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Thread: Rainbow Body/ Easter/ Christian Buddhist Explorations

  1. #1
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    Rainbow Body/ Easter/ Christian Buddhist Explorations

    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.

    Happy Easter.

  2. #2
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    Not personally a huge fan of Tibetan Buddhism. A lot of the miracles they claim to witness would probably be described as a sort of sensory temptation in the Pali Canon. Whether you believe it's woo or not (I do), that attainment of that sort of "power" seems counter-productive toward the achievement of non-desire, no-self, etc. My point is basically that if it's real, it's showing off or worse, a physical expression of some serious delusion. For instance, I've been told that hallucinations during meditation are something to be overcome, not welcomed.

    As for the Jesus thing...

    I'd agree that everything Jesus said, a Buddhist or Taoist master has said in better terms. Even modern ones. His life story itself is a highly allegorical teaching of some pretty serious philosophy, at times a pretty good one. If you've gone past a highly physicalist-type world view, though, I don't see much use for it. I'm of the opinion that Christianity is fine for other people, but not for me.
    Thanks from Red Eft and sky writer

  3. #3
    Thought Provocateur NightSwimmer's Avatar
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    Happy Easter, sky writer!

    I don't miss my belief in magic nearly so much as I feared that I might back when I finally decided that it should be put aside.
    Thanks from sky writer and RedCloud

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Smith View Post
    Not personally a huge fan of Tibetan Buddhism. A lot of the miracles they claim to witness would probably be described as a sort of sensory temptation in the Pali Canon. Whether you believe it's woo or not (I do), that attainment of that sort of "power" seems counter-productive toward the achievement of non-desire, no-self, etc. My point is basically that if it's real, it's showing off or worse, a physical expression of some serious delusion. For instance, I've been told that hallucinations during meditation are something to be overcome, not welcomed.

    As for the Jesus thing...

    I'd agree that everything Jesus said, a Buddhist or Taoist master has said in better terms. Even modern ones. His life story itself is a highly allegorical teaching of some pretty serious philosophy, at times a pretty good one. If you've gone past a highly physicalist-type world view, though, I don't see much use for it. I'm of the opinion that Christianity is fine for other people, but not for me.
    What I'm saying is what Jesus did in his body disappearing after he died is not unlike the "rainbow body" phenomenon that has been witnessed for millenia in Tibet with unusually accomplished meditators.

    "Recently, on August 29, 1998, at Dome Khamngak in Azi Rong in Tibet, Khenpo Achö, eighty years of age, attained physical dissolution. One day at noon, lying in bed, without having suffered any recent illness, while in the posture of a sleeping lion and reciting he six-syllables mantra, he attained buddha in the primordial basic matrix of alpha-purity, his heart of clear light reality perfected beyond the intellect. As his body dissolved into light, his wrinkles vanishing, he seemed like an eight-years old child with a beautiful complexion. After a week had passed, when people came to know of his death, they performed his death puja secretely in order to deceive the authorities, and at that time, rainbows appeared inside and outside, and a pleasant aroma pervaded the place. His body gradually diminished in size, and at the end, he attained buddha; not even his nails and hair were left behind. It was just like a bird flying from a rock— people nearby have no idea where it might have gone'.

    Tulku Pema Rigtsal, The Great Secret of Mind, Snow Lion, 2012, page 232.
    Last edited by sky writer; 5th April 2015 at 07:05 PM.

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    The case of Khenpo A chos

    The witnesses reported a rainbow appearing over Khenpo A-chos’s hut a few days before he died, (1998) and that “dozens of rainbows” appeared in the sky afterward. He was not sick and nothing appeared to be wrong with him—he simply chanted a mantra.

    According to the eyewitnesses, after his breath stopped his flesh became kind of pinkish. One person said it turned brilliant white. All said it started to shine. Lama A-chos suggested wrapping friend’s body in a yellow robe, the type all Gelug monks wear. As the days passed, they maintained they could see, through the robe, that his bones and body were shrinking. They also heard beautiful, mysterious music coming from the sky, and they smelled perfume. After seven days, they removed the yellow cloth, and no body remained.

    Lama Norta and a few other individuals claimed that after his death Khenpo A-chos appeared to them in visions and dreams . . . Lama A-chos told Tiso that it takes sixty years of intensive practice to achieve the rainbow body. “Whether it always takes that long, I don’t know,” acknowledges Tiso, “but we would like to be able to incorporate, in a respectful way, some of these practices into our own Western philosophical and religious traditions.”. . . To our knowledge, says Tiso, the bodies of most Christian saints did not disappear or shrink after their deaths. . . . However, he adds, bodily ascensions are mentioned in the Bible and other traditional texts for Enoch, Mary, Elijah, and possibly Moses. And there are numerous stories of saints materializing after their death, similar to the widespread phenomenon known as the “light-body”.

    REFERENCE :

    David Wilcock page 495 of his book, “The SOURCE FIELD Investigations”.

  6. #6
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    Happy resurrection day.

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    Inside Your Heads syrenn's Avatar
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    Do you always start these christian bashing threads on christian holiday?


    @sky writer

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    Light phenomena after death are also reported for various Christian saints such as Peter Celestine (1215-1296); Sergius of Radonezh (1314-1392); Seraphim of Sarov (1759-1833). There are other accounts of post-mortem manifestation especially in the Eastern Christian traditions. And of course the apparitions of Christ and the Virgin Mary seem also to be connected to the body of light in some way as yet to be determined. In Christianity, the post-resurrectional body not only of Christ but of all the saints is believed to be: impassible, subtle, agile, and luminous (St. Thomas Aquinas, ST Suppl. 85, I); some saints in the Beatific Vision seem already to have these features (the dream appearances of the medical saints Cosmas and Damian, who are said to have performed medical procedures in their light bodies ever since their martyrdom in the late third century).
    Rainbow Body

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    Sogyal Rinpoche wrote:

    In 1952 there was a famous instance of the rainbow body in the East of Tibet, witnessed by many people. The man who attained it, Sonam Namgyal, was the father of my tutor at the beginning of this book.

    He was a very simple, humble person, who made his way as an itinerant stone carver, carving mantras and sacred texts. Some say he had been a hunter in his youth, and had received a teaching from a great master. No one really knew he was a practitioner; he was truly called a "hidden yogin."

    . . . he then fell ill, or seemed to, but became strangely, increasingly happy. When he illness got worse, his family called in masters and doctors. His son told him he should remember, 'Everything is illusion, but I am confident that all is well.'

    Just before his death at seventy-nine, he said "All I ask is that when I die, don't move my body for a week." When he died his family wrapped his body and invited Lamas and monks to come and practice for him. They placed the body in a small room in the house, and they could not help noticing that although he had been a tall person, they had no trouble getting it in, as if he were becoming smaller. At the same time, an extraodinary display of rainbow-coloured light was seen all around the house. When they looked into the room on the sixth day, they saw that the body was getting smaller and smaller. On the eight day after his death, the morning in which the funeral had been arranged, the undertakers arrived to collect the body. When they undid its coverings, they found nothing inside but his nails and hair.

    Studying the phenomenon of Rainbow Body (by Gail Holland)
    http://www.khandro.net/nature_rainbows.htm#Sogyal

  10. #10
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    This is lovely too....

    Rainbow body

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