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Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread

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Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread mjk 10 93 1/20/10 6:41 PM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread Florian 1/21/10 9:08 AM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread Brian . 1/21/10 10:28 AM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread Florian 1/21/10 2:46 PM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread Ruth Laura Edlund 1/21/10 7:25 PM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread Daniel M. Ingram 1/22/10 12:18 AM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread ManZ A 1/22/10 2:28 PM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread mjk 10 93 1/27/10 4:44 PM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread sohil shrenik nanavati 5/16/13 12:15 AM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread Daniel M. Ingram 5/16/13 12:42 AM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread sohil shrenik nanavati 5/25/13 6:45 PM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread rony fedrer 5/26/13 8:51 PM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread Daniel M. Ingram 5/27/13 6:50 AM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread sohil shrenik nanavati 5/28/13 11:59 PM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread Sweet Nothing 5/27/13 7:59 AM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread sohil shrenik nanavati 5/28/13 11:59 PM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread Sweet Nothing 5/31/13 3:31 AM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread sohil shrenik nanavati 6/2/13 5:42 PM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread Sweet Nothing 6/3/13 1:14 AM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread Nikolai . 6/3/13 4:11 AM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread Sweet Nothing 6/3/13 7:36 AM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread sohil shrenik nanavati 6/9/13 9:14 PM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread mjk 10 93 1/27/10 4:30 PM
RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread Confused Maverick 1/22/10 5:30 PM
Daniel M. Ingram:
Powersy stuff tends to draw lots of interest, so perhaps that should be its own thread.

Start one and see who chimes in, but be specific in what you are wanting: I have had so many weird and interesting experiences that I would hardly know where to begin and could babble on for page after page. None of it did for me what arahatship did or even close. Further, tie it in with something practical: how it would help your practice or help you do what you want to do? How would these accounts inspire you to whatever? Why are the powers more interesting than finishing up the insight thing? Keep it on that level, and perhaps something more useful than the standard conversation that happens around them will result.


Ok, the main reason I am interested in Powers/Siddhi is some experience of them would convince me that "there's something real going on here" and not just a bunch of people convincing themselves they've attained or are on the path to attaining something called "Enlightenment" which (to my doubtful beginners' perspective) might be nothing more than yet another Big Mystic Magoo with no real substance behind it.

So far the only "good" I've gotten in meditation are brief periods of calm which soon dissolve into a neutral state. I have found that I can "pop" out of any sensation or emotion and objectify it as not-self, but this has only increased my apathy, because I can now "pop" out just as easily from any desire for Enlightenment or advancement on the "Path." I've experienced no insight, no jhanas, no A&P or anything like that. I will most likely continue to meditate - truth is I am bored with most other things in life, so why not? - but I feel I won't get anywhere because my motivation/"faith" is quite low. Hearing about some experiences with Powers might juice my motivation - especially if there are some practical tips along the way about how to access them.

To be perfectly honest when the average New Age/Crystal Healing/Alien Channeling person talks about Powers, I can't give them any credibility. Perhaps that's my own personal prejudice but there it is. However the people on this board seem pretty ordinary and level-headed. If I heard about Powers from this crowd, I would give it some credence and it would encourage my practice since Enlightenment is described as way better than any of the Powers. And who wouldn't be curious about that? Even someone as naturally bored with everything as I am would plunge in wholeheartedly.

So my question is this: Have you ever experienced Siddhis, and, if so, how did you access them?

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
Answer
1/21/10 9:08 AM as a reply to mjk 10 93.
Hi Mjk

My interest in the powers was initially quite the opposite of yours: I thought they were all about Woo-woo. Since starting a dedicated meditation practice a few years ago, I've had my share of weird experiences that might qualify as the powers manifesting.

Like Daniel wrote in the other thread, the powers are endlessly fascinating. Doing insight practice is really drab by comparison. If awakening is your goal, that's a good thing to keep in mind, along with the fact that the ability to display powers is no indicator of a person's progress in insight. On the other hand, entire traditions use the powers as their main practice for gaining insight, such as Western Magick, Vajrayana.

Another thing about the powers: trying to understand them in terms of "reality" or "laws of nature" is not likely to be helpful. They do have a kind of "causality" going, but not on a mechanical/physical level. Thinking in terms of "change" or "synchronicity" or "narrative" or "meaningful coincidence" or "this happens along with that" or "this leads to that" is more useful. Again, IMO. The other side of this particular medal concerns "means of manifestation": If you want to use the powers to fly, you'll have to do so in a lucid dream, as physical reality won't permit you to. Daniel does a great job discussing this in the chapter on the powers in MCTB. You might also want to check out Alan Chapman's "Advanced Magick for Beginners" for a really good read (and many useful practice suggestions) on the subject.

So - all of that said, here are some experiences with the powers. Don't expect anything spectacular, though. Much of it is a matter of interpretation. The experiences can be very compelling, reading about them won't convey it too well, I guess.

Out-of-body dreams/experiences. I've had a few dreams featuring elements common to descriptions of "out of body experiences" such as the noise and wrenching sensations at the beginning/end, sleep paralysis, the sense of another "presence" close by (commonly interpreted as the "other" body), a pull or strong current or wind, which is also audible; then the grainy sense of sight, numbness when touching things. Of course, some of these elements are also common to descriptions of the "night hag" type of nightmares. In a typical example of this power manifesting, I'd dream of a thunderstorm (noise), dream of waking up and going to check the windows of the house, in case one was open. I'd try to turn on the light in a room, fail for some reason, maybe ascribing this to a power failure, and in the dim, grainy vision I'd try to feel if the window was open. I wouldn't be able to feel the window very well, and suddenly I'd realize my arm was halfway through the window, or I'd think I broke the window. There would be a shock, a surging sensation, and I'd wake up in my bed, agitated, realizing there's no thunderstorm and so on. A milder form of this type of experience would be getting up at night to go to the bathroom, not being able to turn on the light (recurring theme, that), not being able to pee (lack of physical body, and a good thing, actually emoticon ), looking in the mirror and waking up from the shock of what I saw there, which I never quite remember. I used to dismiss these as unpleasant or strange recurring dreams, but reading up on OOB type experiences made me change my mind. They tend to occur when I'm in A&P territory, confirming the maps nicely - even looking back to before I knew about the maps.

2. Meditation experiences - these are mainly visions of places or objects or persons. After exiting a jhana state, the mind will often turn to whatever first pops up, which can be the most unlikely things: I've "been to see" the guy with the flashing eyes, flying hair out of Coleridge's "Xanadu" for example. Several times, a medieval castle or similar structure with dressed stone corridors, pillars and wooden doors, parapets, and staircases. I've "stood before" a being bearing the globe of the world, a bit like Atlas of Greek mythology, only upside down, so to speak. Actually, he then flung the globe at me, and I think that was my initial A&P crossing experience. Long time ago. Often these kinds of experience are preceded by an impression of velocity or "flying" (not height but distance). The Sutta formula of "a strong man flexing or extending his arm" is quite apt, I think.

3. Statement of intent. I mainly use these in the form of "formal resolve" when meditating. For example, when doing concentration practice, it's really awful to be interrupted by the meditation timer when in a jhana state. So when I have to use a timer (in the morning, or during lunch break at work), I make a formal resolve to enter jhana, and exit it just before the timer goes off. This kind of thing is really very effective. When doing insight meditation, I use formal resolves to go to the "cutting edge" of my practice, to visit a particular nana for a closer look, to get up only when the timer goes off (useful in dark night/reobservation), and so on.

So that was a bit of detail about my experiences with the powers. If you wish to access/explore this stuff, I'd suggest that you develop strong concentration. For me, kasina practice was surprisingly effective there. Experiment! Have fun. Don't confuse progress in the powers (and other concentration skills) with insight progress, not even if an impressive being in a vision tells you otherwise emoticon

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
Answer
1/21/10 10:28 AM as a reply to Florian.
Hi Florian,

Thanks for sharing. One thing that leaves me confused is perhaps just terminological, perhaps deeper. Your (1) and (2) seem to be examples of unusual contents of experience (as opposed to e.g. a jhana which is an unusual/altered background state of experience). What is it about these unusual contents of experience that causes you to label them as "powers"? The connotation of the word seems to imply something more than just an unusual content of experience, e.g. if the power perceptions corresponded to something beyond the contents of the individual mind, or if the power actions corresponded to observable effects in the world.

Likewise, I know the effectiveness of the kind of intentions you mention in (3) exists, but what about this effectiveness is power-like? What makes intention regarding entering/exiting a jhanic state all that different from e.g. intention regarding applying effort in an everyday task, or getting on a consistent sleeping schedule?

Don't mean to say anything about your experiences or practice, rather, just curious about the precise usage of the word "powers" here.

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
Answer
1/21/10 2:46 PM as a reply to Brian ..
Hi Brian,

Good questions.

Brian M:
What is it about these unusual contents of experience that causes you to label them as "powers"? The connotation of the word seems to imply something more than just an unusual content of experience, e.g. if the power perceptions corresponded to something beyond the contents of the individual mind, or if the power actions corresponded to observable effects in the world.


The way I see it, even the "refined background state" of a jhana experience is, at the end of the day, just another content of experience. Jhana is a different kind of experience than dreaming, or dreamless sleep, or alert wakefulness, or distraction... many ways to slice it, but it's all contained within experience.

Again, with content: "something more than just unusual content... observable effects". Observing woowoo phenomena would certainly be "unusual content of experience". Observing them from the "inside", and observing them from the "outside", both kinds of observations result in unusual content of experience. So with the powers, I only know the "inside" kind of observation. In my way of understanding the powers, there is no "outside" observer.

That probably sounds a bit disappointing. If I could run around in my out-of-body body and scare the neighbors, and talk to them in the flesh the next day, listening to their tales of ghostly visitors: that might be fun. Cashing in the Randi Challenge (if that is still up for takers) would even be profitable. But, as I wrote, thinking about the powers in terms of "real", i.e. scientific, physical, mechanical, measurable, repeatable results, is not very useful. Thinking in terms of experience, what shapes it, what leads to what: that's much more appropriate in this case.

All that said, bilocation (such as an OOB experience) is listed in the canonical list of powers; and visits to other realms of existence are mentioned in the Canon - Ven. Moggalana was quite an Iddhi-head, it seems. Walking on water, swimming through ground, provoking raised eyebrows in the Deva realms by appearing there, and so on. This kind of experience is available in what I choose to understand as the powers. But it's about experience (and content thereof), not about the laws of nature.

Instead of trying to make the powers fit in with the causal laws of nature, for the purpose of intellectually grasping the powers it's more natural (!) to view the experience of the laws of nature as a special case of experience in general, which also includes the experience of the powers, the experience of dreams, of beauty, and so on. Yes, very subjective. But experience is all we observe, after all. Making sense of it, that's another story, involving discussions such as the present one.

Another way to put it is: Being able to describe an OOB experience in terms of physiology or neurology or psychology is not the same as having an OOB experience. Compare with: "while I can explain how a pull-up works, I can't actually do a pull-up". But with practice, I could do pull-ups, provided I wanted to.

Finally, intentions. There's nothing special about formal resolves on entering or exiting jhana. It's just very cool to sit down, look at the watch, resolve to enter a certain state and exit it before 37 minutes are over, and then to open the eyes a few seconds before the timer goes off. And next time, to do it for 53 minutes. Really superior to getting yanked out of jhana by an alarm clock. It's also a bit uncanny, which is why I include it with the powers. And, the closest I've got to "observable effects in the world".

Cheers,
Florian

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
Answer
1/21/10 7:25 PM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:
Don't confuse progress in the powers (and other concentration skills) with insight progress, not even if an impressive being in a vision tells you otherwise emoticon


Hi mjk,

Florian's excellent point deserves repetition, so I just did. You can cultivate concentration states, including the powers, until the cows come home but they are not a direct path to the big E. One has to make a transition from cultivating concentration to applying skills in concentration to insight in order to make progress in insight, etc., etc.

I was piqued by your (mjk's) reference to boredom. That might be an interesting sensation to investigate. Where is boredom found? When does it begin and end? Does something else lie underneath it?

All that having been said, back to the siddhis. I seem to have a natural inclination toward concentration states. After starting a regular meditation practice, but before ever hearing about the siddhis, I had several experiences at work (of all places) that are hard to explain but could easily be the manifestation of a siddhi.

WIthout getting into the details of my job:

In one experience, I was asking another person some questions trying to figure out what she had done, focussing on her very intently. Her answers were very vague. Suddenly, what she had done occurred to me in a flash and I asked her if this had happened, and she falteringly confessed to it. I had no proof at all that she had done this thing, so my question was out of left field, and it was a very bad thing for her to have admitted to me.

In another experience, I had a set of tens of thousands of pages of financial records (about five banker boxes) and suddenly got the sensation that "there's something wrong." I concentrated really hard on the sensation and tried to figure out its source. I found one line on one page among the boxes that led me to uncover something very important that had been very carefully concealed in the records. I remember that, as I was being drawn to this one page, someone walked up behind me and said my name and I was so startled that I nearly went through the ceiling, because I was so focused on my sense that "something's wrong" that I had lost all sense of where I was. It only broke my concentration momentarily.

Both of these experiences were, as it happens, quite helpful to me in my work. At the time, I wasn't trying to use any kind of power other than "normal" powers of concentration, so I suppose that relatively speaking my intent was pure. In both cases, I received information through a channel that I cannot identify and which does not seem subject to my conscious control.

More trivially, it is somewhat of a joke at my office that if you give me a document to proofread of whatever length that you think is perfect, I will flip through it for a few seconds and say, "There's a typo on page 7" (or wherever) and sure enough, there is. This experience has been repeated a number of times. Can only do it with other people's work, not my own for some reason. Certainly very handy,

I haven't given serious thought to developing these powers, if they even are powers, because I'm more interested in developing insight right now. Concentration is easy. Insight is hard.

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
Answer
1/22/10 12:18 AM as a reply to Ruth Laura Edlund.
Alright, I will respond to your question of how to access them.

As Florian so rightly points out, what these are and mean is a matter of interpretation.

More to the point:

1) Get your concentration strong, and I mean really strong: can be momentary-type concentration (aka get to the A&P by standard methods), or samatha-type concentration (I like candle flame with mantra, some like other kasinas (such as disks), some like straight mantra: can be very trippy once you get into it, and there are many others).
2) Intend to have some experience. Reading about various powers can help prime this. Read everything you can: Bhante Gunaratana's The Path of Serenity and Insight, The Visuddhimagga, the Accidental Experts Guide to How to Leave your Body (found somewhere in the wiki here), books such as Donald Michael Craig's Modern Magick, Astral Dynamics, and anything else you can get your hands on.
3) Once you have strong concentration and strong intention, powers are very likely to show up.

Retreats are good for this, so consider a 7-10 day retreat and power the mindfulness all day long, every single second, with every single bit of skill, balance, force, stability, etc. you can bring to the project. Powers respond well to will and skill. Skill can sometimes mean very delicately balanced concentration.

As to crazy-ass experiences, here's a very short list: moving flames around with my mind with very Ghost-Busters-style energy blasts that accompanied the force that moved the flame, endless OBE stuff and lucid dream stuff, some of which was straight off the cushion and back to the cushion, predicting my wife having a car accident 4 years later accurately, hearing and seeing all manner of stuff (from British women chatting in their parlor about the news on the tele to pit preachers on Sunday morning talking about how the Buddhists in the monastery I was staying in would all go to Hell, and much, much more), have very profound and powerfully explanatory past-life experiences, have some bilocation-type experiences, being able to put my "ghost-hand" through a wall with all awareness and sensation perception then embodied in that rather than my usual body, being able to call up beyond-orgasmic bliss to roll through my body, being able to know to hit the breaks to slow down before I could possible see the deer about to run out in front of me on the way driving home, being able to make people do or stop doing various things (very grey morality territory here), being able to see and manipulate the energy channels in my body, being able to know who has called while the phone is ringing sometimes (lots of people can do that, actually), banishing a demon or two (whatever that means), and the endless crazy A&P stuff with my body exploding into energy and fire-works like experiences, bright lights, seeing through closed eye-lids, shaking, traveling, and many other strange things like that. There are more subtle magicks: long-range formally-cast intentions to have certain situations resolve within certain parameters, being able to feel what the person I was giving a back rub to was feeling and where the pain was, resolutions to have various jhanic experiences happen or to get stream entry or whatever, general subtle-energy manipulation in my body, rooms, situations, interactions, conversations, and even more subtle things: strange intuitions about how things will go, about what to do or not do in a certain situation. Even at times the musical things I write that just show up and seem unbidden seem magickal, but that's probably not what you were after.

While obviously this stuff is quite interesting, in the end, as they all say and are right, it is actually things like finishing the process of insight and being kind, wise in a relative way, and helpful that make the most difference in terms of how good your life will be, though those things can help with that, if used properly and kept in perspective, which for some, like me, takes seeing them so many times I finally got somewhat (though not completely) bored by them. In short, if you have some powers experience, don't quit your day job.

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
Answer
1/22/10 2:28 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Initially, while I was reading nothing but suttas I took a great interest in supranormal powers. Many times when I sat to meditate I can see in the back of my mind some desire to develop supranormal powers. The only reason I didn't get carried away was because I would remember of how the Buddha denounced the powers and I'm always inspired by the Buddha. So now I try my best to focus on only arahantship (which until now had the taboo of remaining unmentioned), that's not to say I'm not interested in the powers though. For some reason I have this idea in my mind that I won't be interested in the powers if I were to attain arahantship. The sutta about (forgot the name) the Buddha promising a bhikkhu heavenly nymphs if he completes his practice comes to mind. After attaining arahantship, he released the Buddha from his promise to him. Although that is understandable, since the promise pertained to lust. Nevertheless, I still make this connection. But I agree with Daniel, attaining powers doesn't put an end to suffering.

On another note, I'm curious Daniel if you have experienced any of the powers mentioned in the suttas:

"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. Sitting cross-legged he flies through the air like a winged bird. With his hand he touches and strokes even the sun and moon, so mighty and powerful. He exercises influence with his body even as far as the Brahma worlds. Just as a skilled potter or his assistant could craft from well-prepared clay whatever kind of pottery vessel he likes, or as a skilled ivory-carver or his assistant could craft from well-prepared ivory any kind of ivory-work he likes, or as a skilled goldsmith or his assistant could craft from well-prepared gold any kind of gold article he likes; 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 the modes of supranormal powers... He exercises influence with his body even as far as the Brahma worlds."

You mentioned some of them such as bi-location and the divine ear (?). Have you ever "touches and strokes even the sun and moon, so mighty and powerful"? Or are all of these experienced in another realm? Is it possible to actually master these powers like mastering jhana (like how you can enter jhana whenever you desire) and to what extent?

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
Answer
1/22/10 5:30 PM as a reply to mjk 10 93.
Hi mjk,

I think I can relate to where you are coming from.

Yes, some people really do experience very 'weird' stuff through getting into meditation, and this includes 'objective' stuff as well as private/subjective experiences.

I came into meditation from a pretty scientific outlook, and when weird stuff started to kick off, i began to classify it according to how 'objective' it was. Here's a quick list of a few things i can easily describe, and which have some hard objectivity to them:

- 'repairing' a fan heater by massaging the metal with my finger (verified by the owner of the heater)
- removing a dent from a piece of oak furniture by massaging with my finger (verified by The Wife)
- pinning someone to the floor with a single finger (taught to me in an Aikido class, not a rare skill)
- various acts of healing, including permanently straightening a kinked spine using only light touch

as everyone has already pointed out, none of this has the slightest importance next to developing insight, but yes, things do happen that completely defy a scientific/materialist explanation. I have found this knowledge to be an important motivating factor when I've been oppressed by unconscious materialist assumptions.

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
Answer
1/27/10 4:30 PM as a reply to Ruth Laura Edlund.
Ruth Laura Edlund:


I was piqued by your (mjk's) reference to boredom. That might be an interesting sensation to investigate. Where is boredom found? When does it begin and end? Does something else lie underneath it?


My boredom is like a craving for something that doesn't exist, some eternally fascinating "It" that will always entertain me and always have new things to discover. I'm pretty sure now that "It" doesn't exist - whenever I feel this boredom/craving/depression (it's like all three moods rolled into one), I repeat to myself "There's no it to get" which helps somewhat (while also being depressing in its own right.)

I know I sort of have a double motive in coming back to an interest in meditation (I practiced in my college years without really getting anywhere.) One side of me wants to purge this desire for the "It," to realize without a doubt that "there's no It to get" and to end the suffering that looking for "It" causes. On the other hand... Enlightenment seems like just another supposed "It" in disguise to me sometimes, so, that's where my skepticism and lack of motivation to practice comes from. I'm afraid it will just be yet another mirage, another letdown.

Your Siddhi experiences are intriguing. I would love to experience something like that if only to confirm that there's something to all this Dharma "stuff."

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
Answer
1/27/10 4:44 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:


1) Get your concentration strong, and I mean really strong:


Well, my concentration really sucks so I guess I'm a looong way from any powers!

have very profound and powerfully explanatory past-life experiences,


It surprised me to hear you mention this. So many "Western" Buddhists seem take past lives to be metaphorical of "the web of karma we all share" or something like that, or stick to the Zen saying "your every thought is birth and death" and don't go beyond that. There was even someone on this board recently who went to a Tibetan Buddhist retreat where even the Tibetans gave this interpretation (or maybe that's just what they tell the materialist Westerners who would get turned off to the Dharma otherwise.)

It's funny because so far my experiences in meditation have been the exact opposite. The more I observe the "Body and Mind" process, the more I become convinced that there's nothing more to "me" than my body. Everything "I" am seems to be simply a reflex of the body and the possibility that there's anything beyond that seems like an illusion that meditation quite quickly dissolves.

However, maybe this perspective will reverse in time as I get more advanced. Like I said, my concentration still sucks! I've also been checking out the forums over at the Tao Bums and there are some very wise, insightful, level-headed posters there too, and then you check their post history and in another thread they are discussing experiences with Nagas (Nagas!) like they were no more or less real than noisy next-door neighbors. Even when I was a teenager and more or less bought into the idea of reincarnation, ESP, etc., I never considered Nagas to be anything other than pure fiction, Hindu mythology that was plastered on to the Buddha's teachings at a far later date. But, now, I guess I'm going to have to reserve judgment even on subjects like Nagas...

As for the rest of your experiences: Wow... no wonder you thought you were a "spiritual superman" for a while! And that there can be something even better than all those whiz-bang powers - that is quite motivating. Thanks!

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
Answer
5/16/13 12:15 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Mr. Ingram you are capable of manipulating ki and jing and able to see it!??

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
Answer
5/16/13 12:42 AM as a reply to sohil shrenik nanavati.
Thread rising from the grave!

Well, I have been able to do all sorts of interesting energetic things at points on retreat and a few times in daily life in very specific stages (the A&P).

Sometimes I have felt them, sometimes heard them, sometimes seen them as clearly as I could see anything else: brightly illuminated, with channels and all of that. I have had few times where I sent energy that was very bright blasting out in various directions with various effects, but at this moment, as I sit here, I don't have those abilities.

My most powerful experience with them was while doing candle-flame meditation on a 17-day retreat at Bhavana Society in the winter of 2001. I got my concentration extremely strong on that retreat, and then this whole other world of meditative power opened up.

On that retreat I could do all sorts of things: cause all sorts of luminous images to appear in space just by imagining them, draw lines of light in the air like I was drawing on paper (this is standard ceremonial magick stuff, actually, and not particularly unique to me or even that impressive, really), and send fantastic blasts of bright light that looked like the blasts from the backpacks of Ghost Busters down through the floor and up into candles to make them move, as well as, during one particularly interesting sit, see many, many very clear energy channels and manipulate those very easily and intuitively, causing all sorts of very interesting sensations and effects.

There have been other effects and various things I have played with energetically, but those sound the closest to your query and make for the best stories.

I am far temporally from all of that now, but my assumption is that if I went on retreat (or even gave them some reasonable amount of attention in daily life) they would be back like they were before: this is pure speculation, but I don't think they are particularly far away, it feels to me at this moment. Could be wrong. Anyway, my interest is currently elsewhere at the moment, though who knows that the future may bring?

What is your interest in these things? Are you in a stage where that is the focus or experience, or coming from a tradition that puts more primary emphasis on them, or just curious, or what?

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
Answer
5/25/13 6:45 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
thank you very much for your enlightening response. So it really lies in concentration. My practice is weak in concentration and I imagine not very much more developed in insight as well..

My curiosity honestly comes as I am exploring permanently quitting masturbating as the loss of strength and what I eventually came to know as Jing, was astounding. Attempting basic qiuqong techniques provided some relief in this, and this entire section of meditative practice (energy workings) is highly interesting and new to me. Im sure it bodes better for me to just keep working through my insight practices but I cant deny a certain level of self empowerment felt when practicing forming and playing with the internal and external energies.


Also, since I have you here so kindly, what is your words on a kundalini awakening? A few days ago I was meditating (on a substance mind you, MDMA) when I swear I experienced what I imagine is a Prana awakening, I saw the vague, but not so vague and pretty intense image and visualization of a white spiraling serpent along with some open eye visuals that for the first time in my life reminded me of a possible 3rd eye awakening. This along with a radient spectrum of colors and pleasant sensation eventually faded away.

This along with my incredible recent dissallusionment and fear of life has led me to believe that I am undergoing kundalini awakening. Im trying to quit self pollution permanent to advance my practice and for physical/ spiritual health



And then on the absolute dumb, silly, and funny side Ive always wondered if what we see on DragonBall Z is even remotely possible, Im of the silly belief that with absurd absurd practice visible and solid jing direction is possible. An odd belief.

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
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5/26/13 8:51 PM as a reply to sohil shrenik nanavati.
this is my personal experience

i got initiated by mantra from a lady saint

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mata_Amritanandamayi

the process was like i had to think about my favorite god (in india we have lots of deities based on the qualities they have) .So i remembered the name of my favorite deity

So i was standing in queue with the half dozen people who came for mantra initiation ,and in my turn "Amma" just uttered the seed mantra for that particular deity ,and no way that she could have guessed as there are 100s of deitys to choose from.But i heard stuff like this was pretty much ordinary in her presence ,and yes of course this really build my faith in her

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
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5/27/13 6:50 AM as a reply to sohil shrenik nanavati.
Hey, Kundalini Awakening is also called the Arising and Passing Away: see one of the first bookmarked threads on this forum for more on diagnosing the A&P.

Fun stuff, anyway. Be mindful of what comes next, which can be challenging.

D

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
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5/27/13 7:59 AM as a reply to sohil shrenik nanavati.
Also, since I have you here so kindly, what is your words on a kundalini awakening? A few days ago I was meditating (on a substance mind you, MDMA) when I swear I experienced what I imagine is a Prana awakening, I saw the vague, but not so vague and pretty intense image and visualization of a white spiraling serpent along with some open eye visuals that for the first time in my life reminded me of a possible 3rd eye awakening. This along with a radient spectrum of colors and pleasant sensation eventually faded away.


Another substance, LSD will give you even more vivid experiences. Another substance, DMT, will give you experiences after which you may feel you're enlightened or you've learnt the truth of reality. You may feel all your chakras have opened up and your crown chakra exploded with ecstacy, but it's still just a dream. None of this gives any lasting sense of peace.

If you want peace, give up substances. The only way out of suffering is to realize Impermanence at the core of your being and to transcend your ego. To do this, you've to break free of all habit patterns, attachments, cravings, aversions and remain grounded in the present moment. Meditation is the only way I know to do this. Temporary experiences dont matter.

And then on the absolute dumb, silly, and funny side Ive always wondered if what we see on DragonBall Z is even remotely possible, Im of the silly belief that with absurd absurd practice visible and solid jing direction is possible. An odd belief.


I had the same curiosity until 4th or 5th grade. The stuff they do in anime has no basis in reality except for the imagination of the writer, which is influenced by Japanese martial arts. DBZ has this jing jong stuff to keep things interesting as characters progressively keep getting stronger throughout the repetitive plot of the Z warriors defeating stronger new enemies as they keep coming up.

At most you will jump a little higher, or feel lighter, stronger, but that's about it and even this takes extraordinary amount of training and discipline. The sooner you give up on this the more time you'll save for something else.

If any of it was true, it would be more popular than Zen which has also evolved in Japan.

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
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5/28/13 11:59 PM as a reply to Sweet Nothing.
I agree with you on the drugs, but meditating on any substance is just like any other moment of reality, an experience. Our brains are filled with drugs all the time, chemicals, and so much more. Who are we to say what one moment of reality, is "real" and what isnt?



and as I said, the DBZ stuff is just silly, but whats life without a laugh, or joking experience or two? Its all in good fun, and at the very, very least it gives me a great excuse to add in and stick with some concentration and grounding practices.

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
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5/28/13 11:59 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Thank You Daniel, I had a feeling it wasnt going to be easy

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
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5/31/13 3:31 AM as a reply to sohil shrenik nanavati.
sohil shrenik nanavati:
I agree with you on the drugs, but meditating on any substance is just like any other moment of reality, an experience. Our brains are filled with drugs all the time, chemicals, and so much more. Who are we to say what one moment of reality, is "real" and what isnt?


Our normal state of mind is that of delusion, which arises due to our intense subconscious impressions/conditioning of cravings and aversions. We cannot perceive reality as it truly is until we rid ourselves of ALL conditioning. Drugs do not rid us of any conditioning, but create more impressions in our subconscious mind that we become attached to and are very hard to get rid of. Thus, drugs take us into deeper states of delusion. There have been so many psychonauts, hippies, drug addicts, etc and all of them have ended in misery without any lasting peace or realization of absolute truth. In my observation the amount of suffering one goes through is directly proportionate to the amount of pleasures one enjoys, whether natural or chemical.

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
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6/2/13 5:42 PM as a reply to Sweet Nothing.
Im not honestly very sure if I agree with you whole heatedly or not, but yes in general you are right, and in the end we must rid ourselves of the desire for sense pleasure which most certainly, drugs are.


But oddly enough, as a dabbler...last night I had a mushroom trip. This lead to me deciding to quit drugs for good...or at least attempt my hardest as I feel it harms my practice.

Funny how they can lead you around when you combine them with a mindfulness practice.

All I am saying is that we all have much to work on in different ways and some peoples paths lead them very strangely.

Peace to you!

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
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6/3/13 1:14 AM as a reply to sohil shrenik nanavati.
All paths in the end lead to the same source. Some are crooked and indirect, whereas others are more direct.
The only way to further is to transcend the mind. Drugs pull us below the mind which gives temporarily sense of fulfillment. Countless people are stuck in the loop of uppers and downers, most of them only keep getting deeper into it without even realizing the illusion. It takes very strong determination to straighten up and the best way is to take a 10 day retreat to break free of some old habit patterns.

All the best.

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
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6/3/13 4:11 AM as a reply to Sweet Nothing.
Sweet Nothing:
All paths in the end lead to the same source. Some are crooked and indirect, whereas others are more direct.
The only way to further is to transcend the mind. Drugs pull us below the mind which gives temporarily sense of fulfillment. Countless people are stuck in the loop of uppers and downers, most of them only keep getting deeper into it without even realizing the illusion. It takes very strong determination to straighten up and the best way is to take a 10 day retreat to break free of some old habit patterns.
.


How do you know all 'paths' lead to the same source, Sweet Nothing? What is 'the same source' in your actual experience? Or is this just a 'view' of yours you have decisded is 'absolute'? I would say one approach may lead to results that are not the same as other approaches and viceversa. The brain is a vastly malleable and pliant thing.

Nick

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
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6/3/13 7:36 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
Sweet Nothing:
All paths in the end lead to the same source. Some are crooked and indirect, whereas others are more direct.
The only way to further is to transcend the mind. Drugs pull us below the mind which gives temporarily sense of fulfillment. Countless people are stuck in the loop of uppers and downers, most of them only keep getting deeper into it without even realizing the illusion. It takes very strong determination to straighten up and the best way is to take a 10 day retreat to break free of some old habit patterns.
.


How do you know all 'paths' lead to the same source, Sweet Nothing? What is 'the same source' in your actual experience? Or is this just a 'view' of yours you have decisded is 'absolute'? I would say one approach may lead to results that are not the same as other approaches and viceversa. The brain is a vastly malleable and pliant thing.

Nick


Hi Nick.

Sure, different approaches give different results. What I'm speaking of is the permanence that sustains the impermanent.
I have not experienced this permanence, but to me it sounds like the only logical destination on awakening from Samsara.

If there is an ultimate truth, it has to be the same for everyone otherwise it will only be a relative truth.

"Whosoever comes to Me, through whatsoever form, I reach him; all men are struggling through paths which in the end lead to Me". - Bhagwat Gita /Swami Vivekananda

BTW, that article you posted in the DN thread was pretty helpful.

RE: Taking Daniel's suggestion and starting a new Powers thread
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6/9/13 9:14 PM as a reply to Sweet Nothing.
thank you for your kindness (:

You are right, they are bad and I have decided to quit as I stated above. But I can honestly say I would never have made it to this level of practice....this place of mindfulness without the experiences I had with them.

As a further disclaimer, I am 17.

Also... I can't enter jhana until I quit for good so theres that as well...