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Past Lives

I know some Buddhist don't believe in reincarnation, some believe in rebirth. I believe in both. So my question is, does anyone have a past life regression meditation they can teach me or is that just something you just learn through practice? Thank you.
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Comments

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran
    The distinction between rebirth and reincarnation has been discussed to death here. As a new voice I'm curious as to your understanding and how you've come to believe in both. A fresh view unadulterated by the opinions here may shed some new light on the topic if you're willing to share.
  • Isn't there somewhere in the Pali Canon where it where it says Buddha remembered past lives?
    Ethan_McCune
  • person said:

    The distinction between rebirth and reincarnation has been discussed to death here. As a new voice I'm curious as to your understanding and how you've come to believe in both. A fresh view unadulterated by the opinions here may shed some new light on the topic if you're willing to share.

    Well, to my understanding, reincarnation is the transmigration of a "soul" from one body to a new after death. Rebirth, however, is the constant change we experience in simple things like our thought patterns and our physical appearance and uses the terms "life and death" symbolically. In some Sutras the Buddha is far to specific on past lives and his experiences for it to be symbolic like rebirth. At the same time, he also says we change from moment to moment. One time he said it would be better to think of the body as the self rather than the mind because our minds change so quickly. There for I believe in both reincarnation and rebirth.
    Jeffrey
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran
    Maybe try this.....I can't vouch for it. I have no opinion either way on this topic.

    Ethan_McCune
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    Jeffrey said:

    Isn't there somewhere in the Pali Canon where it where it says Buddha remembered past lives?

    Yes, it's described as occurring just before the Buddha's enlightenment. I can dig it out an example if you're interested.

  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran
    Past lives? I can barely remember what happened yesterday! The car journey, the walking of the dog, the phone conversations, text messages and the ferry (hang on there was no ferry!)

    BunksTheswingisyellow
  • does anyone have a past life regression meditation they can teach me
    Sure.

    Basically imagine yourself going back through your life to your earliest memories. Then keep going back to where you have no memories but still existed. Back and back to your birth where you have few abilities and memories. Keep going back through the fetal stages, where you exist, right back to when you had gills, then you are an egg and sperm. However 'you' still exist. Now you no longer have any existence but are still you.
    Back you go into nothing that is you . . . then imagine a dying corpse, somewhere else, does not matter where, you will know through the spooky power of trance migration. Back into the senility and disease of a confused old person . . . and there 'you' are . . .

    time to wake up.

    More details on request.

    :wave:
    Ethan_McCuneTheswingisyellow
  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
    edited February 2014
    My past lives as far back as I can remember go as thus

    Australopithecus robustus #2342
    Homo habilis #5729
    Homo erectus #8543
    Homo sapiens neanderthalensis #34726
    Random Egyptian Laborer
    Disciple of the Buddha
    Alexander the Great
    Julius Caesar
    Marcus Aurelius
    Martin Luther
    Nostradamus
    George Washington
    Random Thai Thudong monk
    General George Patton
    Random guy somewhere
    me.


    also i'm pretty sure in between I was a highwayman, a sailor, a damn builder, and eventually I'll be a starship captian and cross the great divide.




    ok in all seriousness.. Here ya go for the Suttas

    http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.036.than.html

    "When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of recollecting my past lives. I recollected my manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two...five, ten...fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand, many eons of cosmic contraction, many eons of cosmic expansion, many eons of cosmic contraction & expansion: 'There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure & pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose here.' Thus I remembered my manifold past lives in their modes & details.

    "This was the first knowledge I attained in the first watch of the night. Ignorance was destroyed; knowledge arose; darkness was destroyed; light arose — as happens in one who is heedful, ardent, & resolute. But the pleasant feeling that arose in this way did not invade my mind or remain.
    Theswingisyellowanataman
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran
    Ok. So the buddha says he can remember past human lives.

    What about when he was animal or is this not mentioned?

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Jayantha said:

    My past lives as far back as I can remember go as thus

    Australopithecus robustus #2342
    Homo habilis #5729
    Homo erectus #8543
    Homo sapiens neanderthalensis #34726
    Random Egyptian Laborer
    Disciple of the Buddha
    Alexander the Great
    Julius Caesar
    Marcus Aurelius
    Martin Luther
    Nostradamus
    George Washington
    Random Thai Thudong monk
    General George Patton
    Random guy somewhere
    me.


    Funny, I never think of your posting as being neanderthal.

  • yes @Bunks, it was mentioned. The Buddha remembered when he was an elephant. He didn't hide that.
    Ethan_McCune
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran
    cvalue said:

    yes @Bunks, it was mentioned. The Buddha remembered when he was an elephant. He didn't hide that.

    Cool!!!!!

    lobster
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    The problem with speaking of past lives is that the woo woo factor alone frankly causes more of a likelihood of clinging than of any related insight..
    ( IMO ) The main value in having it be in our Buddhist lexicon is so that a practitioner in the midst of it doesn't have to assume that he or she is dementing.
    Bunks
  • matthewmartinmatthewmartin Amateur Bodhisattva Suburbs of Mt Meru Veteran
    Infinities (infinite past lives) mean that you've almost certainly cycled through all the six realms and everyone alive today at one point was your mother or father in a past life. With infinite time, everything that could have happened, did... over and over.

    Anyhow, I'm the wrong person to ask, I see rebirth as a metaphor, expedient means.
  • So far the only life I remember is being a dolphin in my last life. Are there new and old souls, or did we all exist since the beginning of time and I'm just not recalling everything?

  • TheswingisyellowTheswingisyellow Trying to be open to existence Samsara Veteran
    Funny thing about past lives, we don't recall them-so what is their value?
    I like to focus on this life, before it becomes a past life
    lobster
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran
    edited February 2014
    Rebirth is unfortunate, but when you can't control yourself, someone comes again...
    Theswingisyellow
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    @Ethan_McCune
    I think we are all smoothies where most of the ingredients that provided the coheisive inertia of this existence are too fractured to easily identify.
    It's tough to tell.
    Just because a meditative "insight" fits ones storyline, doesn't, in itself, make it true.
    lobsterInvincible_summer
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    So far the only life I remember is being a dolphin in my last life. Are there new and old souls, or did we all exist since the beginning of time and I'm just not recalling everything?


    Seriously, the buddha didn't engage with souls for a reason. They are something to cling to in the next life...
    Ethan_McCune
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Funny thing about past lives, we don't recall them-so what is their value?
    I like to focus on this life, before it becomes a past life

    Some people claim that they do recall them though.
  • Just because a meditative "insight" fits ones storyline, doesn't, in itself, make it true.
    The important thing about lies, is they may be true in our present.
    As we expand our dolphin consciousness, we realise we are astral dolphins.


    Don't watch that movie by the way, it is not fit for a whale or a bowl of petunias . . . ;)
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    So far the only life I remember is being a dolphin in my last life. Are there new and old souls, or did we all exist since the beginning of time and I'm just not recalling everything?

    OMG, he said "souls"!!!!!
    Invincible_summer
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran
    edited February 2014
    Maybe he thinks this is a forum that re-heels the worn out shoes of the world!

    Gotta stop laughing at my self. LOL. My sphincters are getting weaker!
    Invincible_summer
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    Infinities (infinite past lives) mean that you've almost certainly cycled through all the six realms and everyone alive today at one point was your mother or father in a past life. With infinite time, everything that could have happened, did... over and over.

    Anyhow, I'm the wrong person to ask, I see rebirth as a metaphor, expedient means.

    Just to be technical the word they use is countless. Infinite seems like it would fit but its not the actual term and there could be a large difference in understanding depending on the word.
  • upekkaupekka Veteran
    edited February 2014
    Jayantha said:



    "When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability, I directed it to the knowledge of recollecting my past lives.


    i did this

    i could recollect three previous lives
    and then
    i saw hundreds of, thousands of dead bodies laid in front of me

    when i tried to see the faces of those bodies i couldn't recognize any of them but i had the strong feeling all those were my own bodies

    then a thought came into mind 'what is the use of being born again, if the end result is death at each time i will be born'


    after that i didn't want to see the previous births

    anyway that experience strengthened 'my' confidence of the Buddha's words

    anybody can do this
    but most important thing is try to understand the 'Dependent Origination'

    then
    one does not need to think/seek
    whom i was in the past
    whom i am now
    whom i will be in the future

    because
    the problem is solved

    Homage to Buddha
    Homage to Dhamma
    Homage to Sangha (eight type of persons)


    BunksEthan_McCunepegembara
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    bottom:
    Bunks
  • jlljll Veteran
    all the speculation is just that.
    just like the benefits of meditation, it is only when you experience it for yourself , then you can be sure.
    it is the same for jhanas and past lives, if you dont experience it, then its just speculation.
    if some people claim they can see their previous lives, they are either telling the truth or they are liars.
    if there is no past lives, that would make buddha a liar.
    sovacvalue
  • vinlyn said:

    So far the only life I remember is being a dolphin in my last life. Are there new and old souls, or did we all exist since the beginning of time and I'm just not recalling everything?

    OMG, he said "souls"!!!!!
    I didn't mean to say soul xD I just mean consciousness that remains after death.
  • sovasova delocalized fractyllic harmonizing Veteran
    "When the mind was thus concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, rid of defilement, pliant, malleable, steady, & attained to imperturbability" ..

    read that 10,000 times

    then direct your curiosity skillfully and gently.


    people here have lots of answers! but most of the fun is finding out for yourself :)


    @how brings insight rapidly in this thread, as letting an unmanipulated experience of your life-chain (which in buddha's teaching has no discernible beginning, is endless) requires the vast nonclinging of an experienced meditator.

    an analogy might be a chain necklace. too far you zoom in and you have only one "life" or one link

    too closely one holds an individuality apart from other beings and we fail to see the possibility of greater organisms made of many bodies, like how cells make up an organ (or a body) [so cultivate compassion : your pain = my pain, for everyone, until identity dissolves. through single-pointed awareness {mind and whole body energy (active and) mediated} the knots of your most sincere curiosities shall unravel].


    "words ain't pure, son. but they're a good stepping stone over the ocean"




    lobsteranatamanBunkscvalue
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran
    jll said:

    if there is no past lives, that would make buddha a liar.

    Unless the Buddha never taught it and it was simply added to the scriptures when the Pali Canon was written.
  • jlljll Veteran
    there is no way of knowing.
    our best source is the pali canon.

    and past lives is a recurrent theme through out the suttas.
    Bunks said:

    jll said:

    if there is no past lives, that would make buddha a liar.

    Unless the Buddha never taught it and it was simply added to the scriptures when the Pali Canon was written.
    Bunks
  • I know some Buddhist don't believe in reincarnation, some believe in rebirth. I believe in both. So my question is, does anyone have a past life regression meditation they can teach me or is that just something you just learn through practice? Thank you.

    But at any rate, whether or not visions and signs arise, they're not really what you want here, because aside from being defilements, clouding your discernment, they are also obstacles to the development of clear insight. The aim of training the mind is to let go of the five Hindrances and then to examine the khandhas so that they become clear, to see them as they actually are to the point where you grow disenchanted with them, loosen your passion and fascination with them, and let them go, never to enter into and take hold of them again.

    When you have trained the mind to be firmly enough established in absorption and concentration to suppress the five Hindrances, then you should work at developing clear insight. Actually, clear insight may arise at the same time you are working on tranquillity. In other words, discernment may brighten so as to know and see clearly the truth that all conditioned things (sankhara) that arise are bound to disintegrate and pass away. They can't last. They aren't "me" or "myself," but are simply natural conditions acting on their own.

    Steps Along the Path
    http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books/Ajahn_Thate_Steps_Along_the_Path.htm
    Ethan_McCune
  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
    vinlyn said:

    So far the only life I remember is being a dolphin in my last life. Are there new and old souls, or did we all exist since the beginning of time and I'm just not recalling everything?

    OMG, he said "souls"!!!!!
    Blasphemy!!!!! he must be burnt at the stake... or weighed to see if he weighs the same as a duck.. one way or another.
    Ethan_McCunevinlyn
  • HamsakaHamsaka goosewhisperer Polishing the 'just so' Veteran
    how said:

    The problem with speaking of past lives is that the woo woo factor alone frankly causes more of a likelihood of clinging than of any related insight..
    ( IMO ) The main value in having it be in our Buddhist lexicon is so that a practitioner in the midst of it doesn't have to assume that he or she is dementing.

    No KIDDING! The Woo Woo Factor, this is a pernicious one. When it comes to super duper exciting things like focusing on my own breathing for hours at a time, 'knowing' my past lives wins the pony hands down. So does Enlightenment as long as other people know it and treat me accordingly. Sometimes just saying I'm a Buddhist gives me that nice solid feeling, you know?

    I had my past lives 'read' once. In the life previous to this one, I died in a street fight. Another time (current life) a good friend who was getting her MA in counseling did a kind of regression or hypnosis thing on me and I still remember what came up. I was a very old woman remembering an infant I'd lost at birth or soon thereafter. The emotion that occurred was completely overwhelming. I sobbed for a long time, and my poor friend refused to let me 'regress' her. Big wonder, that.

    I am open and willing about this whole idea (considering what I believe means squit in terms of what is or is not true). I have to lend it quite a bit of credence, as rebirth is involved in 2 of 3 of the Insights the Buddha had; since the third Insight about mental effluents is so effing obvious in my direct experience (so far as my ability to grasp it, I'm only beginning), I gotta figure the Buddha wouldn't LIE about something that foundational along side something so obviously true.

    I like how Thanissaro Bikkhu puts it in Wings to Awakening; the fact of rebirth and how/why rebirth happens provides background for the third Insight about mental effluents.
    Ethan_McCunepegembara
  • sovasova delocalized fractyllic harmonizing Veteran
    ain't no big deal

    the tear drop was once an ocean

    :)


    berzin has talks and writing that imho elucidate that rebirth/incarnation is really no big deal. let's work with the blessings we got! :) keep em comin' and keep love growin'!
    lobster
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    Bunks said:

    jll said:

    if there is no past lives, that would make buddha a liar.

    Unless the Buddha never taught it and it was simply added to the scriptures when the Pali Canon was written.
    But why would anyone do that? In the Buddha's time there were all kinds of views around, including atheism and skepticism and materialism. And if you were responsible for passing on the teachings of a Buddha, would you start making things up?
  • howhow Veteran Veteran
    edited February 2014
    We are all screwy. That's why we are here. Same for everyone..
    If your practice can not prove something, then either faith/devotion fills that gap or its just more dusty graffiti along the path to leave behind.
    cvalue
  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran
    I'm not screwy; but you have just nailed me!
  • OH not no, but Hell no! I do not want to even think of this one, let alone having to deal with anything past that.
    anataman
  • anataman said:

    I'm not screwy; but you have just nailed me!

    I'm bolting, before you come unglued.
    anataman
  • If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all
    generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in
    your body. You are the continuation of each of these people. ---Thich Nhat Hanh
    Ethan_McCuneanataman
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    how said:


    If your practice can not prove something...

    Why is there a need to prove anything? What's wrong with just not knowing?
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    I remember one past life. High school. :)
  • BhikkhuJayasaraBhikkhuJayasara Bhikkhu Veteran
    seeker242 said:

    I remember one past life. High school. :)

    I worked hard to forget that past life for a long long time lol.
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