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what happens after death? - Dhamma Wheel

what happens after death?

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.
ciprian
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what happens after death?

Postby ciprian » Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:20 pm

My grandmother just died today and I was wondering what happens to the consciousness immediately after death according to Theravada Buddhism. is it floating around searching for a new body like it is said in the Tibetan Book of the Dead. And is it possible for the living to assist in some way the dead man to achieve a good rebirth?

:anjali:

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Jechbi
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Re: what happens after death?

Postby Jechbi » Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:06 pm

Sympathies and condolences. Hope you're ok.

might point you toward an answer.

:smile:

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catmoon
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Re: what happens after death?

Postby catmoon » Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:59 pm

Ah, so sad. May you bear the loss lightly.

ciprian
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Re: what happens after death?

Postby ciprian » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:44 pm

thank you for the sympathy. I guess I am fine. Her death was predictable for she was so weak that life was a burden for her. What I can't figure out yet is that I am not mourning because of The Dhamma, because my past reflections on impermanence, or because I didn't loved her enough.
I found "the great rebirth debate" thread that will probably answer some question, but now I have to go to see my grandma.
Thank you a lot again. :bow:

SamKR
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Re: what happens after death?

Postby SamKR » Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:52 pm


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cooran
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Re: what happens after death?

Postby cooran » Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:23 pm

---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

ciprian
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Re: what happens after death?

Postby ciprian » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:10 pm

thank you all very much.
I have read a book about kamma and rebirth and assisting the dying. A lot of things came back into my head while reading Mr. Goenka's article.
you are all so nice and compassionate. thank you again :bow:

Individual
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Re: what happens after death?

Postby Individual » Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:05 pm

The best things in life aren't things.


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Guy
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Re: what happens after death?

Postby Guy » Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:50 pm

Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

Individual
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Re: what happens after death?

Postby Individual » Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:48 am

The best things in life aren't things.


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Guy
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Re: what happens after death?

Postby Guy » Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:47 am

Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

pegembara
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Re: what happens after death?

Postby pegembara » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:42 am

Just thinking , why is it that we can't remember our deaths, births and early childhood? Is it because our brains are not developed until some time during childhood and as such cannot form coherent thoghts yet?

If you read the book by Prof of Psychiatry Dr. Brian Weiss " Many Lifes, Many Masters" it looks like it is possible to remember through hypnosis one's early childhood back towards in utero experiences and finally towards past lifes.

Past life regression psychotherapy seems to be increasingly accepted by hypnotherapists

http://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/sto ... =lifefocus

Knowledge of past lives can help one lead a more virtuous life but does nothing to lead one out of samsara and may even strengthen the sense of self . One still need to sit on a cushion and meditate.
Last edited by pegembara on Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

Individual
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Re: what happens after death?

Postby Individual » Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:54 am

The best things in life aren't things.


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Guy
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Re: what happens after death?

Postby Guy » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:21 am

Hi Individual,

The Jhanas, as I understand them, would be a different level of consciousness where the human body is no longer a frame of reference. Also heavenly realms, animal realms, ghost realms and hell realms are all going to be vastly different from human conscious experience. These different states are all explained in the Suttas.

As far as I know the Suttas don't back up my theory that one of the reasons why we don't remember is because death is such a different experience to day-to-day human experience. Even though it's not mentioned in the Suttas (as far as I know) this doesn't necessarily make it untrue. But if it is true, since it hasn't been mentioned, it probably just means it's not important to the path. The comes to mind.

With Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

pegembara
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:39 am

Re: what happens after death?

Postby pegembara » Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:49 am

"Yet mainstream psychologists are skeptical, because it's been shown to be able to create false memories, through creative encouragement of fantasy, like dreaming"


Precisely.
What are memories real or imagined which are all mental processes which are impermanent and not self? Even our present moment experiences are not self what more "past life" ones.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

Individual
Posts: 1970
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Re: what happens after death?

Postby Individual » Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:07 am

The best things in life aren't things.


pegembara
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Re: what happens after death?

Postby pegembara » Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:59 am

Chris[/quote]
Why is there a gap in memory resulting from death consciousness? Like all people, I can't remember my previous life or infancy, and I can barely remember early childhood. But I can remember everything after that clearly. When you talk about rebirth-linking consciousness, how is this similar or different from what we might conventionally call "consciousness" or "mind"? Does it include long-term memory and, if so, why the gap between lives?[/quote]

Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children's Memories of Previous Lives[1] is a 2005 book written by psychiatrist Jim Tucker, which presents an overview of more than 40 years of research at the University of Virginia Division of Personality Studies into children's reports of past life memories. The book also discusses "birthmarks and birth defects that match those of a deceased person who is identified by the child".[2] The foreword to the book is written by Ian Stevenson.[3]
This book challenges the notion that consciousness is only the result of a functioning brain. It suggests that consciousness can be considered separately from the brain, which provides a basis for claims of reincarnation.[2] The book also discusses objections to reincarnation: the paucity of persons who actually claim to remember a past life, the fragility of memories, the population explosion, the mind-body problem, fraud, and others.[3]
Tucker recognizes that none of the cases examined are perfect, and "faulty memory by informants" is seen to be the "best normal explanation for many of the cases" reviewed in the book.[4] Tucker discusses this, referring to several relevant studies which have been done, and argues that there is no support for the conclusion that informants must be remembering statements or events incorrectly.[4]
Tucker basically agrees with Ian Stevenson who said "reincarnation is the best -- even though not the only -- explanation for the stronger cases we have investigated".[5] Tucker recognizes that this may seem to be an "astounding statement" to some readers -- that "memories, emotions and physical injuries can sometimes carry over from one life to the next".[5] However, he argues that this is no more astounding than many currently accepted ideas in physics seemed to be when they were originally proposed.[5]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_Before_Life

The Buddha did teach kamma as encompassing more than 1 life

6. "Ananda, there are four kinds of persons existing in the world. What four?

(i) "Here some person kills living beings, takes what is not given, misconducts himself in sexual desires, speaks falsehood, speaks maliciously, speaks harshly, gossips, is covetous, is ill-willed, and has wrong view.4 On the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in the states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell.

(ii) "But here some person kills living beings... and has wrong view. On the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in a happy destination, in the heavenly world.

(iii) "Here some person abstains from killing living beings, from taking what is not given, from misconduct in sexual desires, from false speech, from malicious speech, from harsh speech, from gossip, he is not covetous, is not ill-willed, and has right view.5 On the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in a happy destination, in the heavenly world.

(iv) "But here some person abstains from killing living beings... and has right view. On the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in the states of deprivation, in an unhappy destination, in perdition, in hell.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html


When we say that whatever we do intentionally is Kamma, that whatever we intentionally do leaves an imprint in our stream of consciousness. This imprint no matter how subtle is Never forgotten. This is why when one is under hypnosis, one is able to recall events long "Forgotten", and even past lives.

The stream of consciousness just keeps flowing on, every moment and act contributing further to it and changing it endlessly. Of course wholesome events change it positively!

You recall an event years and years ago despite you having made attempts to forget about it because of this reason. We are the result of all our past actions, good and bad, we are the heirs of our kamma! You may understand now why it is said that kamma no matter how 'latent' will come to fruition when the conditions are right. When the condition for your thought to appear is there, your thought appeared! Dreams included!


Whether one believes in rebirth or not is irrelevant as some of his followers attained arahantship without any knowledge of past lives. Physical interpretation is a matter of faith, as physical realms cannot be known. However, psychological interpretation is not a matter of faith and can be known.
Last edited by pegembara on Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:04 am, edited 3 times in total.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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acinteyyo
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Re: what happens after death?

Postby acinteyyo » Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:04 pm

Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

Individual
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Re: what happens after death?

Postby Individual » Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:25 pm

The best things in life aren't things.



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