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The Middle Path, One Day At A Time

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The Great Debate: Reincarnation

Tricycle: The question that we’re here to debate is the role of reincarnation in Buddhism. According to tradition, reincarnation is pivotal to the Buddhist path. Among Westerners, this is under dispute.

Robert Thurman:
Anyone has the right to be a Buddhist, no matter what they believe. Still, I would maintain that in order to make the kind of evolutionary progress that the Buddha wanted people to make, you would have to be responsible for the sequence of former and future lives.


Stephen Batchelor: I suppose I would say no.

Thurman: That’s a relief! Now we have something to talk about! [Laughter]

The Great Debate: Reincarnation – The Tricycle Community

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Some thoughts about thinking, maybe too much of it, I don’t know…

I was poking around over on Coffee Shop Dharma and left a comment.  After reflection, it occurred to me that it might be worth noting here.

Ah, ego.

Anyway, it sort of stands on its own, even though the discussion was about how to believe in — or not believe in — or not care about — reincarnation.  Some heavy thinking over in the Coffee Shop.  Makes my back hurt.  😉

I went through years of this stuff, wasting nothingness only knows how many hours talking about it, reading about it, puzzling about it.  Then it occurred to me: No. One. Knows.  Why do you care?

So I had to quit caring.

To me, practice is no more grasping, no more yearning for knowledge about the unknowable — putting aside the intellect and getting to maximum simplicity.  Seems as though the distance from there to no-thought is a bit less infinite.

It’s the same thing with the God question.  I put it aside years before I took refuge.  It is immaterial to one who is living a good life.  Only those who think they may not be need worry.

I no longer have learned discussions.  I just sit.  I don’t know if I’m any closer to enlightenment, but I’m a whole bunch happier, and have a lot more time and energy to spend on important things like family, friends, metta and butterflies.

What do you think?

After more reflection (the glare is blinding, but Buddhists don’t believe in polarization), I remembered that I wrote something about reincarnation a couple of years ago. You can find it here, if you care.