Starting on the Path Even without Belief in Rebirth

August 19, 2016; revised August 24, 2022

1. The “Living Dhamma” section lays out a step-by-step Path from fundamentals. You may want to read it after reading this post.

  • Many people, including some Buddhists, have difficulty connecting with the idea of rebirth.
  • Rather than making the idea of rebirth a prerequisite to starting the practice, one can start practicing by comprehending another type of suffering that the Buddha revealed to the world.

2. The Buddha revealed at least two types of suffering unknown to the world (and taught how to get rid of both PERMANENTLY).

  • Even though the future suffering associated with the rebirth process is the one that is mostly highlighted in the literature, there is suffering that we all experience in this life without even knowing about it.
  • That first type of suffering we all experience is the incessant distress that we all feel (but may not even be aware of). One starts feeling the nirāmisa sukha when one temporarily suppresses this incessant distress.
  • In a way, it is necessary first to realize the existence of this first type of suffering, at least suppress it, and experience the nirāmisa sukha that results from it ((as X did).
  • That will provide the initial faith in Buddha Dhamma and enable the mind to get to samādhi and help comprehend the anicca nature. That will lead to the next step of comprehending the second type of suffering associated with the rebirth process.

3. Rather than writing a few more posts on this, I decided to present this idea in audio format. I have never delivered a “desanā” previously, but hopefully, you will be able to grasp the concept. You need to adjust the volume control on your computer:

The Hidden Suffering that We All Can Understand” (Click the small play button; click “Download” to download the audio file)

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Links to the posts mentioned in the above desanā:

Posts on the fundamentals of meditation:

1. Introduction to Buddhist Meditation

2. The Basics in Meditation

3. The Second Level

Posts on the “incessant distress”:

Anicca – The Incessant Distress (“Pīḷana”)

Need to Experience Suffering in Order to Understand it?

Post on the five hindrances (pañcanīvaraṇa):

Key to Calming the Mind – The Five Hindrances

Ānāpānasati Bhavana:

6. Ānāpānasati Bhāvanā (Introduction)

Satipaṭṭhāna Bhavana:

Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta – Structure

Step-by-Step Progression in the Path:

Buddha Dhamma – In a Chart

Mahā Cattārīsaka Sutta (Discourse on the Great Forty)

Next in the series,What Are Kilesa (Mental Impurities)? – Connection to Cetasika“.

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