Author Topic: Supernormal powers, their nature and place in Buddhism?  (Read 599 times)

Offline a-skier-bows-to-the-dharm

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Supernormal powers, their nature and place in Buddhism?
« on: December 30, 2015, 09:53:55 am »
Hi, Dharma brothers and sisters,
 
I joined Free Sangha because I want to ask about applying practice in life, but I'm distracted by the recent discussion of magic/spiritual/supernormal powers. Or maybe I'm not distraction, just slightly deflection.

As a skier, every time I look down a steep slope I desire the supernormal power to be as athletically talented as a baseball pitcher who can throw a ball at 100 mph. Ha! Not in this life time. But Buddhism, Hinduism, and even Christianity, if you consider miracles, all claim that it is possible for a human being to exhibit supernormal powers. In the kinds of Buddhim I've practiced, we say that these are side effects of meditation and other practices and are not important. However, we continue to talk about them.

Here is a short quote about supernormal powers:
“Parents wish they could protect their children from harm and even disappointment, and children want to protect their parents from the suffering of old age. Friends want to protect and help each other. We want to protect one another from the very nature of life, although we know that only a supernormal power could allow us to do that for even a moment.”

Of course, people also want supernormal powers of vengence, of “attracting” money or people, and so on.

Does anyone have any reflections on what supernormal powers might be and their relationship to Buddhist practice, or spiritual practice?
This provokes thought and feeling in me, and even affects my body, so I have physical feelings about it, but with no conclusion and hardly any hypotheses.

May we hear every voice as Dharma,
that skier.

Offline NobodysNobody

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Re: Supernormal powers, their nature and place in Buddhism?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2016, 11:14:03 am »
Supernatural powers are usually attributed to high levels of concentration and certain attainments. You'll have to decide for yourself if you believe they are real. Most would also warn supernatural powers(Siddhis) are nothing but a deviation from Dharma.

For example someone might have the karma of developing telepathy, and become obsessed with it. Causing all sorts of problems for them, and detracting from dharma practice etc. Or even causing them loads of bad karma.

I would assume most people are not sufficiently spiritually developed to handle Siddhi's. They normally require quite advanced levels of equanimity, concentration and ethical perfection. So they don't really have a place in Buddhism for most people. Though lot's of people will claim to have seen their guru's perform miracles, if that helps people have faith, then why not.

Offline a-skier-bows-to-the-dharm

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Re: Supernormal powers, their nature and place in Buddhism?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2016, 01:59:42 pm »
Considering how difficult it can seem to change one's self, I suppose the 4th Noble Truth, which offers a path to change (or change of view), can also be seen as an offer of a supernormal power. I will take that

 


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