Experiences with spirits

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karmanyingpo
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Re: Experiences with spirits

Post by karmanyingpo »

Have you tried contacting a qualified lama for advice or chanting any mantras, sutras, etc.?

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spiritsu
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Re: Experiences with spirits

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Brahma wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:09 pm Treating ghosts and spirits as if we treat our own beloved friends and human beings who have not gone through the death process yet is the best approach. If one finds a Buddhist practice towards others who need our help, with the proper caution and also equal and greater compassion as of always, then the practice of Buddhism will make one happy.

However, if one plays or chants the Shurangama Mantra and reads about it here, they can chase away malevolent ghosts and spirits, and even good Ghosts chant the Shurangama Mantra, it is quite powerful, and is a problem solving device for such situations where one may be having trouble, as well as one of the most important Mantras in Buddhism. Om.
Thank your for those links. I will take a look. I listened to the mantra chanting, and it looks like the kind of thing that I might be interested in. Do you know what tradition these monks doing the chanting are from? Pure land? Tendai? I have come across the name of the Surangama Sutra before but have not studied it properly.

I have come across some other material from Buddhism that is interesting due to mentioning spirits/demons. I could explain more on that if anyone is interested.

Having come from a Christian background, I have also tried to look at it from that point of view. Probably can't discuss that on this forum though.

On the more Buddhist point of view and from having had an interest in it for many years the first thing I thought of was the idea of hungry ghosts. It is not necessarily that this particular spirit/demon would be classed as 'hungry ghost' but some of them might act in a 'hungry' way.
spiritsu
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Re: Experiences with spirits

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Ayu wrote: Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:25 am Yes, I think asking the Buddhas and reciting the refuge mantra is a very good measure.
Thank you for this earlier reply Ayu. I have been interested in Buddhism but have never formally taken refuge. I think I have really been trying to learn 'from' Buddhism more than anything if you know what I mean. So I have read books, been to meditation classes (with a Buddhist group) and been on a few retreats. However, I also come from a Christian background.

I think due to the experiences I am going through it has made me a lot more aware of the world as being spiritual in nature. I can see myself becoming even more spiritual in whichever way but not sure how right now in terms of whether that will be from a Christian point of view, or Buddhist or trying to combine both somehow.
spiritsu
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Re: Experiences with spirits

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Ayu wrote: Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:15 pm
Mantrik wrote: Thu Jan 23, 2020 7:31 pm
Ayu wrote: Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:54 pm
One thing I'd like to add is that Lamas who are able to remove those spirits are not exorcists in first place. They are Buddhist teachers and very busy with teaching Buddhism. :smile:
Monastics have a wide variety of roles, and Ngakpas are certainly quite broad in their skills. Teaching is just one role.
'Liberating' spirits is certainly one of the tasks they may perform.
What leads you to think they would not have such a role?
I just thought of my teacher. He is able to remove bad spirits - may they be internal or external. But I think, it would be a pity, if too many people came to him for getting help, if they are not at all interested in Buddhism.
This is interesting. Does your teacher have the ability to see spirits? I think that is a rare ability but this monk that I came across was obviously able to see it, and he said it without any prompting from myself. Maybe your teacher can teach me some things! Having said that, there might be some things that I would not want to do, because of coming from a Christian background. So I can see that being very awkward with some traditions/practises. Obviously because of the experiences I am having, and due to some of the information I have come across from a more Christian point of view (and how they understand demons/spirits) it has scared me a bit, so am trying to be careful not to do anything wrong.

I tried contacting a few Buddhist people in the UK where I live (a couple of teachers I have come across) and a few different Buddhist organisations and none of them could help. I think the ability to see/deal with spirits is probably very rare and I think part of the problem here in the UK is that the kind of people attracted to Buddhism might have rejected Christianity (or never been interested) and probably see things in a more materialistic way. Either that or they just have had no experience with spirits themselves. It might be something at a more advanced level. With one of the teachers I had come across before, he seemed intrigued and said he had never had any paranormal experiences but then would only discuss meditation/the dhyanas, and did not answer anything I was saying about this spirit. I am kind of a bit surprised at the lack of curiosity from Buddhists. Another teacher (who also had no experience of spirits) just said that spirits cannot harm us, try to be kind. I now think this is wrong to say that spirits cannot do harm (without going into details). I think people (especially spiritual people) need to understand more of the subject of spirits and at least be aware of them.
Last edited by spiritsu on Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Experiences with spirits

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spiritsu wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:16 pm
Ayu wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:42 pm My first spontaneous thought is: Let it be. Let it go.
But this musn't be helpful.
I would try to find a very good, decent, educated and open-minded therapist.
Letting go/relaxing does not make this spirit go away. I will have done relaxation many times during my life and so obviously that is not the answer. Nor is chanting Om Mani Padme Hum because I have done that many times (and a few other Buddhist chants) well before I realised I had this spirit around me. Obviously before I figured out this spirit was there (most of my life) I could not have been focusing on it so not being attached to it mentally can't be the answer. Trying to ignore it does not help either. ...
Well, therefore my first idea was "let it BE".
I cannot give you any personal advice - and nobody should.

But AFAIK accepting is a good measure. As long as you expect it to leave, it must be annoying or disturbing.
I heard from a woman who heard voices all the time. She understood, these voices came from her mind although they had nothing to do with herself. They seemed to be foreign.
After a long journey through therapy she found the solution by herself. There were wrong therapy trials but also she was lucky to find a working tool. With the help of the therapist she could learn to accept the voices and they changed then also.
She improved and started to study psychatry and invented a therapy for people who hear voices all the time. Now she's a scientist and still hears those voices. It's quite special, but she lives with it now.
I do not believe a therapist would have any knowledge of spirits and how to deal with them.
This thing is very real. If anyone thinks that spirits are not real then they need to read the Buddhist teachings more closely, or the teachings of various other traditions, but it would be difficult to talk about those here due to the forum rules.
There is a lot more that I could say but I feel I have to tip-toe around the subject - partly due to the forum rules and partly because I have found a lot of spiritual / religious people (Buddhist & Christian but probably also others) don't want to consider ideas outside of their own narrow understanding. So it makes it very difficult to talk about it to them and especially to learn from what they might know themselves.
Maybe you have a better chance to talk about it with Buddhists, because they think everything comes from the own mind. If the phenomena are quite unreal, as Buddhists believe, then ghosts and spirits are likely unreal. Of course your perceiving of spirits is a thing you should work with in this way or another. But the main message you can receive on a buddhist board is, don't focus on those phenomena as "totally, completly, irrevocably REAL". Real or unreal is not the important question.

You need to find support in the non-digital world. Online advice is bound to be poor.
What about that monk?
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:
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Re: Experiences with spirits

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And I don't think, that somebody needs to be able to see your ghosts in order to help you.
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spiritsu
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Re: Experiences with spirits

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To add to this earlier comment I made...

The other possibility I had considered originally was that it could be the spirit of another kind of deceased animal. I am not sure about it now though and considering the djinn idea more. Anyway, when I have been thinking hard and long about this I remembered a story from my childhood that my mother told. Not sure if I want to go into the details here but it would involve another type of animal. From the research I have done so far, there are some people who believe there can be 'earthbound' spirits that fail to move on to the next life/the afterlife, and so I thought that it could be this animal and maybe it just became 'attached' to me. I think spirits like that (if they exist) could act a bit like hungry ghosts, and maybe that is what hungry ghosts are (despite Buddhists portraying them as large belly/thin neck). Maybe the reason they fail to move on is attachments/unfinished business/sense desires and that is why they remain and in a 'hungry' state.
spiritsu wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 10:25 am I had read that people can have 'spirit attachments' (try looking it up on the internet) that could be from a previous life - say a pet from a previous life. Other spirits that could look like dogs are a demon or a djinn spirit. I am thinking for the moment that this could be a djinn spirit because it seems to fit in some way. Obviously none of this is certain.

The other main thing I remember is that I saw something myself. I believe I must have only been 4-5 years old, and I saw what I would have described as the face of a 'dog'. So I now believe this is a spirit that has been with me for the whole of my life. I just didn't realise what was going on.
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Re: Experiences with spirits

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Ayu wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:08 pm And I don't think, that somebody needs to be able to see your ghosts in order to help you.
And I don't think your view that Buddhists don't see these things as real is wrong. I think that is actually a non-Buddhist view. Maybe more like psychology. We might have to agree to disagree on that! From what I can tell Buddhism understands all of these spirits as real, just like the various spiritual realms. Otherwise, there would be no point to Buddhism. There would be no samsara (cycle of births and deaths) if we have no soul/spirit to release from it, the story of the Buddha couldn't be true (had a cycle of births and deaths to end up being the Buddha), and so on. Then there are various mentions of demons/spirits in the teachings as well.
karmanyingpo
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Re: Experiences with spirits

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Oh, I thought I posted a reply but don't know what happened to it? I suggested chanting sutras and mantras and speaking with a qualified lama

I also would like to add that the view of all things as somehow unreal or as a projection of the mind IS a Buddhist view but it is a very subtle and nuanced view that is easy to misunderstand. Somethings this does NOT mean: everything is totally fake, it's all in your head and you can just think it away. Just some examples of mistaken understandings. It takes years of practice for most people to get a deeper understanding of philosophies like Madhyamaka Prasangika. Maybe it is skilful teaching on his part but even His Holiness Dalai Lama says that after decades he still has little understanding of sunyata. So I think many of us can say we have barely scratched the surface. Here is another way to put it, spirits and ghosts are as real as you or me. They are also as unreal as you or me.

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Re: Experiences with spirits

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karmanyingpo wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:44 am Oh, I thought I posted a reply but don't know what happened to it? I suggested chanting sutras and mantras and speaking with a qualified lama

I also would like to add that the view of all things as somehow unreal or as a projection of the mind IS a Buddhist view but it is a very subtle and nuanced view that is easy to misunderstand. Somethings this does NOT mean: everything is totally fake, it's all in your head and you can just think it away. Just some examples of mistaken understandings. It takes years of practice for most people to get a deeper understanding of philosophies like Madhyamaka Prasangika. Maybe it is skilful teaching on his part but even His Holiness Dalai Lama says that after decades he still has little understanding of sunyata. So I think many of us can say we have barely scratched the surface. Here is another way to put it, spirits and ghosts are as real as you or me. They are also as unreal as you or me.

KN
Yes, I think it could be true that in Buddhism ultimately we don't really exist. My interpretation of Buddhism so far is that relatively we do though, and have a soul/spirit or whatever you want to call it. So maybe until we are enlightened or near enlightenment we still see these beings (including ourselves) as separate entities. Ultimately maybe we are just in something like 'the mind of god'.

I would say this spirit is real as it has a definite form but just no physical body. Obviously (at least to me) I could see this thing as I caught a glimpse of it when I was 4-5 years old even if I only saw it's face and very momentarily. The monk I came across could also see it. Day to day I do not see it due to not having that ability to see spirits, but I do detect it's movement with other senses. For example I hear its movement, and I detect its effect on my energy (chi).

Due to being able to perceive this spirit as real and having a definite form I have even considered the possibility of there being a god as being more possible, because I am thinking that if there can be a spirit with no body but also a very definite form then who/what made the spirits. I am thinking It can't be a case of being a left-over from having a physical body that evolved that form via evolution especially if it can stay in that shape for 40+ years (which is how long this has been with me). Unless there is some natural law that says the spirit keeps that form somehow forever afterwards after its physical body dying. Having said that, there are said to be some of the djinn spirits that are more ethereal in form, like a cloud, and can take on/show whatever form they want people to see them as. The kind I think I might be dealing with is more like an animal (dog) in form, but it might go beyond what is allowed to be discussed on this forum. You can look up more details on the internet though in terms of the different kinds of djinn spirit that might exist.

In terms of whether spirits are real/unreal it is probably just as relevant (and just as irrelevant) to talk of normal people/animals with bodies as being unreal, and most of the time we don't feel the need to keep saying people/animals are ultimately not real - at least not in normal conversation. It's just that most people do not detect the presence of spirits so it is easier perhaps for people to jump to the conclusion that they do not exist.
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Re: Experiences with spirits

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Ayu wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:01 pm You need to find support in the non-digital world. Online advice is bound to be poor.
What about that monk?
Yes, that might be good, although COVID means that real-world groups and meetings are not possible. I have been to classes and retreats before though, and not one of these teachers have said anything about seeing a spirit around me. One of those retreats was where Thich Nhat Hanh was present. Not trying to say he or any of the others are not good teachers though. In theory it could be that they did not spot it, or could be that they decided not to say anything. Or just that the ability to see spirits is incredibly rare.

Finding the right person might happen by chance or after long and repeated enquiries. Or I might have to deal with this myself - maybe develop my own spiritual abilities / understandings. I have the feeling this will be a tough issue to solve, and I might never solve it, but will not be giving up any time soon.

The monk who saw it is in a foreign country and to visit him again would require money which I do not have (apart from travel being difficult with COVID). He does not speak English, I am not sure if he is even still alive, or still there in the same place, probably doesn't have internet. Even if I got to see him, he might not know what to do or what this spirit is. In theory when I saw him it might even have been the first time he had seen any spirit. I did try asking online (via Facebook) a person connected with my original trip about whether this monk might have been there still, but received no response - could be that he did not see the message or forgot about it, or maybe considers that I am too much trouble! It might require just going to the place myself and looking for the monk and asking around people there.

It would be good if I could find a Buddhist in the UK who had the ability to see spirits and how to deal with them. So if anyone knows anyone like that then I would be interested. Or even someone in Europe which might at least be a bit closer. I have however contacted a few different Buddhist groups in the UK already. It could be that no one has the ability / level of spiritual advancement to be able to help. So maybe I have to learn myself and work on my own spiritual development.

In terms of my own efforts, I have been spending a lot of time trying to research in between being very distracted by this spirit and the effects it has on me. I have also been doing some meditation, and during November was able to get up to 60 minutes of meditation for the first time ever. I still have a lot of distracting thoughts.
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Re: Experiences with spirits

Post by karmanyingpo »

spiritsu wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:20 pm
Ayu wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 7:08 pm And I don't think, that somebody needs to be able to see your ghosts in order to help you.
And I don't think your view that Buddhists don't see these things as real is wrong. I think that is actually a non-Buddhist view. Maybe more like psychology. We might have to agree to disagree on that! From what I can tell Buddhism understands all of these spirits as real, just like the various spiritual realms. Otherwise, there would be no point to Buddhism. There would be no samsara (cycle of births and deaths) if we have no soul/spirit to release from it, the story of the Buddha couldn't be true (had a cycle of births and deaths to end up being the Buddha), and so on. Then there are various mentions of demons/spirits in the teachings as well.
About your first point I commented on that in my other comment
HOWEVER regarding your comment on soul/spirit to release from samsara, this is a mistaken view. Yes there are spirits and ghosts in Buddhism, but there is no spirit or soul in the sense of something essential and enduring to a person that reincarnates from life to life.... A person is made of the 5 aggregates and while consciousness may be mistaken for a soul it is actually changing and not self not something that is some kind of central core that persists and stays the same over time and is transplanted from body to body. No actually successive reincarnations are neither the same person nor different but are linked in cause and effect.

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Re: Experiences with spirits

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spiritsu wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:15 am
karmanyingpo wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:44 am Oh, I thought I posted a reply but don't know what happened to it? I suggested chanting sutras and mantras and speaking with a qualified lama

I also would like to add that the view of all things as somehow unreal or as a projection of the mind IS a Buddhist view but it is a very subtle and nuanced view that is easy to misunderstand. Somethings this does NOT mean: everything is totally fake, it's all in your head and you can just think it away. Just some examples of mistaken understandings. It takes years of practice for most people to get a deeper understanding of philosophies like Madhyamaka Prasangika. Maybe it is skilful teaching on his part but even His Holiness Dalai Lama says that after decades he still has little understanding of sunyata. So I think many of us can say we have barely scratched the surface. Here is another way to put it, spirits and ghosts are as real as you or me. They are also as unreal as you or me.

KN
Yes, I think it could be true that in Buddhism ultimately we don't really exist. My interpretation of Buddhism so far is that relatively we do though, and have a soul/spirit or whatever you want to call it. So maybe until we are enlightened or near enlightenment we still see these beings (including our
In terms of whether spirits are real/unreal it is probably just as relevant (and just as irrelevant) to talk of normal people/animals with bodies as being unreal, and most of the time we don't feel the need to keep saying people/animals are ultimately not real - at least not in normal conversation. It's just that most people do not detect the presence of spirits so it is easier perhaps for people to jump to the conclusion that they do not exist.
It seems to me there may be some downplaying of the relevance of this real/unreal discussion (which relates to really deep philosophy such as Madhyamaka and Cittamatra). This does not equate to the discussion of whether they exist or not (in the usual sense of existing). This is an aspect of view that is literally all pervasive and is very crucial.
There is one Buddhist ritual for example that I have listened to teachers teach on. It is sometimes considered (perhaps mostly incorrectly, oversimplified) as an exorcism ritual and it does involve spirits. At least one prominent teacher of this practice takes extra care to talk about the importance of the view of things as projections of the mind. Machig Labdron has some quotes on that. It does NOT mean "it's all in your head" in the usual sense or that you can just think problems away, or that everything is totally fake. But it is a profound easily misunderstood view that takes time to realize and stabilize in and it IS relevant to this as well

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Re: Experiences with spirits

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Yes. Our reality is perception. So, now let that sink in.
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Re: Experiences with spirits

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Thundering Cloud wrote: Sun Dec 22, 2019 6:12 pm To avoid any debates over paranormal phenomena, for sake of discussion, I assume below that it is more conventionally accurate to say "ghosts exist" than to say "ghosts do not exist".

The classical description of Hungry Ghosts I am familiar with characterizes beings with large stomachs and small mouths, thus never able to satisfy their hunger. Personally, this description strikes me as allegorical in nature but otherwise quite on the mark. Even in popular films such as Steven Spielberg's Poltergeist, ghosts are depicted as beings who are "stuck" in an unhappy existence because they are yearning for things they cannot have (e.g., "Earthly pleasures", worldly attachments to home and family, etc). In many respects, their yearning almost entirely defines who and what they have become…

"Hungry", then, seems a good general descriptor for the state of existence of ghosts.
Of note, in more extensive explanations it is explained that there are many kinds of pretas, perhaps similar to how we might think there are many kinds of animals on Earth.

As I recall, for instance, Mipham talks about how some pretas are born via sexual reproduction whereas others aren't, and how some have various amounts of sort of 'powers'. Some I believe may be beautiful part of the time and otherwise in a state of 'woe'. For instance, FWIW.
I heard this story about a fish. He swims up to an older fish and says: “I’m trying to find this thing they call the ocean.” “The ocean?” the older fish says, “that’s what you’re in right now.” “This”, says the young fish, “this is water. What I want is the ocean!”
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Re: Experiences with spirits

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Ayu wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 3:20 pm Yes. Our reality is perception. So, now let that sink in.
I would also recommend reading, studying, and contemplating teachings such as the Heart Sutra and Diamond Sutra. It is important to read these kinds of scriptures with a commentary. Thich Nhat Hanh is a very good teacher on this subject in my experience. I've heard great things about his Diamond that Cuts Through Illusion book about the Diamond Sutra.

I cannot stress enough, this is very very important.... These are a part of the view underlying all Mahayana and Vajrayana practices... as far as I know...and it is inseparable from all phenomena so even life in general is inseparable from this. To give an example, View is what distinguishes Hindu Tantra from Buddhist Tantra. Without it and without extraordinary foundations such as bodhicitta and compassion, just using the outer shell of Buddhist methods just becomes a worldly method..nothing special. We need to be careful,...otherwise we may end up using Buddhist "spiritual tools" without the real heart of what makes them effective and different from other similar spiritual systems. Not to say that other spiritual systems are BAD or useless but there is no point to Buddhism as a distinct path if it is just the same as everything else. A person can wave around a stick of incense make noises with instruments and chant foreign words and even do visualizations...and perhaps he will feel different afterwards or perhaps he will even manage to connect with worldly spirits but without the view, bodhicitta, compassion, loving-kindness, I am not sure it can be said to be Buddhist or ultimately helpful....

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Re: Experiences with spirits

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spiritsu wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:59 am
It would be good if I could find a Buddhist in the UK who had the ability to see spirits and how to deal with them. So if anyone knows anyone like that then I would be interested. Or even someone in Europe which might at least be a bit closer. I have however contacted a few different Buddhist groups in the UK already. It could be that no one has the ability / level of spiritual advancement to be able to help.
If Buddhist teachers have the ability to see spirits, they wouldn't tell you. Claiming to have abilities such as these goes against the vows, so good practitioners prefer to stay humble. It's possible they might reveal these things to close students.

Many people chasing spirits and the paranormal are actually feeding their stories about these things, which actually makes them more "real" and makes the person more vulnerable to them. That's why we need emptiness. Less attachment to ego and an idea of a me and other beings that truly exist --> this is the greatest protection from harm.

It's good to find a master to ask for advice. Masters not only help you with the problem, they'll help you learn how to use your problem to understand the Dharma in a deeper way. Being given a method to resolve your issue can be much better than someone solving the problem for you.

Don't be fooled by masters telling you they can't see spirits! Even if they can't see, they don't need to for the Dharma to be effective. There are many masters who actually don't have this ability to see into other realms, but that doesn't change the fact that they can help you with the Dharma. The Dharma is powerful!

A good lama will use the situation to help you personally experience Bodhicitta and Emptiness.
Last edited by SilenceMonkey on Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Experiences with spirits

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SilenceMonkey wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:05 pm
If Buddhist teachers have the ability to see spirits, they wouldn't tell you. Claiming to have abilities such as these goes against the vows, so good practitioners prefer to stay humble. It's possible they might reveal these things to close students.

Many people chasing spirits and the paranormal are actually feeding their stories about these things, which actually makes them more "real" and makes the person more vulnerable to them. That's why we need emptiness. Less attachment to ego and an idea of a me and other beings that truly exist --> this is the greatest protection from harm.

It's good to find a master to ask for advice. Masters not only help you with the problem, they'll help you learn how to use your problem to understand the Dharma in a deeper way. Being given a method to resolve your issue can be much better than someone solving the problem for you.

Don't be fooled by masters telling you they can't see spirits! Even if they can't see, they don't need to for the Dharma to be effective. There are many masters who actually don't have this ability to see into other realms, but that doesn't change the fact that they can help you with the Dharma. The Dharma is powerful!

A good lama will use the situation to help you personally experience Bodhicitta and Emptiness.
From all the time I have spent so far on researching these issues I know already an idea that people doing what is called ghost-hunting could be dangerous. For example there are the Christian people who would say you are inviting demons/evil by exposing yourself to that. I have also seen from a more Buddhist source an idea that if you focus too much on ghosts then you might end up in the 'hungry ghost' realm due to effectively developing a relationship with them.

However... this is not an issue of me deliberately seeking out various ghosts in haunted places. I have not asked for this. It is around me all the time, even if I travel a long way from home. From my own experiences and what I have remembered about my earlier life I now know that this spirit has been with me at least from the early years of my life. I understand the idea that it would at least go against normal Buddhist rules to brag about spiritual/paranormal abilities. This however is basically an issue of a spiritual affliction that I have, and any interest I have in either developing the ability to see spirits, or to find a teacher with that ability is only to be a part of what I would consider to be spiritual healing. Removing a spirit attachment that is causing harm to a person, to me, would be a form of spiritual healing / development. So I do not think it wrong for me to seek this help, or for any teachers to respond. Even if the teacher did not want to actually reveal that they could see, then they could otherwise offer some help. The responses I have had so far have actually said that they cannot help. So that is from contacting 1) a couple of teachers that I have had contact with before, 2) a number of Buddhist groups in the UK, 3) also tried contacting the Dalai Lama by e-mail!

I can accept the idea that in theory a teacher might be able to help without seeing the spirit, but I have had no such responses or success so far. I think the teacher would at least have to have had some experience with spirits. The situation is probably very complicated when there are probably a multitude of different kinds of spirits or spirit issues. Some might be harder to deal with, depending on the form they take, the strength of the spirit, what their goals are, what the reasons are for the presence of the spirit - all sorts of factors including many more.

"...that doesn't change the fact that they can help you with the Dharma" and "A good lama will use the situation to help you personally experience Bodhicitta and Emptiness." - I don't doubt that there could be further lessons to learn from Buddhism. However, obviously my immediate concern is to solve the more immediate issue that I come across and have awareness of. If you have not experienced what I am then you will probably not understand how it feels and it will be easy to judge. What I am experiencing is very immediate, very real, very concerning, bothersome, distracting, draining of my energy... Very hard to continue with 'normal' life under such conditions and distractions. Although I think a lot of people need to learn the very real spiritual nature of the world we live in, so it is making that very obvious to me at least - not necessarily a good thing though if it does more harm than good. I don't necessarily subscribe to Tibetan Buddhism. I might have more interest in other schools, even Theravada (I know this forum is focused on Mahayana though), and also I come from a background of Christianity (can't change that as it is part of where I came from).
karmanyingpo
Posts: 221
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2020 4:19 pm

Re: Experiences with spirits

Post by karmanyingpo »

"...that doesn't change the fact that they can help you with the Dharma" and "A good lama will use the situation to help you personally experience Bodhicitta and Emptiness." - I don't doubt that there could be further lessons to learn from Buddhism. However, obviously my immediate concern is to solve the more immediate issue that I come across and have awareness of. If you have not experienced what I am then you will probably not understand how it feels and it will be easy to judge. What I am experiencing is very immediate, very real, very concerning, bothersome, distracting, draining of my energy... Very hard to continue with 'normal' life under such conditions and distractions. Although I think a lot of people need to learn the very real spiritual nature of the world we live in, so it is making that very obvious to me at least - not necessarily a good thing though if it does more harm than good. I don't necessarily subscribe to Tibetan Buddhism. I might have more interest in other schools, even Theravada (I know this forum is focused on Mahayana though), and also I come from a background of Christianity (can't change that as it is part of where I came from).
1. Bold Part: Buddhist perspectives are likely to consider the two very intertwined, not at all separate issues. I have seen advice from lamas on meditating on emptiness as a form of protection against spirit harm.

2. You are right that some or many of us cannot understand what it is like. If we haven't had the same or a similar experience, all we can do is imagine, which is not the same as going thru it. In buddhism we do talk about karma cause and effect and interdependent arising and so this also can be applied here..... Individuals have different causes and conditions whether they be nominally physical, mental, internal, external, etc. which means their experiences, habits inclinations and even at times what is good or bad for them differs. So I think working with a qualified Buddhist teacher who is able to work with your individual situation will be very helpful. All that aside though I hope you understand that it does not take a judgmental attitude to give you a perspective that may be challenging to you. Buddhism is full of teachings that challenge people. I am challenged all the time by the Dharma. It is only through being challenged that things get better in a deeper way (through solving the root of problems and not just a bandaid or surface level solution, although more provisional teachings and goals DO exist and can be advanced by our practice as well).

3. Whatever you do, whether Mahayana, Theravada, or whatever, please make sure the monk or teacher you work with is qualified and of a genuine lineage.

KN
SilenceMonkey
Posts: 333
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:54 am

Re: Experiences with spirits

Post by SilenceMonkey »

spiritsu wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:35 pm
From all the time I have spent so far on researching these issues I know already an idea that people doing what is called ghost-hunting could be dangerous. For example there are the Christian people who would say you are inviting demons/evil by exposing yourself to that.
I have a sikh friend who doesn't let people talk about these things because merely mentioning them invites them.

spiritsu wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:35 pm
I can accept the idea that in theory a teacher might be able to help without seeing the spirit, but I have had no such responses or success so far. I think the teacher would at least have to have had some experience with spirits.
Actually, this is part of what lamas are trained for. Maybe less likely that a scholar will be able to help than a yogi or ngakpa, but maybe that's my own bias. Anyone considered a master ("a good lama") in tibetan buddhism would be able to help. Some will make prayers without even telling you. You might be able to ask a teacher if there are any pujas they could do for you, or any practices they could teach you to deal with it.

spiritsu wrote: Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:35 pm
I might have more interest in other schools, even Theravada (I know this forum is focused on Mahayana though), and also I come from a background of Christianity (can't change that as it is part of where I came from).
Theravada monks might be able to help you... In some traditions they have good knowledge of how to protect from spirits. Although I doubt you'd find it in the more westernized Theravada often found in the west.
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