Do you recommend hypnosis as part of our Dhamma practice? As in it’s a good thing to find out our past lives through hypnosis, so we have confidence in rebirth. Or it’s better to stick with finding out rebirth through meditation? I have this reservation about hypnosis because I doubt whether it can be trusted, but also what if my practice can’t handle the emotional burdens from it? i mean, we have enough things to deal with this life. and how to avoid clinging to past lives experience as another description of “me” - ie instead of seeing rebirth and become dispassion about existence, I simply cling onto the idea of a self and own past lives experiences as mine.
@shirley, I don’t have an answer for you, but I think this is a really interesting idea and I would like to pose some further questions. Hypnosis is not a form of meditation in that it is the administering of a mind state by another person, but is it possible to be mindful while hypnotized? Can insight be gained from hypnosis? And if it cannot be, then how is knowledge of past-lives achieved?
Dear Shirley and Brenna,
I’m not sure if you both have seen the last EBT course video but here it is:
The video may answer some of your questions
with añjali and mettā,
in a bit more watchable rendering
as a side, knowledge of past lives is a result of developed jhanas and as far as i understand seeking this knowledge outside of them or seeking it period would be going after a wrong goal, one not exactly consistent with the Dhamma, all the more so as this knowledge obtained outside of jhanas cannot be reliable.
Thanks, Lxndr, and others. Yeah, precisely, from the workshop, it’s as if the bhantes encourage hypnosis for our Dhamma practice and I wonder if that is really their message. I have always thought hypnosis is not really to be pursued, but then reading Ian Stevenson’s work and he did verify some of the rebirth cases done through hypnosis were genuine. And certainly, some people found their answers through hypnosis. But for my Dhamma practice, should I try it out? Feel a bit weird about it.
Hello Shirley and all
My feeling is that if you feel you can trust the therapist, they’ve a good reputation and come highly recommended and you feel safe (I mean you could always have a third person present)…it might be an interesting thing to do.
You might come out of it with an interesting personal experience that is helpful for you in your own Practice.
At the end of the day though, only do it if it feels right to you and you are completely comfortable. I don’t know enough about it, but I’ve been told that the person under hypnosis is always in control of the situation. But then, I understand there are different techniques out there… So maybe it pays to thoroughly do your research and understand exactly what is going on.
In terms of Practice, in relation to past life regression, if you do have a profound experience, it might reinforce your faith and thus give you a different outlook on life and practice…and also thus give you a different quality of motivation and energy.
But don’t do it if it doesn’t feel right to you.
We don’t particularly want to encourage past life regression, nor do we want to discourage it. And certainly it is no substitute for the recollection of past lives through meditation. Anyone who has really deep meditation should go for the Buddha’s way of recalling past lives. Unfortunately this option is not really available to many and so past life regression might be interesting, and potentially it could strengthen one’s understanding of what rebirth is all about and what it means emotionally. In this way it might just be helpful for one’s practice.
We also did it because we thought it would be fun. We are followers of the Ajahn Brahm way, the fun way of doing Buddhism!