China Bans Buddhist Monks from Reincarnating Without Government Permission

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Waynesrhythm, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi All,

    I couldn't help but get a chuckle out of this news story. Makes me wonder what kinds of enforcement capabilites the Chinese government thinks it has at its disposal. :)



    By Matthew Philips of Newsweek

    In one of history’s more absurd acts of totalitarianism, China has banned Buddhist monks in Tibet from reincarnating without government permission. According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month and strictly stipulates the procedures by which one is to reincarnate, is “an important move to institutionalize management of reincarnation.” But beyond the irony lies China’s true motive: to cut off the influence of the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual and political leader, and to quell the region’s Buddhist religious establishment more than 50 years after China invaded the small Himalayan country. By barring any Buddhist monk living outside China from seeking reincarnation, the law effectively gives Chinese authorities the power to choose the next Dalai Lama, whose soul, by tradition, is reborn as a new human to continue the work of relieving suffering.

    At 72, the Dalai Lama, who has lived in India since 1959, is beginning to plan his succession, saying that he refuses to be reborn in Tibet so long as it’s under Chinese control. Assuming he’s able to master the feat of controlling his rebirth, as Dalai Lamas supposedly have for the last 600 years, the situation is shaping up in which there could be two Dalai Lamas: one picked by the Chinese, the other by Buddhist monks. “It will be a very hot issue,” says Paul Harrison, a Buddhism scholar at Stanford. “The Dalai Lama has been the prime symbol of unity and national identity in Tibet, and so it’s quite likely the battle for his incarnation will be a lot more important than the others.”

    So where in the world will the next Dalai Lama be born? Harrison and other Buddhism scholars agree that it will likely be from within the 130,000 Tibetan exiles spread throughout India, Europe and North America. With an estimated 8,000 Tibetans living in the United States, could the next Dalai Lama be American-born? “You’ll have to ask him,” says Harrison. If so, he’ll likely be welcomed into a culture that has increasingly embraced reincarnation over the years. According to a 2005 Gallup poll, 20 percent of all U.S. adults believe in reincarnation. Recent surveys by the Barna Group, a Christian research nonprofit, have found that a quarter of U.S. Christians, including 10 percent of all born-again Christians, embrace it as their favored end-of-life view. A non-Tibetan Dalai Lama, experts say, is probably out of the question.
    [This Message was Edited on 02/08/2009]
  2. springwater

    springwater Well-Known Member

    what will the chinese government think up next....poor befuddled squirming edgy things, biting their nails with every move HH Dalai Lama makes.

    Theyve gone and forced the Tibetans who are caught protesting in Nepal, to produce nepali citizen ship papers...and the nepali government do not issue citizenship papers to Tibetans; they have refugee status papers from the central government in India. A ploy to quell pro Tibetan protests in Nepal.

    Also the Chinese government are planning to celebrate Tibet Uprising day which is celebrated in march by overseas Tibetans in exile as 'Freedom from Slavery Day' in Tibet. What a joke! There wasnt even any slavery in Tibet. There was a feudal system. Where wasnt there feudal systems in the old times? UK? Italy? France? Where? Werent they all monarchies in those days?

    God Bless
  3. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    In reincarnation believe that one chooses one's physical life before incarnation while on the "Other Side." One works with spirits who help to develop a life outline/plan in order to supply the elements for one to grow in spirit. God allows us to do this in order to become more like Him and to progress spiritually. If this is the case, the Chinese will have little, if any, say in the matter. The Chinese in power live fear-based lives and that never works out for the good of anyone.

    Love, Mikie
  4. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi Guys (I mean Gals) :),

    Thanks all for your replies.

    Springwater, RE: "poor befuddled squirming edgy things". That was priceless. Gave me my good belly laugh for the day!

    Cate, my first reaction was hilarity, just like yours. But as I read the article, I began to see the sinister side of what was going on. Sometimes a bit sobering to take in the realities of the world we live in. I agree, "Free Tibet".

    Mikie, Thanks for your your comments about preparing for a new life between lives. I was wondering if you're familar with the book "Journey of Souls" by Michael Newton. He is a hypnotherapist who regressed his clients to a time between lives, instead of to a previous life as other therapists have done.

    His work with 29 clients paints quite an interesting picture of some of the processes that go on during these intervals, some that are similar to what you state. It's really quite interesting the lengths to which certain Souls will make arrangements to be sure they meet in a given lifetime to share certain responsibilities and hopefully attain certain spiritual aspirations.

    Rainbow, I took Jaminhealth's suggestion and took a visit over on the Spiruality/Worship Board. I spent a good deal of time reading some of the threads and posts. I believe I read most of your two recent threads. You're quite a prolific writer!

    I hope to reply to some of your threads and others over there. Such a gift to be able to have such conversations with like-minded people. Thanks for all your writing and sharing.

    Best, Wayne

  5. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    For anyone who is interested in helping the heartbreaking situation in Tibet there are many things one can do online. Just google Free Tibet and you will get any number of organizations from Students for a Free Tibet, probably the most active and vocal group - I'm a member, you don't have to be a student - to the website of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Tibetan Government in Exile.

    Also, I highly recommend the book "Fire Under the Snow -Testimony of a Tibetan Prisoner" by Palden Gyatso (the Venerable Palden Gyatso) a Buddhist monk who was a prisoner in occupied Tibet for over 30 years.

    Free Tibet



    ETA I don't mean to trivialize the tragedy of Tibet by suggesting that one can "just" go online and fix things. I doubt any of you read it that way but this is an issue close to my heart and I do not want to seem glib about it. I do want to say that being housebound or bedbound need not prevent one from being politically active.

    E(again)TA: Hi Wayne!

    [This Message was Edited on 02/09/2009]
  6. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    Anyone who is interested in finding out more about that day can go to where, I believe, you will be able to find out what is happening near you as well as getting a lot of information about the situation in Tibet.

    Peace out,

    ETA Daily Dalai Lama

    Monday, February 09, 2009

    I am very much saddened and concerned by the use of arms to suppress the peaceful demonstrations of Tibetan people's aspirations that have resulted in unrest in Tibet, causing many deaths. ... Such suppression and suffering are very unfortunate and tragic, which will reduce any compassionate person to tears. I, however, feel helpless in the face of these tragic incidents. I pray for all the Tibetans as well as Chinese who have lost their lives during the current crisis.

    - Dalai Lama

    [This Message was Edited on 02/09/2009]
  7. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi Rafiki,

    I used to live in Madison, WI, quite a progressive community, and home to some fairly significant Buddhist temples. I saw a lot of "Free Tibet" signs while living there. And there always seemed to be some kind of activity at the Saturday Farmer's Market around the main square (with the Capital in the middle of the square).

    Anyway, thought I'd post the following link. It's a slideshow of some of the Buddhist centers around Madison. I like the energy from these pictures.

    See you over at the Spirituality/Worship board some time!


    P.S. Madison is sometimes referred to as 50 square miles surrounded by reality. I was very comfortable however with Madison's "alternate" reality. :)
    [This Message was Edited on 02/09/2009]
  8. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Thanks for the heads up on the book. I'll look for it. Fascinating that the hypnotherapist was able to tap into the time of spirit between physical incarnations. From what I've read, we do our work when we are pure spirits and use our lifetimes here in the physical world as the opportunity to grow because of the physical limitations we choose before coming here. I think of the Other Side as our classroom and our lives here as the practicum or lab for our learning.

    I've also read that some spirits will volunteer to incarnate in order to help another spirit while on Earth. This has induced me to view others who have caused painful situations for me in a whole new light. Perhaps they came to produce a situation in which I learned something. People we view as our enemies may provide more opportunity for us to learn and grow. What I have taken from this is that we are on a journey and being overly judgemental only hinders our growth.

    When I see people who suffer greatly, especially with physical afflictions, I see them as heros because they must have come down here to grow through physical suffering. I think that to accept that fate means they must be very advanced spiritually.

    One of the limitations on Earth is the forward movement of time. From a quantum physics viewpoint, time should be able to move forward and backward. Perhaps it can and we just haven't discovered how. In any case, I do not believe time exists on the Other Side. Everything is simultaneous. What we view as a lifetime here is but the blink of an eye when we are in pure spirit form. Perhaps we are able to volunteer for a lifetime of suffering because we know that, in the higher scheme of things, it is only a blink of time.

    Again, thanks for this very interesting discussion.

    Love, Mikie
  9. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    Just wanted to let you know that I'm taking a virtual trip to Madison today. Sounds a great place.

  10. Rafiki

    Rafiki New Member

    Are you familiar with the Buddhist concept of "emptiness"? It is in complete accord with quantum physics. That just blows my mind!

    I hope you are correct about enlightened souls carrying the largest burdens. I share this belief although for me it is really more a hope than a belief.

    I think I've told this story here before but, if so, it won't be the first time I've repeated myself on the board.

    I was on a train in India years ago. it was daytime and the train was pretty full, noisy and chaotic. Unlike the trains we are accustomed to here, there is nothing soft about an Indian train -- it's all hard surfaces and sharp edges. A young boy, no older than 10 and dressed in rags, was making his way along the aisle peddling trinkets. He seemed to be moving very slowly and awkwardly even for someone walking in a crowded train. As he approached I looked down and saw his feet. They were bare and they were enormous. They would have been far too big for a man over 6'. His little legs could not easily lift them and he shuffled painfully as they banged into the sharp edges of the brackets that held the seats in place. He was alone and everyone on the train stared at his feet.

    For some reason this sad little boy haunted me. It's not as though I hadn't seen plenty of suffering in plenty of places as my work afforded me that opportunity. I had worked with mothers of AIDS babies in Africa and people with Leprosy in Pakistan. But, there was something about the public humiliation this child had to endure, probably every single day, that shook me to my core. There was not going to be any intervention that would cure what ailed this child and his prospects for very basics things in life, like marriage and family, were slim to none. And, there was something about the courage he showed in making that slow and painful journey down the car that convinced me he must be, had to be, a very old soul. Anything else was too terrible to contemplate.

    I so hope we are right in believing that those who carry enormous burdens chose them and can bear them. Almost more than anything else, I hope this is true.

    Take care,
  11. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi Mikie, Hi All,

    Mikie, I seem to remember you mentioning in a post recently about the percentage of people who believe in reincarnation. I was just looking for your post, but couldn’t find it. I think you mentioned a 20% figure, with a good percentage of them being Christians, who you don’t often think of as believing in reincarnation.

    I wanted to mention that I have seen a similar percentage number in the past. In addition to the 20% who do believe in reincarnation, I read that another 20% are open to the possibility. So, it seems as if 40% of the American population either believe in reincarnation or regard it as a spiritual principle worthy of careful consideration. That seems like a significant percentage to me.

    I wrote a bit on Rainbow’s Vol. II thread recently about some of my own spiritual searching many years ago when I was in my 20's. It was during this time that I came to believe that reincarnation was a reality. But being somewhat of a pragmatic spiritual seeker, I couldn’t help but ask a somewhat burning question, “To what end?” Why all these lives and where does it all lead to? Most of the explanations I had heard were quite unsatisfactory to me.

    I eventually became involved in a relatively small (but worldwide) spiritual community that gave me some credible answers. In a nutshell, this realm of karma and reincarnation stuff is pretty much a spiritual training ground. Apparently this training can be compared to the training we go through in this lifetime to get an education so we can eventually find a place for ourselves in society. Similarly, the spiritual training involving karma and reincarnation is also temporary, but designed for us to learn about the spiritual laws and principles that exist in our true spiritual home, beyond the worlds of time and duality.

    What really captured my interest was that Souls can, at any time, choose to speed up their spiritual learning curve, and accomplish in a single lifetime what might ordinarily take many lifetimes. By practicing certain spiritual exercises, a person can become more attuned to Spirit, and in the process resolve all karmic situations once and for all. With this karmic balancing, Soul is freed from the long cycles of karma and reincarnation. This is sometimes referred to as Spiritual Freedom.

    In a sense that it is every Soul’s destiny to eventually achieve Spiritual Freedom, it seems we are all, despite what religion or path we follow, on a common spiritual journey. What I like about this perspective is it tends to eliminate artificial boundaries of religion, nationality, race, etc. And we are all here to help each other.

    Got a little rambly here this morning. :) I know many of you have read a lot; was wondering if anybody else has come across some of the above concepts. Would love to hear back from you!

    Best to All, Wayne
    [This Message was Edited on 02/15/2009]
  12. Waynesrhythm

    Waynesrhythm Member

    Hi Rainbow,

    Well, I'm sort of burning the midnight oil here tonight. I just tried to re-read some of the quotes you pasted above. My poor brain kind of got tuckered out as I tried to understand what the authors were trying to say. Makes me think that you probably have a lot more brain power than I do. :)

    I agree with you that there will never be an end to our journeys. There's a lot of truth to the old axiom, "you learn something new every day". And so it will be that there will likely always be another step to take, another horizon to seek out. Aren't we fortunate indeed?

  13. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Wow! This is a great discussion. I love the idea that quantum physics seems to be drawing us nearer to spirituality. I don't think that those who are rigid in their religious beliefs will quickly accept some of these ideas but there are many of us who consider ourselves more spiritual than religious and we seeking our own spirituality and God, or the Source from whom we once came. It is mind boggling to try to take in even a small part of it all.

    I have gotten a lot out of meditation, or being in a state of "emptiness." It isn't easy to achieve, but when we quiet our minds, we are more receptive to receiving the Spirit. I have "heard" answers in that state to questions I hadn't asked. These questions were obviously beneath my consciousness but when I heard the answers, it made perfect sense.

    I have also had some strange events in which I have felt a shift in dimension. It is like how we feel when we experience Deja Vu. There is a feeling of an absense of time. It seems that there is too much for us to be able to understand in our physical existance but every now and then, we get a glimpse of pure spiritual existance.

    Again, thanks for starting this thread and all the contributions. It's nice to know that there are so many who are seeking a higher consciousness and understanding.

    Love, Mikie
  14. springwater

    springwater Well-Known Member

    When i read your experiences re meditation, this paragraph by Sri Sathya Sai baba came to was in a book on CFS "who stole my energy?'.


    Then there is the silence of the mind,. the mind is a bundle of thoughts and fancies. These thoughts have to be reduced gradually. When thoughts are reduced, the mind naturally comes under control, like a clock that is unwound. When the activity of the mind is reduced, the power of the Atma (Self) manifests itself. As a consequence, the intellect becomes more active than the senses." unquote

    God Bless
  15. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    This quote describes exactly what goes on, especially "...a bundle of thoughts and fancies."

    It is like all our waking moments are a tangle of interweaving thoughts, fears, and fantacies. Meditation, or quieting the mind, helps to loosen and untangle them. It is said that when we pray, we talk to God but when we meditate, God talks to us.

    Thanks again.

    Love, Mikie

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