Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

Moderator: Tibetan Buddhism moderators

Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

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

Dazzle wrote:.
Hi Luke,

First of all, let me say that this reply is meant only with kindness. I have been involved with Tibetan Buddism offline for many years.




This means absolutely nothing to anyone, since you also connect your years of involvement, with this comment of yours below.


Sorry, but that's mere pointless speculation on your part, Luke.

With respect, I don't feel there's much value in me saying anything further at this point.

Be well and happy -and good luck with your practice,

Dazzle :smile:

.


last of all, let me say that this reply is meant only with kindness.


Heruka
Heruka
 
Posts: 1069
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:34 am

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:
Drolma
 
Posts: 115
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:07 pm

Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

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

Heruka wrote:
Dazzle wrote:.
Hi Luke,

First of all, let me say that this reply is meant only with kindness. I have been involved with Tibetan Buddism offline for many years.




This means absolutely nothing to anyone, since you also connect your years of involvement, with this comment of yours below.


Sorry, but that's mere pointless speculation on your part, Luke.

With respect, I don't feel there's much value in me saying anything further at this point.

Be well and happy -and good luck with your practice,

Dazzle :smile:

.


last of all, let me say that this reply is meant only with kindness.


Heruka



Hello SZ Heruka, Do I ?

how extraordinary!

I don't quite know how you've worked that one out and connected those two statements!

Do you presume to be able to read my mind and intentions? If I feel that I might be starting to bicker, It's simply a recognition that its best for me to stop talking -- it has no connection with mentioning being involved with TB offline.



Dazzle :smile:
Last edited by Dazzle on Thu May 28, 2009 8:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Dazzle
 
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:04 pm

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 : http://www.wisdom-books.com/ProductExtract.asp?PID=17562

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:
Dazzle
 
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:04 pm

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
PaulC
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 2:37 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

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

Drolma Darling,

Your posts show kind insight, like usual. :hug:

Drolma wrote:"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."

I think the tension between these two views is part of the reason that siddhis are so controversial in modern Buddhism. I guess I've evolved from a skeptic to a believer, but this quote seems to indicate that the correct view is actually more complicated than this. "Right View" in Buddhism is always a slippery fish to catch, since our minds and the universe are always one step beyond logic.
Drolma wrote: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”

This is exactly what I meant earlier. Thanks for the quote. There are wise and unwise uses of siddhis just like there are wise and unwise uses of anything else.

I read a similar story about Naropa making the Hevajra mandala appear in the sky for his student Marpa.
User avatar
Luke
 
Posts: 1669
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:04 pm

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.
User avatar
Luke
 
Posts: 1669
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:04 pm

Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

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

I wonder if this is relevant here:(Patriarch Asvaghosha's Mahâyâna-çraddhotpâda-çâstra (Discourse on the Awakening of Faith in the Mahâyâna)
http://www.ymba.org/BWF/bwf73.htm#AwakeningofFaith1
There may be some disciples whose root of merit is not yet mature, whose control of mind is weak and whose power of application is limited -- and yet who are sincere in their purpose to seek enlightenment -- these for a time may be beset and bewildered by maras and evil influences who are seeking to break down their good purpose.

Such disciples, seeing seductive sights, attractive girls, strong young men, must constantly remind themselves that all such tempting and alluring things are mind-made, and, if they do this, their tempting power will disappear and they will no longer be annoyed.

Or, if they have visions of heavenly gods and Bodhisattvas and Buddhas surrounded by celestial glories, they should remind themselves that these, too, are mind-made and unreal.

Or, if they should be uplifted and excited by listening to mysterious Dharanis, to lectures upon the paramitas, to elucidations of the great principles of the Mahayana, they must remind themselves that these also are emptiness and mind-made, that in their essence they are Nirvana itself.

Or, if they should have intimations within that they have attained transcendental powers, recalling past lives, or fore-seeing future lives, or, reading others' thoughts, or freedom to visit other Buddha-lands, or great powers of eloquence, all of [these] may tempt them to become covetous for worldly power and riches and fame.

Or, they may be tempted by extremes of emotion, at times angry, at other times joyous, or at times very kind-hearted and compassionate, at other times the very opposite, or at times alert and purposeful, at other times indolent and stupid, at times full of faith and zealous in their practice, at other times engrossed in other affairs and negligent.

All of [these] will keep them vacillating, at times experiencing a kind of fictitious samadhi, such as the heretics boast of, but not the true samadhi. Or later, when they are quite advanced [they] become absorbed in trances for a day, or two, or even seven, not partaking of any food but upheld by inward food of their spirit, being admired by their friends and feeling very comfortable and proud and complacent, and then later becoming very erratic, sometimes eating little, sometimes greedily, and the expression of their face constantly changing.

Because of all such strange manifestations and developments in the course of their practices, disciples should be on their guard to keep the mind under constant control.

They should neither grasp after nor become attached to the passing and unsubstantial things of the senses or concepts and moods of the mind. If they do this they will be able to keep far away from the hindrances of karma.
Namo Amitabha Buddha!
thornbush
 
Posts: 609
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:21 am

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:
Dazzle
 
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:04 pm

Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

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

Luke wrote: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.


Hi Luke,

Yes, these are impressive displays. I agree :smile:

I hope you continue to feel free to ask about anything you're curious about. In my humble opinion, there was nothing wrong with your question. Of course as was revealed in this thread right away, people are usually nudged away from thinking about siddhis too much. Like you said, even maintaining equanimity when we're hungry or tired can be enough for us to work on! But I find the subject a little bit interesting too. To me, it's encouraging to imagine what the mind may be capable of when it's truly tamed.

Best wishes,
Laura
Ngawang Drolma
Founding Member
 
Posts: 2324
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:44 pm

Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

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

Ngawang Drolma wrote:But I find the subject a little bit interesting too. To me, it's encouraging to imagine what the mind may be capable of when it's truly tamed.

Best wishes,
Laura


It is a great pleasure to meet you, Laura (this sounds much prettier than "Ngawang" to my American ears).

:namaste:
Luke
User avatar
Luke
 
Posts: 1669
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:04 pm

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
Ngawang Drolma
Founding Member
 
Posts: 2324
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:44 pm

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:
thornbush
 
Posts: 609
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:21 am

Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

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

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


:lol:
Ngawang Drolma
Founding Member
 
Posts: 2324
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:44 pm

Re: Extra-bodily States in Buddhism

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

thornbush wrote:Dakini-la sounds cool :rolleye:

Yes, it cerainly does! Heavenly dakinis! :woohoo:

Tara and Vajrayogini are sweet-sounding as well.

thornbush wrote:Men! :thinking:

OMG. You're a chick too! Don't worry, I'll refrain from any immature "bush" jokes.

So many hands to kiss, so little time...
:smile:
User avatar
Luke
 
Posts: 1669
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:04 pm

Previous

Return to Tibetan Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Karma_Yeshe, nickfull, rai, Sherab Dorje and 40 guests

>