1

I have heard rumors of this happening and am curious if there is anything (especially textually according to the canon) on what practices may lead to this as i would like to see for myself if it is true or not. Please include references.

An example being ESP or other psychic phenomena.

Yes i know it is beside the point of practice and telling me that is not an answer to my question. Neither is the cop-out of "inappropriate question" so please refrain from posting such opinions!

  • Yes, Daniel Ingram's also did a show on Buddhist Geeks podcast. Since he was talking about powers/shiddhi's in terms of things that happened in ones own mind, it seemed more like experiences than harry potter magic. ref buddhistgeeks.com/2008/02/… – MatthewMartin Jul 1 '14 at 0:57
3

Part of Daniel Ingram's "thing" is to speak more openly and frankly about this kind of topic than "traditional" Buddhists are sometimes willing to do. So you could have a look at his "Mastering The Core Teachings of the Buddha" which I think mentions some of these phenomena. Also, the site he started, dharmaoverground.org has an entire sub-forum dedicated to discussion of such things. Here's Ingram himself in that sub-forum.

I have to add, for completeness -- and I'm not criticizing your question -- that I personally look on all that stuff askance. I'm not saying it's not real (although the meaning of the word "real" seems to take a bit of a beating on those discussions), but it's not why I got and remain interested in Buddhism.

3

Through practicing samatha and vipassana meditation. After abandoning the five hindrances and after mastering the Jhanas a practitioner turns their attention to and attains Insight Knowledge, Supranormal Powers, Clairaudience, Mind Reading, Recollection of Past Lives, The Passing Away & Re-appearance of Beings, The Ending of Mental Fermentations and Conversations with the Gods.

From the Maha-Assapura Sutta:

With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to knowledge of the recollection of past lives. He recollects his manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two births, three births, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, one hundred, one thousand, one hundred thousand, many aeons of cosmic contraction, many aeons of cosmic expansion, many aeons of cosmic contraction and expansion...

With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to knowledge of the passing away and re-appearance of beings. He sees — by means of the divine eye, purified and surpassing the human — beings passing away and re-appearing, and he discerns how they are inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate in accordance with their kamma...

From Kevatta (Kevaddha) Sutta: To Kevatta:

With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to the divine ear-element. He hears — by means of the divine ear-element, purified and surpassing the human — both kinds of sounds: divine and human, whether near or far.

With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to the modes of supranormal powers. He wields manifold supranormal powers. Having been one he becomes many; having been many he becomes one. He appears. He vanishes. He goes unimpeded through walls, ramparts, and mountains as if through space. He dives in and out of the earth as if it were water. He walks on water without sinking as if it were dry land.

With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to knowledge of the awareness of other beings. He knows the awareness of other beings, other individuals, having encompassed it with his own awareness. He discerns a mind with passion as a mind with passion, and a mind without passion as a mind without passion. He discerns a mind with aversion as a mind with aversion, and a mind without aversion as a mind without aversion. He discerns a mind with delusion as a mind with delusion, and a mind without delusion as a mind without delusion. He discerns a restricted mind as a restricted mind, and a scattered mind as a scattered mind.

2

I think the aim of meditation is not to attain super powers, as Venerable Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu once said: "Super powers are a kind of byproduct of the process"

we must always remember why we practice meditation and keep the right motivation, this is more important, trying to attain super powers might lead to attachment to such powers or desire... it is more beneficial to use meditation for insights that lead to disenchantment, deattachment and so on

0

If you are looking for supernatural powers, Samatha meditation practices are what you are looking for. Read the Visuddhimagga. It has detailed explanations on how to attain various powers. But make sure to find a good teacher who has experience with Samatha meditation. Trying to do it without guidance can be dangerous! They say you can go crazy.

Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

  • "Some people have gone crazy." I see this often enough but have never seen any kind of citation. Do you know where I can find more information on this? – user70 Jul 1 '14 at 7:52
  • Don't have a link for you. But there are people here in lunatic asylums who claim to be Buddhas and have all sorts of powers. – Sankha Kulathantille Jul 1 '14 at 10:49
  • 1
    Sounds like the causation could be in the reverse order, people who are detached from reality (say from organic disease like schizophrenia) might incorporate all sorts of things into their hallucinations, from pop culture to religion. – MatthewMartin Jul 2 '14 at 0:27
  • Here's an article about people going crazy when they try to practice Kundalini(basically Samatha) without a master. kktanhp.com/kundalini.htm – Sankha Kulathantille Jul 20 '14 at 21:46
  • 1
    @user70 How to Measure and deepen your spiritual realization briefly deals with insanity and powers. Since I can't copy from the PDF, I grabbed a screen shot here - imgur.com/UtPFCqk – Buddho Jun 28 '15 at 6:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.