If a person was that concerned about being reborn as a disabled person (and not having a chance to do his practice as well), then maybe he should focus on making things better for the disabled, that are actually living right now... then I think that way when he is reborn, things won't be so bad, because of the work that he's already done.Micheal Kush wrote: Personally, I just find it more horrifying to engage in a thought of living a life as say, a disabled person or totally deprived being, who is ignorant of their past life and who lives another life of birth, decay, death. And yet people say rebirth was conjured up to escape the fear of eternal death. Yea rite .
I've found the attitudes of some Buddhists to be generally poor, at the very least, towards deaf people. A deaf guy told me few years ago that when he tried to register for a 10-day vipassana retreat, he was denied because someone said that auditory feedback was an "integral component" of the practice. I thought that this was wrong.
It's not inconceivable to me that the person who said that will find himself reborn as a deaf person sometimes in one of his future lives... and then regret it when there isn't any much opportunity for him to encounter or practice Dhamma. In fact, I'm pretty sure that this is what happened to me. (I'm deaf.)
Sometimes, I'm a little mystified about why I seem to be able to pick up this practice so easily, from so little... compared to the people who can hear, and have a free, unobstructed access to the bhikkhus' advice in real life. Reading from the books (or internet forums) just isn't the same... when you are in the presence of actual practitioners, it makes all the difference in the world.
It seems unfair to deny that to deaf people... just because it's inconvenient. I don't think that many deaf people actually have the ability to extract so much from so little, such as learning the Dhamma from just a mustard seed. I could try to help them to do that... but I'm just one person, still practicing... and due to some vinaya rule, unable to ordain as a bhikkhu to do that full-time.
When I walked out of my friend's house one time, a Tibetan monk walked by. I bowed to him, and he bowed back. He started to have a conversation with me... and then when he found out that I was deaf, he just walked away (really). He didn't even say good-bye. Do you think that this is right? What do you think that his future life is going to be like?
In this life, the ones who I've found to be most helpful to my practice have been bhikshunis (Mahayana nuns). They've been extremely willing to learn how to sign, and very generous in how they shared their practice experiences with me. So, if you're ever going to be born deaf in the next life... make sure that you're born a woman, also (and maybe less picky about where you get your Dhamma from, if you're Theravadin). There are some limits to what kind of time that I can spend with the bhikshunis, because of the precepts that they follow.
Other than that I think that the nuns have been wonderful with the way that they share their time with me. They're truly some of the most sincere people I've ever met... by far, compared to other monastics.
If you're concerned about being reborn disabled, then do something about that right now... rather than to wait for it, or for someone else to make it better for you. You'll also get to do something nice for a lot of people.
If all of that seems too hard to do, or bothersome, then I think there's really no hope for Nibbana.