Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

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Heruka
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Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

Postby Heruka » Thu May 28, 2009 12:34 pm


Drolma
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Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

Postby Drolma » Thu May 28, 2009 12:56 pm

Luke, thanks for the link and post.

You might also enjoy reading What Makes you Not a Buddhist, by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse

particularly the chapter on emptiness - excerpts:

Milarepa took refuge from a storm in a Yak’s horn without the horn becoming larger or Milarepa becoming smaller. The nature of emptiness – You might think that the story of Milarepa’s yak horn is merely a fairy tale. Or, if you are the credulous type, you might believe that it was a case of sorcery performed by the Tibetan yogi. But it is neither. If we really analyze, as Siddhartha did, we will find that labels such as ‘form”, “time”, “space” “direction” and “size” are easily dismantled. Our limited logic. :roll: We are stuck with our short-term thinking and bound by practicality. For us, something must be tangible and immediately useful in order to be worth our investment of time and energy. With our limited rationale, we have a set definition of what makes sense and what is meaningful – and emptiness cannot fit inside our heads. This is because the human system operates on one inadequate system of logic even though there are countless other systems of logic available to us. When we read in Buddhist teaching that one day in hell is equal to five hundred years, we think that these religious figures are just trying to frighten us into submission. But imagine a week’s holiday with your best beloved, it goes like the snap of the fingers. On the other hand, one night in prison with a rowdy rapist seems to last forever.
Some of us may limit a little bit of the unknown into our system of thinking. A small handful of so-called gifted people might have the courage or skill to go beyond convention, and as long as their view isn’t too outrageous they may be able to pass themselves off as artists such as Salvador Dali. There are a few celebrated yogis who deliberately go just a little bit beyond what’s conventually accepted and are venerated as “divine madmen”. But we cannot, or will not, comprehend that which is beyond our own comfort zone. We are not programmed to think, I can fit into that yak horn without changing my size or shape. We cannot break our conceptions of small and big. Instead we continuously confine ourselves with our safe and narrow perspectives that have been handed down for generations. We can only go as far as our rational mind allows. When presented with the concept of a man fitting inside of a yak’s horn without change in size, we have a few choices We can be “rational” and refute the story by saying that it is simply not possible. Or we can apply some kind of mystic belief in sorcery or blind devotion and say Oh Yes, Milarepa was such a great yogi, of course he could do this and even more. Either way our view is distorted, because denying is a form of underestimating, and blind faith is a form of overestimating."

His Holiness Dalai Lama, in The Story of Tibet tells of such an act to inspire faith:

There is a story in the Tibetan texts where Phagpa was giving an initiation to Kublai Khan. He drew a mandala for the initiation, in front of him, and then that whole mandala appeared in the clouds of the sky above as well. It was Phagpa who did this”
“ And this is a correct use of the siddhi. I think that at the end of the forty-six precepts of a Bodhisattva, there is mention of a Bodhisattva wielding these powers. The Bodhisattva realizes that he or she can help others discipline their minds with such displays, even though you learn that you shouldn't use these powers all the time. So this means if there is a real purpose, not just for showing off but for the benefit of others, then if there are no nother negative circumstances, you should use these powers”




:smile:

Dazzle
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Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

Postby Dazzle » Thu May 28, 2009 6:27 pm

Last edited by Dazzle on Thu May 28, 2009 8:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Dazzle
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Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

Postby Dazzle » Thu May 28, 2009 6:47 pm

Regarding the book mentioned by Drolma "What makes you not a Buddhist" by Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse, I highly recomment it too.

Here's a link with extract :

I also recommend the other book mentioned above by Drolma " The Story of Tibet -conversations with the Dalai lama" by Thomas Laird

Both an excellent read, Drolma!



:anjali:

PaulC
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Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

Postby PaulC » Sat May 30, 2009 4:03 am

Hi all

Sticking to the essential ... i.e. Prajnaparamita/Madhyamaka/Dzogchen/Mahamudra ... and without wanting to appear condescending or pompous ... there are statements, such as the following, which I, for one, find more profound and scintillating than any any interest in siddhis, and such:

The Buddha:

Subhuti pays no heed to the paranormal abilities developed by advanced meditators, much less to any supposedly separate person who possesses such abilities.

- The Prajnaparamita Sutra in 8,000 Lines (trans. Hixon, p. 185).

Best

Paul

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Luke
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Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

Postby Luke » Sun May 31, 2009 3:45 pm


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Luke
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Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

Postby Luke » Sun May 31, 2009 4:20 pm

I want to thank the people who have replied to this thread. I know that you were all acting in your own way out of your best intentions. Although a few negative emotions have surfaced in both myself and others during the discussion of this topic, I think that we learn a lot by reflecting on what caused us to feel this way. I've learned something about myself doing this.

However, the fact remains that the stories of ancient Tibetan Buddhist masters are full of accounts of siddhis, and many people find these stories very inspiring. I don't think I've ever read about a great, ancient, Tibetan yogi who did not display siddhis. These things seem to be part of the Tibetan tradition.

Many other traditions, such as Zen, generally ignore these things, and that's okay.

Spiritual practice is such an internal thing that it is nice sometimes to have external proof of spiritual realization, such as siddhis. To me, siddhis are basically signs that a person is approaching the level of spiritual attainment of the ancient masters. Some people believe that no one in modern times can even get close to the level of the ancient masters, so any evidence to the contrary (such as H.H. the 16th Karmapa and H.E. Drubwang Rinpoche) is exciting.

There are other things which are at least as amazing as bonafide siddhis, in my opinion. One example is truly unceasing kindness. This can only be attained through continuous practice. I know from my own experience that it is very hard to be kind when I'm in pain, very tired, or very hungry. The example of H.H. the 16th Karmapa dying of cancer while still being kind at every moment is very inspiring. Another example of something amazing is the reality of rebirth. From a Western point of view, rebirth is a phenomenon as occult, magical, and mysterious as any extrasensory power. I can think of few revolutions in my thinking more profound than that of being convinced of the truth of rebirth. Death and the intermediate states will always be some of the deepest spiritual experiences.

thornbush
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Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

Postby thornbush » Mon Jun 01, 2009 2:58 am


Dazzle
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Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

Postby Dazzle » Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:24 am

.
Thank you for your good wishes to everyone, Luke.

Thank you also for the link provided above, Thornbush, I found it very interesting.


I think this is a nice quote which might be be a useful one for all of us, including myself, to contemplate in connection with our practice:


Experiences

"As you continue to practice meditation, you may have all kinds of experiences, both good and bad. You might experience states of bliss, clarity, or absence of thoughts. In one way these are very good experiences, and signs of progress in meditation. For when you experience bliss, it's a sign that desire has temporarily dissolved. When you experience real clarity, it's a sign that aggression has temporarily ceased. When you experience a state of absence of thought, it's a sign that your ignorance has temporarily died. By themselves they are good experiences, but if you get attached to them, they become obstacles.

Experiences are not realization in themselves; but if we remain free of attachment to them, they become what they really are—that is, materials for realization."


Sogyal Rinpoche





:anjali:

Ngawang Drolma
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Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Mon Jun 01, 2009 7:18 am


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Luke
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Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

Postby Luke » Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:55 pm


Ngawang Drolma
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Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:58 pm

Hi Luke,

It's easier for me to say too! :D
It's a pleasure to meet you, Luke.

Best,
Laura

thornbush
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Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

Postby thornbush » Wed Jun 03, 2009 4:22 am

Dakini-la sounds cool :rolleye:
Wasn't there a pathetic song singing about a guy pining for a 'Laura'? :tongue: Men! :thinking:

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Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Wed Jun 03, 2009 6:32 am


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Luke
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Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

Postby Luke » Sat Jun 06, 2009 12:12 pm



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