Rebirth vs Reincarnation – What’s the Difference?

From a Buddhist perspective, death is a temporary end to a temporary process. Energy is neither created nor destroyed – it is always in flux, changing forms.  When it comes to rebirth vs reincarnation you can think of the question in this context – consciousness is like energy – it is never destroyed, never “dies”, but is always changing form.

Re-birth is instantaneous, and it happens from one moment to the next. The previous formation, thought, feeling, phenomena disappears and a new one arises. That also happens when we die, consciousness continues after the body dies, into the next moment.

Reincarnation on the other hand, takes longer, and is the building up of the form, the body, which consciousness inhabits.

And speaking of death, dying and re-birth – an important thing to distinguish from the Buddhist point of view is that after we die, what is re-born is consciousness itself, not your ego personality.


Upcoming Courses and Talks on Death and Rebirth

Doug and Catherine Sensei will be speaking more about the topics of life and death, rebirth vs reincarnation this year:

buddhist contemplative care for end of life
exploring the bardos meditation retreat
death and dying process

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