Rebirth is a Buddhist belief that refers to the idea that some part of our spiritual existence is reborn after we die. This cycle of death and rebirth is called samsara. Unlike reincarnation, which is the belief that a permanent soul passes from body to body, rebirth embraces the idea that only a life’s karmic merit (rather than a soul) is passed on through this cycle—a continuous flowing of consciousness that is free, ever-changing, and loosely connected. Insight on this cycle can be gained through practice and focus, with a goal of finding enlightenment or nirvana, a state of inner peace and wisdom.

Why Believe in Rebirth?

In a now famous conversation between Carl Sagan and the Dalai Lama, Sagan, a scientist and renowned skeptic, asks, “Your Holiness, what if we were to prove, scientifically, that there is no such thing as reincarnation?” To Sagan’s great astonishment, the Dalai Lama replied without hesitation t...

Should I Believe in Rebirth?

In my years of Buddhist training before becoming a Buddhist teacher, none of my teachers have ever asked me to believe in rebirth. In fact, none of my Zen and Theravada teachers in America or Asia gave any prominence to the idea – if they mentioned it at all. - Gil Fronsdal

The Buddhist Teachings on Rebirth

Moment to moment, lifetime to lifetime — death and rebirth are happening all the time. Ten leading Buddhist teachers explain the concept of rebirth.

Rebirth and Reincarnation in Buddhism

Would you be surprised to learn that reincarnation is not a Buddhist teaching? "Reincarnation" normally is understood to be the transmigration of a soul to another body after death. There is no such teaching in Buddhism--a fact that surprises many people, even some Buddhists

Reincarnation and Rebirth

One morning last fall, while sipping my chai, I tapped the TOI app on my iPad, and the Times of India appeared. The top story was startling.

The Tibetan Buddhist View of Death and Rebirth

In the March 1995 Lion’s Roar magazine, Professor Robert Thurman explained the Tibetan Buddhist view of death and rebirth.

Do You Only Live Once? the Evidence for Rebirth

What happens after you die? That used to be just a religious question, but science is starting to weigh in. Sam Littlefair looks at the evidence that you’ve lived before.

Karma Doesn't Work How Most People Think It Does

Eastern traditions have complex views on how karma affects your life.

The Buddha’s Baggage Everything You Wanted to Know About Karma But Were Afraid to Ask

Karma and rebirth are often treated as Buddhism’s cultural baggage: a set of Indian beliefs that—either because the Buddha wasn’t thinking carefully, or because his early followers didn’t stay true to his teachings—got mixed up with the dharma even though they don’t fit in with the rest ...

Karma, Dna of Our Soul

Karma, meaning action, is a term in yogic spirituality for explaining the soul's evolution from life to life. Karma is generally portrayed as the effect of our individual actions, extending from past lives to present and future lives.