callmetheseeker wrote:I've been a Buddhist for nearly 6 years and the idea of rebirth seemed perfectly normal to me, even before coming into contact with Buddhism. Lately I've become confused, though. Probably because I don't meditate so much, or at all. I feel that death seems like falling into nothingness. Even if there is rebirth, we can't experience like in the movie Groundhog Day. Why can't we be like: 'Okay, I screwed up my last life, I shouldn't have done this, I should've done that. This life I'll try to do better'?? Wouldn't it be easier? I mean, of course it wouldn't be necessary for us to remember everything from the last life, just a continuation of consciouness would be nice. 'I've died now, wonder how my new life is gonna be....' Then after a bit of early infancy thin memory, it could be... 'Oh, cool. Now I'm French and have two siblings. My parents seem nice.' Does anyone follow me? Why can't it be like Groundhog Day? Things would be kind of awesome. Or maybe not? If that was the case, we could become messed up from so much memories, so much lives... I don't know, I just don't want to fall into the nothing.
You're confusing Re-Birth with reincarnation... or rather, wishing re-birth WAS reincarnation, which of course, is quite different...
We do not consider that there is a soul which transmigrates from this place 'to the next' but in Mahayana/Tibetan Buddhism, those considered to be enlightened are able to reincarnate into Tulkus their followers are then charged with finding.
I will tell you how it is with me...
Re-birth is s sticky subject.
Even if it is one of the Buddha's teachings, many people feel more comfortable taking his teaching and applying it to the 'here and now' rather than focusing on it being an event which will take place at the moment of your death.
I will confess, I do not know. I joke with my friends that I will have "work in progress" carved on my head-stone... But this much I do know:
I am a different person every day.
I look at old photographs of when I was a child, and it is the same person, but of course, it isn't.
Over time, I have both physically changed, and of course, mentally I have developed and evolved, and become the person writing this now.
But later on, I may look back on this post, and consider, "Did I write that nonsense? Apparently!"
Every day, I open my eyes, and I am reborn.
The thoughts and actions I performed yesterday no longer exist; they are gone, consigned only to memory, and even that is patchy, because the mind releases and forgets the irrelevant...And so much of how we live, is irrelevant...
The truth of the matter is, you have to make THIS life count.
You have to consign events to memory, but make them meaningful.
You have to live every moment as if it were your last.
Look at this phrase...
I don't know, I just don't want to fall into the nothing.
Do you want to fall into nothing, depressed, morose, concerned about a possible next time, with a mind that says "I wasted so much time wasting time..." or do you want to fall into nothing, serene, content with what you have done, and with a peaceful detached mind that says "if this is it, at least I did my best!".....?
You are constantly creating 'a new life' for yourself with every thought, every action, every inter-action.... the trick is to make sure that each phase leaves you smiling and content.
Live Life as if you ARE coming back. And consider that return, and how wonderful it will be, if you can leave THIS existence with a contented, satisfied smile on your face....
Quit thinking, start doing.
You think you have time - you cold not be more mistaken.
In Theravada, we do not have bardos, Tulkus or reincarnation as a focal point of our practice.