Author Topic: Near-Death Experiences of the Pure Land  (Read 600 times)

Offline Dharma Flower

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Near-Death Experiences of the Pure Land
« on: January 17, 2019, 03:00:36 am »
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The Pure Land tradition is renowned for recording the miraculous experiences of Amida Buddha and his attendants coming to guide the dying to the Pure Land.

Some people say that these experiences are just hagiography, but the specificity of detail in such accounts gives prima facie reason for distinguishing them from adjacent fairy tales. Prof. Becker himself has identified some 100 such accounts from China and Japan.

In the 1970s, Prof. Becker found other people studying near-death experiences in the United States. With hints from the renowned death specialist Dr. Elizabath Kubler-Ross, he helped to found the International Association of Near Death Studies.

In the process of this study, researchers found the need to coin the new term “figure of light” which they found common across various cultures. Hospital research around the world has shown that this “figure of light” is experienced by many dying people.

This is not just a belief, but has been well documented over the past 30 years worldwide and the last 15 years in Japan. This is hardly surprising, since Japan has a long tradition of this belief in Pure Land practice, but such studies have been slow to permeate modern Japanese medicine…

Prof. Becker then showed a video on Near Death Experience (NDE) from Japanese television for which he acted as a consultant. In many NDEs, people speak of being (re)born through a tunnel of light, which image matches the Pure Land account of being (re)born through the calyx of the lotus into the Pure Land. There are many accounts of natural and flowery images as in the Pure Land.

These are difficult to attribute solely to anaesthesic drugs, since such drugs tend to create architectural and geometrical images, and most experiencers had not received medication in the first place.

Many NDEs in hospitals cannot be explained as delusions or dreams; there are many documented incidents of soldiers who were seen by their wives in their homes at the moment that they were mortally wounded on distant battlefields. We know that such phenomena can occur, but we don’t know how.
http://www.jsri.jp/English/ojo/round1/day2morn.html


« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 03:02:43 am by Dharma Flower »

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Near-Death Experiences of the Pure Land
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2019, 04:58:24 am »
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The Pure Land tradition is renowned for recording the miraculous experiences of Amida Buddha and his attendants coming to guide the dying to the Pure Land.


It's interesting that some people still need miracles to accept the Buddha's path. Thankfully for me miracles aren't actually necessary, but if floats people's boats I guess they have the right to believe such stuff.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Zen44

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Re: Near-Death Experiences of the Pure Land
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2019, 10:00:44 am »
maybe a powerful miracle is needed for faith

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Near-Death Experiences of the Pure Land
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2019, 05:33:56 pm »
Is a miracle and a vision really the same thing? A vision doesn't need to violate the laws of physics.

Offline Zen44

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Re: Near-Death Experiences of the Pure Land
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2019, 01:35:16 am »
maybe getting visions is like experiencing world weather patterns

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Near-Death Experiences of the Pure Land
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2019, 03:33:32 am »
maybe a powerful miracle is needed for faith

I follow Buddhism because it needs neither miracles nor faith, unlike other religions. Meditation and following the path worked for me so I needed neither.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Near-Death Experiences of the Pure Land
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2019, 08:56:07 am »
maybe a powerful miracle is needed for faith

I follow Buddhism because it needs neither miracles nor faith, unlike other religions. Meditation and following the path worked for me so I needed neither.

If you experienced a deathbed vision of the Pure Land, wouldn't you know from personal experience, rather than blind faith, that it exists? Prof. Carl Becker has documented at least a 100 such cases of deathbed experiences of the Pure Land.

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Near-Death Experiences of the Pure Land
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2019, 04:11:23 am »
maybe a powerful miracle is needed for faith

I follow Buddhism because it needs neither miracles nor faith, unlike other religions. Meditation and following the path worked for me so I needed neither.

If you experienced a deathbed vision of the Pure Land, wouldn't you know from personal experience, rather than blind faith, that it exists? Prof. Carl Becker has documented at least a 100 such cases of deathbed experiences of the Pure Land.

I do know from personal experience, so I don't need to wait until I am on my deathbed. As I said, Buddhism worked for me so I don't need faith.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Near-Death Experiences of the Pure Land
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2019, 11:05:53 am »
maybe a powerful miracle is needed for faith

I follow Buddhism because it needs neither miracles nor faith, unlike other religions. Meditation and following the path worked for me so I needed neither.

If you experienced a deathbed vision of the Pure Land, wouldn't you know from personal experience, rather than blind faith, that it exists? Prof. Carl Becker has documented at least a 100 such cases of deathbed experiences of the Pure Land.

I do know from personal experience, so I don't need to wait until I am on my deathbed. As I said, Buddhism worked for me so I don't need faith.

You've had a personal experience of the Buddhist afterlife known as the Pure Land? Please tell us more.

Offline stillpointdancer

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Re: Near-Death Experiences of the Pure Land
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2019, 04:30:24 am »
maybe a powerful miracle is needed for faith

I follow Buddhism because it needs neither miracles nor faith, unlike other religions. Meditation and following the path worked for me so I needed neither.

If you experienced a deathbed vision of the Pure Land, wouldn't you know from personal experience, rather than blind faith, that it exists? Prof. Carl Becker has documented at least a 100 such cases of deathbed experiences of the Pure Land.

I do know from personal experience, so I don't need to wait until I am on my deathbed. As I said, Buddhism worked for me so I don't need faith.

You've had a personal experience of the Buddhist afterlife known as the Pure Land? Please tell us more.

My insight experiences are pretty extensive, but not easily slotted into someone else's definitions of what they mean. Pure Land is not for me despite what I've seen, not because of any possible reality or not but because of the 'blind faith' aspect. Chanting a single word doesn't do it for me (although it clearly does for many others) so Pure Land Buddhism is likewise not suitable. For me there is neither a Buddhist afterlife nor not a Buddhist afterlife. BTW, if you are really interested in the stuff I have 'seen' you have to ask in the right way.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 04:36:55 am by stillpointdancer »
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Offline Pixie

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Re: Near-Death Experiences of the Pure Land
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2019, 05:30:08 am »
Quote from: stillpointdancer
For me there is neither a Buddhist afterlife nor not a Buddhist afterlife.


Me too.

It's also worth remembering that Christians also have NDE's and deathbed experiences of angels, Jesus, God, and the Christian heaven.

 It's therefore very likely that these experiences/hallucinations are triggered by intense belief/wishful thinking and by changes in the body and brain at that time.

I don't think its worth speculating about, because if we meditate diligently and peacefully when we are alive in the here and now, then our minds will be able to cope with whatever happens in the future, without us having to believe in the colourful art illustrations or the verbal persuasions we encounter in connection with other peoples fantasies.


_/|\_

« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 05:37:31 am by Pixie »
May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May they all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May they never be deprived of true happiness devoid of any suffering.
May they abide in great impartiality, free from attachment to loved ones and aversion to others.

Offline Chaz

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Re: Near-Death Experiences of the Pure Land
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2019, 10:51:27 am »

You've had a personal experience of the Buddhist afterlife known as the Pure Land? Please tell us more.


A Pure Land is not a Buddhist "afterlife".
« Last Edit: January 20, 2019, 02:59:36 pm by Chaz »

Offline Pixie

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Re: Near-Death Experiences of the Pure Land
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2019, 11:10:29 am »
If we are able to purify our obscurations, we can live in a pure land here and now.


_/|\_

May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness.
May they all be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May they never be deprived of true happiness devoid of any suffering.
May they abide in great impartiality, free from attachment to loved ones and aversion to others.

Offline Chaz

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Re: Near-Death Experiences of the Pure Land
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2019, 08:33:31 pm »
If we are able to purify our obscurations, we can live in a pure land here and now.


_/|\_

Yes, and take birth in the Pure Land of Sukhavati where we can complete the Bhumis and Paths.

Offline Dharma Flower

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Re: Near-Death Experiences of the Pure Land
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2019, 02:42:13 pm »

You've had a personal experience of the Buddhist afterlife known as the Pure Land? Please tell us more.


A Pure Land is not a Buddhist "afterlife".

Is it the English language or the teachings of Pure Land Buddhism that you need more help with understanding?

Quote
afterlife noun
af·​ter·​life | \ ˈaf-tər-ˌlīf  \
Definition of afterlife
1 : an existence after death
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/afterlife

I recommend reading The Essential Shinran by Rev. Alfred Bloom:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9729498-the-essential-shinran
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 02:52:34 pm by Dharma Flower »

 


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