2

Does there exists records of the Buddha talking about something that could be interpreted as an "out of body" experience?

Wikipedia defines this as,

An out-of-body experience (OBE or sometimes OOBE) is an experience that typically involves a sensation of floating outside one's body and, in some cases, perceiving one's physical body from a place outside one's body.

A related, but different, question: Buddhist view on out of body experience (OBE)

3

According to DN 2, the Samaññaphala Sutta, it seems that OOBEs are possible:

"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 creating a mind-made body. From this body he creates another body, endowed with form, made of the mind, complete in all its parts, not inferior in its faculties. Just as if a man were to draw a reed from its sheath. The thought would occur to him: 'This is the sheath, this is the reed. The sheath is one thing, the reed another, but the reed has been drawn out from the sheath.' Or as if a man were to draw a sword from its scabbard. The thought would occur to him: 'This is the sword, this is the scabbard. The sword is one thing, the scabbard another, but the sword has been drawn out from the scabbard.' Or as if a man were to pull a snake out from its slough. The thought would occur to him: 'This is the snake, this is the slough. The snake is one thing, the slough another, but the snake has been pulled out from the slough.' In the same way — with his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, the monk directs and inclines it to creating a mind-made body. From this body he creates another body, endowed with form, made of the mind, complete in all its parts, not inferior in its faculties.This, too, great king, is a fruit of the contemplative life, visible here and now, more excellent than the previous ones and more sublime.

In the Translator's Introduction to the Potthapada Sutta, Thanissaro Bhikku identifies the mind-made body as the astral body:

The mind-made acquisition can result from an experience of the mind-made body — the "astral body" — that constitutes one of the powers that can be developed through concentration practice.

The mind-made body is a body that is made out of, composed of mind. Seems you can probably OOB with it.

| improve this answer | |
1

OBE implies that something has to be "out". it would contradict every Buddha's teaching about none-self or none permanent soul. First four jhannas focus on form from five skandhas . (BTW jannha litterally means focus, or single pointed attention).

the next four jhannas (which Buddha no longer attached word Jhanna to their names, IMO because it is longer single pointed attention); infinite space, infinite consciousness, neither perception nor non-perception. Meditatator is no longer direct his consciousness to a form (breathing in most cases) but to one of the other 3 names ( sensation, perception, and mental formation). Meditator would be released from "form". its the closest to OBE i can think off. However, almost all the time, when someone is having "OBE", his mental construct would build another body and cling to it, so it gives feeling of having another body looking at old one. thats how deities or being in lower realms got their form. Buddha said, they build their new form from a mental construction.

in short, when you are not clinging to your current body, you mental construct builds another one and cling to that new body is as yours.

| improve this answer | |
  • Would an enlightened person not need to use a mental construct of a body because she would not cling to anything? (I apprieciate your answer btw) – Yoda Bytes Apr 24 '15 at 17:48
  • 1
    absolute. thus stop the cycle of rebirth. Buddha said animals and human are achieved by elements. A consciousness latch on it and claim as self until the elements of body no longer hold it together and then we will latch on a new one. either another elements to be born again as human or animals, or mental construction to be born in hell , ghost domain, or heaven. that feeling of self is the reason why we continue to build another existence. you are absolutely correct. enlightened one would not have self, there for , no-constructing. – user5056 Apr 24 '15 at 18:47
  • just to be clear, consciousness is not permanent. it is also a series of raises and falls (IMO like a combustion of a flame. it will continues to burn as long as there is fuel) . In Buddhism, permanent soul or permanent consciousness is one of the worst wrong views. thanks – user5056 Apr 24 '15 at 19:25

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.