past life

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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contentment
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past life

Post by contentment » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:14 pm

I think I have always remembered my previous life.
From the beginning of this life, before three up to age eleven, I experienced the most intriguing experience.
First as I was going to sleep I would become very fearful as my body became paralyzed with a feeling of being smothered then all turning black. I then was a boy around eleven. I can see myself, my hair, face, body. I see the cap, suspenders, jacket, shirt, socks, shoes. I look though his eyes and see fencing and a wooden tower, up in the tower I see a soldier he has a gun he looks down at me. I know this is a concentration camp and I am alone.
The next morning I awake with an aroma that I can not get away from until I go to sleep that night. At age eleven I asked my brother if he could smell this aroma and of coarse he could not. That was the last time I experienced this, but the boy and the soldier are still vivid in my mind, I am now age 67.
What do you make of this?

chownah
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Re: past life

Post by chownah » Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:38 am

Thank you for sharing something that happened a long long time ago. Can you share something with us that has happened more recently?
chownah

plwk
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Re: past life

Post by plwk » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:57 am

Another worthless opinion of mine...
As mentioned here....
"Kevatta, there are these three miracles that I have declared, having directly known and realized them for myself.
Which three? The miracle of psychic power, the miracle of telepathy, and the miracle of instruction.
"And what is the miracle of instruction?
There is the case where a monk gives instruction in this way: 'Direct your thought in this way, don't direct it in that. Attend to things in this way, don't attend to them in that. Let go of this, enter and remain in that.' This, Kevatta, is called the miracle of instruction.

"Furthermore, there is the case where a Tathagata appears in the world, worthy and rightly self-awakened. He teaches the Dhamma admirable in its beginning, admirable in its middle, admirable in its end. He proclaims the holy life both in its particulars and in its essence, entirely perfect, surpassingly pure.

"A householder or householder's son, hearing the Dhamma, gains conviction in the Tathagata and reflects: 'Household life is confining, a dusty path. The life gone forth is like the open air. It is not easy living at home to practice the holy life totally perfect, totally pure, like a polished shell. What if I were to shave off my hair and beard, put on the ochre robes, and go forth from the household life into homelessness?'
"So after some time he abandons his mass of wealth, large or small; leaves his circle of relatives, large or small; shaves off his hair and beard, puts on the ochre robes, and goes forth from the household life into homelessness.
"When he has thus gone forth, he lives restrained by the rules of the monastic code, seeing danger in the slightest faults. Consummate in his virtue, he guards the doors of his senses, is possessed of mindfulness and alertness, and is content.

"With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to knowledge of the recollection of past lives (lit: previous homes). He recollects his manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two births, three births, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, one hundred, one thousand, one hundred thousand, many aeons of cosmic contraction, many aeons of cosmic expansion, many aeons of cosmic contraction and expansion, [recollecting], 'There I had such a name, belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and 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 and pain, such the end of my life. Passing away from that state, I re-arose here.' Thus he recollects his manifold past lives in their modes and details. Just as if a man were to go from his home village to another village, and then from that village to yet another village, and then from that village back to his home village. The thought would occur to him, 'I went from my home village to that village over there. There I stood in such a way, sat in such a way, talked in such a way, and remained silent in such a way. From that village I went to that village over there, and there I stood in such a way, sat in such a way, talked in such a way, and remained silent in such a way. From that village I came back home.' In the same way — with his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability — the monk directs and inclines it to knowledge of the recollection of past lives.
He recollects his manifold past lives... in their modes and details.
"This, too, is called the miracle of instruction.
Then I was reflecting on these...
http://www.vipassana.info/002-sabbasava-sutta-e1.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
He thinks unwisely in this manner:
Was I in the past or wasn’t I in the past. Who was I in the past. How was I in the past. Become who and who was I in the past:
Will I be in the future, or will I not be in the future. What will I be in the future. How will I be in the future. Become who and who will I be in the future.
Or doubts arise about the self in the present :
Am I, or am I not. What am I. How am I . From where did this being come, where will it go.
To whoever thinking unwisely in this manner, one of these six views arises
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"And how, monks, does one chase after the past?
One gets carried away with the delight of 'In the past I had such a form (body)'... 'In the past I had such a feeling'... 'In the past I had such a perception'... 'In the past I had such a thought-fabrication'... 'In the past I had such a consciousness.'
This is called chasing after the past.
"And how does one not chase after the past?
One does not get carried away with the delight of 'In the past I had such a form (body)'... 'In the past I had such a feeling'... 'In the past I had such a perception'... 'In the past I had such a thought-fabrication'... 'In the past I had such a consciousness.'
This is called not chasing after the past.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"Monks, any priests or contemplatives who recollect their manifold past lives all recollect the five clinging-aggregates, or one among them. Which five?
When recollecting, 'I was one with such a form in the past,' one is recollecting just form.
Or when recollecting, 'I was one with such a feeling in the past,' one is recollecting just feeling.
Or when recollecting, 'I was one with such a perception in the past,' one is recollecting just perception.
Or when recollecting, 'I was one with such mental fabrications in the past,' one is recollecting just mental fabrications.
Or when recollecting, 'I was one with such a consciousness in the past,' one is recollecting just consciousness.

"Thus an instructed disciple of the noble ones reflects in this way:
'I am now being chewed up by form...feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness...
But in the past I was also chewed up by form...feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness...in the same way I am now being chewed up by present form..feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness.
And if I delight in future form...feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness, then in the future I will be chewed up by form...feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness... in the same way I am now being chewed up by present form...feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness.'
Having reflected in this way, he becomes indifferent to past form...feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness., does not delight in future form...feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness... and is practicing for the sake of disenchantment, dispassion, and cessation with regard to present form...feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness...

"This, monks, is called a disciple of the Noble Ones who tears down and does not build up; who abandons and does not cling; who discards and does not pull in; who scatters and does not pile up.
"And what does he tear down and not build up...abandon and not cling to...discard and not pull in...scatter and not pile up?
He tears down...abandon...discard...scatter form...feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness and does not build it up...and not cling to... and not pull in...and not pile up.
"Seeing thus, the instructed disciple of the Noble Ones grows disenchanted with form, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with perception, disenchanted with fabrications, disenchanted with consciousness.
Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released.
With full release, there is the knowledge, 'Fully released.'
He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The Blessed One said, "And which All is a phenomenon to be abandoned?
The eye is to be abandoned. Forms are to be abandoned. Consciousness at the eye is to be abandoned. Contact at the eye is to be abandoned. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the eye — experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain — that too is to be abandoned.
"The ear is to be abandoned. Sounds are to be abandoned...
"The nose is to be abandoned. Aromas are to be abandoned...
"The tongue is to be abandoned. Flavors are to be abandoned...
"The body is to be abandoned. Tactile sensations are to be abandoned...
"The intellect is to be abandoned. Ideas are to be abandoned. Consciousness at the intellect is to be abandoned. Contact at the intellect is to be abandoned.
And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the intellect — experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain — that too is to be abandoned.
"This is called the All as a phenomenon to be abandoned."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"Thus, monks, any form...feeling...perception...fabrications...consciousness whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every form...feeling...perception...fabrications...consciousness is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

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tiltbillings
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Re: past life

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Jun 30, 2011 8:08 am

contentment wrote:I think I have always remembered my previous life.
. . . What do you make of this?
It is possible these could be carry-overs from a previous life, which is interesting and might even be very useful in terms of inspring one to get interested in the Buddha's teachings. But even if it is a memory of a past life, it is still a memory, albeit an interesting and compelling one.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Will
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Re: past life

Post by Will » Thu Jun 30, 2011 3:41 pm

chownah wrote:Thank you for sharing something that happened a long long time ago. Can you share something with us that has happened more recently?
chownah
He has; this experience has pervaded his entire lifetime up to now.
May all seek, find and follow the Path of Tathāgatas.

rowyourboat
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Re: past life

Post by rowyourboat » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:54 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
contentment wrote:I think I have always remembered my previous life.
. . . What do you make of this?
It is possible these could be carry-overs from a previous life, which is interesting and might even be very useful in terms of inspring one to get interested in the Buddha's teachings. But even if it is a memory of a past life, it is still a memory, albeit an interesting and compelling one.
Thats right- I urge you not to listen to those sure knee jerk responses which will follow your post- 'forget it, it is just passing phenomena'. Rebirth is right view - and it can be used very powerfully to motivate your practice to get out of samsara- being killed in this way might be due to a particularly bad karma. It is in your hands now to overcome this and stop it happening repeatedly in your samsaric journey - allow the belief to trickle through and motivate you. When we have a completely materialistic view of the universe, 'phenomenological' vipassana becomes very easy, but it tends to loose some of the wonder and vastness which is Buddhist practice. :anjali: :buddha1:

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

BKh
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Re: past life

Post by BKh » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:58 pm

If you can get a copy of it, Rebirth As Doctrine and Experience by Francis Story is worth the read. As I recall, the material is presented in a way that helps one develop confidence in the teachings of the Buddha, although I don't think it has a lot of sutta references.
ReadingFaithfully.org Daily Practice with the Suttas | BuddhaRupa Images of the Buddha across time and space

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ground
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Re: past life

Post by ground » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:49 am

contentment wrote:What do you make of this?
These are your thoughts. I cannot make something of this other than "maybe ... maybe not".

Kind regards

chownah
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Joined: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:19 pm

Re: past life

Post by chownah » Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:34 am

Will wrote:
chownah wrote:Thank you for sharing something that happened a long long time ago. Can you share something with us that has happened more recently?
chownah
He has; this experience has pervaded his entire lifetime up to now.
contentment,
Will has pointed out that perhaps I have misunderstood your post. He says that this expereince has pervaded your entire lifetime......from his suggestion I've decided to ask you how often does the thought of this experience come to your mind?
chownah

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icyteru
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Re: past life

Post by icyteru » Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:04 am

try samadhi / bhavana. maybe you can recall your past life more easily?
The most complete english tipitaka on the internet world. http://realtruthlife.blogspot.com .

Lhamo
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Re: past life

Post by Lhamo » Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:58 am

WellI Plwk, this extensive textual material certainly seems to answer the question in the affirmative: did the Buddha teach rebirth, multiple-lifetime rebirth. thank you for this.

To the OP: I think you're fortunate to have this recall. It means you have no doubt in the reality of rebirth. :thumbsup:

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