I think I owe this article for a while. I had been writing about how bad it is to crave for mysticism. I still stick to that statement. Craving for mystical experience is bad bad bad. According to the various masters, it creates an opportunity for malevolent spirits to beguile us.
Trying to communicate with the spirits is also frowned upon and that is why I had shared some stories of encounters with practitioners whose life took a turn for the worse when they attempted the occult.
I had been stating that if you wish to communicate with spirits, why not aspire to see angels instead of ghost? My bad. All craving for mysticism is equally dangerous because lowly spirits can also trick you into believing they are divine.
That all being said, I think the Buddhist Deva (Heavenly beings) do exist.
- We just need to be good to go to heaven. We cannot possibly communicate with deva if our mind is impure. All those morality, precepts and good conduct must be practiced. This is because what we do, say or think has an imprint on our mind. If we do evil, we have an evil mind. The energy is base or “low” and we cannot reach the higher realms. Likewise if we have intense desire and hatred, those are opposite to the energy level from the upper deck. If we do good deeds but is critical of others, that also taint our mind. Hope you get the picture. We cannot lie to ourselves. Our thoughts also plays an important role. That is why we practice the 4 immeasurable thoughts too. Loving kindness, compassion, empathetic joy and equanimity
- Meditation. A pure mind that has risen above the contamination of worldly concerns. Most of us cannot maintain that kind of pure state after meditation but during that meditation session, we can try to really let go. When I was learning the traditional breathing meditation, we were struggling for a few weeks. Then one day, the meditation teacher told us, Some of you might be ready. When you are pushing your mind with zeal tonight and find yourselves seeming to go no were, just repeat this in your mind. “May the deva help me go into Jhana” It was a simple request and the immediate effect was electrifying. There is no lord and servant mentality in that statement. It’s like you are stuck in a drain and simply asking your best friend to help pull you out. The “feel” is “going higher” a few of the students experienced it. After the class, our teacher told us to look up into the sky and pointed out flashes of lights in the clouds. They were helping.
- The danger of being beguiled is still there. It felt good to believe that deva is helping us. That is so empowering and yes, tonic for our ego too. I think it is important to remember that, we reached out to the deva as our classmates in our practices. We refrain from praying for worldly success or material gain (Once we have worldly concerns, our mind is no longer “pure”?) The goal is not to communicate with deva but to experience Jhana in our meditation. Once our mind knows “where” to go, we can climb up on our own. Those who experienced it that night, were told not to “ask again”
It was a very unique meditation experience achieved under the watchful eyes of meditation teachers. It demonstrates that a pure and good mind is important for going “up”. Last but not least, always remind ourselves, “everything is from our mind” That keeps our sanity in check and prevent us from swinging into that lunatic end.
Let’s practice having a kind heart and good mind because it is important for our spiritual growth.
May all be well and happy