About to write my dissertation on rebirth specifically from a Buddhist perspective (rather than reincarnation). Which books, articles or other sources have you found give a really good, philosophically rigorous and even critical look at the issue of rebirth? I'm a philosophy, religion and ethics undergraduate so I'm looking to cover the issue from all three of those angles.
Anecdotally, I'll be looking at some of Ian Stevenson's research into reincarnation/rebirth, the Tibetan tulku phenomena (good books with convincing stories/evidence on this?), and that's all I've got so far.
Also, have there even been any Buddhist sources that are critical of the discourse of rebirth within Buddhist philosophy?
I'm going into this with an open mind, and as a practising Buddhist myself I am convinced of the truth of rebirth in some manner, I am just not sure entirely. I maintain no strict view on the matter as I have no experience with it personally. However I am looking for a way to articulate the arguments in a rational and reasoned manner, from the point of anatta and the skandhas, etc and then also to reflect critically on this from a philosophical perspective.
Anything will help me at this point. Thank you everyone. Metta.submitted by ButNotYou_NotAnymore
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Flip flop Buddhism: breaking the cycle of impulse, remorse, piety, impulse, remorse, piety, impulse...
Let me start by saying what attracted me to buddhism in the first place was the fact my natural temperament is about as far from the buddhist ideal as you can get. I am not a good buddhist, but I am trying to be a better one.
However, reflection has made me aware that I am stuck in a harmful cycle: An impulse occurs that I am aware is negative, I give in to it, rationalising that it will be 'just this once' then follow this with a renewed effort towards the eightfold path...until the next harmful impulse comes along.
However breaking this cycle isn't as easy as simply becoming aware of it - I was hoping a fellow student (perhaps who has themselves tamed a naturally very addictive / impulsive personality) could give me some real concrete practical advice on how to resist the allure of harmful desires. The chief negative impulses are a natural inclination towards hateful speech / selacious gossip / argumentativeness and an extremely strong sex drive that leads me to harmful action (e.g. exploiting an ex's continued love for me in order to use her for sex, being a slave to the urge to masturbate etc). I also go out drinking a lot which often leads to unbuddhist behavior.submitted by badatbuddhism
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As the title says. I hope it's OK, I'm not sure if this subreddit is the right kind of forum.
I started meditating a good three weeks ago, and this morning (Yup, it's morning here!), I'm fairly sure I can feel a difference. I started with concentration meditation, but lately I've just been sitting zazen. After creating a thread about metta meditation, I have been practicing that too for 5 days.
So today I now know for a fact that I can feel a change. In the morning my thoughts are usually cluttered the most, and today is no different. But I've noticed that the majority of the thoughts have just gradually drifted into the background half an hour after waking up. I can hear the clock ticking away, and the fan from my PC blowing - which I'm sure is a "Well duh!" moment, but I think you know what I mean. I have become more aware of my body, my surroundings, and something I don't really have words for, but it feels like stillness if that makes sense.
I still have anger issues. I still get irrationally angry at my wife, but it seems far less pronounced (Not really, that's a lie. It seems just as pronounced as it always was, but I seem to notice it better). It's something I can distinguish better within myself, and therefore it's easier to deal with. On the whole, I do believe I have been less angry since taking up practice again, so that's something. I suppose I'm just a bit shocked to learn how much anger there really is within me.
The metta meditation I don't really see much changes because of (That I know of), but that's OK because I have started to enjoy doing it. In the beginning it felt like a lie - like uttering words of loving-kindness in my mind that I didn't really believe. But yesterday when I did it, I felt a smile on my lips half-way through, and it wasn't a smile I put there. :)
All in all, my experience of feeling a change within myself could all be a grand delusion I tell myself. Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow, and go: "Huh, I have no idea what I talked about on /r/buddhism yesterday", but I suppose I'll feel that anyway!
I wanted to share on this morning. Maybe it's because I'm not yet comfortable with the stillness, and want to break it. Thanks for helping me in the compassion thread, and for inspiring me to start practicing again! You have all been very kind to me.submitted by dalsgaard
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I'm quite green to the practice (about four months), but it keeps occurring to me that, if I were to ever become a monk, this would be a good season of my life in which to start. I am single with no kids. Most of my friends are about to graduate college, so we would already be going through an upheaval process. I live alone with no pets (except rocks, but they'll be okay without me). And my job is pretty entry-level; I could put in my two weeks and be on to something else easily.
My main worry is my family. The news of my changing faiths was quite rocky to them, and I foresee that suddenly up and joining a monastery would damage them further. I feel a sense of duty to remain part of their lives.
My secondary concern is that this is my impulsive side flaring up again. After all, this would be a huge life change. I want to make sure I make good decisions, rather than follow whims. Because, if a whim could bring me in, what if I get bored one day and say, "I've had enough of this; I want to be a marine biologist now"? That's an extreme example. A more likely scenario is that I would want to pursue my dream of acting.
And, finally, to get NSFW, I have read (from multiple sources) that masturbation is strictly forbidden for bikkhus. I would have serious trouble adhering to that. It's not an everyday thing for me; sometimes I can go weeks without. I could presumably stop entirely (I did once a couple years ago, and only went back when devastated over a breakup), but... I dunno.submitted by NewLeaf37
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Anyone else have this problem?
Ever since getting into buddhism, for reasons I cannot articulate clearly, I seem to not even care for girls anymore. I feel attraction, but I stop myself because I realize I want something from someone. I want to have sex with a hot girl for the pleasure and ego enhancement. I try to practice realizing I'm whole already, and avoid getting into the mental habit of seeking enhancement through others.
I used to want to do nothing but become very good at attracting them.
Now I just see them as another side (female) to the same coin (human). So I really just see them almost as guys but with boobs and vaginas.
I kind of don't like it.
I understand that chasing women would be a different form of desiring something in the future to enhance my position, but I kind of wish I wasn't as apathetic or lazy towards it.
Is this one of those things necessary things I have to go through to attain better understanding? They say the road to success is more zig-zag than straight.
Sorry if I confused you. Anyone familiar with this?
Thanks.submitted by LePinkPanther
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I'm sure that there are many reasons why people take up the study and practice of Buddhism, and that Buddhism attracts people from all walks of life. I'm wondering, though, how many people here are atheists and have taken up the study of Buddhism as a way of exploring their spirituality because they don't believe in an anthropomorphic personal god.
Are you a spiritual atheist? Or is Buddhism something that you study and practice as a theist? Or would you describe yourself in yet another way?submitted by InvisiblePlatypus
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1 - A class discussion of sorts. I must write an essay discussing heroism in the movie O Heroi (The Hero) 2 - What does Buddha teach about Heroism. 3 - An exact answer if possible, maybe a quote from Buddha himself.
Thanks in advance :)
Edit: Thanks Guys :)submitted by Thyreus123
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Hi. I'm an agnostic who was brought up Catholic by a family that eventually became Christian. In spite of their efforts, I've always considered myself an objective evolutionist who trusts science. This doesn't mean I don't think spirituality is important, though. That's why I'm not only curious about Buddhism as a way to understand life, but also eager to find the answers to my dissatisfaction and suffering--if possible. Taking into account our globalized technology-based world, what advice would you give me and/or countless others who wanna initiate into Buddhism--say through a website, a YouTube channel, a radio station, your own one-on-one experiences with masters, etc.? I'd be interesting if you also shared part of your personal path back when you got started and the kinda advice you were given. Thanks a lot!submitted by foreign-dude
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If you find yourself in an empty classroom, write something encouraging on the board. Or if you're in a bookstore or something, leave a note on the table with something encouraging. My personal preference is, "don't worry be happy" but you might want to write something different.
If it helps just one person to have a better day, then it was a success.
Better than a thousand hollow verses Is one verse that brings Peace
Here's a quick story that is relevant:
My friend did the classic "pay for the guy behind you" thing at CC's the other day. He bought the coffee for the woman in line behind him. Later, we found out that the chain went on for a good while and a mutual friend of ours participated in it 30 minutes later!submitted by monkey_king__
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Now at that time the wanderer Sañjaya was residing in Rajagaha with a large company of wanderers — 250 in all. And at that time Sariputta and Moggallana were practicing the holy life under Sañjaya. They had made this agreement: Whoever attains the Deathless first will inform the other.
Then Ven. Assaji, arising early in the morning, taking his robe and bowl, entered Rajagaha for alms: gracious in the way he approached and departed, looked forward and behind, drew in and stretched out his arm; his eyes downcast, his every movement consummate. Sariputta the wanderer saw Ven. Assaji going for alms in Rajagaha: gracious... his eyes downcast, his every movement consummate. On seeing him, the thought occurred to him: "Surely, of those in this world who are arahants or have entered the path to arahantship, this is one. What if I were to approach him and question him: 'On whose account have you gone forth? Or who is your teacher? Or in whose Dhamma do you delight?'"
But then the thought occurred to Sariputta the wanderer: "This is the wrong time to question him. He is going for alms in the town. What if I were to follow behind this monk who has found the path for those who seek it?"
Then Ven. Assaji, having gone for alms in Rajagaha, left, taking his alms. Then Sariputta the wanderer approached him and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he stood to one side. As he was standing there he said, "Bright are your faculties, my friend, pure your complexion, and clear. On whose account have you gone forth? Or who is your teacher? Or in whose Dhamma do you delight?"
"There is, my friend, the Great Contemplative, a son of the Sakyans, gone forth from a Sakyan family. I have gone forth on account of that Blessed One. That Blessed One is my teacher. And it is in that Blessed One's Dhamma that I delight."
"But what is your teacher's teaching? What does he proclaim?''
"I am new, my friend, not long gone forth, only recently come to this Dhamma & Discipline. I cannot explain the Dhamma in detail, but I will tell you the gist in brief."
Then Sariputta the wanderer spoke thus to the Ven. Assaji:Speak a little or a lot, but tell me just the gist. The gist is what I want. What use is a lot of verbosity?
Then Ven. Assaji gave this Dhamma exposition to Sariputta the Wanderer:Whatever phenomena arise from cause: their cause & their cessation. Such is the teaching of the Tathagata, the Great Contemplative.
Then to Sariputta the wanderer, as he heard this Dhamma exposition, there arose the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye: "Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation."Even if just this is the Dhamma, you have penetrated to the Sorrowless (asoka) State unseen, overlooked (by us) for many myriads of aeons.
Then Sariputta the wanderer went to Moggallana the wanderer. Moggallana the wanderer saw him coming from afar and, on seeing him, said, "Bright are your faculties, my friend; pure your complexion, and clear. Could it be that you have attained the Deathless?"
"Yes, my friend, I have attained the Deathless. "
"But how, friend, did you attain the Deathless?"
"Just now, friend, I saw Ven. Assaji going for alms in Rajagaha: gracious in the way he approached and departed, looked forward and behind, drew in and stretched out his arm; his eyes downcast, his every movement consummate. On seeing him, the thought occurred to me: 'Surely, of those in this world who are arahants or have entered the path to arahantship, this is one. What if I were to approach him and question him: "On whose account have you gone forth? Or who is your teacher? Or in whose Dhamma do you delight?"'
"But then the thought occurred to me: 'This is the wrong time to question him. He is going for alms in the town. What if I were to follow behind this monk who has found the path for those who seek it?'
"Then Ven. Assaji, having gone for alms in Rajagaha, left, taking his alms. I approached him and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, I stood to one side. As I was standing there I said, 'Bright are your faculties, my friend; pure your complexion, and clear.' On whose account have you gone forth? Or who is your teacher? Or in whose Dhamma do you delight?'
"'There is, my friend, the Great Contemplative, a son of the Sakyans, gone forth from a Sakyan family. I have gone forth on account of that Blessed One. That Blessed One is my teacher. And it is in that Blessed One's Dhamma that I delight.'
"'But what is your teacher's teaching? What does he proclaim?'
"'I am new, my friend, not long gone forth, only recently come to this Dhamma & Discipline. I cannot explain the doctrine to you in detail, but I will tell you the gist in brief.'"'Speak a little or a lot, but tell me just the gist. The gist is what I want. What use is a lot of verbosity?' "Then Ven. Assaji gave me this Dhamma exposition: "'Whatever phenomena arise from cause: their cause and their cessation. Such is the teaching of the Tathagata, the Great Contemplative.'"
Then to Moggallana the wanderer, as he heard this Dhamma exposition, there arose the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye: Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation.Even if just this is the Dhamma, you have penetrated to the Sorrowless (asoka) State unseen, overlooked (by us) for many myriads of aeons. numbersev
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I'm a gluten-free vegan, trying to stay as organic as i can with food, not directly a buddhist, but i draw a lot of wisdom and excercises from buddhism. I'm practicing meditation as much as i can, at least daily, doing a lot of mental excercises to better myself, and it works great for me.
The problem is when i'm with my family at holiday gatherings like easter right now. I'm constantly being bombed with stuff in the general area of things like;
"Oh you're so stupid for putting so much stress on yourself by restraining from eating som much great food!"
"You're so silly for trying to stay organic while we eat foods with loads of enviromental poison in it!"
"You're wasting so much time just sitting around doing your "meditation" all day!"
"You're annoying when you're trying to tell us something about healthy food or better ways to think to ourselves to be happier."
Of course none of these quotes are excactly the things i'm getting, but it's the general area, and how it seems to me receiving it. It results in a lot of stress for both me and my family, sometimes I get angry after enough of it, and sometimes I more or less break down mentally and lock myself away to be at peace. I'd say that the porblem here in the big picture is that they don't understand that they're husting my feelings either.
I really need som advice on how to handle this better or maybe even resolve the issue to some degree? I'm kind of desperate at this point, and i'm not sure how much longer i'll be able to simply keep talking all the shit untill my bubble bursts and break down completely..
Many Thanks to all of you. I had a wonderfull talk about This with my sister who is also the only other spiritual person in our family, she always understands these issues and helps me out with them.
We concluded with a lot of the same things that you are saying here, so from here on i'll do my best to Keep my ways to myself and let my mother eat all her junk food and stress all she wants because she insists so hard on doing excactly that. Maybe she will realise one day that it might be better because it was the answer to many things for me and made me happier and then come to me for help, or maybe not. Either Way i'll stop telling her so much about my healthy foods and i won't let it Get to me when she says nasty things about my ways.
Thank you all, you really helped me out here! Namaste <3
Also sorry about any mistypes or bad languange, english is my second languagesubmitted by Wakan-Tanka
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So long story short, I was raised according to the Jewish faith but ever since I was 11 I have felt an ever growing pull towards taoism, Buddhism, mainly eastern philosophy. The problem is it interferes with my family since I don't want to follow the same traditions and go to Jewish "church." Any thoughts on how to show I'm my own person without brining unbalance to the house?submitted by TitanLooksss
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