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Conversations on the Nature of Death and Rebirth

Source: Conversations on the Nature of Death and Rebirth

Conversations on the Nature of Death and Rebirth

Excerpt from “Shadow of Death” by Professor Leon Drucker

Understanding the Nature of Continuity of Consciousness

Master what is the self. What happens to us after death? If I am to take life and perhaps lose mine in the taking, fear may cause hesitation in my actions. Is there a continuity of our consciousness when we die?

The Master explained; we must bear in mind that the understanding of the nature of continuity of consciousness and the understanding of the nature of the self are closely interlinked.

A person possesses many interrelated collections from separate parts. Among these collections are consciousness, which includes our physical body and senses, feeling which is the collection of discrimination, and the aggregate of motivational tendencies.

There is our body, the physical world and our five senses, and there are the various processes of mental activity, our motivational tendencies, our labelling of and discrimination between objects, our feelings, and the underlying awareness or consciousness.

Among the schools of thought, which accept the notion of continuity of consciousness, there is the belief that the essence or ‘soul’ of the person exists independently from the body and the mind of the person. However, our sense of self can upon examination be a complex flow of mental and physical events.

These patterns include our physical features, instincts, emotions and attitudes continuing through time. We look at these concepts as the temporary person that is as we exist at this moment, and at the same time, there is a subtle self which is independent of the body and mind. This subtle self-awareness can reflect the power of cognition.

There is a principle of dependent origination which asserts that nothing exists independent of other factors. Things and events come into being only in dependence on the aggregation of multiple causes and conditions. The process through which the external world and the sentient beings within it revolve in a cycle of existence propelled by karmic propensities and their interaction with misapprehension, attraction and aversion. This notion that there is a connection between this life and the events of both our previous existence and our future existence, follows understanding of the natural law of cause and effect.

 

Teaser for my next book “The Shadow of Death” Conversations on the Nature of Death and Rebirth

Source: Teaser for my next book “The Shadow of Death” Conversations on the Nature of Death and Rebirth

Teaser for my next book “The Shadow of Death” Conversations on the Nature of Death and Rebirth

Introduction

“Who am I and why am I here?”

Man has asked these questions since he first became conscious. The connection between the Occult Sciences or Mysticism and Martial Arts varies depending on the country of origin and era in which we use as a reference. Western science is just now beginning to understand the realm of mind and matter because of the latest research into particle physics and advances in technology allowing us to explore the vast unseen world of what the universe, time space and reality is really comprised of, and how it all works. Underlying all mysticism is an elaborate symbolism used to illustrate and explain the cosmos.

If we look at ancient Hindu and Buddhist cosmography as explained by experts in the occult sciences of India and Tibet there are many manuscripts that talk of reality and can be summarized in the following fundamental teachings.

All conditions, or realms of existence such as worlds, heaven or hell are entirely dependent upon phenomena. This phenomenon is not only transitory but also illusionary and unreal except in the mind perceiving them.

In reality, there are no beings anywhere such as gods, demons, spirits, or even people, just phenomena dependent on a cause. This cause is the yearning after sensation by the unstable existence of a cosmic consciousness.

Only by overcoming the attachment to sensation, can we become enlightened and get off the wheel of birth and death.

Death itself is nothing more than a continuation under changed conditions of the phenomena born existence of the human world. The nature of existence that governs this cycle of death and rebirth even in the state between these two realms is Karma determined by the actions we take and perhaps even our thoughts.

After death, we enter a prolonged dream state filled with illusions that directly result from our mental content. Only by realizing that our existence is an illusion can we become enlightened and become emancipated from the cycle and enter Nirvana a state beyond existence.

We live in a modern world of phones and computers, the Internet and buildings of steel and glass. In some ways, it is much more difficult to achieve spiritual balance than in the old days of isolated villages.

Because of a yearning for sensation there is cause for phenomena, which psychologically speaking, is nothing more than a prolonged dream state filled with hallucinatory visions that result from our mental content and karma. Once we realize the unreality of existence then we are free to control our thinking process so we can concentrate the mind in an effort to reach right knowledge.

This book is structured like the inspiration masterpiece by Kahlil Gibran “The Prophet”. It is an imagined discussion between a master of Tantric Yoga and his disciple a young student of Ninjutsu.

One of the conflicts that arise in taking the martial path is that at some point there is realization and even an impulse to shrink from the violence we see in the human condition. Although we are trained to perform violence when required and confront death in order to transcend the limits of worldly existence there is a dramatic moral crisis that is central to developing the faith needed to preform our sacred duty.

A paradox interconnects disciplined action and freedom. We must explore within ourselves concepts such as duty, discipline, action, and knowledge to allow for our ultimate understanding of phenomenal existence. Our freedom lies in disciplined action that is both performed without attachment to the action itself while being dedicated with loving devotion to those we hold dear.

How can we continue to act in a world of pain without suffering and despair, and enable ourselves as warriors to control our passion and become men of discipline? The real battlefield is the human body, where within this material realm we struggle to know oneself.

The Samurai lived their life by a strict moral code called Bushido. In service to their lord, the Samurai had strict ethics which held them accountable for their conduct. In battle, they were able to kill and be killed because of their belief in this code. In order to perform this sacred duty, the individual or self was set aside for the clan mind.

The Shinobi or Ninja were peasant warriors which were trained to perform duties such as espionage and assassination among other battle duties. They had no such code of ethics which prevented them from providing these services. However, they still did need a way to perform without hesitation. To face a mission of possible death and to kill required a system of esoteric knowledge allowing the warrior to accept the consequences of their action.

Instruction in Tantric Buddhism as well as Shintoism were often taught to novices of Ninjutsu along with their martial arts training. This awareness of the true nature of our being is what enables the warrior to take the life of his opponent without hesitation. Only by understanding the spiritual teachings can we hope to become warriors and accept our own mortality in the face of death, unafraid, unflinching, and unwavering in our faith.

Chapter 1 – Nature of Self

Master what is the self. What happens to us after death. If I am to take life and perhaps lose mine in the taking, fear may cause hesitation in my actions. Is there a continuity of our consciousness when we die?

The Master explained; we must bear in mind that the understanding of the nature of continuity of consciousness and the understanding of the nature of the self are closely interlinked.

A person possesses many interrelated collections from separate parts. Among these collections are consciousness, which includes our physical body and senses, feeling which is the collection of discrimination, and the aggregate of motivational tendencies.

There is our body, the physical world and our five senses, and there are the various processes of mental activity, our motivational tendencies, our labelling of and discrimination between objects, our feelings, and the underlying awareness or consciousness.

Among the schools of thought, which accept the notion of continuity of consciousness, there is the belief that the essence or ‘soul’ of the person exists independently from the body and the mind of the person. However, our sense of self can upon examination be a complex flow of mental and physical events.

These patterns include our physical features, instincts, emotions and attitudes continuing through time. We look at this concepts as the temporary person that is as we exist at this moment, and at the same time, there is a subtle self which is independent of the body and mind. This subtle self-awareness can reflect the power of cognition.

There is a principle of dependent origination which asserts that nothing exists independent of other factors. Things and events come into being only in dependence on the aggregation of multiple causes and conditions. The process through which the external world and the sentient beings within it revolve in a cycle of existence propelled by karmic propensities and their interaction with misapprehension, attraction and aversion. This notion that there is a connection between this life and the events of both our previous existence and our future existence, follows understanding of the natural law of cause and effect.

Tai Chi Chuan

“Poetry in Motion” For Health, Stress Relief and Longevity Classes In these classes you will be learning the traditional Yang Style Long Form at your own pace. Classes include the 128 movement form…

Source: Tai Chi Chuan

Kuji In

Kuji-Kiri means “Nine symbolic cuts”. It is a technique that belongs to the esoteric Buddhist tradition. From the outside, it seems to consist in drawing nine lines in the form of a gri…

Source: Kuji In

Kuji In

Kuji-Kiri means “Nine symbolic cuts”. It is a technique that belongs to the esoteric Buddhist tradition. From the outside, it seems to consist in drawing nine lines in the form of a grid, then drawing a symbol on the grid. In fact, it is the setting in place of nine energy structures, that once activated, can empower a concept represented by the drawn symbol over the grid. This symbol then interacts with what seems to be reality, and modifies the structure of the universe according to the desired effects. It is the sacred esoteric science of the oriental mage.

Kuji-In is a ritual process that encourages the development of body, mind and spirit. It enhances the nervous system, endocrine system, energy channels of the body, mental abilities, comprehension, quickness of body and mind, and open the doors on great spiritual depth. It involves the combination of many tools to focus all of the practitioner’s attention: hand gesture, spoken words, mental visualization, philosophic contemplation, focus points on the body. 

Kuji-in “Nine Syllable Seals,” is a specialized form of Buddhist meditation. It is derived from the Diamond Universe Nine Assemblies mandala of Shingon Buddhism. It is also used by other Buddhist sects, especially in Japan; some Taoists and practitioners of Shinto and Chinese traditional religion; and in folk-magic throughout East Asia.

Technically the word “Kuji-in” refers only to the hand postures (mudra) and their related incantations (mantra). The related practice of making nine cuts–five horizontal and four vertical, alternating–in the air or palm of a hand with the finger or on paper with a brush is known as kuji-kiri, nine syllable cuts. In Japanese folk-magic and onmyodo, the nine cuts are often made over writing or a picture, to gain control of the object named or pictured. Thus, a sailor wishing to be protected from drowning might write them over the kanji for “sea” or “water”. In Kuji-In practice you will be combining those three elements in order to manifest your desires.

The 9 Kuji-In sets with their Japanese titles, associating each with their popular benefits are:

1- RIN – Reinforces the positive aspects of the physical, mental and energetic planes.

2- KYO – Increases the healthy flow of energy, mastery of energy.

3- TOH – Enhances your positive relationship with the universe, resulting in improved harmony and balance.

4- SHA – Develops enhanced healing, regeneration.

5- KAI– Develops foreknowledge, premonition, intuition, feeling.

6- JIN – Increases telepathic ability, communication, knowledgeability.

7- RETSU – Enhances your perception and mastery of space-time dimensions.

8- ZAI – Fosters a relationship with the Elements of creation.

9- ZEN – Results in Enlightenment, completeness, suggestive invisibility.

 Mudras of Kuji In

The body is filled with nerves that carry electricity, but it also has circuitry, known as meridians. These meridians are commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine in the application of acupuncture. They are also the base of many massage techniques, since they have many beneficial influences on the body and the mind. Their use normally induces a state of relaxation, making the body prone to recovery. The hand positions, or mudras, crosses and extends the fingers in ways to benefit from these meridians. Even though the meridians travel through the whole of the body, most of them start and end at the fingertips, thus, the hand positions and finger puzzles. When you breathe while concentrating on focus points or acupressure points, it will work on these points in the same way a needle or massage would.

 Mantras of Kuji In

The spoken expressions always represent a reference to the philosophy that we keep in mind, yet it is spoken to accelerate the effect of the technique. It is known in auto-suggestions and neural programming that even though we keep a thought in mind, the concept integrates the mental process much faster if it is spoken aloud, since it uses more parts of the brain to speak than if the concept is only mentally contemplated. The words can be spoken in any language, since the important thing is to involve the brain in physical speech. While many practitioners of Japan’s Kuji in appreciate speaking the Japanese kanji pronunciation, some healers and spiritualists prefer the Sanskrit mantra. The concrete affirmations of philosophical expressions are a key component for mental training, as it reinforces the concepts they represent in our mind. While repeatedly reciting a few words that hold a certain meaning, the speech interacts with subconscious parts of our mind to make new connections and render the concept more accessible to our awareness, in our conscious mind.

 Mandala

Visualization is an image that we imagine in our mind. Mental visualization is there to help us keep our attention on the technique, hoping to prevent the mind to wander too far astray. Yet, if you start to think about random subjects, do not put pressure on yourself to come back to the visualization, but try to come back in a peaceful and relaxed attitude, calmly resetting the imagery in your mind.

Chakras

When we pay attention to a place in our body for a long enough period of time, the focus point will become relaxed and our awareness of this place will be enhanced. Paying attention to a part of our body will accelerate its healing or regeneration, since our mental attention does lend more neural electricity to the area of attention. This available extra energy is always used in the best possible way by the body. Each of our nine techniques requires us to focus on a specific point in the body, not to heal it but to enhance it. These focus points, specific to each of the nine techniques, are simultaneously a part of the meridians system, nervous system, and endocrine system, associated with an acupressure point, a main nervous center and a gland. When focusing on a point in your body, it should be done in a relaxed attitude. It is not necessary to concentrate with force. Simply pay attention to the focus point and try to feel it. It might take quite a while before you feel any particular sensation at this focus point, and it is not required. The moment you pay attention to a specific place on your body, the technique will be enhanced.

The hand postures are as follows:

rin

(Rin): Hands together, fingers interlocked. The index (sometimes middle) fingers are raised and pressed together.

Jumon is On baishiraman taya sowaka. Mudra is dokko, “seal of the thunderbolt.”

pyo

(Pyō): Hands together, pinkies and ring fingers interlocked (often on the inside). Index finger and thumb raised and pressed together, middle fingers cross over index fingers and their tips curl back to touch the thumbs’ tips, the middle-fingers’ nails touching.

Jumon is On isha naya in tara ya sowaka. Mudra is daikongo, “seal of the great thunderbolt.”

sha

(Tō): Hands together, index fingers cross each other to touch opposite ring fingers, middle fingers crossed over them. Ring and pinky fingers are straight. Tips of ring fingers pressed together, tips of pinkies pressed together, but both sets of ring and pinky fingers are separated to form a V shape or bird beak.

Jumon is On jite rashi itara jiba ratanō sowaka. Mudra is “seal of the outer lion.”

kai

(Sha): Hands together, ring fingers cross each other to touch opposite index fingers, middle fingers crossed over them. Index finger, pinky and thumb straight, like American Sign Language “I love you”.

Jumon is On haya baishiraman taya sowaka. Mudra is “seal of the inner lion.”

jin

(Kai): Hands together, fingers interlocked.

Jumon is On nōmaku sanmanda basaradan kan. Mudra is “seal of the outer bonds.”

retsu

(Jin): Hands together, fingers interlocked, with the fingertips inside.

Jumon is On aga naya in maya sowaka. Mudra is “seal of the inner bonds.”

zai

(Retsu): Left hand in an upward-pointing fist, index finger raised. Right hand grips index finger, and thumb is pressed onto left index’s nail.

Jumon is On hirota ki shanoga jiba tai sowaka. Mudra is “seal of the wisdom fist,” also known as “seal of the interpenetration of the two realms.”

zen

(Zai): Hands spread out in front, with thumb and index finger touching.

Jumon is On chirichi iba rotaya sowaka. Mudra is “seal of the ring of the sun.”

nine

(Zen): Hands form a circle, thumbs on top and fingers on the bottom, right hand overlapping left up to the knuckles.

Jumon is On a ra ba sha nō sowaka. Mudra is “seal of the hidden form,” also simply called the “meditation mudra.”