The Buddha famously avoided all questions about the afterlife, preferring to focus on what helped us deal with the challenges of this life. He said he was interested only in “suffering and the end of suffering” – practical skills for dealing with the mind.
Hakuin Zenji said, “If you want to know about life after death, ask the man who wants to know.” Thus there is no other way than to ask yourself, for this problem does not belong to the category of knowledge. You yourself must solve it by practice. Buddha’s practice after his enlightenment is not different from each individuals practice before enlightenment, if there is no idea of self. When you are engaged in selfless practice, you are free from the idea of past, present and future; from the idea of this world or another; from the idea of coming or going.