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 Lakshmi Series

Death and Reincarnation

Death is like the ocean.  

We stand on the shore of life looking out into something that we cannot see the end of.  Death appears to be endless.  We see its vague beginnings as a person leaves this world, as their consciousness leaves the body at the time of death.  They enter into the ocean; they go beyond the horizon.  We see them not.  We know not where they have gone.  Strain our eyes though we may, we cannot see beyond the horizon of this life.  Death is a hidden country.  It is a land beyond sight, beyond sound, beyond the conditions, laws and limitations of this world.

Today I would like to share with you a few thoughts on the subject of your death and the experience of death and rebirth.  The horizon is not endless, nor is the ocean endless.  On the other side of the ocean there is land, on this side of the ocean there is land.  The ocean is that body of flux in between the land.  While first appearing to be endless, when we journey in our boat into the ocean of existence we find that while the ocean is vast, it is not endless, death is not endless, nor is life.  Life and death are two states of awareness.  Really there is no life and there is no death.  The idea that there is life, the idea that there is death, these are apprehensions that our mind presents to us.

What I mean by that is that the sense of life and death that we have is not necessarily correct.  You may feel that you know what life is and surely you do.  You know that which you've experienced, but there may be parts of life that you have not yet seen.  So we can say that you know life to an extent.  You probably know even less about death.  Yet most people have very fixed ideas about what life and death is.  They're quite sure that they know.  I would suggest that most people know almost nothing about life and death.  They're like small children who at the age of four or five feel they now know all there is to know about our world, its societies, structures, political systems, customs, laws and so on.  The way you come to know, the way out of life and death, is through love.  Love is the bridge that unites life and death - always remember this.
Reincarnation is the process of awakening.  Each one of us has an essence that does not change from lifetime to lifetime.

Death is not the end, nor is it a beginning.  It is an endless beginning or a beginningless end.  Death is a field of awareness.  It consummates life.  When we live, we feel that we exist.  We're on the light side of the moon.  We feel that the dark side is somehow different.  When we die and we walk through that invisible door to the other side, we forget about life.  We lose our awareness of this world; the memories fade.  We still exist, but just as on this side, on the light side of the moon - life, we've forgotten about death - so when we enter into death, most beings forget about life.

Life and death are part of a cycle that we call the samsara.  The idea is quite simple.  There is God, eternity, eternal awareness, a life force, an essence, an energy, a power - that is existence.  We are all part of that.  It is us, we are that.  This endless existence has always existed and will always exist.  There has never been a time that it did not exist and without time it exists also, in time and beyond time.  It creates time.  It can do anything in no time.  

In a facet of the consciousness of the infinite God there is something that we call time.  Time is a sense of separativity, a feeling that you as a perceiver - one who has experiences, memories, dreams, foreshadowings, beliefs; one who feels pleasure, pain, joy, sorrow, love, hate, jealousy, enlightenment and so on - that you as a perceiver experience eternity separately.  That is to say, you are standing back from the horizon looking at the horizon.  We call this life.

The download of this talk is provided by a link to the
Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism
Workshop with Rama Tape Cover
Discrimination means seeing that which is real and knowing that which is unreal.
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