If i were to practice some serious brain training regimens for a short period to develop my mundane mental faculties into almost super powers... or even to develop Super mundane powers...

1- Would that enhance my ability to become fully "Enlightened" (not nibanna or arahantship) faster and/or with more ease?

2- Would it help me to help others reach full enlightenment more?

  • 1
    if your super powers make your ego more proud, it will definitely be an obstacle on your way.
    – Rabbit
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 13:14
  • definately watching for that, but thanks for the reminder!
    – A Nonimous
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 4:49

2 Answers 2


All the abilities you have might work as a tool to benefit others or an obstacle on your way. It really doesn't matter what abilities you have, Buddha gave countless of teachings for people with various capabilities and they all are able to reach enlightenment.

Personally, years ago I developed really good memory. Many people are astonished that I am able to recall details of events that happened years ago or that I remember long sequences of numbers, words etc. Maybe not a super power, but something I gained while deliberately practising some specific cognitive techniques. Does it help in my Buddhist practice? Well, when reading texts I easily remember many details so I need much less time to read and understand some teachings of my masters. But on the other hand, I also remember lots of bad days of my friends. While others already forgot some unpleasant things, I still keep it and my good memory doesn't want to let it go. This is a real obstacle on my way.

If you want to develop great abilities to benefit others, it implicitly means that you feel compassion to other sentient beings. But to benefit others you really don't need super powers, you can simply be kind. Try to smile to strangers, say some nice words to cheer people up, offer some time to your friends so you can listen to them and give some comfort. There is lots of people around us who suffer and very often all they need is someone to offer a little bit of interest and support.

To answer your 2 questions directly:

  1. No, super abilities won't enhance the ability to reach full enlightenment. To be fully enlightened you need to get rid of ego and understand the emptiness of all phenomena. You need to embrace the impermanence of all compounded things - your brain is only a tool you can use and one day it will die. The enlightened mind, on the other hand, is a clear space without the limits. To reach enlightenment you will need to give up your ego and brain. So it really doesn't matter if you have to give up a normal ego or super-mundane ego. In terms of ease and time needed to reach enlightenment - it all depends on how much pride, attachments, compassion etc. you have. So better start with working on that.

  2. Super-mundane abilities are only tools so on their own they won't help you to benefit other beings. Imagine having a knife - you can either cut bread to feed others or you simply can kill them. It all boils down to whether you have more compassion or anger.

If one wants to quickly reach enlightenment there is no point developing super-mundane powers. The fastest way to enlightenment is to use techniques to give up ego and understand emptiness. The fastest way to benefit others is to develop compassion and start with being kind to people around us.


You become enlightened only when you develop knowledge of Dependent Origination, the 3 characteristics, and 4 Noble Truths. Not when you develop powers.

If you do have powers this might help in teaching (the only permissible use of such powers in Theravada Buddhism). But trying to develop them you might get "lost" as you might get attached to the powers.


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