Saturday, December 3, 2011

Topic in class: Living Beings in this World

In Class on Nov 30th we had a discussion on the following:

  • The Buddhist Scriptures mention the word “living beings” very often. According to the Lord Buddha, living beings imply those that are still attached to the 5 Aggregates, which include, corporeality (identifying to self), feeling, perception, mental formation, and consciousness. 
  •  Living beings possess a body and a consciousness and include human beings, celestial beings, Brahma beings, Mara beings, Petas, Asurakayas, animals, and hell beings. 
  • All these beings are grouped together as living beings of the world.

This was only one slide and took up about 30 minutes clearly a fascinating subject for us in class. We had a wonderful discussion about Buddhist concepts on this slide that help us all realize how very little we could know. Though these concepts were foreign to many of our meditation members, most people were open to learning and not ruling out the possibility. We talked about living beings as defined in Buddhism and what that means exactly, this wasn't just pertaining to human beings but all forms of living beings including heaven and hell beings. Further explored by explaining that our human realm contains another realm that we can see which is coexisting with us, the animal realm. However we do not have the refined eye to see heaven and hell realms, but they too exist and are further broken up and subdivided accordingly. Most people believe in heaven and hell, however for many of us we believe heaven is a place that "all good people" transition to after leaving their existence and it is the same place for everyone, same idea with hell "all bad people" go to t his place call hell and it is the same form of punishment for all. However as I began to study Buddhism more and use my own rationale thought it started to make sense to me that there are different levels of both heaven and hell why not?! After all Buddha's teaching comes from what he learned through meditation, further more other meditation master's confirm the different levels as well (please note this is buddhist cosomology which we'll be touching on as well in future classes) I am not saying I believe them 100% but I am saying I see the possibility of this and through higher meditative states other meditation masters confirm the same thing that there are different levels of heaven and of hell depending on one's own merit performed (good/bad) during one's life, we reap what we sow. If I ever get to higher meditation through my own practice , I could see for myself. All I asked though from class was let's just rethink what we think we know, and be open to the possibility that we actually don't and maybe Buddha who's teachings are still solid today actually has given us a spiritual guide to follow, the ultimate foundation of learning the reality of existence. That was the main topic that we explored in class, that there does exist other realms that we just cannot see and these realms also have other beings in them that define their individual realms. Think about it? In our human realm alone we have all sorts of nationalities just as human beings, and the animal realm we can not even touch on all the species, animals, insects, different classes that exist in our own realm, let alone that we can actually see. So lets just be open to the possibility that other realms, that we cannot see, also have their own classifications of beings within them....maddness huh? Not really after-all the world is full of unknowns, so why not?! To me it makes all the sense in the world :P