Reality and the Siddhas of Magic
Ninth in a series. I feel a strong sense of sharing in this series about the analysis of reality in order for many to benefit in the future by this teaching. The statements by the ancient Indian Buddhist sage Chandrakirti and my commentary are a step-by-step method to bring the meditator correctly and easily to a place where the mind has no place to settle in dysfunctional view.
We now go on to ideas that are common at this point in the method. The mind is seeking solidity and comfort and that could be expressed as a wish to say, "Well, if I do not exist, then I take a sense of safety that the cosmos and the great constellations exist. I guess I do not care if I do not exist as long as that exists and I am okay just being an illusory speck within that cosmos. If that is the way it is, then that is the way it is."
Chandrakirti says and I echo him. No! The cosmos and all of the stars, even the Hubble telescope do not exist in reality from their own side by having permanence other than an illusory interdependence existence. Even the delightful images that the Hubble space telescope transmits back to us in evanescent digital form are empty of inherent existence as well as the starry objects that they focus upon.
One might say then, "Well, if that does not exist, and now you are telling me, okay, so everything in the human realm and all the things that I experience are illusory. I bet there is someplace that I just have not figured out where it is, and that does exist. Maybe some pureland actually exists and that is real.”
So, before we lose our dharma practice completely we again stabilize the mind. Yes, this Tibetan singing bowl I have in front of me IS here. Yes, I can ring the bowl, it is here, and the sound is here, but not in the way you presently think it is! That is the error that we are addressing. From its own side, it does not have inherent existence. This bowl, and the sound it makes arose from causes and conditions, and that is that! We are suffering from magical thinking and need to wake up! That is why they call the Buddha the Awakened One. The Buddha and myriad Great awakened ones are no longer hypnotized.
“Moreover, when the extreme of existence is dispelled by appearance,
And the extreme of non-existence is dispelled by emptiness,
And you know how emptiness is perceived as cause and effect,
You will not be captivated by extreme views.” Je Tsongkhapa
As meditators become more focused and energized, due to causes and conditions, there could arise what is called ordinary siddhas, ordinary super abilities such as unlocking a door it with the mind by looking at it, seeing the future or hearing at a distance. These will arise either spontaneously or after having deliberately done yogic practices and visualizations. The ordinary siddhas could arise without that person being enlightened. That is why they call them the ordinary siddhas, because they are not signs of enlightenment itself. Should the meditator become fascinated with ordinary siddhas, very often their advanced studies will become diminished, and their attention and energy will channel into the siddhas that will likely recreate them into a seeker of power that will eventually harm many.
Siddhas are a development of relationships you have already with your dear ones. For example, you do not want to tell them directly to pick up their dirty socks, and so you might say to them mentally, "Now you come here. You Want to Pick Up Your Socks. You Want to Pick Up Your Socks." Then one day they miraculously pick up their socks. However, it is uncertain if you had the super power yet because you have done this a hundred times with no effect whatsoever.
Joking aside, should you become obsessed to use techniques with others eventually you will become like an ordinary magician. You will continue to accumulate karma but it often happens that that one will think that they are no longer affected by karma and possibly creating suffering and discord through carelessness.
However, there are realms of valuable practice such as the human realm, so we do not disregard as useless the meditation practices such as our visualizations, healing and helping all living beings. These will create authentic siddhas in you in the future in other realms, after having accomplished the training in the human realm. Do not disrespect the training that you are getting or think that in the future your training in the human realm will not come to save you or another being. These are the things that you will be permitted to do. Now, what realms have you existed in, what kinds of training have you received in other places that you are presently using for amusement or money making because of self cherishing? To me that makes perfect sense to caution at this point.
These abilities or vestiges of previous trainings are certainly unusual by the standards of the human realm. However, in other ways of being, other times, or other perceptual realms that you may have lived in, this was simply the training that you were receiving. Perhaps you even accomplished the meditations and achieved signs of success that made you candidates for the completion of your training.
Here, there is not an intention of presenting you with any other system that requires diagrams of which realms exist where or how many yogyanas they are underneath the earth. This discussion is about larger principles. To me the specific curiosities are boring. When people ask me a question about details of esoteric knowledge, I feel like I just want to fall asleep. I feel intense boredom arising, and sometimes a look comes on my face where I cannot hide this painful boredom. I am not trying to be bored, but sometimes it is because I have nothing to say, and sometimes I struggle to be interested, so I am so sorry. I will continue to do my best to answer all questions. Be informed that what I say about boring subjects might not be from a wisdom point of view, but I might just say something social. To be continued…