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Past Lives? - Dhamma Wheel

Past Lives?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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Collective
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Past Lives?

Postby Collective » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:07 pm

I probably would never have posted this. But this morning, unbidden, I had a second image of a possible past life.

First was when I was meditating a few years ago:

I got the visual image of a young boy, maybe 12 to 14 years of age. Standing in a forest, on a trail, or dirt road going through it. He (I?) was dressed in a typical medieval clothing of dark greens and browns. He had his back to me and was just standing there on this trail, perhaps 20 to 30 feet away from my point of perspective. Oh and he had shoulder length black hair. I also, a few seconds later, saw another scene, same boy. This time I (like I was now inside this boy) was looking down at manacles or something on my wrists, and I got the feeling I was either in a blacksmith's shop, or I was somehow related to a blacksmith or the trade of black smithing.

Second time this morning, meditating again:

I got this visual of a young girl, again perhaps 12 to 14 years of age, but for some reason I'd go with the 14 years. Wearing a long shoulder to ankle white gown/dress, unadorned apart from blue flowers or something similar dotted all over. Each 'flower' about the size of a child's fist.

This young girl had jet black hair and it too was shoulder length. I recall it was glossy shiny black, the shiniest I've seen on a person. This scene too place in a bright sunlit marble room, pretty much empty of anything else. It was definitely however in ancient Greece. I also got the impression that she was a slave of sorts, and that she was about to do some chore. She wasn't a badly treated slave, but I got the impression that, whilst not totally happy - she wasn't all that pleased with who/what she was. A serf.

Finally, a name came to me, Lyssia, or Lyssa, or Lycia. I did a search and apparently it's the name of a greek goddess of Insanity and rabies! I assume it could also therefore be a name for a girl living in Greece at that time.

I have no idea what to make of these. The first was a conscious effort to recall a past life - the second came totally unbidden. There seems to be a connection of slavery/serfdom though - wherein both characters had accepted their lot in life. Both are young teens, both have shoulder length black hair. I have short black hair.

Strange that if you ask me I'd say I don't believe in reincarnation, so I'm wondering why did the images (the 2nd at least) come up unbidden?

Any thoughts?

notself
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Re: Past Lives?

Postby notself » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:48 pm

I wonder why no one remembers past lives that are not related to the history that is part of their local culture. For example why does no one from Northern European decent ever remember being a child or adult from Africa or the Arctic area such as Siberia? There is nothing in the suttas that suggests that one is reborn only within a specific geographic area.
Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he is indeed the noblest victor who conquers himself. ---Dhp 103

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David N. Snyder
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Re: Past Lives?

Postby David N. Snyder » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:54 pm

Image




notself
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Re: Past Lives?

Postby notself » Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:59 pm

Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he is indeed the noblest victor who conquers himself. ---Dhp 103

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IanAnd
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Re: Past Lives?

Postby IanAnd » Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:17 pm

"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

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Collective
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Re: Past Lives?

Postby Collective » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:09 pm

All I can think of, is that I am not entirely comfortable about my coming death (whenever that may be), but I'm pretty much resigned to it. Helpless to change its course. Tossed about with no purchase to allow escape.

I'm as happy as the next person with regards to my life. I live in a relatively peaceful location, surrounded by a loving family. I don't have a lot of money, but that's never been an issue for me. No, all I can think those images were relating to was the entrapment of death.

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Annapurna
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Re: Past Lives?

Postby Annapurna » Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:12 pm

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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pink_trike
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Re: Past Lives?

Postby pink_trike » Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:50 pm

I've wondered why nobody remembers being an aging salesman in Bismark, South Dakota, a factory worker in Barcelona, or a janitor in Kiev. Always the exotic past lives, never the excruciatingly mundane.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Annapurna
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Re: Past Lives?

Postby Annapurna » Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:10 pm

I can't confirm that all people report exotic lives.

A friend has been recently "led back". He saw an average family, and he died in a fire from the smoke.

In this life, he has had countless lung and bronchial problems...coincidence? Who knows. Who are we to say?
http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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Vardali
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Re: Past Lives?

Postby Vardali » Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:29 pm

It might not be the place here, but when I read stuff like this I am wondering how this transmission of "experience" is supposed to happen?
If there is not-self, how can a "past self" be seen, instead of some fluid and evasive imprint which I can sort of fathom at least?

Obviously I have never had any such experience, so I am speaking from pure ignorance, of course.

The only "impression" I have had regarding potential past lives, is that I have - and always had - a strong inclination towards English. I always used to joke that I must have been a Brit in my past lifes. English is my language of choice. But that would be an inclination, not a personalized "self" image. Anything more explicit than I find hard to imagine.

:shrug:

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Ben
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Re: Past Lives?

Postby Ben » Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:38 pm

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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pink_trike
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Re: Past Lives?

Postby pink_trike » Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:38 pm

I agree with Ben. The mind is a funny thing...we can't pretend that we understand the "extraordinary " things that appear in the mind stream. I once ingested a substance that caused the mind to serve up the experience of flying my house above the town I lived in for about an hour, with Gumby and Pokey as my co-pilots. I experienced this in "real time" with complete "real time" detail...meaning as if the experience was 100% real just like your experience of reading this wherever you are - smells, sounds, expansive space, etc...Gumby and I had a very intelligent conversation about the intricacies of "reality"...he did most of the talking. This experience was as "real" as any experience I've had in what we consider "reality", but I don't claim that I was once reborn as a house pilot in Gumby and Pokey Land. Neither do I claim that I once lived in medieval Ireland, though in a trance state I once wandered around in a forest outside of Belfast after a gruesome battle, corpses everywhere. This mind has traveled to the most incredible places...just last night "I" was in Paris having a blast. THe mind knows no boundaries underneath those that have been conditioned. We can entertain ourselves for hours with speculation about past lives. More interesting to me is looking closely at the mind process that arrives at the conclusion that we somehow know what these experiences are, and also how these experiences could possibly be at all relevant to now - other than showing us that the mind can generate any ol' anything for us to coo, giggle, and clap at like children visiting the monkey house.
Last edited by pink_trike on Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Collective
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Re: Past Lives?

Postby Collective » Fri Nov 06, 2009 11:34 pm

Personally I don't see anything grandious in being just another slave in a society that had slaves by the hundreds of thousands

I mean, at least I didn't say I was Hitler! :smile:

JoanOfArc

Re: Past Lives?

Postby JoanOfArc » Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:20 am

Dearest faithful,

In my past life, I was Helen of Troy.

:anjali:

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Kare
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Re: Past Lives?

Postby Kare » Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:30 am

In my present life I am not quite sure who I am. Maybe I'll find out later ... :cookoo:
Mettāya,
Kåre

alan
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Re: Past Lives?

Postby alan » Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:47 am


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Naga
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Re: Past Lives?

Postby Naga » Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:04 am


Paññāsikhara
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Re: Past Lives?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:10 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .

notself
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Re: Past Lives?

Postby notself » Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:11 am

Well then how about a goat or a cow or a deer? :tongue:
Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he is indeed the noblest victor who conquers himself. ---Dhp 103

Paññāsikhara
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Re: Past Lives?

Postby Paññāsikhara » Sat Nov 07, 2009 4:12 am

My recently moved Blog, containing some of my writings on the Buddha Dhamma, as well as a number of translations from classical Buddhist texts and modern authors, liturgy, etc.: .


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