the true nature of siddhis

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Re: the true nature of siddhis

Postby Thrasymachus » Fri May 25, 2012 7:11 am

I think it is tragic how many of the disgruntled Westerners here reject the supernatural in their native mythology only to naively adopt almost all Buddhist claims of beyond human power possessed by past practitioners. If those past practitioners were so great and awakened why was the social order of Buddhist societies still as unfair and stratified as anything else?
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Re: the true nature of siddhis

Postby Luke » Fri May 25, 2012 11:37 am

Thrasymachus wrote:I think it is tragic how many of the disgruntled Westerners here reject the supernatural in their native mythology only to naively adopt almost all Buddhist claims of beyond human power possessed by past practitioners. If those past practitioners were so great and awakened why was the social order of Buddhist societies still as unfair and stratified as anything else?

It's quite possible for Buddhists (and even non-Buddhists) to have siddhis without being enlightened. For example, just being clairvoyant doesn't mean that you'll be a kind person--and it certainly doesn't necessarily mean that one will be an expert at management and government.

A lot of the great masters of the past who were said to have had great powers were generally hermits and didn't comment much at all on social issues. I suppose this is one downside to Buddhism often being so focused on the absolute perspective that it often ignores the concerns of the relative world.
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Re: the true nature of siddhis

Postby Dechen Norbu » Fri May 25, 2012 11:58 am

Paul wrote:I would say that precognition, telepathy and maybe telekinesis are possible. I am pretty certaint that most people have had at least some experience of the first two. Not sure about the whole walking through walls or flying business.

I can't point the source right now, but once someone asked HHDL if there were practitioners able to fly. He said that in the West, perhaps not, but in the caves around... (forgetting the particular mountains)..., perhaps we could still find such practitioners. It was something like this. Interesting.
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Re: the true nature of siddhis

Postby Luke » Sun May 27, 2012 1:22 am

Another related question I have is "In terms of Buddhist theory, how is it possible for the mind to be able to control the the physical world?"

I read a book which said something like "At a stage of Dzogchen practice, one's mind gains control over the five elements" but it didn't describe the mechanism of how the mind is actually able to do this.
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Re: the true nature of siddhis

Postby oldbob » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:59 am

Luke wrote:Ancient Buddhist masters were said to be able to perform amazing feats. For example, Marpa was said to be able to walk through walls and Milarepa was said to be able to fly.

Do you think that they actually did such things? (Meaning that they did them in such a way that any person who was there at that time could see them performing these miracles.)

Or do you feel that these are just fables which were later added to their biographies by adoring disciples?

Or do you feel that these things only seemed to happen in the minds of the masters who performed the miracles and in the minds of their disciples who observed them? (but these things weren't visible to ordinary people.)

And the classic question: If you believe in these very visually dramatic siddhis (walking through walls, flying, levitating, making objects float, appearing to others in the form of a Buddhist deity, etc.), then why don't we see Buddhist masters who can do these things today?

And before the usual grumpy "What does any of this matter? Focus on the cause of suffering and its removal" answers roll in, let me say that a public, scientifically verifiable demonstration of siddhis would revolutionize average people's ideas about the potential of the mind and about reality itself. A lot of people have no interest in listening to very ordinary Buddhist teachers, but many more would pay attention if Buddhist teachers could make objects float or demonstrate some other miracles. Lots of people desire miracles, that's for sure!

-------------------------------------------------------------
Miracles matter!

Waking up in the morning is a miracle.

Looking up at the stars and knowing that there is no end, is a miracle.

Remembering that up is in every direction, is a miracle.

I've experienced miracles from 3 Dzogchen Masters. Gets your attention. Great stories - but private.

Siddhis are the spare change of Dharma practice: never to be sought lest they carry you away from practice.

See "Men who stare at goats."

http://us.ebid.net/for-sale/01313213709 ... gleshop_us
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