DarkHorse Ministries

A Bouncing Bundle of Tendencies

The day after I returned from a Buddhist retreat, in the Fall of 1996, I accepted a substitute teaching position in a high school classroom that was empty during the first period. I turned off the lights and sat on the floor and began to meditate. Before the hour was over, I had inwardly experienced that I was basically composed of a 'stick house' of my many various preferences and tendencies, for example, that of chocolate over vanilla ice cream. It would be years before I would recognize the connection between this experience and Buddhist theory in December 2011.

Both Buddhism and Hinduism believe in reincarnation or soul transmigration, but with an important difference. Hinduism teaches that an atomized self or soul, referred to in Sanskrit as 'atman,' reincarnates through many lives, until finally liberated from the wheel of rebirth and death. Buddhism however, teaches the doctrine of anatman or 'no self,' and claims that what actually reincarnates is not a self entity, but only a bundle of psychic tendencies.

At the time that this experience occurred I knew almost nothing about Hinduism or reincarnation. It amazes me to look back years later, and to see such an obvious connection! Perhaps at this point in my journey, I had not yet put together or consciously manifested a true self. However, as I continued on my journey, some years later, I would hear a voice of wisdom, repeat three times while I was asleep, "Your name is written in the Book of Life!"