How does Lama Norbu describe re-incarnation to Dean in Bernardo Bertolucci's movie Little Buddha?

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lprono eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Lama Norbu explains the concenpt of re-incarnation with an analogy with some tea in a cup. He says that in Tibet they think of the mind and the body in terms of the contents and the container. While he says this the Lama is pouring some tea in a white cup. As he finishes his sentence, he smashes the cup (framed in a close-up by the camera) on the table. The Lama then comments that the cup is no longer a cup but that the tea is always tea even though it's no longer in the cup but has spilled on the table and on the floor. "It moves from one container to another but it's still tea, like the mind . . . it moves from one body to the other but it is still mind".