Topic for spiritual practitioners – Cautions in spiritual practices

Many great teachers from different traditions and sects warned that pursuing psychic ability is dangerous.

The main purpose of spiritual practices in Buddhism is to develop good qualities and characters in ourselves. To transform ourselves into noble beings like the Arhat, Bodhisattva or Buddha.

That means we should focus on developing the followings qualities:

Generosity, Virtues, Renunciation, Discernment, Persistence, Endurance, Truth, Determination, Good will, and Equanimity

Chanting, meditations etc are just tools for developing our mind.


Unfortunately some people misunderstood that to become Enlightened means that one acquire super human abilities.

As a result, consciously or sub-consciously they have a desire to see, hear, perceive supernatural beings or activities.

This is very dangerous because our mind is very tricky and we are encouraging it to hallucinate. That is why, meditation teacher advise students to ignore all mental visions during a meditation.

Once a person desire psychic abilities and start to encourage self-hallucination in themselves, they have walked into the wrong path (走火 入魔).


Another danger in spiritual practice is self deception about one’s realisation after reading lofty philosophies in Buddhism; such as the concept of non self, emptiness , dzogchen etc.

People who wrongly believed they had developed wisdom after studying and understanding such philosophies is missing the point altogether.

Enlightenment is not Knowledge.

Sometimes we see them becoming weird and behaving oddly against social norms.

If we study the life of Sakyamuni Buddha, he respected social norms and even establish rules according to social expectations.

Therefore, it isn’t hard to know that something is off when people start behaving oddly after reading Buddhist books.

These are what I had learnt from different teachers and hope it is useful.

 

 

4 comments

  1. I am now reading Chronicles of Buddha Vol 1. There are so much to learn from His life story. I hope I have the chance to read Lotus Sutra again in the near future.

    Like

    • Indeed. Enlightenment is not about memorizing Buddhist text and passing a test. As we practice and gradually transform our habit to become more loving, kind, compassionate etc those little unnoticed changes are all part of the enlightening process.

      Liked by 1 person

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