Jetsun

Working with higher level subtle beings and spirits

Recommended Posts

Even if you have no direct experience the existence of subtle beings the existence of channelled books is pretty mainstream now, things like 'Conversations with God' appear in all the main book stores so obviously something is going on. Many healers and spiritual masters claim to be working with such beings. Most seem to want to do good, but are they all really trustworthy and have pure intentions?

 

In terms of the map I most work with there are higher dimensions above and around our human realm, so there are 7th 8th 9th etc dimensions, full of different orders of subtle beings, but the thing is that just because something is in a subtle higher realm and has wisdom and power it doesn't necessarily mean they are free of ego. A higher level being isn't the same thing as a divine being or a being in complete altruistic service, you could easily confuse them up, they may try to give that impression that is what they are but they aren't necessarily the same thing. 

 

One story I heard is that the ancient Egyptians worked with some very powerful high level beings, which taught them many things and initially gave many benefits, but the deal on the subtle level was that in exchange the beings would gradually drain away the liver energy of the Egyptians, eventually leading to catastrophe. This story may be bullshit but who knows.

 

In Tibetan medicine they have over 18 ranks and classifications of spirits who can interact with humanity for good or ill. The highest levels of which they call "Teacher spirits" , "Hermit spirits" "God physician spirits" and "Tantrician spirits", now something like a teacher spirit or physician spirit sounds like a good thing and may try to convince you that they are helping you, but in reality Tibetan medicine says that those spirits are the most harmful ones of all created with black magic to manipulate you off course and do harm. 

 

How do you know what level or order of being you are working with?

 

So basically in this realm of subtle beings you have to be careful and the advice of many traditions such as Zen and Christianity which suggest going straight to the absolute and ignore all these other realms makes sense in this context. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only absolute i can be sure of is the nature of Shunyata inseparable from mind essence. Once recognition (of Shunyata) becomes stable and habitual, there will not be much care for all these other distractions. Then the focus is simply to rest in that recognition often so as to release as much of the remaining subtle karmic residues as possible. This process will hasten faster thru putting certain ethical precepts and compassionate activities in place (like Ngondro for eg.), coupled with periods of insight meditation. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jonesboy, please consider just providing links, and allowing people to decide for themselves if they want all the words.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I consider a Yidam different from a subtle being or spirit. For example the beings who transmit channelled texts or people like Basher are clearly a different order of being from a visualised Yidam because for them to communicate as they do they need to have a localised intelligence and sense of seperation. So I consider a Yidam as something else entirely.

Edited by Jetsun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A yidam can be an Immortal, Boddhisattva, Jesus or any other divine being.

 

Working or merging with a Yidam or divine being is a very accepted means of gaining knowledge and siddhis.

 

http://www.tibetanbuddhistaltar.org/the-vajra-master-from-dakini-teachings-by-padmasambhava/

 

All the best.

 

I guess what I was pointing out in the OP is that how do you know it actually is what you think it is that you are merging with? You may think it is a divine being but it could be some other dimensional being pretending to be one. As I mentioned Tibetan Medicine recognises there are trickster spirits who may mislead you which exist as well as the guiding deities within Tibetan Buddhism. If you are doing a practice which is taught by a long lineage with replicated results then you can be confident in the line of masters before you whose shoulders you stand on, if not then who knows what you might be really dealing with. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you know many people who can do such a thing?

 

I would also love any reference you have to people being tricked while doing yidam practice.

 

Are you also saying that if I have an empowerment I would be protected from such trickery?

Edited by Jonesboy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A yidam can be an Immortal, Boddhisattva, Jesus or any other divine being.

 

Not for a Vajrayana practitioner who adheres to the authentic path. 

 

A tutelary deity/Yidam is very specifically invoked as a means to sharpen body, speech and mind thru practice, and draw alignment towards recognising the inseparability of wisdom and compassion, ultimately leading to Buddhahood. Such an approach is unique to Vajrayana Buddhism. In this sense, i'd quite strongly disagree with your loosely formed opinion above.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you know many people who can do such a thing?

 

I would also love any reference you have to people being tricked while doing yidam practice.

 

Are you also saying that if I have an empowerment I would be protected from such trickery?

Not only empowerment, but the adherence to pure samaya is necessary if protection is what you seek. At least where Vajrayana Buddhism is concerned. 

 

Its not the practice that has the possibility of trickery - its the dabbling practitioner not understanding basic information about what Yidam practices entail - opening him or herself to harm, not by the Yidam but by (i repeat) ignorance. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not for a Vajrayana practitioner who adheres to the authentic path. 

 

A tutelary deity/Yidam is very specifically invoked as a means to sharpen body, speech and mind thru practice, and draw alignment towards recognising the inseparability of wisdom and compassion, ultimately leading to Buddhahood. Such an approach is unique to Vajrayana Buddhism. In this sense, i'd quite strongly disagree with your loosely formed opinion above.  

 

Genuine question: is a yidam not considered a bodhisattva in the Vajrayana context?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you know many people who can do such a thing?

 

I would also love any reference you have to people being tricked while doing yidam practice.

 

Are you also saying that if I have an empowerment I would be protected from such trickery?

 

I consider Yidam as something different than connecting directly with a higher level being, Yidam involves visualisation while the connection to a higher level being is usually in the form of energy or information, which is usually in an altered state such as trance, dream or meditation. 

 

Do I know many people who connect to beings in the direct way? yes some. Do I have examples of people being tricked while doing Yidam practice? no I don't know anyone who does Yidam, but there are examples of people being tricked by spirits and beings throughout most of the traditions. Would you be protected with empowerment? well usually lineages have preliminaries and empowerments for a reason, often these things are worked out quite precisely over many generations. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Genuine question: is a yidam not considered a bodhisattva in the Vajrayana context?

They are not regarded as bodhisattvas in the context of practice in the lineage i follow. They may all have the necessary qualities of bodhisattva mahasattvas, but again, in the context of practice, Yidams have a wider representation because they also embody the kayas and the omniscience of all the buddhas. Bodhisattvas are basically sons and daughters of buddhas, or some call them buddhas-to-be, which is not very accurate imo. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So nobody is aware of anyone being tricked by yidam practice.

 

An empowerment can absolutely help but is not needed for protection.

 

I can also see where me saying one can work with deities outside of the tradition may make some upset. I was not trying to be disrespectful to anyone. I believe if one can work with one deity one is not limited to just the ones in one tradition or belief system. I am not big on seperation or one way for one group only.

 

One does not need to be in meditation or a trance.

 

“Lady Tsogyal asked the master: How should a person with the highest mental capacity practice?

The master replied: When a person of the highest mental capacity meditates on a deity, he does not visualize it step by step. Simply by uttering the essence mantra, a sentence, or simply by wanting to and thinking of the deity, he visualizes it vividly, instantaneously, and self-existing, like a bubble emerging from water. This is itself the invitation of the deity from dharmadhatu.‚ÄĚ

 

‚ÄúNot being apart from the deity during the four aspects of daily activities‚ÄĒwalking, moving about, lying down, or sitting‚ÄĒthat is the path of the person of the highest mental capacity. It is extremely difficult and is the domain of someone who possesses the residual karma of former training.‚ÄĚ

 

Excerpt From: Padmasambhava Guru Rinpoche. ‚ÄúDakini Teachings.‚ÄĚ

 

With regard to which deity one should work with:

 

“Lady Tsogyal asked the master: If we practice one yidam deity, will that be the same as practicing all the sugatas?

The master replied: The body, speech, and mind of all deities are manifested by the three kayas in accordance with the perception of those to be tamed. In fact, no matter how they appear, if you practice one you will be practicing them all. If you accomplish one you will have accomplished them all.‚ÄĚ

 

Excerpt From: Padmasambhava Guru Rinpoche. ‚ÄúDakini Teachings.‚ÄĚ Rangjung Yeshe Publications.

 

Yidam deity practice is much more than just visualization. It is about oneness. Realizing that you are not seperate from the deity. When you have achieved this you are then able to merge with just a thought as described above.

 

“Lady Tsogyal asked the master: How should we approach the sugata yidam deity?

The master replied: Realize that you and the yidam deity are not two and that there is no yidam deity apart from yourself. You approach the yidam deity when you realize that your nature is the state of nonarising dharmakaya.‚ÄĚ

 

Excerpt From: Padmasambhava Guru Rinpoche. ‚ÄúDakini Teachings.‚ÄĚ Rangjung Yeshe Publications.

Edited by Jonesboy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

They are not regarded as bodhisattvas in the context of practice in the lineage i follow. They may all have the necessary qualities of bodhisattva mahasattvas, but again, in the context of practice, Yidams have a wider representation because they also embody the kayas and the omniscience of all the buddhas. Bodhisattvas are basically sons and daughters of buddhas, or some call them buddhas-to-be, which is not very accurate imo.

Is this to say that the yidam can include but are not limited to Buddhas and bodhisattvas but also include other enlightened or ascended beings? Not being versed in Buddhist terminology, the term was largely unfamiliar to me until researching it a little as a result of this thread.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I consider Yidam as something different than connecting directly with a higher level being, Yidam involves visualisation while the connection to a higher level being is usually in the form of energy or information, which is usually in an altered state such as trance, dream or meditation. 

 

Do I know many people who connect to beings in the direct way? yes some. Do I have examples of people being tricked while doing Yidam practice? no I don't know anyone who does Yidam, but there are examples of people being tricked by spirits and beings throughout most of the traditions. Would you be protected with empowerment? well usually lineages have preliminaries and empowerments for a reason, often these things are worked out quite precisely over many generations. 

 

I think you yourself answered your original question.  This topic  brings forth the importance of  "sila (morality)"  which is the basic foundation laid forth by all the highest  religious/spiritual  teachers  that humanity  has ever known.   The foundation of  righteousness/goodness/sila/morality   is  the protection/empowerment/preliminaries  necessary,  in order to know the answers you seek,  without  a  hint of doubt.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this to say that the yidam can include but are not limited to Buddhas and bodhisattvas but also include other enlightened or ascended beings? Not being versed in Buddhist terminology, the term was largely unfamiliar to me until researching it a little as a result of this thread.

Hi Brian, I'll try to explain a bit

 

The yidam, as far as my knowledge goes, is not a being outside of yourself. Vajrayana looks theistic but is radical non duality, trungpa said non theistic fits better then theistic or atheistic

 

Put very simply: the true nature of your mind is formless, limitless, unobstructed etc

 

The yidam is a way to give form to the formless

 

So you can have a representation(light, color, rays, form etc) of your true nature to work with

 

Empty yet appearing, appearing yet empty

 

A sort of bridge to get closer to actual meditation beyond any kind of grasping

 

Its a seeming effortful practice that uses our tendencies to put effort, change things, manipulate etc and purifies them into effortlessness

 

You can't separate mahayoga or yidam practices from an understanding of the unity of the two truths(emptiness & appearance)

 

Or unity of wisdom/compassion etc.

 

So to think there are a class of enlightened beings out there that are called yidams might be missing the point. They are also not archetypes in an Jungian sense btw

 

I think without understanding the teachings of the second and third turning of the dharma wheel yidam practice might be a bit difficult to grasp without contradicting the teachings

 

Its a very powerful method to actualize the main point of sutra,tantra and dzogchen (union of the two truths)

 

Maybe that helps a little

Edited by RigdzinTrinley
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh! OK, yes. This is helpful. I found what I discovered on the Internet to be contradictory and confusing but what you've said seems reasonable.

 

Would it be safe to assume that this construct is set aside after it has served its purpose?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its not actually a construct either, but I wont explain that now (I just got a late wisdom tooth removed, I'm a little spaced out...)

 

Lets say I guess if the method really served its purpose, then it doesnt matter if one sets it aside or not, but usually the great masters still practice ngondro and their sadhanas even after realizing their true nature, but some (very rare) just do formless practice.

 

For the more ordinary yogi, its a save way to strengthen ones understanding and accumulate vast amounts of merit - that in turn will enhance the formless practices

 

None of the yanas contradict each other, they seemingly contradict each other but with some learning and practice its easy to see them as harmonious and one in intention and even the methods don't fundamentally change (in my view the methods get more refined and powerful but never really depart from shamatha/vipassana in a Mahayana sense.)

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...

 

 

Yidam deity practice is much more than just visualization. It is about oneness. Realizing that you are not seperate from the deity. When you have achieved this you are then able to merge with just a thought as described above.

 

...

 

A yidam deity is a visualization, nothing more. The only oneness there is that your mind is one with its visualizations, that you are not separate from your visualizations.

Sure, you can merge with your own thoughts anytime, it is a form of masturbation.

Quit talking like yidam deity practice is calling the other being because it is not that at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is this to say that the yidam can include but are not limited to Buddhas and bodhisattvas but also include other enlightened or ascended beings? Not being versed in Buddhist terminology, the term was largely unfamiliar to me until researching it a little as a result of this thread.

Brian - A most reliable source to aid research 

 

http://www.berzinarchives.com/cms/x/s/searchresult.html?path=%2Fen%2F&__locale=en&query=yidams&submit=Search

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So nobody is aware of anyone being tricked by yidam practice.

 

An empowerment can absolutely help but is not needed for protection.

 

I can also see where me saying one can work with deities outside of the tradition may make some upset. I was not trying to be disrespectful to anyone. I believe if one can work with one deity one is not limited to just the ones in one tradition or belief system. I am not big on seperation or one way for one group only.

 

 

One should not attempt to teach French cooking using Asian cookery methods. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a difficult subject indeed.  It is true that the yidam is a visualised meditation object and so in that sense you can say it is a product of your mind.  But then part of the sadhana is to link the deity before you i.e. the one visualised to the the 'existing' one in the buddha-realms (I use 'existing' in a special sense here).  So it is not merely a product of ordinary visualisation or effort - if it was it would be useless.  To ask if the yidam (Chenrezig or Manjushri for instance) is 'real' or not - is a trick question because in some sense they are more real than 'you' since the 'you' that you normally deal with is just ego.

 

In my experience working with a yidam takes you beyond what you would achieve working from your own effort of concentration and insight.  And the the other point is that yidam has access to emptiness - they pop in and out with ease (this is a way of speaking) - so by identification with the yidam you also gain this power plus other associated siddhis.

 

Can Jesus or other non-Buddhist deities be yidams.  Technically no.  Why because the yidam stands in for the dharma which in essence teaches emptiness and 'liberation through seeing things as they really are'.  Did Jesus teach either of these?  Not as far as I am aware.

 

In  a non technical sense a yidam could be said to be the equivalent of a tutelary deity - in which case any god-form could be a 'yidam' - but this is only a casual way of speaking.  For instance if you were to follow and invoke Zeus or Aphrodite then you could gain the benefits and powers of those deities - but would they lead to liberation? Not according to Buddhism no they wouldn't.  So they cannot be yidams in that sense.

 

My thoughts.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From original post:

 

"So basically in this realm of subtle beings you have to be careful and the advice of many traditions such as Zen and Christianity which suggest going straight to the absolute and ignore all these other realms makes sense in this context. "

 

We are in the realm of subtle beings and we interact with them constantly - and we are among the "highest" forms. The undertaking of the human experience requires considerable wealth.

 

Losing oneself intentionally is not some ball less idiots way - but retrieving oneself from the wringer and coming to be with all - we are constantly being aided by beings we have lost sight of.

 

What we chose as our vibration and those karmic activities of noise we chose to play-in determines the beings we are constantly interacting with.

 

Deciding to widen our interaction wth beings "without bodies" and in this widening - to be able to maintain some reasonable certainty as to what is actually happening is on the best of levels very easy - simply treat everything as "living" and know all is conscious - because a rock is conscious and so is a rug and a lamp.

 

With regard to opening a dialog or stronger interaction - most beings will actually gain much by the experience with humans - if the human is not in their normal spastic state of positioned recoil.

 

The ability of beings to manipulate humans open to play is very high - we are already fully in their manipulation and in complete agreement to it - they are in every mind loop and in every repetitious robotic action that is emitted from our jitterings.

 

We are fully immersed in beings - we regularly breath them in and out - they are throughout our bodies.

 

Yet - until we gain ourselves to some greater degree - for the most part teaching fear and caution regarding actively moving to attain a higher degree of relationship with "beings without bodies" is a reasonable but overall unfortunate present circumstance.

 

For the most part - mediumship, trance and drugs are gateways and also an abyss.

 

In good practice very fine beings will chose to make themselves known - and the universe will speak to you in no uncertain terms.

Edited by Spotless
  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its not actually a construct either, but I wont explain that now (I just got a late wisdom tooth removed, I'm a little spaced out...)

 

Lets say I guess if the method really served its purpose, then it doesnt matter if one sets it aside or not, but usually the great masters still practice ngondro and their sadhanas even after realizing their true nature, but some (very rare) just do formless practice.

 

For the more ordinary yogi, its a save way to strengthen ones understanding and accumulate vast amounts of merit - that in turn will enhance the formless practices

 

None of the yanas contradict each other, they seemingly contradict each other but with some learning and practice its easy to see them as harmonious and one in intention and even the methods don't fundamentally change (in my view the methods get more refined and powerful but never really depart from shamatha/vipassana in a Mahayana sense.)

Yes, "construct" was a superficial word choice as I was going to bed.

 

Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites