. Whether we like it or not the question of what happens after death is an issue that the Buddha addressed.
Not so. He started with the problem off dukkha. With his practice he realized that dukkha arises when there is clinging, which leads to birth of "I am" and also leads to all the myriad of views that arise in the world, be it God or rebirth, no rebirth, soul etc
This is why the Buddha taught that views were a flood and should be abandoned, i.e. the arising of them should be seen (grasping) and so should be let go off, which means one lets go of the view, i.e. non-adherence to it
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
At Savatthi. "Monks, there are these four floods. Which four? The flood of sensuality, the flood of becoming, the flood of views, & the flood of ignorance. These are the four floods.
"Now, this noble eightfold path is to be developed for direct knowledge of, comprehension of, the total ending of, & the abandoning of these four floods. Which noble eightfold path? There is the case where a monk develops right view dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops right resolve... right speech... right action... right livelihood... right effort... right mindfulness... right concentration dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go. This noble eightfold path is to be developed for direct knowledge of, for comprehension of, for the total ending of, & for the abandoning of these four floods."
Which the leads to
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html
Abandoning (the views) he had (previously) held and not taking up (another), he does not seek a support even in knowledge. Among those who dispute he is certainly not one to take sides. He does not [have] recourse to a view at all. In whom there is no inclination to either extreme, for becoming or non-becoming, here or in another existence, for him there does not exist a fixed viewpoint on investigating the doctrines assumed (by others). Concerning the seen, the heard and the cognized he does not form the least notion. That brahmana who does not grasp at a view, with what could he be identified in the world?
"They do not speculate nor pursue (any notion); doctrines are not accepted by them. A (true) brahmana is beyond, does not fall back on views.
when one understands views as
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"And how is there the yoke of views? There is the case where a certain person does not discern, as it actually is present, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from views. When he does not discern, as it actually is present, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from views, then — with regard to views — he is obsessed with view-passion, view-delight, view-attraction, view-infatuation, view-thirst, view-fever, view-fascination, view-craving. This is the yoke of sensuality, the yoke of becoming, & the yoke of views.
Because of the process of
Ven. Maha Kaccana said this: "Concerning the brief statement the Blessed One made, after which he went into his dwelling without analyzing the detailed meaning — i.e., 'If, with regard to the cause whereby the perceptions & categories of objectification assail a person, there is nothing there to relish, welcome, or remain fastened to, then that is the end of the obsessions of passion, the obsessions of resistance, the obsessions of views, the obsessions of uncertainty, the obsessions of conceit, the obsessions of passion for becoming, & the obsessions of ignorance. That is the end of taking up rods & bladed weapons, of arguments, quarrels, disputes, accusations, divisive tale-bearing, & false speech. That is where these evil, unskillful things cease without remainder'
"Dependent on eye & forms, eye-consciousness arises. The meeting of the three is contact. With contact as a requisite condition, there is feeling. What one feels, one perceives (labels in the mind). What one perceives, one thinks about. What one thinks about, one objectifies. Based on what a person objectifies, the perceptions & categories of objectification assail him/her with regard to past, present, & future forms cognizable via the eye.
Honey Ball Sutta
One then lets go. When one lets go then
At Savatthi. "Bhikkhus, form is impermanent, ..feeling ..., perception, formations, consciousness is impermanent. What is impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is non-self. What is non-self should be seen as it really is with correct wisdom thus: "This is not mind, this I am not, this is not my self"
"When one sees this thus as it really is with correct wisdom, one holds no more views concerning the past. When one holds no more views concerning the past, one holds no more views concerning the future.
When one holds no more views concerning the future, one has no more obstinate grasping. When one has no more obstinate grasping, the mind becomes dispassionate towars form, feeling, perception, formations and consciousness, and is liberated from the taints by non-clinging.
"By being liberated, it is steady; by being steady, it is content; by being content, one is not agitated. Being unagitated, one personally attains nibbana. One understands: "Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived .... there is no more for this state of being
SN page 885 Bodhi translation
Note that when one no longer clings to the aggregates, there are no views about the past or future. If you like it or not Rebirth after death as a deva view falls into this
As for daily practice, probably not something needed to be obsessed over, either for or against, but it may play a role in terms of dealing with the reality of death and in terms of jhana experience where rebirth possibly can be verified.
The way for dealing with death is laid out here
"There the blessed one uttered this inspired utterance: "It might not be, and it might not be for me; it will not be, [and] it will not be for me: resolving thus, a bhikkhu can cut off the lower fetters"
When this was said a certain bhikhhu said to the blessed one: "But how venerable sir, can a bhikkhu resolving this .... cut off the lower fetters?"
Here bhikkhu, the uninstructed worldling .... regards form as self....,... or self as in consciousness. He does not understand as it really is impermanent form as "impermanent form" ... impermanent feeling, ... impermanent perception, .... impermanent volition, ... impermanent consciousness.
He does not understand as it really is painful form as "painful form", ... painful feeling, ... painful perception, .... painful formation, ... painful consciousness.
He does not understand ... selfless form as "selfless form", selfless feeling, selfless perception, selfless formation, selfless consciousness
He does not understand .... conditioned form as "conditioned form", conditioned feeling, conditioned perception, conditioned formation, conditioned consciousness.
"He does not understand as it really is, "Form will be exterminated", ... feeling will be exterminated, .... perception will be exterminated, ...., formation will be exterminated, ... consciousness will be exterminated.
"The instructed noble disciple, bhikkhu,... does not regard form as self, .... or self as in consciousness.
"He understands as it really is, "impermanent form, ... consciousness."
He understands as it really is. " painful form, ... painful consciousness."
He understands as it really is. " selfless form as "selfless form", ... Selfless consciousness"
"He understands as it really is, "conditioned form, ... conditioned consciousness"
He understands as it really is, " form will be exterminated, feeling will be exterminated, perception will be exterminated, formations will be exterminated, consciousness will be exterminated.
"With the extermination of form, feeling, perception, formations and consciousness, that bhikkhu, resolving thus "It might not be, and it might not be for me, it will not be, it will not be for me". can cut off the lower fetters
...but how should one know, how should one see, for immediate destruction of the taints to occur?
Here, bhikkhu, the uninstructed worldling becomes frightened over and unfightening matter. For this is frightening to the uninstructed worldling: "It might not be, and it might not be for me, it will not be, it will not be for me". But the instructed noble disciple does not become frightened ... "It might not be, and it might not be for me, it will not be, it will not be for me"
"Consciousness ... while standing, might stand engaged with form, ... feeling, .... perception, engaged with formations, with a sprinkling of delight, it might come to growth, increase and expansion.
"Bhikkhu, thought someone might say: "Apart from form, feeling, perception, formations, I will make known the coming and going of consciousness, its passing away and birth, its growth, increase, and expansion - that is impossible.
"Bhikkhu, if a bhikkhu has abandoned lust for the form element, with the abandoning of lust the basis is cut off: there is no support for the establishing of consciousness. If he has abandoned lust for feeling element, perception element, formations element, for the consciousness element, with the abandoning of lust the basis is cut off: there is no support for the establishing of consciousness.
"When that consciousness is unestablished, not coming to growth, nongenerative, it is liberated. By being liberated it is steady; by being steady, it is content; by being content, he is not agitated. Being unagitated, he personally attain nibbana. He understands ... no more state of being."
SN page 893/4 Bodhi translation