Do you really believe it - this re-birth stuff? Or do you think of it as a student - interesting proposition.... intellectually fascinating...
Re-birth is part of the ongoing collective dream - the cycling karma. For me, it helps to explain why bad things happen to good people and innocent people. All we need is love. It just takes us so many lives to figure it out, if we get it at all. Besides my son believes that he was Elvis.
Speaking of Elvis - was he a buddha? He had wealth, riches, a wife & child. Any parallels to the historic buddha? He lost his way by grasping and holding on to superstardom. On a more serious note - Are there any buddhas in our time that we should recognize? I am wondering about Noam Chomsky as a good buddha candidate. I just watched his latest DVD - "Rebel Without a Cause" recorded at McMaster University in 2003 (just before the US declared war in Iraq).Always interesting, always optimistic and always a realist.
Hmmm, interesting question. I think by strict Tibetan-style interpretation there are no Buddhas. The last one was Shakyamuni, our historical buddha. He is to be followed by Maitreya, the next buddha, who will arrive on the 8:30 GoTrain from Clarkson.But there are countless manifestations of the Buddha and various bodhisattvas. The Dalai Lama is said to be a manifestation of the Bodhisattva Chenrezig (or Avalokiteshvara)...the bodhisattva of compassion. Mother Teresa was undoubtedly a bodhisattva. I expect that many people working for the benefit of others are manifestations of a bodhisattva. Annabanana, you may well be a bodhisattva, which means I better be nice to you...But hey, whaddoo I know? I'm just a baby bodhisattva. Training wheels...Look for those who open your heart in some way, or those who teach you something. Perhaps they are bodhisattvas.This is part of the drill. The Tibetans say it is a serious fault to harm or mistreat a bodhisattva (and the higher the level of that bodhisattva, the more serious the transgression). We're just ordinary beings. We can't see bodhisattvas as they really are. We just see them as ordinary human beings, or maybe even dogs! Therefore, the wise policy is to treat everyone as a bodhisattva, a being of incomparable value.On the other hand, I once stated with absolute conviction that all of us are buddhas. We just haven't realized it yet. Of course we are! Of course! Awaken and see your true nature!
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