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Apech

Buddhist Magic and Why We Shouldn’t Cast It Aside

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When we think about Buddhism, we don’t often think about monks and nuns conjuring spells or curses to break up lovers, exorcise demons, prevent unwanted pregnancies, or kill enemies. But for over two and a half millennia, magic and healing rituals have been an integral part of everyday Buddhism. They were also key to Buddhism becoming a cosmopolitan religion, flourishing in areas beyond the Indian Buddhist heartland. The magical aspects of Buddhist history, however, have been ignored or dismissed by scholars of Buddhism and by Buddhists themselves, resulting in a distorted view of the traditions we may study and practice today.

In his new book, Buddhist Magic: Divination, Healing, and Enchantment Through the Ages, Sam van Schaik, a textual historian and practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism, makes a compelling case for why we should pay attention to Buddhism’s magical heritage—and what we lose by casting it aside. Having previously worked for the International Dunhuang Project, van Schaik currently heads the Endangered Archives Programme at the British Library in London. He is the author of Tibet: A History, Tibetan Zen, The Spirit of Zen, and The Spirit of Tibetan Buddhism.

 

https://tricycle.org/podcast/sam-van-schaik/

 

Link has audio interview with the author.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Apech said:

 

https://tricycle.org/podcast/sam-van-schaik/

 

Link has audio interview with the author.

 

 

 

When I first got into Buddhism it seemed that every monk or lay practitioner was a "rational" westerner that pooed on anything "superstitious". 

 

The western monk at the local monastery flat out told me there was no magic when I came to him for help from my ex that was cursing me. He told me to ignore such things and focus on meditation during the retreat I was doing. Funnily enough I didn't get relief all day during the daytime until the evening chanting time. Then I would suddenly feel a rush of relief as the Burmese monks would do the partita chanting to ward off the black magic and evil spirits that supposedly didn't exist. 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

 

When I first got into Buddhism it seemed that every monk or lay practitioner was a "rational" westerner that pooed on anything "superstitious". 

 

The western monk at the local monastery flat out told me there was no magic when I came to him for help from my ex that was cursing me. He told me to ignore such things and focus on meditation during the retreat I was doing. Funnily enough I didn't get relief all day during the daytime until the evening chanting time. Then I would suddenly feel a rush of relief as the Burmese monks would do the partita chanting to ward off the black magic and evil spirits that supposedly didn't exist. 

 

 

 

Western rationalism and (to be fair) quite a lot of Buddhist responses to Western culture have worked to 'sanitise' Buddhism to the point where it almost becomes unrecognisable.  If you listen to the audio interview you will hear the interviewer try to push 'mindfulness' as similar in nature to Buddhist magic (in that it has practical benefit) but the author kind of side steps this.

 

I think the key is that if your world view includes 'entities' and forces in a field of infinite possibilities on multiple levels then you can't count out magical effects as being possible and real.  Of course for a Buddhist magic or healing or divination should not be of primary concern since you are seeking liberation not greater binding into worldly aims and so on - so it is a kind of dangerous side-path and not mainstream.  But given that Buddhists (including monks) of all eras (including the very earliest) have done this sort of thing then it has to be accepted as valid.

 

 

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I would go a step further and say that the entire Mahayana Buddhist paradigm is a magical one. In fact, some have suggested using the term "magical" instead of "illusory." Given emptiness and interdependence, there is no reason to exclude magic from Buddhism other than cultural bias. 

 

I think a lot of Westerners try to downplay it and promote Buddhism as a way of reason in an effort to make it palatable to Westerners. Not all teachers do this, including Namkhai Norbu who gave secondary practitioners as a matter of rote and recommended their use to his students matter-of-factly. 

 

 As a Westerner, entering into and exiting a more magical paradigm helps to loosen one's worldview, in my experience. 

 

1 hour ago, Apech said:

I think the key is that if your world view includes 'entities' and forces in a field of infinite possibilities on multiple levels then you can't count out magical effects as being possible and real.  Of course for a Buddhist magic or healing or divination should not be of primary concern since you are seeking liberation not greater binding into worldly aims and so on - so it is a kind of dangerous side-path and not mainstream.  But given that Buddhists (including monks) of all eras (including the very earliest) have done this sort of thing then it has to be accepted as valid.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, forestofemptiness said:

I would go a step further and say that the entire Mahayana Buddhist paradigm is a magical one.

 

Do you care to elaborate?

It’s an interesting suggestion.

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The way I think about it, there is a fundamental logical contradiction that is apparent: everything is completely empty and lacking any self, yet there is all of this phenomenon appearing like.... well, like magic. As Mipham Rinpoche says, "appearing yet empty; empty yet appearing," or the Heart Sutra's "form is emptiness, emptiness form" or the traditional 8 similes of illusion or the Longchenpa's second vajra point

 

Now a lot of people like to rely on the simile portion, saying it is "like" this or that. To me, I tend to follow the logic, much like Gendun Chophel: 

 

Spoiler

There are those who fear that if vases, pillars, and so on were refuted through reasoning, everyone would come to espouse nihilistic views of nonexistence. Their worries are pointless. For in the case of ordinary, everyday beings who are looking at a vase in front of them, how is it possible that a nihilistic view regarding the vase to be utterly nonexistent could arise? Even if such an outlook did happen to arise in someone, he or she would directly cognize that the vase can still be seen and touched. Therefore, if a mind naturally arose that thinks, "The vase is appearing to me, but while appearing, it is utterly nonexistent," that is the Middle Way view known as "the two-fold collection of appearance and emptiness that cognizes how appearing phenomenon do not exist in the way they appear." How is that nihilism?

 

I struggled with this for a long time, until I started to look into quantum physics. Quantum physics introduces experiments that boggle logic. There are similar logic boggling things that arise in practice and in sleep/dream yoga. Accordingly, I feel I had to make a choice: my logical framework, or direct experience. In the end, I realized I had little choice but to embrace paradox. Appearances are fundamentally mysterious, and wonderful. In other words, magic. In Buddhism, the texts are replete with reference to "illusions" and "illusory" nature. However, Bob Thurman pointed out in English this is a little demeaning, so he prefers the term "magical." 

 

Similarly, on the Yogacara side of Mahayana, everything we experience is a transformation of consciousness, a literal dream. To paraprhase B. Alan Wallace, waking is dreaming with conditions, and night dreaming is dreaming without conditions. Again, that strikes as as eminently magical. 

 

Interesting side note: I always wondered about the magical illusion simile in Buddhism, where rocks and string can take the form of elephants and so on. Jan Westerhoff pointed out what this was in one of his books:

 

Spoiler

OIP.jpeg.bef2205cffbbf7b7104ef7e27f4daa08.jpeg

Shadow Puppet Theater!

 

 

2 hours ago, steve said:

 

Do you care to elaborate?

It’s an interesting suggestion.

 

Edited by forestofemptiness
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1 hour ago, forestofemptiness said:

The way I think about it, there is a fundamental logical contradiction that is apparent: everything is completely empty and lacking any self, yet there is all of this phenomenon appearing like.... well, like magic. As Mipham Rinpoche says, "appearing yet empty; empty yet appearing," or the Heart Sutra's "form is emptiness, emptiness form" or the traditional 8 similes of illusion or the Longchenpa's second vajra point

 

Now a lot of people like to rely on the simile portion, saying it is "like" this or that. To me, I tend to follow the logic, much like Gendun Chophel: 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

I struggled with this for a long time, until I started to look into quantum physics. Quantum physics introduces experiments that boggle logic. There are similar logic boggling things that arise in practice and in sleep/dream yoga. Accordingly, I feel I had to make a choice: my logical framework, or direct experience. In the end, I realized I had little choice but to embrace paradox. Appearances are fundamentally mysterious, and wonderful. In other words, magic. In Buddhism, the texts are replete with reference to "illusions" and "illusory" nature. However, Bob Thurman pointed out in English this is a little demeaning, so he prefers the term "magical." 

 

Similarly, on the Yogacara side of Mahayana, everything we experience is a transformation of consciousness, a literal dream. To paraprhase B. Alan Wallace, waking is dreaming with conditions, and night dreaming is dreaming without conditions. Again, that strikes as as eminently magical. 

 

Interesting side note: I always wondered about the magical illusion simile in Buddhism, where rocks and string can take the form of elephants and so on. Jan Westerhoff pointed out what this was in one of his books:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

 

 

 

Well said, your description really resonates with me. Trying to understand emptiness is frustrating. When it hits experientially it’s indeed magical. Important not to get too attached to that either, that’s been a tricky obstacle for me.

 

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Oh Magical.  So, so magical.  Beyond all doubting... which is rare for me these daze.

 

I contend there is more magic in a simple, square yard of 'ordinary earth' than in all the tomes of fiction in all languages combined.  Imagine then, what magic abides in our heart, or eyes, or mind... in our awareness field. 

 

It's magic all the way up... and down.  The process of a simple flower, breathes and reaches into the ends of reality.

 

Indra's Net.

 

I could as readily substitute spirit for magic in the above statement and it would play as authentically and all encompassingly, for me.

 

Such magic as this!  Such treasure!

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On 28/01/2021 at 1:38 AM, dmattwads said:

 

When I first got into Buddhism it seemed that every monk or lay practitioner was a "rational" westerner that pooed on anything "superstitious". 

 

The western monk at the local monastery flat out told me there was no magic when I came to him for help from my ex that was cursing me. He told me to ignore such things and focus on meditation during the retreat I was doing. Funnily enough I didn't get relief all day during the daytime until the evening chanting time. Then I would suddenly feel a rush of relief as the Burmese monks would do the partita chanting to ward off the black magic and evil spirits that supposedly didn't exist. 

 

 

 

Of course they dont 'exist'   ;)  

 

That does not stop our own psychology from working though .

 

an old fav quote from Crowley comes to mind here  ;

 

"  ... 

the Sephiroth and the Paths; of Spirits and Conjurations; of Gods, Spheres, Planes, and many other things which may or may not exist.

It is immaterial whether these exist or not. By doing certain things certain results will follow; students are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophic validity to any of them.

3. The advantages to be gained from them are chiefly these:
("a") A widening of the horizon of the mind.
("b") An improvement of the control of the mind.

 

( my emphasis )

 

I would add  ( c)  ' an improvement of the control of the external environment ' .

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Yeah, it is a shame that very often the "magical" part of buddhism sometimes gets downplayed as a mere superstition of uneducated promitive easterners. It is especially a huge problem among so called "secular" buddhists who in my opinion gutted buddhism and created sth that looks like modern yoga. Nice postures, relaxes you a bit, helps with pooping, but nothing else.

 

However. at the same time I would not downplay rational part of buddhism. One can easily approach dharma in this way and get many fantastic results and liberation for sure. I know many people who are not as keen on the magical aspects and mostly see them as symbolic, etc. and are actually decent practitioners who unlike me have at least some qualities.

 

For me personally the best thing about dharma is that it allows me embrace both. The logical part where if I meditate on loving kidness my brain changes its structure and a new pattern of thinking gets introduced and developed which results in more loving persona called "Miroku". But also I as well can keep the magical part present as well, where I am certain that if I develop loving kindess, then buddhas and gods will protect me and no spirit can harm me if I take refuge in the triple gem. Why? Buddha said so and he does not lie.

 

It is that in the west buddhism is often approached as an antidote to religion to a certain degree. One is not required to believe one is required to experience.  And many people need this and it creates great connection for them. However, sometimes it robs buddhism of its ... magic.

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2 hours ago, Miroku said:

Yeah, it is a shame that very often the "magical" part of buddhism sometimes gets downplayed as a mere superstition of uneducated promitive easterners. It is especially a huge problem among so called "secular" buddhists who in my opinion gutted buddhism and created sth that looks like modern yoga. Nice postures, relaxes you a bit, helps with pooping, but nothing else.

 

However. at the same time I would not downplay rational part of buddhism. One can easily approach dharma in this way and get many fantastic results and liberation for sure. I know many people who are not as keen on the magical aspects and mostly see them as symbolic, etc. and are actually decent practitioners who unlike me have at least some qualities.

 

For me personally the best thing about dharma is that it allows me embrace both. The logical part where if I meditate on loving kidness my brain changes its structure and a new pattern of thinking gets introduced and developed which results in more loving persona called "Miroku". But also I as well can keep the magical part present as well, where I am certain that if I develop loving kindess, then buddhas and gods will protect me and no spirit can harm me if I take refuge in the triple gem. Why? Buddha said so and he does not lie.

 

It is that in the west buddhism is often approached as an antidote to religion to a certain degree. One is not required to believe one is required to experience.  And many people need this and it creates great connection for them. However, sometimes it robs buddhism of its ... magic.

 

It helps with pooping!!!  No-one told me :)

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2 hours ago, Apech said:

 

It helps with pooping!!!  No-one told me :)

 

 

Yep .... it helps you not to hang on to the passed .

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7 hours ago, Nungali said:

 

 

Yep .... it helps you not to hang on to the passed .

I wanted to make that joke! :P

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Spirits do exist, what do you think allot of ufo's and alien abductions are? Demonic/Fallen angelic beings!

These things i believe have been messing with me my whole life, back in 2013 i started doing mindfulness meditation everyday and thanks to doing so i managed to slowly cut back on my porn addiction, i finally made it 3 weeks no pmo and woke up one morning in sleep paralysis with a 4ft grey alien/archon/demon standing at the foot of my bed... anyway since then things got really weird like they were influencing people against me and i got allot of psychic attacks especially at night.

I can go into more detail, but the point is these entities exist or at least that is the conclusion i have come to after looking into the topic and believe me things on this planet including peoples weird behavior starts to make waaay more sense...i sometimes remember the way someone acted in the past and will be like 'ahhhh there was probably a demon behind that'.

Also remember seeing a reptilian but in what i assume is the astral or lower astral... im not into astral projection.

Anyway i have been doing allot better recently again and i think that perhaps that is down to listening to buddhist mantras to dispel and protect against black magick... i dunno its always weird talking about this stuff even on a forum like this.

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One of the beautiful things about Buddhism for me is its flexibility and adaptability.

As Watts once put it, it's a bit like Hinduism separated from its cultural context and streamlined for export.

Its various forms are profoundly different depending on where it germinated in Asia reflecting local flavors and needs.

It's far younger in the West but will undoubtedly find its character and place here as well.

 

The magical aspects, assuming we would agree on what that even means, are filled with wonder and inspiration but only for those who can connect with them. For some they fall flat and meaningless. No value in pushing them on people who do not resonate, that causes far more damage than benefit. This is precisely why Buddhism has so many different practices and teachings. None are more important than any other. It all boils down to what each practitioner is able to make use of at any given time. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the three times and ten directions manifest how, where, when, and as they are needed. They do not push a particular view or paradigm on practitioners.

 

So I don't lament the fact that some of the more esoteric elements are not as well represented depending on geography. Buddhism is alive and well. It is far more accessible and widespread than anyone a century ago could have possibly imagined. Look at Tibetan Buddhism, for example. Rather than be erased from the world by the Chinese invasion, occupation, and cultural devastation of Tibet, it has been dispersed like the seeds of a beautiful flower and is blossoming around the world. Many of the iterations of Buddhism and Bön are now embraced globally and the internet allows anyone to access nearly anything. If our karma is such that we have a connection to more magical elements, there is adequate opportunity for us to make that connection. If not, we can be in the heart of a monastery and still not get it.

 

Two of the foundational elements of Buddhism are the realization of emptiness and the primacy of the mind. In this context, when properly understood, all of these magical elements are empty and a manifestation of one's own mind. For me there is nothing more magical than this, when realized directly. I say this not to diminish them but to make the point that there is no need for being overly concerned with the presence or absence of specific elements of Buddhism in our field of experience or geographical region. If we are karmically connected to Buddhism we can trust that we will receive what we need, when we need it, and focus on what practices and studies are available to us in this moment. If we feel a connection to the "magical" elements, whatever that may mean to a given individual, that is wonderful and we have ample opportunity to seek it out and embrace it. If it does not appeal to any of us due to cultural, language, religious, psychological, intellectual, or other reasons there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, provided we don't punish ourselves for this simple truth. 

 

a2485857487_10.jpg

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3 hours ago, steve said:

One of the beautiful things about Buddhism for me is its flexibility and adaptability.

 

Not disagreeing at all (rather, I agree with everything written), but just riffing. I think the flexibility of Buddhism has allowed it to spread widely, more widely than nearly every other religion other than Christianity (and perhaps Islam). But many other religions don't expand as far from their native cultural context--- I'm thinking of Judaism, Vedanta, Daoism, etc. 

 

There is always a tension with flexibility, but also maintaining its vitality. There is an interesting passage in SN 16.13:

 

Quote

 

The true teaching doesn’t disappear as long the counterfeit of the true teaching hasn’t appeared in the world. But when the counterfeit of the true teaching appears in the world then the true teaching disappears.It’s like true gold, which doesn’t disappear as long as counterfeit gold hasn’t appeared in the world. But when counterfeit gold appears in the world then real gold disappears.

In the same way, the true teaching doesn’t disappear as long the counterfeit of the true teaching hasn’t appeared in the world. But when the counterfeit of the true teaching appears in the world then the true teaching disappears.

 

https://suttacentral.net/sn16.13/en/sujato

 

Per Bhante Akalika, in this sutta, "the Buddha states that the disappearance of the true teaching won’t happen like a ship that sinks all at once, but rather, it will disappears gradually, bit by bit."

https://lokanta.github.io/2021/01/21/curious-case/

 

I thought this was an interesting observation. 

 

 

 

 

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Not sure this teaching resonates with me.

I feel like there are, and have always been, counterfeit teachings throughout the world as well as true teachings.

Just as there are true and counterfeit teachers.

Just as there is both gold and counterfeit gold.

Why would one exclude the other?

 

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What you said Steve has inspired me to be more into Buddhism, when i was happiest when i was more dedicated to it and over coming my own vices for the sake or all sentient beings.

I do believe in god and Jesus, also other spiritual paths  intrigue me and this has caused the strange type of suffering in me of cognitive dissonance but perhaps that does not have to be... i dunno despite having mystical experiences i am more confused than ever.

I do seem to resonate more with buddhism although i am not scholar so dont ask me to recite the 8 fold path please.

A strange thing happened to me whilst i was working as a post man at the end of 2013 / beginning of 2014 i had done some Drikung Kagyu empowerments the links of which are on this video but they are now expired.
 


 

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I had been doing no fap, by then i had managed to go on a bunch of 40 + day streaks, i was also doing mindfulness meditation everyday and having done the white tara and medicine buddha empowerment i would often do the medicine buddha mantra.

On one of my rounds in Colchester UK i went into an old peoples resisdential area 'Kendall Terrace' for the first time and i am not sure how to described this but there was this light/bliss coming from my right side in front of me as i was walking at the back of this place and there was a buddha staue there. I have heard people talk of clear light maybe thats what they mean.

Anyway i had been back since and it never happened again, i still dont know what the hell that was all about, i wish i could go back in time whatever i had back then i have lost it.... wasted seven years on self destructive behavior i used to have such bliss.

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4 hours ago, steve said:

Not sure this teaching resonates with me.

I feel like there are, and have always been, counterfeit teachings throughout the world as well as true teachings.

Just as there are true and counterfeit teachers.

Just as there is both gold and counterfeit gold.

Why would one exclude the other?

 

 

Do you think there is a limit to Buddhism's flexibility? That at a certain point, it loses its efficacy?

 

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1 hour ago, forestofemptiness said:

 

Do you think there is a limit to Buddhism's flexibility? That at a certain point, it loses its efficacy?

 

 

No 

I think it’s more a matter of what the individual needs and what they are capable of. A single phrase or a drop of rain can be enough. And all the Dharma sometimes not. 

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13 hours ago, steve said:

 

No 

I think it’s more a matter of what the individual needs and what they are capable of. A single phrase or a drop of rain can be enough. And all the Dharma sometimes not. 

 

So Buddhism could, for example, jettison all teachings on morality (sila) without losing its efficacy? Or start teaching that all compounded things are permanent, etc.? You could have Mahayana without compassion? Vajrayana without a teacher?

 

I definitely don't see it that way. I'm not sure what the minimum would be, but I am fairly certain that at a certain point, the dharma will no longer be effective (which is usually when it is time for another Buddha to show up). However, I do not know and have never met a person wherein a single drop of rain was enough (maybe one of those instant enlightenment types we sometimes hear about), so it is not coherent to me in the same way it might be coherent to others with differing experiences. I know the Pragmatic Dharma folks take Theravada as a starting point, but often edit it at will. I have not been impressed with the results, but again, one's individual mileage may vary.

 

For me, taking some of the base or common teachings more seriously turned my practices around. For example, once I started to take morality more seriously, my concentration improved and insights began to bloom. Contrariwise, when I stray from morality, my mind becomes too agitated to even practice. 

 

However, this to me does not change that the dharma is also flexible, dependent on time/place/manner. 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, forestofemptiness said:

 

So Buddhism could, for example, jettison all teachings on morality (sila) without losing its efficacy? Or start teaching that all compounded things are permanent, etc.? You could have Mahayana without compassion? Vajrayana without a teacher?

 

What you are proposing would no longer be Buddhism.

Kind of like saying would Christianity still be effective if everyone stopped believing in Christ...?

 

 

Quote

 

I definitely don't see it that way. I'm not sure what the minimum would be, but I am fairly certain that at a certain point, the dharma will no longer be effective (which is usually when it is time for another Buddha to show up). However, I do not know and have never met a person wherein a single drop of rain was enough (maybe one of those instant enlightenment types we sometimes hear about), so it is not coherent to me in the same way it might be coherent to others with differing experiences. I know the Pragmatic Dharma folks take Theravada as a starting point, but often edit it at will. I have not been impressed with the results, but again, one's individual mileage may vary.

 

I don't think its useful to ask "what the minimum would be" in a general sense as that is undefinable.

What counts is what is needed for a given individual at any given time.

That is widely variable which is why there are so many different approaches within the Buddhist umbrella.

Also why it's often said to take what is supportive from Buddhism for us and leave what is not. 

 

While a drop of rain may be unlikely to bring instantaneous enlightenment, it may bring one into the present moment. That alone is a profound benefit and, for me, at the heart of the Buddhist path.

 

Quote

 

For me, taking some of the base or common teachings more seriously turned my practices around. For example, once I started to take morality more seriously, my concentration improved and insights began to bloom. Contrariwise, when I stray from morality, my mind becomes too agitated to even practice. 

 

However, this to me does not change that the dharma is also flexible, dependent on time/place/manner. 

 

Yes - taking more seriously our relationship to whatever practices or teachings speaks to us is what matters.

Seeing the effects in our lives is the measure.

Being honest with ourselves about all of this is the requirement.

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To what extent can the contemporary Western Tibetan Buddhist practitioner dispense with some or all of these unseen, nonhuman beings? From the Tibetan point of view, relationships with the unseen world are essential to a full and successful human life. Ignoring one’s relationships with the whole world of unseen spirits and spiritual beings is, in fact, as senseless and counterproductive as ignoring the people and conventions of one’s own immediate human society. It is simply not possible to live in such a way.

 

Buddhism is normally thought of as a nontheistic tradition, and this raises the question of how such spirits, gods, and deities are to be understood within the Tibetan Buddhist framework. Certainly in Tibetan life, whether it is a question of the malevolent mamos, the potentially beneficent hearth god, the deities of the god realms, or the dharma protectors or tantric yidams, the nonhuman beings are understood at least on one level as more or less independent, objective entities. They are beings with whom one must be in constant relation, even though they are nonhuman and usually not visible.

 

At the same time, however, from the point of view of the philosophical and meditative tradition, all such nonhuman beings are ultimately seen as aspects of one’s own mind and not separate from it. But what does this actually mean? Frequently, particularly in the West, this standard Buddhist assertion is taken to indicate that such spirits and deities, taken as external beings by ordinary Tibetans, are not really external at all; that in fact they are mistaken projections of psychological states. This, then, becomes a justification for treating them as nonexistent and provides a rationale for jettisoning them from Western adaptations of the tradition. The problem with this approach is that it reflects a misunderstanding of what is meant by the statement that such entities are aspects of mind and inseparable from mind.

 

The deities are more properly said to be aspects of one’s own innate mind, or reflexes of one’s awareness. For example, the buddhas, although apparently objectively existing beings, are fundamentally nothing other than our own enlightened nature. The protectors are representations of the wrathful and uncompromising energy of our own awareness. And the gurus are objectifications of the teaching and guiding principle as it exists within each of us. In a similar manner, the various samsaric spirits and demons may be seen as embodiments of peripheral states of one’s own mind. These apparently externally existent beings, then, are false bifurcations of the primordial nondual awareness that lies at the basis of all experience.

 

So far, so good; but here is the really critical point: it is not only the beings of the unseen world that have this status, but all of the phenomena of duality. In the Tibetan view, ourselves, other people, trees, mountains and clouds—indeed all of the phenomena of the entire so-called internal and external universe—are nothing other than false objectifications and solidifications of nondual awareness.

                                                                                                                                                                                           ~ Reginald Ray

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