what that meant exactly. In the Mo Pai taoist tradition you must attain level 30 of 72 to end rebirth.

I was wondering what advice this community has for me on the topic of ending rebirth.

That is the goal of my practice, I don't really care about attaining enlightenment or whatever if it serves no purpose towards ending rebirth.

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/18/10 2:11 AM as a reply to Matthew Wight.
Hi and welcome to the DhO,

What makes you think you'll be reborn? Where / when will that take place? And those aside, why do you want to end it?

Trent

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/18/10 11:16 AM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent,

If possible I'd rather not discuss my motivations, it always ends up derailing the topic.

I'm not certain I will be reincarnated, but I am fairly certain I was incarnated at least once that I know of.

It seems like there are several plausible scenarios, to what happens after death:

1. Eternal non being (which seems unlikely to me as I came from nonbeing once that I know of)

2. An eternal afterlife in some heaven or hell. (maybe who knows)

3. Eventual Rebirth of the base awareness but not ego/memories.


I am ok with all of those but rebirth, it's my goal to make this life my last.

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/18/10 11:35 AM as a reply to Matthew Wight.
Okay, well...there is not much I can say given that you do not want to respond to those questions, so I will simply be blunt. To answer your original question: stop imagining that there is going to be a rebirth, because that is the only place it's a reality. This is the first time you are the body that you are, and it is the last time as well. Good news eh?

Trent

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/18/10 12:06 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent,

It would be nice to be so certain. Just to be clear though, I am not talking about reincarnation of the ego/memories/mind/self etc. I am discussing more of the base awareness, or essence of being.

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/19/10 1:42 PM as a reply to Matthew Wight.
hi matthew,

as the essence of being in one flesh and blood body won't be reborn in another flesh and blood body, i think that 'you' (as that essence of being) are pretty sure to vanish into oblivion once you die (while the essences of being in other flesh and blood bodies continue, and continue to arise as more bodies are born). my question is, what would you like to do (about it) here and now before you die? is there some sort of goal you have for this life?

tarin

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/18/10 12:44 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
If it works like that, then there is nothing I wish to accomplish with my life.

However I am not certain that it works like that, I would like to focus my efforts on training to end future rebirths if that is even possible.

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/18/10 1:13 PM as a reply to Matthew Wight.
Matthew Wight:
If it works like that, then there is nothing I wish to accomplish with my life.

However I am not certain that it works like that, I would like to focus my efforts on training to end future rebirths if that is even possible.


Hi Matthew,

Trent and Tarin are offering their perspectives based on their experiences with something known as 'Actual Freedom'. I don't know much about it.

Enlightenment (aka awakening, unbinding) is synonymous with ending cycles of rebirth though it is more often stated as ending suffering.

In Buddhism there are traditionally 4 stages or paths defined. 3rd path is considered the end point for rebirth in the physical realm and traditionally this is defined as cutting the 5 lower fetters that lead us to cling to form as self. Experientially it is the collapse of egoic identification and feels that way - often described as a sense of falling, drowning, or collapsing. I suppose you could say if you don't cling to form it is hard to be reborn in a body. 4th path is considered the end in Theravada - as far as rebirth is concerned - and beyond that point things are left undefined. It is a collapse of a subtle or formless sense of self so is also called the no-self experience. Experientially something like going through a door and disappearing or disappearing into a cloud.

Taoists (and Tibetans perhaps) define developments further down the road and so have stages beyond that point. In my experience, Theravada also provides this but in a more informal way.

So 'Cutting the root': my guess it is equivalent to 4th path in Buddhism.

As far as advice, choose something and run with it. Stay focused on the practice and follow directions. Taoism works, so does Buddhism. I think that one reason why the Taoist teacher would not give you an in depth answer is that having such conceptual answers (which is all a description can ever be) don't actually provide a true answer (your experience) and tend to just get in the way by creating a concept of the goal as compared to your own experience. He's trying to help you. But these days there are lots of descriptions out there so we might as well talk about them - that's my take on it.

'Taoist dragon gate school' - such a cool name! I wish Buddhists could come up with some names like that.

-Chuck

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/18/10 1:29 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
i agree with what chuck has written here, and have something to add:

in one sense (and one which is acknowledged within the theravada as valid and canonically supported), you are reborn each moment again, then it makes sense to consider what rebirth is here and now. the teaching of dependent origination, when viewed as an explication of the conditions of rebirth within-this-lifetime (as different from the view of it as an explication of the conditions of rebirth which spann past-present-future lifetimes), addresses this, and so you may be interested at looking into dependent origination.

in any case, it will almost certainly be useful to consider more closely what 'not being reborn' means to you here and now, as whatever you may be able to do it about being reborn, you will only be able to do here and now.. and whatever things you can be motivated to take action by, they can only ever be the things as you experience them here and now.

tarin

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/18/10 1:53 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck Kasmire:
Trent and Tarin are offering their perspectives based on their experiences with something known as 'Actual Freedom'. I don't know much about it.


What I am speaking about is the set conditions which dictate birth, life, and death for a biological organism, by which I have clarity on the topic of due to being free from the human condition. I am speaking about "rebirth" the way anyone with knowledge of it can speak about bandaging a wound, and not of some dogmatic ideal or its antithesis. If the context is a literal & material interpretation of rebirth (which seems to be the case), then my answer stands as a fact.

Chuck Kasmire:
As far as advice, choose something and run with it.


And be careful to keep your wits about you, as there are healthy and unhealthy places to run (with it).

Chuck Kasmire:
Stay focused on the practice and follow directions. Taoism works, so does Buddhism. I think that one reason why the Taoist teacher would not give you an in depth answer is that having such conceptual answers (which is all a description can ever be) don't actually provide a true answer (your experience) and tend to just get in the way by creating a concept of the goal as compared to your own experience.


I am not sure I follow you here...descriptions are not necessarily concepts. I can describe the cup in front of me: dark red, round (3.5 inch diameter), 6 inches tall; and there is nary a concept to be seen. That is to say, describing experience is not necessarily conceptual...in fact, if that aspect of experience is conceptual, it is not likely not actually being experienced at all (that is to say: it is a delusion). I think this is worth speaking correctly about for reasons I will only go in to if requested.

Matthew:
If it works like that, then there is nothing I wish to accomplish with my life.


Care to share why that is the case? Is it possibly because life lacks meaning (for you) if that be the case?

Trent

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/18/10 2:52 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
Hey Tarin,
Good points. I agree. The concept of rebirth incorporates both aspects. Rebirth is here and now and clearly seeing that mechanism breaks the cycle - so yea, it has to be here and now or it doesn't count.

Trent,
"I can describe the cup in front of me: dark red, round (3.5 inch diameter), 6 inches tall; and there is nary a concept to be seen."

Hmm, part of me wants to jump into that one but staying on topic: I understand what you are saying but assuming you are describing your cup to someone else that has never seen it, may not know what 'red','round', or 'inch' means - then whatever image or idea the other person forms based on your description - it will be conceptual. This is the point I was making.

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/20/10 2:46 AM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent,

I think perhaps bringing biology into the mix is where the issue is. I don't really consider whatever it is I am (if anything at all) to be biological so much as an effect of a biological entity. I see whatever it is I am as an electrical phenomenon, generated from the millions of electrochemical signals exchanged across my neural nets each second, like flashes of lightning.

I ponder sometimes if our interactions over the internet, aren't similar to neurons communicating over axons, maybe we give rise to a larger awareness?

I don't really think of myself as even having a body, or being a body, just as the raw experience of whatever this is. In simpler terms I think of myself like the flame on a candle, not as the candle itself. Whatever it is, this experience that is occurring I want to make sure it doesn't restart again under new conditions, if preventing such an event is even possible.

It seems to me that I woke up here in this life, with no prior memories, I want to make sure that some similar event doesn't reoccur after I die. If death is the finality you explain it to be that's totally cool beans with me, however I am not banking on it.



I wonder if any of that made sense to anyone but me.

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/20/10 3:46 PM as a reply to Matthew Wight.
Hello,

Chuck: Okay, I understand what you mean.

Matthew Wight:
I think perhaps bringing biology into the mix is where the issue is. I don't really consider whatever it is I am (if anything at all) to be biological so much as an effect of a biological entity. I see whatever it is I am as an electrical phenomenon, generated from the millions of electrochemical signals exchanged across my neural nets each second, like flashes of lightning.


Okay...have you ever noticed that the body has always been here (wherever you are, whenever you are)? Even in the deepest, most profound states of meditation, one may feel a tinge of back pain, or a foot falling asleep, or see light coming through one's eye-lids... With that in mind, is it conceivable that what you intuit yourself to be is a persistent illusion, rather than a objective, observable fact (such as the body)?

Matthew Wight:
I don't really think of myself as even having a body, or being a body, just as the raw experience of whatever this is. In simpler terms I think of myself like the flame on a candle, not as the candle itself.


And when you reflect on this raw experience of whatever, do you ever find that the flesh and blood "candle" (body) is absent? Or is it always present regardless of what the flame may be thinking or feeling or imagining?

Matthew Wight:
Whatever it is, this experience that is occurring I want to make sure it doesn't restart again under new conditions, if preventing such an event is even possible.


Are you open to experiencing life in a different way, after having ended the current experience? In other words, are you open to experiencing life after "death," right here in this universe? Or are you saying that you wish for conscious experience to cease entirely and permanently?

Matthew Wight:
It seems to me that I woke up here in this life, with no prior memories, I want to make sure that some similar event doesn't reoccur after I die. If death is the finality you explain it to be that's totally cool beans with me, however I am not banking on it.


Why is it that you are not banking on it?


Trent

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/21/10 3:56 AM as a reply to Matthew Wight.
Hi Matthew,

Welcome to DhO. Rebirth is an important concept which has been around for thousands of yrs.

Heres a couple of questions Ive asked myself:

Is there a seperation of mind and body or is the mind a result of a physical process?

Why do people believe the metaphysical exist beyond our own creation, is there any evidence of it in the universe?

Is there any evidence of a Heaven or Hell outside of Self Experience?

Why is myth and magic so readily accepted in some circumstances but in others questioned as based on incomplete understanding?

(the self in action?)



take care
Jeff

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/20/10 11:37 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent H.:

Okay...have you ever noticed that the body has always been here (wherever you are, whenever you are)? Even in the deepest, most profound states of meditation, one may feel a tinge of back pain, or a foot falling asleep, or see light coming through one's eye-lids... With that in mind, is it conceivable that what you intuit yourself to be is a persistent illusion, rather than a objective, observable fact (such as the body)?


Consciousness, and awareness itself are what I am. I am an experience, raw awareness itself, not a physical body.
Consciousness seems to be an effect that manifests whenever the correct conditions are present, not a thing that is tangible. It doesn't matter if this effect manifests from a biological body or not. Maybe in the future with human brain simulations like IBM's blue brain project consciousness and awareness will manifest inside a digital computer.


Over the course of a lifetime every atom in a person will be replaced, so our physical bodies themselves which give rise to our consciousness and awareness have more in common with a moving body of water like a waterfall or running stream than they do in a solid rock.

This isn't newagey talk, just my observations on the matter.

Trent H.:

And when you reflect on this raw experience of whatever, do you ever find that the flesh and blood "candle" (body) is absent? Or is it always present regardless of what the flame may be thinking or feeling or imagining?


To be honest Trent none of us can say for absolute certain that we are actually living in a real world, none of us actually knows what is really occurring, for all we know this could be a simulation. All we can really say with absolute certainty is that we are experiencing something.


Trent H.:


Are you open to experiencing life in a different way, after having ended the current experience? In other words, are you open to experiencing life after "death," right here in this universe? Or are you saying that you wish for conscious experience to cease entirely and permanently?


Either way is fine with me, I just don't want to wake up again with no prior memories as a new organism in a new environment.


Trent H.:

Why is it that you are not banking on it?


I would say that a human is dead before their conception. From a state of death, I know at least once I came into existence, then to a state of death again I will return. Everyone I have ever met if I am not mistaken will follow this pattern. It seems pretty standard. Having come from a state of death once at least that I am aware of I can't say with absolute certainty that death is a finality, at least not for consciousness and awareness itself.

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/21/10 12:52 AM as a reply to Matthew Wight.
Hi,

Matthew Wight:
It doesn't matter if this effect manifests from a biological body or not.


Yes, it very much does matter if consciousness ("this effect") manifests from a biological body. If you cannot rule this out completely, then you must, at least partially, admit the possibility that you may only be that biological body, and that the ambiguously defined awareness you have anthropomorphized / identified with might just be a very tricky delusion.

Matthew Wight:
Maybe in the future with human brain simulations like IBM's blue brain project consciousness and awareness will manifest inside a digital computer.


Or right now a human brain can realize itself apperceptively, thereby perceiving the magical perfection of this universe.

Matthew Wight:
Over the course of a lifetime every atom in a person will be replaced, so our physical bodies themselves which give rise to our consciousness and awareness have more in common with a moving body of water like a waterfall or running stream than they do in a solid rock.


You are comparing apples and oranges, likely because you've gotten lost in your overly imaginative conceptions. The arrangement of molecules which make up a human body are in such a way that they are of a vastly different composition than that of a stream (or some other deposit) of H20. Are you trying to make a point about physical impermanence having some sort of effect on the body and / or consciousness / awareness?

Matthew Wight:
To be honest Trent none of us can say for absolute certain that we are actually living in a real world, none of us actually knows what is really occurring, for all we know this could be a simulation. All we can really say with absolute certainty is that we are experiencing something.


Oh, well... I am glad you are being honest, but you should probably not use "we" when referring to your own personal ambivalence. I am most certainly living in (experiencing) this actual universe, and it is a grand place indeed. It is baffling that you cannot notice (or somehow write-off) the staggering continuity and consistency of sense experience, irregardless of whatever you may be experiencing. It is obvious-- by the very fact that you even posted a message here-- that you are seeing and thinking...are these new occurrences for you? If not, how long have you been seeing and thinking?

I wonder, are you familiar with Gorgias / his writings?

Matthew Wight:
Either way is fine with me, I just don't want to wake up again with no prior memories as a new organism in a new environment.


That is not going to happen, no matter what you do in this world...so now you have a choice to make: live the rest of your life with the obvious resentment you have already compiled throughout the years, or let it all go and enjoy the rest of your years because you care about yourself and others. What say you...do you dare to care? Do you dare search for the meaning of life in a desk? In a rock? In a blade of grass? Do you dare recognize this world's perfection?

Matthew Wight:
I would say that a human is dead before their conception. From a state of death, I know at least once I came into existence, then to a state of death again I will return. Everyone I have ever met if I am not mistaken will follow this pattern. It seems pretty standard. Having come from a state of death once at least that I am aware of I can't say with absolute certainty that death is a finality, at least not for consciousness and awareness itself.


Hold on now...you said above that "our physical bodies themselves (...) give rise to our consciousness and awareness" and now you are saying that you were dead or "alive" before you were alive? How does something end or begin before it first exists? This makes absolutely no sense... and so if it seems pretty standard, that must be because you are projecting your worldview all over everyone else you meet in the world. Is it possible that you are warping the meaning of the word "death?"

Anyhow...there's always a bright side: you can discover factual answers about life if pull yourself up from the philosophizing arm-chair you currently seem to be couched in and then begin to search, experimentally, for them. But you certainly don't have to... it's your life after all.

Trent

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/21/10 1:01 AM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent,

The only thing I can say for certain is that I am experiencing this, whatever this is. That is the most fundamental and basic truth I've been able find. I can't say anything more than that with absolute certainty.

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/21/10 1:30 AM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent H.:
you must, at least partially, admit the possibility that you may only be that biological body, and that the ambiguously defined awareness you have anthropomorphized / identified with might just be a very tricky delusion


If all my neurons are silenced for example with general anesthesia I no longer exist for the duration of the anesthesia. I am awareness, that is what I am. If you were slowly to replace each neuron in my mind one by one with a digital replacement that functioned exactly as it's organic predecessor did, I would assume that my continuity of awareness would continue unabated.

If you disconnected my physical body from the equation, and connected me to a virtual body in a virtual environment, or connected me via telepresence to any number of remote bodies it would be no different.

As far as I can tell consciousness and awareness are effects which arise from specific conditions, and we are the effects not the conditions themselves.

Trent H.:

You are comparing apples and oranges, likely because you've gotten lost in your overly imaginative conceptions. The arrangement of molecules which make up a human body are in such a way that they are of a vastly different composition than that of a stream (or some other deposit) of H20. Are you trying to make a point about physical impermanence having some sort of effect on the body and / or consciousness / awareness?


No I think it was a pretty literal analogy. If you could make a 3D visualization on a computer of a human body tracking each and every atom over the course of a lifetime, you would see that it would look almost exactly like a flowing river not a solid object.



Trent H.:

That is not going to happen, no matter what you do in this world...
I feel compelled to try, if it doesn't matter, then it doesn't matter.




Trent H.:

Hold on now...you said above that "our physical bodies themselves (...) give rise to our consciousness and awareness" and now you are saying that you were dead or "alive" before you were alive? How does something end or begin before it first exists? This makes absolutely no sense


I have no idea what you are saying.

In simpler terms, we don't exist before we are conceived, nor do we exist after we die.

However this state of nonexistence didn't stop our consciousnesses from coming into existence in the first place, they arose when conditions necessary for them to manifest were present.

It seems like a mighty big claim for you to make that you know that the necessary conditions for a consciousness or awareness to manifest will not arise at any time in the future at any location in the universe.

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/21/10 9:59 AM as a reply to Matthew Wight.
Hi,

Matthew Wight:
If all my neurons are silenced for example with general anesthesia I no longer exist for the duration of the anesthesia. I am awareness, that is what I am. If you were slowly to replace each neuron in my mind one by one with a digital replacement that functioned exactly as it's organic predecessor did, I would assume that my continuity of awareness would continue unabated.


Hmm...try this next time you go for a dentist appointment or whatever else would put you under general anesthesia: ask one of the persons attending to you to clip a paper clip to your shift cuff after you have gone under. When you wake up, and you see that there's a paper clip on your cuff, I suspect you'll have a more difficult time thinking you "did not exist" while you were knocked out (never mind that a few of your teeth went missing while you were not existing...or whatever).

Matthew Wight:
If you disconnected my physical body from the equation, and connected me to a virtual body in a virtual environment, or connected me via telepresence to any number of remote bodies it would be no different.


What are you saying would be no different? If the brain was removed from the body, then you would be dead...oblivion of consciousness. Even if you imagine it's possible, the most sophisticated VR technology available today cannot offer even a moment's taste of the perfection already freely available right here.

Matthew Wight:
As far as I can tell consciousness and awareness are effects which arise from specific conditions, and we are the effects not the conditions themselves.


Okay then, what are the other specific conditions-- not yet mentioned-- that give rise to consciousness and awareness? And also, what distinction(s) do you draw between consciousness and awareness?

Matthew Wight:
No I think it was a pretty literal analogy. If you could make a 3D visualization on a computer of a human body tracking each and every atom over the course of a lifetime, you would see that it would look almost exactly like a flowing river not a solid object.


A 3D visualization on a computer that is tracking a human body's atoms over the course of a lifetime is not literally a flowing body of water, despite your allusion to otherwise; (hence your qualifier "would look almost exactly like)." And that is really besides the point, as I do not think this sort of technology is available anyway, and you still have not elucidated why it is even relevant.

Matthew Wight:
I feel compelled to try, if it doesn't matter, then it doesn't matter.


Feeling compelled in this way is part of the problem, not a means to the solution. What do you think about the matter when you ignore the call of your compulsions?


Matthew Wight:
In simpler terms, we don't exist before we are conceived, nor do we exist after we die.


I agree.

Matthew Wight:
However this state of nonexistence didn't stop our consciousnesses from coming into existence in the first place, they arose when conditions necessary for them to manifest were present.


Right.

Matthew Wight:
It seems like a mighty big claim for you to make that you know that the necessary conditions for a consciousness or awareness to manifest will not arise at any time in the future at any location in the universe.


I don't think it's a mighty big claim at all, as I have known for decades where babies come from, and so it all made since when I realized (just as you have claimed but also seem to simultaneously ignore) that "our physical bodies themselves (...) give rise to our consciousness and awareness." And since there are 7 billion humans on this planet, there is ample opportunity for the conditions necessary for consciousness or awareness to be fulfilled. Though, I do have to stop short of saying "at any location in the universe," as neither the surface of the sun nor deep space is any place for childbirth. (Though that sounds like a great idea for a SyFy original series ;]).

Trent

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/21/10 12:02 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent,

Looking over your replies I noticed nothing worthy of replying to.

Whatever it is your selling, it doesn't interest me.

I asked about practices to end rebirth.

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/21/10 12:40 PM as a reply to Matthew Wight.
Matthew,

Assuming that 'your' consciousness could be instantiated by some means other than your current body (in the ways suggested by your analogies), what would make this consciousness 'you' or 'yours'? What exactly is the 'you'-ness of the current consciousness that you want to prevent from being reinstantiated by another system?

The thing you want to avoid being reinstantiated can't be consciousness per se, because in that case there would already be billions of instances of 'you' out there as we speak (and 'I' would be one of them, as would every other sentient being).

It also can't be memory, because you have said that you fear being reinstantiated without memory.

So, what is it? What exactly is the 'you'-ness that you don't want to be repeated under any circumstances?

And - if you don't mind me asking - why?

Best,
Neil

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/21/10 1:25 PM as a reply to Neil Hughes.
Neil,

I don't have any good answers for you, at least nothing that I hadn't already stated. I do not know what exactly separates my awareness from your awareness, or if you and I are in fact apart of the same being but having different experiences.

Really the only thing I know for certain is that this experience of "me" is occurring, that's the only truth I've been able to find.

Maybe after I finish Mr. Ingram's book and several years of meditation I might have more thoughts on the subject, maybe the answers I seek at that point will become self apparent. It's hard to say.

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/21/10 2:48 PM as a reply to Matthew Wight.
Hi,

Matthew Wight:
Looking over your replies I noticed nothing worthy of replying to.


Worthy, eh? You have come here looking for answers, (presumably because "really the only thing (you) know for certain is that this experience of "me" is occurring,") and you also decide to, in the very same thread, ignore my carefully thought out attempts to aid you? C'est la vie, I guess.

Matthew Wight:
Whatever it is your selling, it doesn't interest me.


I have not tried to sell anything...I was attempting to aid you in clarifying your ideas so that you could possibly begin to radically improve your quality of life.

Matthew Wight:
I asked about practices to end rebirth.


Yes, but what you have failed to realize is that your fundamental notion of what rebirth is (and experience in general is) flawed. Because what you are seeking is based on false premises you have created, there can be no answer to your question as it was originally posed. Hence the nature of my questions / responses.

If you change your mind and decide to answer those questions, I will reply as I had been.

Trent

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/23/10 1:35 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent H.:

Matthew Wight:
I asked about practices to end rebirth.


Yes, but what you have failed to realize is that your fundamental notion of what rebirth is (and experience in general is) flawed. Because what you are seeking is based on false premises you have created, there can be no answer to your question as it was originally posed. Hence the nature of my questions / responses.


Having read through this thread, I think this statement from Trent basically sums it all up: what you are seeking is based on false premises. Are you interested in finding out what's actually true? or do you just want to chase the concept of "ending rebirth" that you have created?

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/24/10 12:54 AM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
Daniel,

If consciousness ends permanently with death, then that's totally fine with me.

I however am not so certain of such, and I will continue to look for practices to end rebirth. So far only the Taoist schools I've studied are focused on ending rebirth as their primary goal.

Whether or not rebirth actually occurs is of no concern to me, I just want to have a contingency plan.

Also I am not interested in whatever it is you or Trent are selling, truth is something I will find via my own efforts or I wont find it all.


Thanks,

-matt

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/24/10 9:05 AM as a reply to Matthew Wight.
Jeff,

I'm interested in learning any techniques, methods or teachings anyone has on ending rebirth. I didn't however come to have a debate on whether or not it occurs, which is why I gave Trent/Daniel the brush off. I've found some Taoist schools that state ending rebirth is the main goal of their practice, but the problem is the higher teachings that actually deal with such are kept under strict lock and key. I doubt as a westerner if I would ever be granted access to the deeper teachings. Right now I am doing the best with what I have, I guess that's all I really can do. I hope to fill my LDT completely, and be able to sit full lotus for several hours and speak mandarin well before I consider looking for a teacher in china.

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/25/10 8:37 PM as a reply to Matthew Wight.
Hi Matthew,
Taoism and Buddhism are teaching the same thing. They have different conceptual frameworks - that is all. There are some Buddhist schools that are closer to the Taoist approach than others. Taoism has merged and mixed with Buddhism for millennia. The Longmen school grew out of just such a synthesis.

What these teachings are pointing to has to be found out for yourself. You can go to China and I am sure that they would teach you what you are looking for. There are also teachers to be found here. The reason things are kept secret has to do with the need to do this one step at a time and creating views and opinions of more advanced teachings will just get in the way. They will give you what you need as you need it.

I started out on this path with the help of a Taoist teacher and am very thankful that he just said 'do this, it's good for you' and nothing more. There is lots to be said for this approach.

What the Taoists will show you is how to quiet the mind, how to become sensitive to the subtle energetic body and then how to work with that energy. This is the essence of the practice and it works. Buddhist teachers that teach similar practices (within a Buddhist framework) are Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Thai Forest Tradition - talks) and Reggie Ray (Dharma Ocean). Go to their sites and listen to the talks there if you like or go to China and hangout with the Taoists. But go do it somewhere because hanging around here talking about this junk will just drive you crazy.

If you want to get started right now then try this:
Go to this page (http://www.dharmaocean.org/default/index.cfm/teachings/audio/)
scroll down toward the bottom to where you see 'Union of Heaven and Earth'.
Practice 'Guided Prana Breathing' every day for 30 minutes. That would do buckets of good for you. Put all your effort into it. This is very Taoist.

-Chuck

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/26/10 2:33 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Really wish we could help you with these answers Matthew, but you're asking us for the impossible. I don't believe anyone here is really qualified to answer you. Though there are many here who have deep insights, nobody has died here, and really most of the 'Buddhists' here really just view Buddhism as a methodology and don't buy into what they perceive as 'dogma'

I would suggest you check out Tibetan Buddhism as their whole focus is death, specifically the Tibetan Book of the Dead would be of interest to you and finding a teacher to help with that would be imperative. They use lucid dream practice to stay awake and get used to the momentary flash of clear light. Their theory is that if you get used to being conscious when the body falls asleep and learn to rest in the clear light, you can attain full enlightenment at the moment of death. Rebirth comes from not recognizing the true nature of mind (which can be done at any moment really but easiest at the moment of death) -- but it takes practice and really all the Tibetan practices are specific to letting go of the attachment we have to our body and our experience and our concepts. It's good stuff and I think that's the direction you should go.

Just my 2c

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/30/10 2:39 AM as a reply to Michael Zaurov.
Michael, Chuck, Everyone else,

Thanks for the info. After I finish his book, I may contact Mr. Ingram. I'd be interested on his thoughts on the matter.

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
9/30/10 6:09 PM as a reply to Matthew Wight.
Hey Matt,

I'm not trying to sell or debate anything. You asked a question (how do you stop rebirth?) and received a response (that there can be no answer to your question).

I wish you success in your endeavor, especially in your efforts to find the truth.

Sincerely,

Daniel

RE: How do you stop rebirth?
Answer
10/1/10 11:12 PM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
Daniel,

Thanks.