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Life Arts

Bodhi Bits: Where do You Live In Your Mind?

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"In what realm do you now live? If you are hungry for power, love, and self-recognition, you live in the Preta world, or hungry ghosts. If you are motivated only by thirsts of the human organism, you are existing in the world of the beast." Source: Buddhist Studies

Religions generally promise some sort of reward for believing or living a certain way. In Christianity and Islam there is a heaven or paradise promised for the true follower. Many believe this heaven is a physical place in which people will live in eternity in some sort of happiness or bliss.

But a previous insightful experience has pointed me to another understanding about heaven and hell.

Once while experiencing a convulsion (the only one in my life), I had a profound revelation. At the time, I became aware of many people around me that had previously died. I thought in a split second that I must surely be dying. At that point, I received a telepathic reassurance from my former family and friends that they were not here for me, but just wanted me to say hello to everyone.

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Immediately after coming through that experience, the idea came into my head that "
you die where you are." Obviously that was a strange thought but the idea was clear to me.

The insight gained from that experience helped me to understand that whatever level of consciousness a person attains in this life would be what that person carries with him/herwhenpassing on to the next phase of existence.

The implications were clear to me. Those who want to have a better experience in the afterlife had better be getting about to having a better consciousness in this life.

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But even if we don't except the idea of an after life. This idea of expanding consciousness has tremendous implications for our experience in this life.

A zen story clearly demonstrates this: Source: Brave New Traveler

A soldier named Nobushige came to Hakuin, and asked: "Is there really a paradise and a hell?

"Who are you?" inquired Hakuin.

"I am a samurai," the warrior replied.

"You, a soldier!" exclaimed Hakuin. "What kind of ruler would have you as his guard? Your face looks like that of a beggar."

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Nobushige became so angry that he began to draw his sword, but Hakuin continued: "So you have a sword! Your weapon is probably much too dull to cut off my head."

As Nobushige drew his sword Hakuin remarked: "Here open the gates of hell!"

At these words the samurai, perceiving the master's discipline, sheathed his sword and bowed.

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