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what influences if any do you think pass life experiences have on this life

hi its me again, I know I'm new and I've got so much respect for you guys that you wouldn't believe. My first discussion maybe wasn't the best approach, even thou I've been a Buddhist for 40 odd years I've never really talked to other Buddhists , so I was curious on your thoughts. I believe learned from pass life experiences brought forward a strong sense of compassion at an early age which set me up well for the reincarnation I choose. humbly I really am interested on your thoughts, what you think not what you have read or been told by others. In the future some of my questions are really going to be outside the illusion. I really don't have a ego to feed and respect everyone's thoughts on the subject even if there not mine, isn't that how we grow.

Snakeskinlobster

Comments

  • HozanHozan Veteran

    As a zen practitioner I am only concerned with the here and now. No gods or reincarnations for me.

    DhammaDragonSnakeskinShoshin
  • HozanHozan Veteran
    edited November 19

    By trying to be as present in the here and now as possible, the past fades, the future takes care of itself.

    Snakeskin
  • HozanHozan Veteran

    Nirvana
  • CarlitaCarlita Om Vajrasattva Hum United States Veteran

    @mushin said:
    hi its me again, I know I'm new and I've got so much respect for you guys that you wouldn't believe. My first discussion maybe wasn't the best approach, even thou I've been a Buddhist for 40 odd years I've never really talked to other Buddhists , so I was curious on your thoughts. I believe learned from pass life experiences brought forward a strong sense of compassion at an early age which set me up well for the reincarnation I choose. humbly I really am interested on your thoughts, what you think not what you have read or been told by others. In the future some of my questions are really going to be outside the illusion. I really don't have a ego to feed and respect everyone's thoughts on the subject even if there not mine, isn't that how we grow.

    Ive been slowly leaning towards the tibeten tradition. I took refuges in Zen but I honestly dont know anything about Zen, especially Vietnamese Zen where we have patriarch, bodhisattvas, and many Buddha's we give respect to.

    A tibetin monk finally decribed what consciousness and mindsteam meant. I feel that what I do in this life affects the future. When our physical body dies, our mind continues. What we think is ourselves from body and mind "the I" changes and decays. The nature of our mind-potential to enlightenment-doesnt decay. We are born into a new body and each body we are born into we may have more or little advantage to pracrtice The Dharma. All are influenced by our actions today. When the earth turns there is no destination. Circles dont have a beginning nor an ending point. So too is life. No beginning. No end. Life goes on without us.

    My past life? I never thought of it. Nowadays, Im thinking if my actions today and situation where results of a pastlife. I mean, my actions today affect my situation in the future. Since death is a continuum, I see no difference. I keep having Holocoast dreams and I wonder if my pastlife have to do with that. Though Im not that young, so maybe a similar situation where my religious freedom is limited.

    I mean, it makes sense. If our goal is to end going through samsara and our life/mind is a continuum, why wouldnt we think our actions now dont affect us after rebirth? Im learning to see a bit further in advance in that light so I wont be running a treadmill.

    Snakeskin
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran

    I can only echo what @Hozan said.
    I am here and now.
    I may be the product of past karmic seedlings that are ripening now.

    But I am concerned with the only moment and place I can do something about: here and now.
    Do good things, think good thoughts.
    Actions have consequences.
    Let them be as dukkha-free as possible.

    HozanSnakeskinlobster
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    I don't worry about it much. Whatever influence it might have, I am unaware of, and focusing on that just takes me out of the present. Do I think there is an influence? In some way, sure, but my beliefs on it don't really fall in line with Buddhism. But there is probably good reason why we don't recall our past lives and the influence they have on us today. Also, it's no good to use that line of thinking to beat ourselves up, wondering what we did in past lives to deserve suffering we have today.

    Snakeskin
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @DhammaDragon said:
    I am here and now.
    I may be the product of past karmic seedlings that are ripening now.

    I think that’s well said. I’m not sure if reincarnation is precisely what we think it is — something may be communicated but this mind/set-of-memories and this body didn’t participate in what happened, so exactly whose karmic load have I inherited? What makes it mine?

    But in any case we try to live as skilfully as we can manage. You get certain things from your parents, genes and upbringing, your inclinations and choices are where your karma feeds the world’s cause and effect I believe, you carry it within you.

    Snakeskin
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited November 19

    @mushin said:
    hi its me again, I know I'm new and I've got so much respect for you guys that you wouldn't believe. My first discussion maybe wasn't the best approach, even thou I've been a Buddhist for 40 odd years I've never really talked to other Buddhists , so I was curious on your thoughts.
    I believe learned from pass life experiences brought forward a strong sense of compassion at an early age which set me up well for the reincarnation I choose. humbly I really am interested on your thoughts, what you think not what you have read or been told by others. In the future some of my questions are really going to be outside the illusion. I really don't have a ego to feed and respect everyone's thoughts on the subject even if there not mine, isn't that how we grow.

    You don't choose your reincarnation.
    I've mentioned before, @mushin, that Reincarnation is a purely Tibetan Buddhist premise (if talking specifically about Buddhism) and as such, the choice of reincarnation is only for those Buddhist lamas who are highly advanced or considered Enlightened Spiritual Masters.
    For all and anyone else, there is no reincarnation.
    There is re-birth.
    And that re-birth is largely a shot in the dark.
    To be born a human is likened to a blind turtle swimming aimlessly, and surfacing in the vastness of an ocean, and happening, perchance, to put its head through a floating ring of wood.

    As for my own rebirth?
    I'm too busy doing 'now' as mindfully and skilfully as I can (and all-too-often failing dismally) to concern myself too much about rebirth, and when, how or whether it will happen.

    SnakeskinBunks
  • SnakeskinSnakeskin Texas, USA Veteran

    @mushin, do I think past lives influence this one? Yes, I cultivate a belief that volitional actions from infinite past lives brings all this to be, but I have no direct knowledge of them, so I can’t comment on it outside of what I’ve heard.

    What I’ve heard is that the Buddha saw this wandering. Understanding the complexity of its perpetuation, he understood how to direct it to cessation. Understanding that, he did that. That’s why he’s called Buddha. Then, he taught others how to do it. He called that Dhamma. Following his Dhamma, they began doing it too. That’s why they’re called Sanga. I have no direct knowledge myself, but I look to the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha for guidance in directing this perpetuation to cessation.

    I presently understand that as skillfully extinguishing a massive wildfire, here dowsing it with water, there containing it with a controlled burn. It might take a lifetime. Or a lot of them. Probably been at it a very long time already. But I've heard that was true of the Buddha too. Persistence. That’s how to put out a really big fire.

    dhammachickDhammaDragonDavid
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    edited November 19

    I think I see the spirit in which the thread is intended but the category seems off. To answer the question is to lay Buddhism aside for me but that's ok.

    I'm not quite sure what resonates most with me when it comes to past lives or rebirth. I have this odd feeling we are all carnations and aspects of the same process of being. That if we follow my lives back far enough, they would also be yours. Following that causal chain of logistics leads me to a scenario where Taoism and Hinduism intersect and we are the infinite aspects of the Tao rather than the 8, 9 or 10 aspects of Vishnu. Or as if we are each living a Jataka Tale (a past life of Buddha)

    I had a quite convincing dream memory of being a Jamaican American mother getting ready for work and having to deal with my son trying to rush me out of the bathroom. It really seemed like that was the last life experienced before this one when I woke and to be honest it still does when I remember it. During the dream, nothing was out of the ordinary. It would have been weird if the kid wasn't trying to rush me. That is, it was perfectly normal that I was this woman.

    I must say I don't put too much stock in beliefs about what happens after this life even if I sometimes entertain scenarios. I figure that if I'm here to learn a lesson then I'll learn it but at least I was born into circumstance that led me to the dharma.

    I prefer to remain agnostic on what happens at death because I don't want to limit my options if there are any.

    Snakeskinsilver
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    These conversations are always going to bring out differing opinions and the occasional shitfight. People always tend to be adamant one way or the other in regards to reincarnation vs rebirth.

    Personally I do believe in reincarnation. How much of it influences our present life? I've no idea. What I can say is that we can choose how we let that belief influence this life. But as Buddhists I believe our focus should be on cultivating the Dharma in our lives and being the best we can be.

    BunksSnakeskin
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Hey man. I have never experienced anything that can confirm or deny past lives.
    However, as far as my practice goes, I like to remain open minded as I find it helps me to keep focused on the bigger picture when I get stuck on things eg. my kids are only my kids in this lifetime. My enemies are only my enemies in this lifetime. My gender is only my gender in this lifetime etc.

    silverSnakeskin
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran

    Something to bear in mind:

    "Some people complain about the Buddha's teachings
    on past lives and future lives,
    that they are a distraction from the present,
    but when he talks about past lives and future lives,
    he keeps coming down to the principle of kamma:
    that all the past, all the future -everything- is shaped by your choices,
    Okay, what choices are you responsible for right now?
    The ones in the present moment.
    He gives you the teachings on what shapes the past and future
    in order to bring you back to the present with an even greater
    sense of its importance"
    (Thanissaro Bhikkhu)

    lobsterwojciechSnakeskin
  • IronRabbitIronRabbit Veteran
    edited November 20

    BunksSnakeskinCarlita
  • People always tend to be adamant one way or the other in regards to reincarnation vs rebirth.

    Musical Interlude ...

    and now back to the life song ... ;)

    ShoshinDhammaDragon
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    what influences if any do you think pass life experiences have on this life

    None :)

    Snakeskin
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran

    I was sooooo infatuated with Adam Ant in my teens... <3

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Ah, the Prince Charming whose life was anything but Charmed...

    At 21 years of age he was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder, and has spoken candidly about his experiences with the effects of the illness. In his 31 December 2010 interview for The Sun, Ant also discussed the side effects of medication for his bipolar condition: "In the past I've been a robot. It's been an out-of-body experience. Bipolar means up and down and that's me... Music has always been the best medication. I was on sodium valproate for seven years.... I couldn't get to sleep and I didn't make love for seven years. My hair fell out and I couldn't pick up a book as I couldn't concentrate. I didn't write a song or pick up a guitar in that time – and piled on the weight. I might as well have been dead. I work very closely with my GP and any decisions I make are made with him".

    During an interview with BBC Radio 6 Music, he declared that "mental health needs a great deal of attention. It's the final taboo and it needs to be faced and dealt with." Ant is involved in the Black Dog campaign, which promotes better understanding of mental illness.

    Ant married Carol Mills in 1975, divorcing her shortly after. He dated Amanda Donohoe between 1977 and 1981, Jamie Lee Curtis in 1983 and Heather Graham in the early 1990s. In 1997, Ant married a 25-year-old PR assistant for Vivienne Westwood. The ceremony took place in Dayton, Tennessee. They divided their time between Dayton and London, and in April 1998 the couple had a daughter. However, the couple separated soon afterwards.

    Ant, who does not own a television, enjoys reading, particularly historical novels. He has tattoos depicting Lord Nelson's last prayer before the Battle of Trafalgar, an image of his grandfather and a quotation from Oscar Wilde: "Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes."

    The time is now, the place is here.
    Adam Ant has had a previous life. We all have.
    Every moment past, is a previous life.

    There is no better place than here.
    There is no other time, than now.

    Snakeskin
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran

    Past life experience[s]?

    Would that include past experiences in this life? Good karma vs bad karma?

    I think so. I think that that would be the gist of it for me.

    BTW, wishing Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip a joyous 70th anniversary! I can hardly believe it.

    Love is the best life experience of them all.

    "Love is the Opening Door
    "Love is what we came here for
    "No one could offer you more
    "Do you know what I mean?
    "Have your eyes ever seen?"

    ShoshinKeromedhammachickSnakeskin
  • shadowleavershadowleaver Veteran
    edited November 20

    I view teachings regarding rebirth as allegories that describe the flow of psychological changes during this only life that we know. Yes, I can listen to the Tibetan book of the Dead, overlook the otherworldly stuff and still find the imagery helpful to make sense of this present life's mental and emotional turmoil.

    Snakeskin
  • CarlitaCarlita Om Vajrasattva Hum United States Veteran

    If you think of life as a continuum birth and dying the transition between dying/suffering to being born again/suffering, then there wouldn't be a phrase "past lives." Our actions would still affect us in the future after death because everything is linked together. Since the mind doesn't die in rebirth what is the difference between this life our past and our future lives? What makes what a past live if all lives are affected by our actions without break from one life to another?

    Snakeskin
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    It's interesting to consider, when a karmic stream takes a rebirth, when that moment happens. Charlie Manson died yesterday, perhaps his karmic stream is someone's new bundle of joy today. (yes, I know that doesn't mean Charlie is being reborn, it's just a curious thing to think about in light of the thread and his death).

    Snakeskin
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Nirvana said:
    Love is the best life experience of them all.

    "Love is the Opening Door
    "Love is what we came here for
    "No one could offer you more
    "Do you know what I mean?
    "Have your eyes ever seen?"

    Thanks. I needed that, it clarified something for me. It’s given me a lot to think about...
    Funny how song lyrics can sometimes be inspired with truth.

    Snakeskin
  • I really don't have a ego to feed and respect everyone's thoughts on the subject even if there not mine, isn't that how we grow.

    Really?
    We don't grow. Rather we are lessened or removed as the impediment ...
    https://puredhamma.net/dhamma/what-is-buddha-dhamma/power-of-the-human-mind-the-anariya-or-mundane-jhanas/

    There is somewhere for my thoughts ... 🗑

    Snakeskin
  • 33_333_3 Veteran

    @Hozan said:
    By trying to be as present in the here and now as possible, the past fades, the future takes care of itself.

    T-Shirt!

    lobsterSnakeskinHozan
  • Getting a t-shirt is as good as the moment needs ... eg:

    • 'My other life is a delusion'
    • 'I remember dreams, therefore they are real'
    • 'Don't believe these words'

    meanwhile ... 'Live, don't long and Prosper'
    Vulcan Dharma

    SnakeskinHozan
  • I believe that knowledge from past lives, ancestors, and interconnectedness resides within us all. Sometimes it manifests as "intuition." I don't think that our brains are capable of grasping the knowledge in its true form, but it still resides within.

    SnakeskinDhammaDragon
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran

    @TreeLuvr87 said:
    I believe that knowledge from past lives, ancestors, and interconnectedness resides within us all. Sometimes it manifests as "intuition." I don't think that our brains are capable of grasping the knowledge in its true form, but it still resides within.

    This reminds me of instinct.

    I think instinct is fascinating.

    SnakeskinDhammaDragon
  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    interesting coincident.im somewhat returning to my instinct again.or instinct awareness again.it seems my eyes know when to look...like during work my eyes would instinctually at the soda can on the back bumper on the trunk before i take off on to the next job site. i believe we all have to some degree of instinctual awareness.stuff like this grows the faith in dao and dharma.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    i mean truck not trunk.sorry.crappy speller here.

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran
    edited November 24

    @David said:

    @TreeLuvr87 said:
    I believe that knowledge from past lives, ancestors, and interconnectedness resides within us all. Sometimes it manifests as "intuition." I don't think that our brains are capable of grasping the knowledge in its true form, but it still resides within.

    This reminds me of instinct.

    I think instinct is fascinating.

    The idea is that karma ripening works as a sort of past conditioning, habits of experience and unconscious narratives.
    Very much like the Freudian "It."

  • My teacher (an old lama/geshe from Tibet) tells us that if we want to know who we were in a past life, we only need to look at who/how we are today.
    Because who/how we are today is a continuation of who/how we were in our past lives.

    We continually set imprints within our Being. We are either strengthening prior imprints or deliberately creating new ones. And these imprints, these habits, are what passes on from one life to the next.
    In this way, we ARE the person we were in the past, whether that past is 5 minutes ago or 5 lifetimes ago.

    So our past life/lives ARE who we are now.

    Except to whatever extent we have deliberately and consciously set about creating new imprints and habits (whether through cognitive-behavioral therapy or through the practices of Buddhism).

    DhammaDragon
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited November 24

    Good point @FoibleFull
    Thus did I learn the lesson:
    "If you wish to know what you were in the Past, look at your body, today.
    If you wish to know what you will become, look at your Mind, today.....

    Which neatly demonstrates the Wisdom of the first 2 verses of the Dhammapada....

    HozanlobsterDhammaDragonTreeLuvr87
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