Rebirth memories and Ajahn Brahm


These sorts of anecdotes are relatively common: they describe one or another post-death ‘reality’ & they also contradict one another, when considering the broad spectrum of similar human experiences. So, how many people here are studying this sort of information in a comprehensive way, such as including Amerindian rebirth experiences or Xian mystical experiences or New Age experiences or drug experiences in their research?

In brief, and as a rhetorical question for us to all to consider on our own: Am I studying in order to challenge my biases, or am I studying to confirm them?


Then there’s God:’s_existence

Best to decide for yourself.

with metta

Kamma and Re-birth work shop by Bhante Sujato.


I can very vividly remember:

  1. First day in school (three years old). I am walking back home with my friend making tar balls on the main road. (you see only one motor vehicle for one hour)
  2. My first step and trying to walk. (say one to two years old)
  3. I am in the cot and my mother talking to me. (I knew that was my mother later on) (say six months old) My mother is washing me in a little basin.

The following memories subject to question:

  1. I remember my birth and the voice of women.
  2. I was in my mother’s womb and desire to come out as it was so crampy.

Very doubt:

  1. Previous birth I was walking in a mountain range waring white cloths with a stick in my hand. (old man)

I spoke to Ajahn about tracing backwards like this. He suggested that if you get back to your previous life then ask ‘where am I?’ and ‘what is my name?’. He says people have then been able trace records.

So if you’re at a point where your practice is deep enough, give it a go. If not, make the intention to next time you have a deep meditation.


Actually, I experienced those things well before I started practicing meditation and even before I had any interest in Buddhism.

Dave, my sense is that were are involved in a continuing investigation. With respect to rebirth, the more that I investigate, the more that I have this saddha in the truth of rebirth after the death of the body. My investigation includes the Dhamma, other aspects of science/physics that involve neuroscience and consciousness, the work of the U Va on these issues, other phenomea in the universe that are studied and explained/unexplained, meditation, some experiences in my own life that I cannot explain through a lens of secularism or pure scientism, and faith that the Buddha’s mind was not capable of teaching a concept that he did not experience and have confidence in himself.

In my vocation, investigation and evidence is everything. When I consider kamma and rebirth, I have challenged whatever biases that I may bring to this issue, and still come out the other side of the investigation with saddha in rebirth. I have some expectation that with further rigorous investigation in this life that my saddha will increase. Part of this saddha is what drives me on this Path, an understanding that my time, energy and confidence in this Path is well placed, and not an undertaking for the unwise.

Many Buddhists on a path of practice wil lhave varying degrees of confidence in kamma and rebirth. To reject it outright, or to claim that it is without evidentiary basis and can be rejected by the “rational and scientific” mind, (one secular Buddhist proclaimed : “you can’t be rational and have an intellect and believe in rebirth”) to me is a serious mistake.


Some secular folk are indeed hardheaded, just like some Buddhists.

All y’all need to pay attention: from a strictly secular point if view, it is currently seen as claim with very weak evidence. No accepting it, no rejecting it. Just a simple recognition that it is as yet undemonstrated, and is one claim among many - all of which have the same evidentiary problems.

And, grats on having saddha. But others have such confidence in their own practices, so your asseveration here is a bit myopic, to me. A broader view puts that sort of thing in a different context.

I get that, Dave. I am of the view that most of the folks at the Secular Buddhist are 90 + percent on the same page with me. Doug Smith is a great example of a scholar with a focus on the EBTs, who speaks eloquently on the EBTs and at the same time, with respect to a secular point of view. I know from his essays and some very friendly dialogue with him that his heart and mind are both focused on wisdom, kindness and compassion. And so, I see the secular Buddhists as being very much compadres on this Path, and have no desire to let disputes over Dhamma cause high levels of ill will or negative feelings. The occasional tweak is healthy. :slight_smile: I think we should be save our energy for p****ing on racial supremacists, climate change deniers, child traffickers, and those waging war and ethnic cleansing on others. :slight_smile:



Thanks for the kind words, @AnagarikaMichael. Back atcha.