Cedar, modified 3 Years ago.


Posts: 26 Join Date: 6/23/17 Recent Posts
*I am posting in this section because I think it is the most aligned with what I am really trying to get at with my question, in particular "topics in general that lead to fundamental insights and awakening."*

I am familiar with the Theravada view on Rebirth and also the Zen portrayal.

As someone that has pursued strong meditation based traditions such as Thai Forest and Antai-ji - Gyobutsuji Zen Monastery I have been able to experience a lot of the teachings and or at least understand them in both a logical way and experiential way.

Rebirth however has been a hard one for me. Not for disbelief but in achieving a level of experience and understanding in which it fits in smoothly into how I have come to understand the teachings both through study and experience.

I am hoping those knowledgeable in the other Mahayana Traditions/Different traditions & schools of thought can explain how it is talked about in their school and also experiences and or things that have helped deepen their understanding on this teaching.
svmonk, modified 3 Years ago.

RE: Rebirth

Posts: 396 Join Date: 8/23/14 Recent Posts
Hi Cedar,

Nagarajuna in the Mulamadhamykakarika, one of the foundational texts of the Mahayana, wrote that karma is not subject to analysis. Therefore it is impossible to define a causal mechanism for karma. Since karma is the cause of rebirth, it is therefore not possible to define a causal mechanism for rebirth either, beyond simply saying it is caused by karma. Therefore, you either believe in karma and rebirth or you don't.

However, unlike the Christian tradition, what you believe matters less than your actions and, in particular, your intentions motivating your actions. Whether you believe in rebirth or not, the classical Buddhist position is that you will be reborn according to your karma, which is defined by your intentions. Many Western Buddhists find karma and rebirth difficult to accept but so long as they engage in the three practices of morality, concentration, and wisdom and purify their intentions, there should be no problem accepting them as Buddhists.

Hope that helps.