Author Topic: My Next Life: Information Lost  (Read 7095 times)

jessicajameson

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My Next Life: Information Lost
« on: June 10, 2012, 01:00:29 PM »
There are 3 particular people who I believe display excellent, varied Dharmic skills and knowledge which surpasses many at my Dharma center. Just the same, they have incredibly bad habituation's that are perhaps worse than many at my Dharma center too.

I believe that we trigger karmic seeds within our mind that can help "propel" us in our practice - it triggers something within us where we can remember things in our previous life, as it is merely just a part of our memory. E.g. Young reincarnates who can memorize entire texts/prayers.

There are times when I feel quite demotivated, as I see these people with a lot of knowledge but not utilizing and progressing much at all, and then I look at myself. Whatever knowledge I accumulate in this life will seemingly be next to nothing in my next life - I will have to start all over again.

As we progress more and more in our Dharma practice, and truly realize that our mind-stream is a continuum - that there is no beginning and no end - will I be able to remember the knowledge I accumulated in my previous lives?

How fast can we accumulate knowledge and realizations in one lifetime to be able to (for example) reach Vajrayogini's paradise, or to become an enlightened being?

Do you need vast amounts of knowledge to become a Buddha? But then with Milarepa, he had pure guru devotion and became enlightened. I understand that there are 84,000 ways to become a Buddha - but is there a difference between the compassion of Manjushri, Shakyamuni and Milarepa?

If you're reborn in the formless realm, you appear as a light. Where does the mind abide when you become enlightened?

thor

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Re: My Next Life: Information Lost
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2012, 05:12:54 PM »
Very thought provoking questions. I have similar experiences with people in my dharma centre, so I think it's a common problem everywhere. Knowledge is just knowledge, and has nothing to do with how attained or how well behaved a person is.

Knowledge doesn't transcend lives either. You can spend your whole life studying a subject, and when you reincarnate, none of that knowledge will be retained, regardless of whether you study buddhism, history, music etc.

The only thing that can be retained across lives are our attainments. That's why great Buddhist teachers will always tell their students to apply what they have studied, contemplate, meditate, etc in order to gain the attainments and realisations.

So don't get discouraged with the people at your dharma centre.

Positive Change

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Re: My Next Life: Information Lost
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2012, 03:08:52 PM »
Dear Jessica Jameson... It is indeed rather perplexing and irritatingly honest the very thoughts you have. I share these very thoughts but from the very opposite view. I seem to identify myself with the 3 in your Dharma center that you speak of.

Though I do not claim to have the excellent, varied Dharmic skills and knowledge which surpasses many at my Dharma center like you shared, for I am but a mere practitioner struggling to come to terms with my own weaknesses and attachments. My frustration stems from realizing I should know more but why is it that I do not. My imprints? My karma? My merits?

So many things to 'blame' on but myself. I do want to be the one that pushes the boundaries and be that someone everyone looks up to not merely because of my age but for what I represent and exude based on my Dharma practice. I know I do not have that in me now... in fact the looks I get from people in my center make me cringe for what I have become. Not something i am proud of but certainly something that propels me to want to push past aeons of habituations to come out shining at the other end.

But alas I am torn... torn by my selfish wants and my egotistical needs. But having said that, the realizations in reading your posting and how I myself can be viewed by another person brings tears to my eyes and for an instant, I understand what it means to focus out and use my frail human existence to benefit others.

The strong realization that I am in the most opportune condition to truly practice and that it is coming to a swift end, so why waste it for I know not when I will ever get this chance, if ever!

vajrastorm

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Re: My Next Life: Information Lost
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2012, 03:42:04 PM »
Dharma knowledge can be just intellectually grasped. If the knowledge remains at that level, then it will not be of much benefit and will not be absorbed into one's mental continuum to be carried over lifetimes. Whatever we study in Dharma, has to be contemplated on and meditated on and applied to practice . It has to be mixed with the mind until it becomes a positive habituation and is reflected in positive compassionate behavior. It translates into action with wisdom and attainments.

Pabongkha Rinpoche is a most inspiring example of how knowledge becomes wisdom. Pabongkha Rinpoche studied the Lamrim for ten years under his guru, Dagpo Rinpoche. Dagpo Rinpoche would make him go to a cave and reflect and meditate on the Lamrim topic that he had just taught him until he had fully grasped it and it was thoroughly mixed with his mind. Only then would Dagpo Rinpoche move on to the next topic. Pabongkha lived the Lamrim; his whole life was a Lamrim practice and meditation.When we read and study Liberation in The Palm of Your Hand, we stand in awe of this great  and highly attained and  humble Master.


   

dsiluvu

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Re: My Next Life: Information Lost
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2012, 09:21:48 PM »
But if the knowledge is strong enough that creates a deep imprint in the mind... it can actually arise in one's mental continuum in the next life. Otherwise how do we explain geniuses who can play the piano at age 3, artiste like Michael Angelo and Picaso whom all well known for their master pieces and how did they learn how to paint and play music like that? Certain that knowledge did not just happened in their present life only... they must have learnt in many life times and hence carried forward in their present lives. Hence Yes I would say you can bring over your knowledge if it is being being applied and has an imprint in one's mind stream.

That is why we hear stories of high incarnations, young tulkus need only to read a particlar verse/text of a teaching and it is like a key that unlocks their knowledge about the subject and they even give you a whole discourse on it after that. Totally amazing how they do it and is proof that you can bring the knowledge over provided it is imprinted strongly in your mind. 

If it is just on the surface, no application and no realisation/practice from it, it will probably not be strong enough to survive life time after life time and yes you will have to learn it all over again.

Galen

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Re: My Next Life: Information Lost
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2012, 12:07:24 PM »
Do not get discouraged by people. We have to have a strong mind and be persistent in our dharma practice. There will be ups and downs in the journey but we should keep a focused mind to achieve our goal i.e ultimately enlightenment.
From my little understanding, I believe that whatever we practiced and realised will be brought forward to our next life until we achieve liberation.So, all you achieve today is not lost. THe seed is planted until it is opened at the right time. This applies to bad karma seeds as well.

As for the 3 persons who show bad habits, they will eventually pay for it whether in this life or the next. Their bad seeds may be opening, triggered by their bad habits. They may not get this opportunity to be human again to practice.

I have watched a video recently of a reincarnate Tulku and this Tulku is not making full use of his current life to spread the dharma. Hence, he is wasting what his purpose in life would be. In turn, he questions his purpose of being a tulku and dwell on it. It is so disappointing to watch it. My question is that, will their like cease to continue if they do not live to their potential? Will they come back again?



Aurore

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Re: My Next Life: Information Lost
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2012, 01:23:31 PM »
I have seen such cases as you mentioned Jessica. I am also pretty sure there are unrecognised Tulku everywhere. Perhaps, these people have very strong past imprints and has studied dharma in their previous lives. If I understand your queries correctly, you are probably wondering why people with such deep dharma knowledge and imprints can be such difficult individuals?

These are my thoughts:-
1. Uncontrolled reincarnation. Being born in the right family or good conducive conditions where one can be nurtured to their full potential contributes to one's character. Environment factors plays very important roles in one's upbringing. These people clearly didn't have that.
2. Negative karma stunts the real potential of these people.
3. Knowledge not put into practice. Previous life's attainments not just by knowledge but in applying knowledge into wisdom and living the knowledge so that it can be brought forward to this life.

Like what Thor said, we don't carry the knowledge from previous lives to this life. However, if there is a trigger, one is able to remember what they have learnt previously or maybe it's easier to pick up something left off.

Q

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Re: My Next Life: Information Lost
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2012, 01:53:33 PM »
Having Dharma skills and knowledge does not necessarily translate to good attitude or actions... Its just like having a plate of salad in front of you, but if you're not going to use your hands and salad fork to eat, then what's the point?

Like what Aurore said about unrecognised Tulkus, I must agree on that point. There are many people out there that have good knowledge in Dharma due to their past studies in previous lives. Its not so much as they can remember everything, but it is easier to catch up compared to others (of course, there are exceptions). Even for Tulkus, there are 'classes' where some are higher and some lower... lower in the sense of attainments therefore if they were to be born into a condition that is very samsaric, it may pull them into a samsaric lifestyle despite having much untapped Dharma knowledge in them. This is very sad...

How fast we accumulate knowledge depends on our effort... how much wisdom we get out of that knowledge depends on our practice. I believe it is not the knowledge that we literally bring to our future lives, but it is the wisdom that we accumulated.

As for how much knowledge one needs to be a Buddha? That I dont know for sure... but if we look at it in a logical way, then all the knowledge and wisdom of the Lamrim, once internalized thus we will be on our way to Buddhahood. Once reached enlightenment, we are all the same... in the same mindstream as Shakyamuni himself.. thus Manjushri, Shakyamuni, Milarepa and all other enlightened beings are of the same mindstream and possessed equal qualities of compassion, only depicted in very different ways.

As for being in the formless realm... I don't think one can attain enlightenment in this realm... as far as I know, there's no Boddhisattvas that has ever been born in this realm.

dondrup

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Re: My Next Life: Information Lost
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2012, 01:54:51 PM »
will I be able to remember the knowledge I accumulated in my previous lives?

Unfortunately during the process of rebirth we lose a lot of memories of what we had learned in our past life.  However, whatever that our mind had perceived remains imprinted in our mind.  Regression Analysis is able to help us recall the information.  Yes, upon full enlightenment, we are all all-knowing.  We can know everything from the past, present and future.

How fast can we accumulate knowledge and realizations in one lifetime to be able to (for example) reach Vajrayogini's paradise, or to become an enlightened being?

We need to purify the obscurations in our mind.  We need also to develop our concentration so that when the mind is clear and focused, we can develop wisdom and gain realisations.  If we are capable and full of merits, maybe we will accomplish enlightenment in one life-time.

Do you need vast amounts of knowledge to become a Buddha? But then with Milarepa, he had pure guru devotion and became enlightened. I understand that there are 84,000 ways to become a Buddha - but is there a difference between the compassion of Manjushri, Shakyamuni and Milarepa?

We need to gain knowledge of Dharma and turn that knowledge into wisdom by putting the knowledge into practice. When wisdom is fully perfected, we become Buddha.  There is no difference between the compassion of Manjushri, Shakyamuni and Milarepa, they are all Buddhas.

If you're reborn in the formless realm, you appear as a light. Where does the mind abide when you become enlightened?

The mind is formless, it is the Dharmakaya when we become fully enlightened.


Tenzin K

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Re: My Next Life: Information Lost
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2012, 03:57:09 PM »
I agree with thor very much. Knowledge is something we learned up but it has to be put into practice. Contemplate and make it habituate as part of of our spontaneous act. Applying what we learn in dharma created the imprint that will be triggered in future life some something good. That's how we see people able to learn up and do thing in short period just like they have learn or practice for so long. This is imprint.

By gaining attainment and realizations this will bring over to next life so we have to learn up and practice dharma which is the most practical way for us to continue our spiritual journey life after lives.

Big Uncle

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Re: My Next Life: Information Lost
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2012, 05:04:29 PM »
Knowledge does not equate wisdom and it certainly does not equate to merits. Hence, we have Geshes who go to hell. What's very important is to apply what we have learned. Even before we start applying, there's very basic rule of thumb is that we need merits to sustain the transformation. Hence, having an altar, making offerings on it and to our Guru and most important of all, our daily sadhana helps very much to fuel the merits needed for transformation.

Many Geshes and scholars neglect this aspect of transformation and so we have people with a lot of dry knowledge but they hardly exemplify what they teach. That's the worse thing to happen and by teaching, it does help to remind the person to reflect on his/her past actions or lack thereof. At the end of the day, it is really up to the person whether he wants to change or not.

Actually, no amount of knowledge can give self-esteem the way people have when we act in a way that induces people's respect.

vajrastorm

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Re: My Next Life: Information Lost
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2012, 04:24:40 PM »
To have great knowledge of Dharma does not equate with realizing the Dharma in one's mindstream. In fact, if we have an individual who is full of Dharma knowledge passing it off as Dharma wisdom, it can be pretty harmful for others who respect them highly and who regard every word of Dharma spouted by them as a 'pearl of wisdom' from them.

In the event of a crisis  should this person react in an opposite and negative way and show a complete absence of any Dharma realization in them, it can be very shocking, negative and traumatic for those who had hung on their every word. 

vajrastorm

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Re: My Next Life: Information Lost
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2012, 05:41:49 PM »
I wish to make a correction of a point in my earlier post. Dharma knowledge is about the Truth and it is based on Lord Buddha's teachings. Even if Dharma knowledge is shared by a person who shows little realization of the Dharma and who betrays others trust in them, the knowledge is still Dharma  knowledge and each word of Dharma is still a pearl of wisdom as it came from Lord Buddha.It's the person's actions that shock and traumatize others, nothing more nothing less.