--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "mudmessiah" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> If one lives life to the fullest then there will be no more need for 
> rebirth...! So how does one live life to the fullest? Buddha 
> a path called the Eightfold Path... For example, doesn't it follow 
> that by not cheating (lying, coveting... etc,) a person takes all 
> steps required to accomplish a goal. To ask why one act is applauded 
> and another isn't applauded is immaterial; reward for an act and no 
> reward for an act are the same. Any act is important only because 
> accomplishemnt is the fulfillment of life. If birth requires the 
> accomplishment of life, then to accomplish life is to accomplish 
> birth. Both done, the soul's requirement is met... is it not? Once 
> lived to it's fullest... life need not be repeated?

I personally don't subscribe to what I call "body-switching" in the 
rebirth scenario (where you die and then some how show up in another 
body.)  But I tend to think of re-birth as the moment to moment 
creation of the self.  It's not that you *have* a self, but that you 
are "selfing."  It's not a thing, but a process that is created by 
craving. It's happening every single moment.

When you stop craving, you stop "selfing" and there is no "self" to be 
reborn.  In the classic Buddhist scenario this means that you will 
achieve parinirvanna and not be reborn into another body.  In zen, the 
invitation is to awaken in this life time.  I don't hear a lot of Zen 
teachers talk about re-birth into another body after physical death of 
this body. Why worry about the next life anyway?  

As far as "living to the fullest", and the eightfold path, just being 
mindful, completely mindful, is living fully.  If you practice 
mindfulness, if you really do it, you are practicing the whole 
eightfold path.  This is true for any part really.  You can't practice 
one part of the eightfold path without practicing the whole thing.  
But for purposes of practice it is useful to deliberately apply 
yourself to each step.  But each flows out from the other.  That is 
why it is a path that the Buddha discovered rather than created.

I hope that answers something.


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