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Ascension Concept from Buddhism- how does it impact your path?
2008/5/23 16:03
Registered Users
Posts: 356
So someone asked a question on Jedi Church facebook page regarding Yoda and Old Ben's disappearance upon death. It reminded me that a few years back my mother sent me an e-mail that detailed a belief in Tibet which some say has happened within my lifetime. The phenomena is referred to as "Rainbow Body", of course it takes longer than a matter of seconds for one's body to disappear- but the body disappears and becomes light eventually.

Anyways, the facebook comment got me looking around for the article again (haven't found the original) and I came across an MP3 from 2002 presented by IONS (Institute of Noetic Sciences) on the intrigue which led to researching the Rainbow Body. I can't find the results, but it's interesting none-the-less:

http://www.noetic.org/library/audio-l ... n-with-father-francis-ti/

And in the event you aren't interested in listening to the hour long MP3, here's a snippet from Discover Magazine:

In 1998 a strange story emerged from a village in the remote Kham region of eastern Tibet. It is said that a rainbow appeared one day above the cabin of Khenpo A-chos, a devout lama who had continued to practice and teach Buddhism despite the severe restrictions of the Chinese government. He was in his eighties, but not sick. Nevertheless, he lay down on his bed, began reciting the Tibetan mantra “Om mani padme hum,” and died.

Shortly after the nuns, monks, and others who studied with him began the Tibetan Buddhist prayers that accompany death, they noticed that Khenpo A-chos’s skin began to turn soft and pinkish. His students hurried to another lama to ask about this, and he told them to cover the body and continue their prayers. They placed a thin yellow monk’s cloak over him, and as the days passed, they saw that his body was shrinking. By the end of the week, the students reported, nothing remained—just a few hairs left on the pillow. Khenpo A-chos had apparently become what is known in Tibetan Buddhism as a rainbow body.

This story spread through Buddhist circles, making its way to the United States, where Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk, heard it. He realized that the miraculous event had implications for Christianity: “If we can establish as an anthropological fact that what is described in the resurrection of Jesus has not only happened to others but is happening today,” he has said, “it would put our view of human potential in a completely different light.”
Ascent in the Empyrean
by Hieronymous Bosch

Brother David enlisted the aid of Father Francis Tiso, an associate director of the secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C., who also has a doctorate in Buddhist studies. Father Tiso journeyed to Kham with a translator and recorded the testimony of several people who had witnessed the events.

The lama who had been consulted by the students, Lama A-chos (no relation), told him that achieving the rainbow body “is a matter of inner realization. It’s not a philosophical idea. It’s not a metaphor.” He also showed Father Tiso photographs of himself taken while meditating, indicating what looked like light radiating from his body.

Did these things truly happen? Certainly they were real to Lama A-chos and perhaps even to Father Tiso. “It’s one of my regrets that I couldn’t take a photograph of his photos. It was too dark, and a flash would have washed out the photos,” Father Tiso says. “People criticize the research, saying, ‘Well you didn’t do this or that,’ and of course, it’s unscientific. But there is an interface between what we might call mystical phenomena and observable phenomena that one day may be documented.”
The interface Father Tiso is referring to is the contentious place where people are searching for proof of the existence of the human soul. What information counts as evidence depends on how you define “evidence.” On one side there are the mystical phenomena reported by serious practi­tioners in all spiritual traditions. These experiences cannot easily, if at all, be measured or tested by scientific methods.

-Soul Search
Will natural science pin down our supernatural essence?
by Jane Bosveld
From the June 2007 issue; published online June 12, 2007

http://discovermagazine.com/2007/jun/ ... le_view?b_start:int=0&-C=

Discussion Point: Let's pretend for a moment (whether you believe it or not) that the Rainbow Body is indeed truth. That you can die and become an array of lights because you have reached transcendence through meditation and a strong focus on living the this Tibetan tradition (or even Christianity, as Father Tiso makes a case that this is akin to the story of Christ's ressurection). If we could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is possible, how would it change the way you live your life- if at all? Why?

Posted on: 2012/11/20 12:07
Gather at the River,
Alethea Jolene Thompson
-Setanaoko Mizu Oceana-
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