Brother David Steindl-Rast’s (Benedictine Monk) own curiosity about the rainbow body began when he heard various stories of Tibetan masters who had, through their practices, reached a high degree of wisdom and compassion. It was reported to him that when they died, rainbows suddenly appeared in the sky. “And I was told that after several days their bodies disappeared. Sometimes fingernails and hair were left. Sometimes nothing was left.”
These stories made him reflect upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which is central to his own faith. “We know that Jesus was a very compassionate, selfless person. When he died, according to the gospels, his body was no longer there.
In today’s world, Steindl-Rast points out, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is interpreted differently, depending upon ones spiritual leanings. For fundamentalists, the resurrection- the act of rising from the dead- happened only to Jesus, and couldn’t happen to any other human. The minimalists, on the other hand, says Steindl-Rast, focus on Jesus’s spirit living on, and believe that the resurrection of Jesus had nothing to do with his body.
Yet, a large number of people (including himself) are open to the concept that the body, too, is significant in the spiritual realm, and that certain spiritual experiences are universal.
In 1999, he decided to explore the strange phenomenon of the rainbow body and a possible connection to the resurrection of Jesus. “I sent a fax to a friend in Switzerland, who is a Zen Buddhist teacher. I knew that many Tibetans live there, and so I asked him if he could inquire about the rainbow body. Two days later, I received a fax back stating that a Tibetan had unexpectedly approached him, and when the rainbow body was mentioned, the Tibetan said, ‘It happened to one of my teachers just recently, and a famous lama who witnessed the events wrote an account about them.’ ” At this point, Steindl-Rast contacted Father Francis Tiso, an ordained Roman Catholic priest who has not only studied ten languages, including Tibetan, but is also familiar with Tibetan culture. (Francis Tiso holds the office of Canon in the Cathedral of St Peter, Isernia, Italy, and is assigned to the Archdiocese of San Francisco, where he is parochial vicar in Mill Valley.)
Christian Buddhist Explorations: The Rainbow Body | LiveDeepNOW
I'm interested in the phenomena of "rainbow body" and I'm thinking of it now on the eve of Easter. I thought this might be interesting to one or two people.