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Buddhadharma : Fall 2010
25 FALL 2 01 0 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly and illusory nature of all phenomena, which includes the self. zenkei bLAnche hArTmAn: The notion of rebirth is associated with the under- standing of cause and effect, that is, the understanding that all volitional actions (karma) will bear fruit (vipaka). In other words, actions have consequences, but intention is critical. Actions taken with a wholesome intention will produce a wholesome result and actions taken with a harmful intention will produce an unwholesome result. If the action does not mature into a result in this life- time, it will do so in a subsequent life. Thus, rebirth. The teaching that if we initiate a cause we will experience the effect is important in encouraging ethi- cal conduct and virtuous actions aimed at reducing suffering in the world. The question is: what is reborn? I once asked a teacher, “What continues life after life?” He responded, “Never mind what continues life after life. What continues moment after moment?” The Buddha taught that our entire experience is accounted for in the five aggregates (skandhas): form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness. There is no “person” to be found in the sense of a permanent essence or underly- ing substance. In response to your question—“Did the Buddha address this contradiction?”— I recommend an interesting discussion of the Buddha’s response to speculative metaphysical questions in chapter 10 of the Early Buddhist Discourses, edited and translated by John J. Holder, which includes “The Discourse to Vacchagotta on Fire,” Majjhima Nikaya 1.483-488. Basically the Buddha said such questions do not lead to liberation from the cycles of rebirth, so he did not dwell on them. The bodhisattva vow to live for the benefit of all beings and Suzuki Roshi’s admonition to see Buddha in everyone inspire me. I see the teaching of rebirth as simply a support for morally whole- some conduct, and the teaching of no fixed or permanent self as a description of the constantly changing world I see all about me. WATCH ALL THE TRAILERS ONLINE www.festivalmedia.org Out of Argentina’s darkest days, a brilliant feature film debut. 30 CHURCH STREET, BARNET, VERMONT 05821 samadhicushions.com 1.800.331.7751 A COMPLETE ONLINE SOURCE FOR MEDITATORS. SINCE 1975. 000582 582 582 5 00 AAARN RN RN TTT, BA BA BA i 3 VE VE VE 30303030 TRE TRE TREEEE CHU CHU CHURRRCCCHS HS HSTTT NT0 TT0 111 EEETTT MON MON MON Don’t just do somethinngg. Sit there. MEDITATION CUSHIONS MEDITATION BENCHES GONGS INCENSE MALAS MEDITATION TABLES BOOKS AND MEDIA BEGINNER SETS Sales support Karmê Chöling here in Vermont and other Shambhala Buddhist Centers worldwide.