Question on rebirth and mindstream

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unveiledartist
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Question on rebirth and mindstream

Post by unveiledartist » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:37 pm

Afternoon.
:namaste:

I'm new here so you'd have to bare with me on where to post what in which forums. I listen to Venerable Thubten Chodron in her dharma talks everyday for good while now. She is a Theravada buddhist. A lot of her dharma talks, she explains about rebirth and consciousness. I still haven't wrapped my head around it yet and hope some suttas can give me more insight; maybe, what I haven't read so far finding.

The closest I understand rebirth, consciousness, and karmic imprints is thinking of our mind in three ways-our consciousnesses (awareness), subconsciousness (thoughts and actions), and unconsciousness (the source in which the meaning of our actions and thoughts reside).

I put serenity meditation with calming down the consciousnesses mind to be aware of our subconscious. While insight meditation looks into our unconscious so that we understand the other two better.

Chodron then went to talk about our Mind Stream. Now I understand karmic imprints. I relate it to someone in a war who has PTSD. His actions, say killing a child, is imprinted in his last Un' and created karmic imprints on his mind-stream. I understand it up to now. When he does, his karma is still on his mindstream

But what is the mind-stream that continues from one life to another in which is not defined by our body and our immediate awareness?

There have been children who talk about their past lives; but, I never really looked into it. If you have an good understanding of rebirth and mind-stream can you explain what stream of thought stays from one body to another?
(Buddha said), "Monks, do not wage wordy warfare, saying: 'You don't understand this Dhamma and discipline, I understand this Dhamma and discipline'; 'How could you understand it? You have fallen into wrong practices: I have the right practice."~AN 4.183. Dont speak ill of other people and traditions with whom teach The Dharma. Right speech is respect in agreements and disagreements alike.

:anjali:

SarathW
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Re: Question on rebirth and mindstream

Post by SarathW » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:49 pm

But what is the mind-stream that continues from one life to another in which is not defined by our body and our immediate awareness?
There are tons of discussions in this forum looking for the answer to this problem. The best way I can explain it to you this through an analogy.
Campfire becomes a grass fire. Grassfire becomes a bushfire. Bushfire becomes a house fire.
Here, fire is the simile for the consciousness. Different type of fires is the simile for the different type of rebirths.
Fire sustained due to nutrients such as grass, leaves, and timber. The consciousness is the nutriment of the life.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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unveiledartist
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Re: Question on rebirth and mindstream

Post by unveiledartist » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:00 pm

SarathW wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:49 pm
But what is the mind-stream that continues from one life to another in which is not defined by our body and our immediate awareness?
There are tons of discussions in this forum looking for the answer to this problem. The best way I can explain it to you this through an analogy.
Campfire becomes a grass fire. Grassfire becomes a bushfire. Bushfire becomes a house fire.
Here, fire is the simile for the consciousness. Different type of fires is the simile for the different type of rebirths.
Fire sustained due to nutrients such as grass, leaves, and timber. The consciousness is the nutriment of the life.
Thank you. Interesting. There was something I read and heard that between one fire burning to another, it takes a number of years 49, 69, or something before the next rebirth. I tried meditating on it but keep coming up short after the death part.
(Buddha said), "Monks, do not wage wordy warfare, saying: 'You don't understand this Dhamma and discipline, I understand this Dhamma and discipline'; 'How could you understand it? You have fallen into wrong practices: I have the right practice."~AN 4.183. Dont speak ill of other people and traditions with whom teach The Dharma. Right speech is respect in agreements and disagreements alike.

:anjali:

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cappuccino
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Re: Question on rebirth and mindstream

Post by cappuccino » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:29 pm

my understanding is there is no time between rebirth

the mind as it is continues

I think it's unnecessary to analyse more

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unveiledartist
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Re: Question on rebirth and mindstream

Post by unveiledartist » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:11 am

cappuccino wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:29 pm
my understanding is there is no time between rebirth

the mind as it is continues

I think it's unnecessary to analyse more
I notice Tibetans read a lot from commentary sources. It was something she read from Nagargina, I believe.
(Buddha said), "Monks, do not wage wordy warfare, saying: 'You don't understand this Dhamma and discipline, I understand this Dhamma and discipline'; 'How could you understand it? You have fallen into wrong practices: I have the right practice."~AN 4.183. Dont speak ill of other people and traditions with whom teach The Dharma. Right speech is respect in agreements and disagreements alike.

:anjali:

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Re: Question on rebirth and mindstream

Post by DNS » Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:31 am

unveiledartist wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:37 pm
I'm new here so you'd have to bare with me on where to post what in which forums. I listen to Venerable Thubten Chodron in her dharma talks everyday for good while now. She is a Theravada buddhist.
I believe you meant to say Tibetan Buddhist? She is ordained in the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya and follows, teaches from the Gelug tradition of Vajrayana (Tibetan) Buddhism. So her views will likely to be more towards the bardo and other views from that tradition.

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unveiledartist
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Re: Question on rebirth and mindstream

Post by unveiledartist » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:06 am

Yep. My mistake. I actually dont know too much of theravada other than studying suttas to further practice.
(Buddha said), "Monks, do not wage wordy warfare, saying: 'You don't understand this Dhamma and discipline, I understand this Dhamma and discipline'; 'How could you understand it? You have fallen into wrong practices: I have the right practice."~AN 4.183. Dont speak ill of other people and traditions with whom teach The Dharma. Right speech is respect in agreements and disagreements alike.

:anjali:

paul
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Re: Question on rebirth and mindstream

Post by paul » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:40 am

"The channel for the transmission of kammic influence from life to life across the sequence of rebirths is the individual stream of consciousness. Consciousness embraces both phases of our being — that in which we generate fresh kamma and that in which we reap the fruits of old kamma — and thus in the process of rebirth, consciousness bridges the old and new existences. Consciousness is not a single transmigrating entity, a self or soul, but a stream of evanescent acts of consciousness, each of which arises, briefly subsists, and then passes away. This entire stream, however, though made up of evanescent units, is fused into a unified whole by the causal relations obtaining between all the occasions of consciousness in any individual continuum. At a deep level, each occasion of consciousness inherits from its predecessor the entire kammic legacy of that particular stream; in perishing, it in turn passes that content on to its successor, augmented by its own novel contribution. Thus our volitional deeds do not exhaust their full potential in their immediately visible effects. Every volitional deed that we perform, when it passes, leaves behind a subtle imprint stamped upon the onward-flowing stream of consciousness. The deed deposits in the stream of consciousness a seed capable of bearing fruit, of producing a result that matches the ethical quality of the deed.

When we encounter suitable external conditions, the kammic seeds deposited in our mental continuum rise up from their dormant condition and produce their fruits. The most important function performed by kamma is to generate rebirth into an appropriate realm, a realm that provides a field for it to unfold its stored potentials. The bridge between the old existence and the new is, as we said above, the evolving stream of consciousness. It is within this stream of consciousness that the kamma has been created through the exercise of volition; it is this same stream of consciousness, flowing on, that carries the kammic energies into the new existence; and it is again this same stream of consciousness that experiences the fruit. Conceivably, at the deepest level all the individual streams of consciousness are integrated into a single all-embracing matrix, so that, beneath the surface of events, the separate kammic accumulations of all living beings crisscross, overlap, and merge. This hypothesis — though speculative — would help account for the strange coincidences we sometimes meet that prick holes in our assumptions of rational order."---'Does Rebirth Make Sense?', Bikkhu Bodhi.

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Re: Question on rebirth and mindstream

Post by unveiledartist » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:32 pm

Thank you for that. Great explanation!
(Buddha said), "Monks, do not wage wordy warfare, saying: 'You don't understand this Dhamma and discipline, I understand this Dhamma and discipline'; 'How could you understand it? You have fallen into wrong practices: I have the right practice."~AN 4.183. Dont speak ill of other people and traditions with whom teach The Dharma. Right speech is respect in agreements and disagreements alike.

:anjali:

DooDoot
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Re: Question on rebirth and mindstream

Post by DooDoot » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:58 pm

unveiledartist wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:37 pm
The closest I understand rebirth, consciousness, and karmic imprints is thinking of our mind in three ways-our consciousnesses (awareness), subconsciousness (thoughts and actions), and unconsciousness (the source in which the meaning of our actions and thoughts reside).
The above seems not to conform with the Pali suttas, at least according to my reading of them. In the Pali suttas:

1. Consciousness (vinanna) is six types of sense awareness that arises dependent upon the six sense organs & six sense objects.

2. The source of thoughts & actions are mental defilements or tendencies (anusaya).

3. The residing place of this source is called the "citta" (mind-heart) rather than consciousness (vinnana).
unveiledartist wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:37 pm
I put serenity meditation with calming down the consciousnesses mind to be aware of our subconscious.
The Pali suttas mostly refer to calming or liberating the "citta" rather than calming or liberating "consciousness".
unveiledartist wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:37 pm
Chodron then went to talk about our Mind Stream.
The idea "mindstream" does not exist in the Pali suttas (apart from one very obscure place, in a different context).
unveiledartist wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:37 pm
Now I understand karmic imprints.
Kammic imprints are results (vipaka) of kamma (actions).
unveiledartist wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:37 pm
I relate it to someone in a war who has PTSD. His actions, say killing a child, is imprinted in his last Un' and created karmic imprints on his mind-stream. I understand it up to now. When he does, his karma is still on his mindstream
Thank you. You have provide an excellent description here. However, in Pali, the term "mind stream" is not used. Instead, Pali uses 'citta' or the equivalent 'ceta/ceto'. For example:
There is no fear for an awakened one, whose mind (citta) is not sodden (by lust) nor afflicted (by hate), and who has gone beyond both merit and demerit.

Dhammapada 39
Luminous, monks, is the mind (citta). And it is defiled by incoming defilements. AN 1.49-52
When one abides inflamed by lust, fettered, infatuated, contemplating gratification, then the five aggregates affected by clinging are built up for oneself in the future; and one’s craving—which brings renewal of being, is accompanied by delight and lust, and delights in this and that—increases. One’s bodily and mental (ceta) troubles increase, one’s bodily and mental (ceta) torments increase, one’s bodily and mental (ceta) fevers increase, and one experiences bodily and mental (ceta) suffering. MN 149
Citta & ceta; in promiscuous application.
There is no cogent evidence of a clear separation of their respective fields of meaning; a few cases indicate the rôle of cetas as seat of citta, whereas most of them show no distinction.
:candle:
unveiledartist wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:37 pm
But what is the mind-stream that continues from one life to another in which is not defined by our body and our immediate awareness?
Theravada Buddhists often debate this because this appears to be not definitively explained in the Pali suttas. Later teachers use Dependent Origination to explain this, where the idea of "relinking consciousness" (paṭisandhi-viññāṇa) was introduced.

Regards
Last edited by DooDoot on Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cappuccino
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Re: Question on rebirth and mindstream

Post by cappuccino » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:32 pm

from one day to another, it's more or less a continuation

like life and death and life

2600htz
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Re: Question on rebirth and mindstream

Post by 2600htz » Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:08 pm

Hello:

Consciousness-Definition (MN-43)
"'It cognizes, it cognizes': Thus, friend, it is said to be 'consciousness.' And what does it cognize? It cognizes 'pleasant.' It cognizes 'painful.' It cognizes 'neither painful nor pleasant.' 'It cognizes, it cognizes': Thus it is said to be 'consciousness.'"
Consciousness-After death (MN-106)
on the dissolution of
the body, after death it is possible that the evolving consciousness
may pass on to rebirth in....
Consciousness-As requisite for Mentality or "mindstream" (MN-38)
From consciousness as a requisite condition comes Mentality and Materiality.
Consciousness-The seed (AN 3.76)
"Thus kamma is the field, consciousness the seed, and craving the moisture.[2] The consciousness of living beings hindered by ignorance & fettered by craving is established in/tuned to a lower property. Thus there is the production of renewed becoming in the future.
So that gives you an idea on how a "mindstream" continues after death.
Consciousness its the energy that kicks in another mind process in another being but dependent on previous kamma made by the being that died.

Regards.

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unveiledartist
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Re: Question on rebirth and mindstream

Post by unveiledartist » Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:30 pm

2600htz wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:08 pm
Hello:

Consciousness-Definition (MN-43)
"'It cognizes, it cognizes': Thus, friend, it is said to be 'consciousness.' And what does it cognize? It cognizes 'pleasant.' It cognizes 'painful.' It cognizes 'neither painful nor pleasant.' 'It cognizes, it cognizes': Thus it is said to be 'consciousness.'"
Consciousness-After death (MN-106)
on the dissolution of
the body, after death it is possible that the evolving consciousness
may pass on to rebirth in....
Consciousness-As requisite for Mentality or "mindstream" (MN-38)
From consciousness as a requisite condition comes Mentality and Materiality.
Consciousness-The seed (AN 3.76)
"Thus kamma is the field, consciousness the seed, and craving the moisture.[2] The consciousness of living beings hindered by ignorance & fettered by craving is established in/tuned to a lower property. Thus there is the production of renewed becoming in the future.
So that gives you an idea on how a "mindstream" continues after death.
Consciousness its the energy that kicks in another mind process in another being but dependent on previous kamma made by the being that died.

Regards.
Nice! Thank you. I'll have to print this out.
(Buddha said), "Monks, do not wage wordy warfare, saying: 'You don't understand this Dhamma and discipline, I understand this Dhamma and discipline'; 'How could you understand it? You have fallen into wrong practices: I have the right practice."~AN 4.183. Dont speak ill of other people and traditions with whom teach The Dharma. Right speech is respect in agreements and disagreements alike.

:anjali:

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Otto
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Re: Question on rebirth and mindstream

Post by Otto » Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:49 am

Try this view: The thought-stream in itself is aspatial and atemporal. Time emerges with awareness of thought-moments and space emerges with consciousness of the sphere of infinite space or with some embodiment. The thought-stream is prior to these things and metaphysically functions as a soul within the context of samsara. Almost anything that might intelligently be said about the soul in Western philosophy may be said about the thought-stream insofar as we are only talking about the samsaric process. Of course, the thought-stream is not some subject which gets liberated or saved; nibbana puts an end to the samsaric system. More could be said if we brought in the subject of identity.

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