Ajhan Brahm on Life After Death

Ajhan Brahm talks about life after death in this video. In my experience it is unusual for a Buddhist teacher to talk this way and to be so explicit about what happens to consciousness and individuality after death. I understand that Buddha refused to say much about the afterlife or reincarnation because he felt it did not help people live this life. Too, language is designed for the experiential, physical realm not for whatever lies outside of this. Nevertheless Ajhan Brahm’s talking about the afterlife makes sense, as he says making the unknown known takes away the fear that goes with the unknown.

Ajhan Brahm has a voice that is difficult to listen to but what he says was compelling enough for me to persist for the hour that he speaks in this video. Key points for me were:

1. The notion that the mind/consciousness is more than the brain. Consciousness uses the brain while it is functional but not not need the brain. Brahm cites the case of a university student with “virtually no brain”; there are interesting discussions on this here and here.

2. The suggestion that Near Death Experiences happen when the brain stops functioning not when the heart stops.

3. In really deep meditation consciousness stops using the brain and there is a state similar somehow to an NDE.