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Examples illustrating rebirth

39 The Foundation of Buddhist Practice

Part of an ongoing series of teachings (retreat and Friday) based on the book The Foundation of Buddhist Practice, second volume in “The Library of Wisdom and Compassion” series by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Venerable Thubten Chodron.

  • Meditation on working with fear and anxiety
  • Rebirth occurs without a permanent soul or an external creator
  • One is not necessarily reborn with the same physical attributes or in the same realm
  • Someone cannot be born in a fortunate realm without creating virtuous actions or in an unfortunate realm without committing non-virtuous actions
  • How thinking about continuity of the mindstream leads to understanding emptiness as well as the law of cause and effect
  • Eight examples to describe the conditions for rebirth, each emphasizing a specific principle
  • Lighting one candle with another candle; reflection on a mirror, a seed and a sprout, and an echo
  • When we have misunderstood one example, using another example to correct that misunderstanding

The Foundation of Buddhist Practice 39: Examples Illustrating Rebirth (download)

Contemplation points

  1. How do you distinguish panic-fear from simply being realistic as you handle challenges such as the pandemic we are facing?
  2. What are some examples of your good propelling karma and completing karma?
  3. How is your current life affected by a previous life and how will your life now affect your future life?
Venerable Thubten Chodron

Venerable Chodron emphasizes the practical application of Buddha’s teachings in our daily lives and is especially skilled at explaining them in ways easily understood and practiced by Westerners. She is well known for her warm, humorous, and lucid teachings. She was ordained as a Buddhist nun in 1977 by Kyabje Ling Rinpoche in Dharamsala, India, and in 1986 she received bhikshuni (full) ordination in Taiwan. Read her full bio.