What is Rebirth or Samsara in Buddhism?
We find in the heart of Buddhism, Samsara, the cycle of rebirth in which are prisoner beings who have not yet achieved enlightenment or supreme liberation.
Called commonly reincarnation in the West, this cycle of conditioned existences is without beginning and perpetuated by the accumulation of Karma, and ends for each being when Awakening or Nirvana is reached.
Having reached the state of enlightenment itself, the Buddha has decided to teach others the path that leads to it and to the cessation of rebirth.
Unlike the other philosophies of India, such as Jainism, Brahmanism or Hinduism, in Buddhism, there is no permanent self, no soul that sails from rebirth to rebirth, but a simple assembly of conditioned physical and mental phenomena.
When there is passage to the next life, nothing is transferred, nothing of “us” goes from one place to another, only our Karma continues.
How to explain this absence of self? Everything in the universe is emptiness, without substance, including humans, because there is nothing that is independent of anything else. Everything is by nature interdependent, hence empty of its own existence. From this follows the Buddhist doctrine of the Anatman, the absence or non-existence of a permanent self.
Zazen’s practice allows us to shed our illusions, to purify our karma, and ultimately, without even wanting to, without desire, leads us towards liberation in the cycle of rebirth and death.