Thursday, December 31, 2020

SN 22.29, new Buddha's Grove website, oral tradition, purpose of redundancy in suttas: brainwashing


Nice new website here, by Javier.

(actually, I don't know if the site is new, I don't see any dates on there, but it's new to me)

One thing that needs pointing out. There is a place for abbreviated sutta translations with repetitions cut out or elided. It serves a useful purpose. You can more quickly digest the gist of the sutta and not lose the main points from getting lost in thinking out the repetitions.

But there's a super important reason, actually at least 2 reasons, for the repetitions. 

One, it's on an oral tradition, so repetitions help you to memorize the teaching and help catch errors when reciting repetitions sounds different or slightly off. 

Two, and most important, the repetition is a positive brainwashing in the best sense of the concept. 

You're washing out the akusala/unskillful, and replacing the washed mind with kusala skillful thoughts and perceptions. This sutta for example illustrates the point:

SN 22.29

The repetition isn't just for memorization, after you memorize it, you're meant to recite it frequently, recalling what you memorized (sati), thinking about it (Dhamma-vicaya vocally or vitakka/mentally reciting the teaching), evaluating/pondering (vicara) the Dharma passage more deeply, and let it do it's work washing out your brain.

The sutta above, I've recited it for hours on end without getting tired of the repetition because it's giving a reminder every moment  that's timely and needed. 

Think about what humans are going through every moment. Are they delighting in dukkha, or are they actively seeking out dukkha and getting burned again and again? It's insane when you really examine how you spend most of your day, breaking it down second by second.  SN 22.29 is a reminder of what we should be doing every moment, that people are constantly forgetting to do. Instead people are doing the exact opposite... delighting in dukkha.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

SN 47.10 What does inspiring foundation or sign in the text refers to?


Re: Inspiring sign

Post by frank k » 

asahi wrote: Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:08 pmHi forum ,

What does inspiring foundation or sign in the text refers to ?

That mendicant should direct their mind towards an inspiring foundation.
Tenānanda, bhikkhunā kismiñcideva pasādanīye nimitte cittaṃ paṇidahitabbaṃ.
Read the short synopsis "essence of first jhana" from here, it contains links to the relevant suttas:

The line in particular with sutta suggestions for you are:
3. The way to stabilize and prolong first jhāna, is by learning how to use V&V💭 skillfully to direct the mind to inspiring themes to stoke the fire of first jhāna and keep it burning. Suttas such as MN 20, SN 47.8, SN 47.10, SN 46.3, AN 6.10, AN 8.30 are a few such examples.

As others have pointed out, the key word you're looking for is the samadhi nimitta. MN 20 for examples mention 5 types of samadhi nimitta (themes, meditation topics) that help one overcome thought and evaluation. Vitakka and vicara (thought and evaluation) are samadhi nimitta in first jhana and samadhi of lower quality. In 2nd jhana and higher, where V&V drop out, the samadhi nimitta are perceptions (sañña) that one pays attention (manasi karoti) to.

SN 47.10 is a confusing sutta at first, because of questions people will rightly have like you do, such as what is an 'inspiring nimitta'. But after you study the similar suttas and connect the dots, you realize all that means is before one can do second jhana, and first jhana, one first has to replace bad thoughts with good thoughts that act as the lighter fluid, tinder and fuel to keep the first jhana fire burning long. The mind needs to be directed with good thoughts to keep the piti (rapture) going. That's what is meant by directed samadhi in SN 47.10. Once one knows how to keep the fire of first jhana burning and good thoughts calm down, then it's no longer necessary to direct the mind with good thoughts to keep the fire of first jhana and second jhana burning. That's what's meant by undirected samadhi by SN 47.10, with the vitakka dropping out because its no longer needed.

AN 8.63 is talking about the same thing, so is MN 19 and MN 20, just using slightly different terms at times.

And I noticed you quote Sujato's translation of 47.10 in your question. He translates vitakka and vicara there as 'placing the mind and keeping it connected', which is absurdly wrong, and if you go by his redefinition of V&V, you're going to get brain damage trying to figure out how that could possibly lead to first and second jhana.

If you want to understand meditation in the pali suttas, you need to read coherent (and correct) translations and interpretations, such as or Thanissaro's translations on, or B. Bodhi's translations.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Re: Question regarding the terminology 'discursive thought'


Re: Question regarding the terminology 'discursive thought'

Post by frank k » 

See KN Pe 7.72 explanations of vitakka and vicara. ... ndex.html
'discursive' means digressing from topic to topic.
So that's not 'vicara' in samadhi context. In EBT, it would be the job of sati and sampajano to reign in vitakka (directed-thought) from digressing discursively.
vitakka, inside first jhana, is selecting a topic to think about superficially, recalling a memorized Dharma topic and mentally reciting it with verbal thinking. Vicara takes the topic of thought selected by vitakka and evaluates/examines/ponders it more deeply.
So for first jhana context, it's carefully delimited in that way. If there is a digression from the Dharma topic in first jhana, you wouldn't say it was vicara that digressed, it would be a separate vitakka starting up a different Dharma topic.

Really the issue with jhana samadhi is whether discursive digression is intentional or not. If it is, for example consciously switching from breath mediation to asubha meditation, that's fine. Unintentional and unwanted discursiveness is the opposite of samadhi.
See MN 20 ending, which sums up the issue nicely.
Unfortunately many meditation teachers don't get the distinction, and just lump all thinking, discursive or otherwise, as an artifact of low quality samadhi. They demonize all verbal thought, and fetishize a wrong samadhi of frozen stupor. ... rahm.html

wolf22 wrote: Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:26 amHi everybody,

I have a question regarding vicara or 'discursive thought'. I know it has a somewhat different meaning in different circumstances where it pertains moreso to the 'movement of concentration' than actual (verbal) thinking/fabrications but is the latter I am interested in here.
... : ☸🐘 STED definitions

Friday, December 25, 2020

American Theravada monk who lived in Kauai (on Hawaii) for 18 months survived on alms doing metta door to door

 It takes some serious courage and conviction for Theravadin monks to subsist on alms in very rural non Buddhist countries strictly following vinaya rules for alms round (no money, etc.) . I would think most who attempt this would end up starving to death or very malnutritioned.

Here's one very inspiring story, and I really like how he practices doing brahma vihara door to door.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

AN 10.60 Girimananda and the Raft 🚣, director’s cut


AN 10.60 Girimananda and the Raft 🚣, director’s cut

AN 4.191 talks about, is what happens to virtuous monastics when they die and are reborn in Deva realms. They get infatuated with the pleasures of the Deva realm, and forget about what they learned and practiced as a human monastic. But because of their good karma and association with virtuous spiritual companions, either powerful human monastics with psychic powers communicate with them, or other Devas in their community who remember the Dharma from their human life jog their memory and help them return to the Dharma path.

In AN 10.60, Girimananda is gravely ill, on his deathbed. The Buddha sends Ananda to talk to him and encourage him with 10 Dharma topics. What happens next, is surely a corruption, brought to you by the same Hollywood executive producers who corrupted

SN 46.14SN 46.15, and SN 46.16.

But if you study AN 4.191 carefully, you can reconstruct AN 10.60 to get a director's cut, what the original director had intended the sutta to say.

Clearly, if you connect the dots between AN 4.191 and AN 10.60, what the Buddha is actually doing is giving Girimananda a care package, instructions on what to do if he dies from his illness. He's saying, "look, obviously you haven't attained Arahantship in this life, so if you die, don't become infatuated with the Deva Nymphs and Deva pleasures. Memorize these 10 Dharma topics, and finish the job. The job is not finished until you attain Arahantship. Also, it's possible that hearing these 10 awesome Dharma teachings, the rapture and pleasure are so inspiring that it stimulates your immune system and it's possible you recover from the illness. But don't count on it! Assume you're going to die, memorize these 10 dharmas, and when you're reborn in the Deva realm, hit the ground running. Practice these 10 Dharmas and finish the job! a-p-pamāda 🐘🐾‍ sampadetha!"

That's the original Director's cut, before the Hollywood Executive producers stepped in. They said, "We gotta sell tickets! We can't fill seats in the theatre if the hero in the story dies. We have to have a happy ending! Girimanda must have a miraculous recovery and live happily ever after. And people don't want to work hard. They want a quick magic mantra they can chant and get an instant magical cure!"

And so, that is how you end up with corrupted paritta suttas as they are recorded in Theravada canon today. But don't believe the corruptions. Trust your common sense and AN 4.191. There is no free lunch, no short cut,  no magic mantra that cures fatal diseases. Every moment, give the Dharma everything you've got.  Build your  Raft🚣‍ and ride it to the island of Nirvana. Finish the job! a-p-pamāda 🐘🐾‍ sampadetha. 

How parittas (protective safeguard recitation) work with metta (friendly kindness), and mitta (friends)

 To understand how metta, mitta, work in the parittas, it's based on a very universal phenomena you can observe in the human and animal realm.

It's not limited to wholesome friendships. Even criminals use the power of mitta to help protect each other.

From today's news:

President Trump granted clemency to Paul Manafort, his former campaign chairman; Roger Stone, his friend and confidant; Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner; and other loyalists in a new batch of pardons and commutations.

Quid pro quo. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. You help me get elected, I'll give you juicy profitable government contracts in the rigged bidding process, and I'll pardon your crimes. 

Monday, December 21, 2020

anapana breath meditation: controlled or natural breath? Is it wrong to intentionally breathe long?


Re: Not supposed to control breathing during anapanasati?

Post by frank k » 

dpcalder wrote: Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:22 pmI'm a little puzzled by the idea that we are not supposed to control our breathing during anapanasati. I guess my main concern is that I tend to suffer from shortness of breath due to anxiety, so I like to take really long and deep breaths, and occasionally hold the breath in my lungs for a few seconds. Is it wrong to focus on taking take breaths as opposed to allowing the breath to flow naturally, either "short" breathing or "long" breathing? Does doing this cause inordinate attention upon the breath that might impede meditation results?
It's perfectly fine to intentionally adjust one's breath to pacify the body (passadhi awakening factor #5 of 7) to make it comfortable, relaxed, not stressed. The point of steps 1 and 2 of knowing long or short, is to train the mind to avoid unwanted thought and focus on the breath, by being consciously aware of it. While it's counterproductive to control breath in the sense of, for example, intentionally breathing uncomfortably long and deep for 10 minutes just because you think that's what step one says, the suttas don't prohibit of you from intentionally breathing long or short as part of the passadhi/pacification of body process also closely related to steps 4 and 8.

Edward Thorp's single most important piece of advice: think for yourself and think critically

from my non-Dhamma blog, article link:

Edward Thorp's single most important piece of advice: think for yourself and think critically  ( <-- that's a hyperlink to an article to read)

There wouldn't be any jhana controversies in Theravada if people would just spend about 40 hours and read through the relevant suttas carefully and critically.  What Thorp is talking about he applies to the secular world, but the process behind it is the very nature of Dhamma-vicaya awakening factor, and vitakka and vicara of first jhana (critical thinking applied to skillful Dharma topics). 

And when I say 40 hours to read the relevant sutta passages, what I really mean is that's probably the amount of time it takes to understand the passages, IF you think critically with Dhamma-vicaya. I've already dissected every single occurrence of vitakka and vicara in the pali suttas, analyzed it and walked you step by step through all of those ideas connect and cohere, all handed to you on a silver platter here:

You can probably read all of it in under 2 hours, and after some weeks of cogitating and reflecting and rereading the passages, after 40 hours or so, it should become quite clear that later Theravada interpretations of jhana, vitakka and vicara,  and even some EBT proponents don't have an interpretation that cohere. 

'Incoherence' means that in many key passages, their ideas are broken and inconsistent with how that interpretation fits in other passages. 

'Coherent' means that if you plug the correct interpretation of vitakka and vicara (thinking and pondering) in every single occurrence, such as canonical KN Pe 7.72. explanation of V&V, every passage makes sense and agrees with every other passage.

🐎You can lead a horse to first jhāna

but you can't make him think.🐴💭

Sunday, December 20, 2020

What metta and friendship means in the EBT: mitta suttas: discourses with 'friend' (mitta) in the title

 Metta is closely related to the word 'mitta', so a careful study of these suttas on mitta should give you a better idea of what the qualities of 'metta' encompass. Hint: Metta is not 'love', which is too broad of a concept that includes some of 'metta's core qualities, but also includes many defiled baggages (romantic love, clingly attached love of relatives, children) that aren't part of metta. 

AN 1.71  Kalyāṇa­mitta - AN 1.81

“Nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, aññaṃ Eka-dhammampi samanupassāmi yena anuppannā vā kusalā dhammā uppajjanti uppannā vā akusalā dhammā parihāyanti yathayidaṃ, bhikkhave, kalyāṇamittatā.
“monks, I do not see a single Dharma that gives rise to skillful Dharmas, or makes unskillful Dharmas decline like good friends.
Kalyāṇamittassa, bhikkhave, anuppannā ceva kusalā dhammā uppajjanti uppannā ca akusalā dhammā parihāyantī”ti.
When you have good friends, skillful Dharmas arise and unskillful Dharmas decline.”

AN 3.135 AN 3.133 Mitta: 

They give what is hard to give, they do what is hard to do, and they bear what is hard to bear.
imehi kho, bhikkhave, tīhi aṅgehi samannāgato mitto sevitabbo”ti.
You should associate with a friend who has these three factors.”

AN 5.146 Bhikkhumitta [Mitta] : 

Kammantaṃ kāreti, adhikaraṇaṃ ādiyati, pāmokkhesu bhikkhūsu paṭiviruddho hoti, dīghacārikaṃ anavatthacārikaṃ anuyutto viharati, nappaṭibalo hoti kālena kālaṃ dhammiyā kathāya sandassetuṃ samādapetuṃ samuttejetuṃ sampahaṃsetuṃ.
They start up work projects. They take up disciplinary issues. They conflict with leading monks. They like long and aimless wandering. They’re unable to educate, encourage, fire up, and inspire you from time to time with a Dhamma talk.
Imehi kho, bhikkhave, pañcahi dhammehi samannāgato bhikkhu mitto na sevitabbo.
monks, you shouldn’t associate with a monk friend who has these five qualities.

AN 6.67 Mitta : monks, it’s totally impossible that a monk with bad friends, companions, and associates, while frequenting, accompanying, and attending, and following their example, will fulfill the practice dealing with the supplementary regulations.

AN 7.36 AN 7.35 Mitta: 

“Sattahi, bhikkhave, aṅgehi samannāgato mitto sevitabbo.
“monks, you should associate with a friend who has seven factors.
Katamehi sattahi?
What seven?
Duddadaṃ dadāti, dukkaraṃ karoti, dukkhamaṃ khamati, guyhamassa āvi karoti, guyhamassa pariguhati, āpadāsu na jahati, khīṇena nātimaññati.
They give what is hard to give. They do what is hard to do. They endure what is hard to endure. They reveal their secrets to you. They keep your secrets. They don’t abandon you in times of trouble. They don’t look down on you in times of loss.

AN 7.37 AN 7.36 Bhikkhu-mitta [Mitta 2] 

Piyo ca hoti manāpo ca garu ca bhāvanīyo ca vattā ca vacanakkhamo ca gambhīrañca kathaṃ kattā hoti, no ca aṭṭhāne niyojeti.
They’re likable, agreeable, respected, and admired. They admonish you and they accept admonishment. They speak on deep matters. And they don’t urge you to do bad things.
Imehi kho, bhikkhave, sattahi dhammehi samannāgato bhikkhu mitto sevitabbo bhajitabbo payirupāsitabbo api panujjamānenapīti.
When a friend has these seven qualities you should associate with, accompany, and attend with them, even if they send you away.”

SN 1.53 SN 53 Mitta : good merits you've done (puññā) are your friend that follows you to next life

SN 3.18 SN 129 Kalyāṇamitta : 

Atha kho, mahārāja, ānando bhikkhu yenāhaṃ tenupasaṅkami; upasaṅkamitvā maṃ abhivādetvā ekamantaṃ nisīdi. Ekamantaṃ nisinno kho, mahārāja, ānando bhikkhu maṃ etadavoca:
Then the monk Ānanda came to me, bowed, sat down to one side, and said:
‘upaḍḍhamidaṃ, bhante, brahmacariyassa—yadidaṃ kalyāṇamittatā kalyāṇasahāyatā kalyāṇasampavaṅkatā’ti.
‘Sir, good friends, companions, and associates are half the spiritual life.’
Evaṃ vuttāhaṃ, mahārāja, ānandaṃ bhikkhuṃ etadavocaṃ:
When he had spoken, I said to him:
‘mā hevaṃ, ānanda, mā hevaṃ, ānanda.
‘Not so, Ānanda! Not so, Ānanda!
Sakalameva hidaṃ, ānanda, brahmacariyaṃ—yadidaṃ kalyāṇamittatā kalyāṇasahāyatā kalyāṇasampavaṅkatā.
Good friends, companions, and associates are the whole of the spiritual life.
Kalyāṇamittassetaṃ, ānanda, bhikkhuno pāṭikaṅkhaṃ kalyāṇasahāyassa kalyāṇasampavaṅkassa ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ bhāvessati ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ bahulīkarissati.
A monk with good friends, companions, and associates can expect to develop and cultivate the noble eightfold path.

SN 45.49 Kalyāṇamitta

“Sūriyassa, bhikkhave, udayato etaṃ pubbaṅgamaṃ etaṃ pubbanimittaṃ, yadidaṃ—aruṇuggaṃ;
“monks, the dawn is the forerunner and precursor of the sunrise.
evameva kho, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno ariyassa aṭṭhaṅgikassa maggassa uppādāya etaṃ pubbaṅgamaṃ etaṃ pubbanimittaṃ, yadidaṃ—kalyāṇamittatā.
In the same way good friendship is the forerunner and precursor of the noble eightfold path for a monk.
Kalyāṇamittassetaṃ, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno pāṭikaṅkhaṃ—ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ bhāvessati, ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ bahulīkarissati.
A monk with good friends can expect to develop and cultivate the noble eightfold path.

SN 45.56 Kalyāṇamitta 2: similar to SN 45.49

SN 45.63 Kalyāṇamitta 1

“Ekadhammo, bhikkhave, bahūpakāro ariyassa aṭṭhaṅgikassa maggassa uppādāya.
“monks, one thing helps give rise to the noble eightfold path.
Katamo ekadhammo?
What one thing?
It’s good friendship.
Kalyāṇamittassetaṃ, bhikkhave, bhikkhuno pāṭikaṅkhaṃ—ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ bhāvessati, ariyaṃ aṭṭhaṅgikaṃ maggaṃ bahulīkarissati.
A monk with good friends can expect to develop and cultivate the noble eightfold path.

SN 45.70 Kalyāṇamitta 2  similar to SN 45.63

SN 45.77 Kalyāṇamitta 1  similar to SN 45.63

SN 45.84 Kalyāṇamitta 2  similar to SN 45.63

SN 47.48 Mitta: “monks, those for whom you have sympathy, and those worth listening to—friends and colleagues, relatives and family—should be encouraged, supported, and established in the development of the four kinds of rememberfulness meditation.

SN 55.16 Mittā-macca: “monks, those who you have sympathy for, and those worth listening to—friends and colleagues, relatives and family—should be encouraged, supported, and established in the four factors of stream-entry.

SN 55.17 Mittāmacca 2: similar to SN 55.16 but mentions no bad rebirth for stream enterer

SN 56.26 Mitta: 
“monks, those who you have sympathy for, and those worth listening to—friends and colleagues, relatives and family—should be encouraged, supported, and established in the true comprehension of the four noble truths.


How parittas (protective safeguard recitation) work with metta (friendly kindness), and mitta (friends)

Saturday, December 19, 2020

What miraculous healing (or any interesting miracle) have you witnessed, or heard from credible source?

 The idea for this thread came from a discussion I had with a monk who personally witnessed

 monk healing deep 5 inch cut (spurting fountains of blood) with paritta chanting in 15 minutes. 

I'll start with a story I heard from one of my Dharma brothers I spent 3 years with when I was living in a monastery.  

Our meditation hall there is open 24 hours a day most of the time. I spent a lot of time there, so did he. I noticed many times when he had to leave groups sits because of some medical ailment. When I asked him about it, he said he's had chronic sharp digestive pains for many years, sharp enough pain he couldn't sit and meditate through it.

So one time after a really long sit he did manage to sit through, I asked him about his health, and he told me this interesting story.

His abdominal sharp pains were cured. Recently when he was going through a pain episode while meditating in the hall, he felt this strong external heat enter into his body from his urethra, and then the heat swirled around his torso, mostly concentrated in the abdominal area where he's had the chronic pain, and after a minute or so of that heat circulating, the sharp pains vanished (if not permanently, then for a significant duration of time, months at least). 

I don't recall the details of what we discussed beyond that, but we both knew that it was an external cause, most likely a deva (guardian angel) was the source of the heat. Any monastery that has a pretty sizable collection of monastics with strong virtue and samadhi, stories like this with divine intervention are very common. From the stories I've heard most people don't see the devas, but sometimes we hear them say something, or it's just an anonymous help with no communication. 

The common denominator you notice, is the people who are very virtuous and do lots of helpful things for the world, tend to fall into lots of abnormally lucky events. This Dharma brother of mine for example, was exceptionally active in time and energy, and financial help, in doing work to help the monastery.   

Discussion threads

dhammawheel:What miraculous healing (or any interesting miracle) have you witnessed, or heard from credible source?


Testimonials, stories from Discussions

post replyWhat miraculous healing (or any interesting miracle) have you witnessed, or heard from credible source?

Re: What miraculous healing (or any interesting miracle) have you witnessed, or heard from credible source?

Post by Kusala » 

Listening to this monk (Ajahn Achalo)  talk about his father's near death experience made me extremely grateful...

(8 minutes starting)@51:17-59:15

(I also converted that youtube video into a straight mp3 audio here:)

Awesome talk! Brings tears to the eyes. I'll outline summarize a few interesting points from that 8 minute section. (Rough summary from memory, not fact checked, and I can't always understand his British accent). 

AA (Ajahn Achalo): gets a phone call telling him his dad has a stroke and has about 5 hours to live. You can hear AA choking up telling this story, and he mentions how all of his 20 years or so of meditation of samadhi and sati still could not stop the tears, letting him know he still has quite an attachment to his parents. 

AA decides to a do a puja (chanting ceremony and dedication of merit to his father to aid in a favorable rebirth). He puts a picture of his mom and dad on the altar.

Sometime into the puja he somehow gets an idea he should call Ajahn Nan on his cell phone to ask for advice. 

AA calls Ajahn Nan, and Ajahn Nan makes a grunt expressing strong displeasure that AA's dad is near death. Ajahn Nun (known for samadhi and metta skills) says he's send metta to AA's dad. 

Not long after, AA gets a call from the hospital. Dad miraculously survived. Doctor saw the brain scans of the hemorraghing and couldn't believe dad survived, says he never saw anything like this before. Dad and mom are still both alive and well today.

AA says he believes what happened is Ajahn Nan not only sent metta, but also used his samadhi to help channel and make sure AA's puja energy was transmitted directly to his dying father.  

Some other cool little incidentals, you should listen to the 8 min. talk yourself, I'll mention a couple of thigs.

AA's family are virtuous people, but Atheist. AA has been trying for 15 years to get his mom to see Ajahn Liem and other of his teachers. 

During AA's dad's near death experience, his mom saw in her mind's eye an asian monk. Afterward dad's miraculous recovery, mom asked AA to send her some pictures over email of Thai monks, she wanted to know who it was. She had never met the monk she saw, and after AA sent her images of Ajahn Nan (the monk who was sending metta to the dad), she confirmed it was him. 

Mom decided she wanted to meet Ajahn Liem after all. AA laughs saying, it only took 15 years of trying. Someone in the audience mentions, even the great chief disciple sariputta couldn't convert his mom to Buddhism until the Great Brahma appeared before them to pay respects to Sariputta. 

Re: What miraculous healing (or any interesting miracle) have you witnessed, or heard from credible source?

Post by Nicholas Weeks » 

Of course this is about a Tibetan yogi, but if you go to to that big biography of Buddha's disciples by Nyanaponika you will find a proper 'miracle' or two. See the section MOGGALLĀNA’S PSYCHIC POWERS.
The winters in eastern Tibet were so cold that the water from the snow melting
under the sun's rays would freeze in its flow, creating broad barriers of icicles,
some up to three stories high. These would sometimes block the steep mountain
trails, making travel impossible. Yet no matter how cold it was or how much snow
had fallen, there was never any snow on Lama Ngaktrin's roof: it would melt from
his tummo, the yogic practice of inner heat.

One day, Ngaktrin received news that one of his major sponsors had passed
away on the other side of the mountain pass. On the way there, a river had flooded
and then frozen, so that huge ice curtains rose to a height of two or three stories.
There was no way to get through.

A request arrived via a much longer trail for Lama Ngaktrin to come and do
phowa, the ejection of consciousness, for the dead patron. Ngaktrin, without a
moment's hesitation, replied, "I'm coming!·"
His attendants tried to dissuade him, protesting, "How can you go? Do you
want to die in the icy water? And if you have to travel around the ice curtains, it
will take you two or three days. How can you, an old lama, go there? There's no
way-just forget about it:"

But Ngaktrin said: "No, it would be very improper not to go. He has been a kind
patron to me. If I fail to reach him, it would be a serious breach of samaya. I'm going
tomorrow morning, no matter what!"
The servants could do nothing but obey, although unhappy that they would
have to take the long treacherous way around. Ngaktrin however assured them
that that wouldn't be necessary.
Bright and early the next morning, he told his attendants, "Last night I cleared the way:"
Sure enough, all the ice on the whole mountain pass had melted. There was not
a flake of snow anywhere; they could travel freely. When asked, "How can this be possible?"

Ngaktrin simply responded, "Last night I practiced a little tummo and melted it:"
From Blazing Splendor: The Memoirs of the Dzogchen Yogi Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche

Re: What miraculous healing (or any interesting miracle) have you witnessed, or heard from credible source?

Post by TRobinson465 » 

A person i ordained with said he ordained because his dad had cancer. After he ordained his dad's cancer miraculously disappeared to the mystery of the doctors. The same person came back and ordained again the following year after that happened.

6min video: Devas come in all flavors of religions.
It's not just the hearsay part about the his out of body experience and seeing angels of light.
The cool thing about the story, some of it has hard evidence. Medical records, xrays, objective 3rd party evidence of his small intestine increasing drastically in length.

level 1
vietnamese mahayana14 points·5 days ago·edited 5 days ago

I dunno about monastic miracles, which there are plenty of stories of, but when I think of Buddhists I know that do mysterious and mystical things, I think of my father. He’s done a lot of stuff (and won’t teach it), but the things that stand out in my mind is his uncanny ability to tame wild animals instantaneously.

I’ve seen him catch adult crows, look them in the eye until they stop freaking out, and then they’re his buddies. Chilling on his shoulder. Following him around. He’d just randomly come home with new wild animals as his friends, squirrels in his pocket, pigeons knocking on the back door for him to come out. And then the stalking up to them and grabbing them like he does when he first takes them becomes a game between him and the animals.

He does some healing stuff too, and I know healing stories is what the thread is asking about, but those are less interesting stories, and I can understand a lot of that because of my qigong background, but I do not understand how he does this thing with animals. I chalk it up to mystical Asian shit I’ll never understand because I’m too American.

Ajahn Keng helps lady who died of cancer, she comes back a few days later as a deva illuminating the whole forest to thank him

Ghosts of the Mountain - Mae Chee Kaew (ghost society has hierarchy, jails, etc)

Unread post by Lucas Oliveira » 

Mae Chee Kaew - Her Journey to Spiritual Awakening and Enlightenment

All realms of consciousness, and all living beings
originate from the mind. Because of that, it’s far
better that you focus exclusively on your own
mind. There you will find the whole universe.

Ghosts of the Mountain

Under Ajaan Khamphan’s leadership, the monastery at Phu Gao Mountain developed into a vibrant spiritual environment where monks and nuns focused diligently on their meditation practice. Ajaan Khamphan had lived under Ajaan Sao’s tutelage for several years, and he directed monastic affairs in the same spirit that his famous mentor had. At Phu Gao Mountain, a harmonious sense of fraternity prevailed, everyone living together in unity. The sight of the monks peacefully walking to the village for alms each morning was impressive. The nuns would remain at the monastery, gathered in the open-air kitchen to cook rice and prepare simple dishes to augment the food from the monks’ daily alms gathering. The villagers had constructed a long bench at the monastery’s entrance. Here the nuns stood and placed the food they had prepared into the monks’ bowls on their return from the village. Back in the monastery, at the main sala, the monks ate together in silence, seated according to seniority. Having received a blessing, the nuns retired to their quarters to have their meal — also in silence and according to seniority. When the monks finished eating, each monk washed his bowl, dried it thoroughly, replaced its cloth covering, and put it neatly away. The women washed the dishes and the cooking utensils, put everything neatly away and swept the kitchen area clean.

Once the morning duties were complete, all the monastics returned to the secluded environment of their small huts, where they concentrated on meditation, either walking or sitting. The monks and nuns remained in the forest until four p.m. when the afternoon chores began. Upon returning from the forest, they first swept the monastery grounds. When sweeping was finished, they worked together to carry water from the nearby pools to fill the various water vessels: water for drinking, water for washing feet, and water for washing alms bowls and cooking pots. After a quick bath, they resumed their meditation. On nights when no meeting was scheduled, they continued to practice late into the night before retiring.

Normally, Ajaan Khamphan called a general meeting of the monks and nuns once a week, on lunar observance days. Convening at dusk, the whole assembly chanted in unison, intoning sacred verses in praise of the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. After the soft resonance of their voices receded, Ajaan Khamphan delivered an inspiring discourse on meditation practice. When he finished speaking, he addressed any questions or doubts expressed by his disciples, and advised them about how they could move their meditation forward. If pressing questions arose on other days, they could seek his personal advice at any convenient time.

Ajaan Khamphan maintained an exemplary mode of practice that inspired reverence in his disciples. He was gentle and gracious, possessing an unassuming manner that was always simple and down-toearth. His spiritual practice and virtuous conduct reflected a truly calm and peaceful frame of mind. He was highly skilled at attaining states of deep meditative calm, and very knowledgeable about the diversity of phenomena that could be experienced in samādhi. Because of this, his meditative skills were compatible with Mae Chee Kaew’s own innate abilities. His mind converged into states of deep samādhi with consummate ease, resulting in extensive contact with beings of the spirit realm. Mae Chee Kaew was able to take advantage of his expertise to further her own skills in the many unusual aspects of samādhi, and was grateful for Ajaan Khamphan’s guidance.

The years Mae Chee Kaew spent living at Phu Gao Mountain were a fruitful time for her meditation practice. With each new foray into the invisible world of sentient spirits, she gained increased expertise in the realms of nonphysical existence. With Ajaan Khamphan’s assistance, she strengthened her ability to explore varieties of phenomena within the many lowly but subtle nonhuman states of existence that lay beyond the range of normal human perception. These experiences were so many, and varied, that she never tired of exploring the spiritual universe. To her surprise, she discovered that some types of ghosts live in organized communities just as humans do. Contrasting sharply with the vagrant variety, these communities are governed by a leader, who supervises social activities and endeavors to keep peace. Due to the untimely fruition of previous bad kamma, some beings, having accumulated a wealth of virtue, are nonetheless reborn into the realm of ghosts. Because their virtuous characters remain, they are able to exercise great moral authority, garnering respect from their peers, who because of their own spiritual poverty, stand in awe of those possessing moral power and authority. In the ghost communities, Mae Chee Kaew found proof that the fruits of goodness were Always more powerful than the effects of evil. By the power of virtue alone, one individual is capable of governing a large community.

Mae Chee Kaew also found that the ghost communities were not segregated into groups or castes. Instead, their social hierarchy adhered strictly to the order dictated by the specific consequences of each ghost’s kamma, making it impossible for them to hold the kind of prejudices that people do. The nature of their ghostly existence, and their social status relative to one another, was always the appropriate retribution for their past misdeeds.

Occasionally, the chief ghost guided Mae Chee Kaew on a tour of his domain, and described the living conditions of different types of ghosts. She was informed that the ghost world has its share of hooligans, too. Bad characters, who cause caused disturbances, were rounded up and imprisoned in an enclosure that humans would call a “jail”. He emphasized that the imprisoned ghosts were mean-hearted types, who had unduly disturbed the peace of others, and were sentenced and jailed according to the severity of their offenses. Those who behaved well, lived normal lives as far as their kamma allowed. The chief ghost reminded her that the word “ghost” is a designation given by humans. Ghosts were actually just one type of conscious life form among many others in the universe that exists according to its own karmic conditions.

Deva consciousness is another form of sentient existence governed by the laws of kamma. Mae Chee Kaew’s samādhi meditation introduced her to a rich spectrum of otherworldly experience. Sometimes her consciousness separated from her body and wandered to explore the heavenly realms, or the different levels of the brahma world. She visited the various types of subtly formed beings, called devas, who exist in a divine hierarchy of increasing subtlety and refinement — beings who have arrived at a fortunate and happy condition as a result of their good kamma. She met terrestrial devas — luminous deities dwelling in forests, groves and trees — who are born there because of their strong natural affinity to the earthly plane. Although their visible presence existed beyond the range of human senses, they were clearly visible to Mae Chee Kaew’s divine eye. She viewed them as beings of contentment whose blissful lives were often preoccupied by sensory pleasures. These enjoyments were the rightful rewards of accumulated virtue. As human beings, they had amassed a store of merit by practicing generous giving, moral restraint and meditation. It propelled them to rebirth in a spiritual heaven, where they lived a blissful existence, enjoying a variety of pleasurable sensory experiences.

Despite the devas’ virtue, their passive nature gave little chance to actively generate additional good kamma to extend their celestial stay. Therefore, once the devas exhausted their virtuous capital they could expect to be reborn into the human world, where hopefully their virtuous tendencies would allow them to replenish their supply of merit. In contrast to the ghostly spirits, who are trapped in a cycle of evil and wretched rewards, the devas enjoyed an upswing in their karmic fortunes. However, the devas do share one thing in common with all sentient beings: the burden of emotional attachments that cause them to be reborn over and over again — without any end in sight.

It’s important to understand that these realms exist as dimensions of consciousness and not as physical planes. By characterizing the celestial realms as being progressively “higher” and more refined levels of existence, and the ghostly realms as being correspondingly “lower”, the purely spiritual nature of consciousness is erroneously given a material standard. The terms “going up” and “going down” are conventional figures of speech, referring to the movement of physical bodies. These terms have very little in common with the flow of consciousness, whose subtle motion is beyond temporal comparisons. Physically moving up and down requires a deliberate exertion of effort. But when the mind gravitates to higher or lower realms of consciousness, direction is merely a metaphor and involves no effort.

When saying that the heavens and the brahma worlds are arranged vertically in a series of realms, this should not be understood in the literal sense — such as, a house with many stories. These realms exist as dimensions of consciousness, and ascent is accomplished spiritually, by attuning the mind’s conscious flow to a subtler vibration of consciousness. They are ascended in the figurative sense, by a spiritual means: that is, by the heart which has developed this sort of capability through the practices of generosity, moral virtue and meditation. By saying that hell is “down below”, one does not mean going down, physically, into an abyss. Rather, it refers to descent by spiritual means to a spiritual destination. And those who are able to observe the heavens and the realms of hell do so by virtue of their own internal spiritual faculties.

For those skilled in the mysteries of the samādhi, psychic communication is as normal as any other aspect of human experience. Arising from the flow of consciousness, the essential message is transmitted in the language of the heart as fully-formed ideas, which the inquiring individual understands as clearly as if they were words in conventional language. Each thought current emanates directly from the heart, and so conveys the mind’s true feelings, and precise meaning, eliminating the need for further clarification. Verbal conversation is also a medium of the heart; but its nature is such that spoken words often fail to reflect the heart’s true feelings, so mistakes are easily made in communicating its precise intent. This incongruity is eliminated by using direct heart-to-heart communication. ... e_Kaew.pdf

There are gods, miracles do happen

Ajahn Brahmavamso

Excerpts from an inspirational discourse by Ven. Ajahn Brahmavamso (Abbot of Bodhinyana Monastry in Western Australia) at Maharagama Vajiraghnana Dharmayathanaya on Sunday 13th February 2005.

knew an American who wanted to become a Buddhist monk. He heard that in Thailand he could get ordained.

So he went to Thailand and put up in a small hotel in Bangkok. But he did not know where to go to get the ordination. So he asked a person (a helper) working in the hotel where to go to get ordained as a Buddhist monk.

The helper of the hotel told him to go to Wat Pho temple in Bangkok (where men in Bangkok went to get temporary ordination). He told the American "go early in the morning and offer some fruits to a monk who will come for morning alms and ask for ordination. Then he will ordain you".

Accordingly the American went out early next morning to the temple with some fruit to offer to the first monk who would come. In his haste he had gone very early, at about 04.30 a.m.

The gates of the temple were locked. So he started to pace up and down near the entrance until the monks would come out from where they were meditating in the forest nearby, for their morning alms.

As he was pacing to and fro, a Thai man dressed in oriental attire came up to him and asked him in perfect English what he was about.

When he had said what he was about, the Thai man told him "I will take you inside and show you the inside of the temple". He then took a bunch of large keys from his waist and opened the iron gate. Then asking the American to follow him, he went up to the main door of the temple and opened it with a key from the bundle he had.

As he went in he switched on the lights, and the American saw a most beautiful shrine room with very bright pictures adorning the walls. He took the American to each one of the pictures and explained what each one meant.

After conducting him around the shrine room in this manner, he then switched off the lights and locked up the door. After coming out he told the American, now it is almost the time that the monks will come out for their morning alms, offer your fruit and ask to be ordained. He then went out of the temple and disappeared.

After a while the American saw a monk appearing with a begging bowl. He went up to the monk offered the fruit and asked to be ordained. The monk accepted the fruit and the American was ordained. Unfortunately for the American (who was now a monk) the Thai monks in the temple where he stayed spoke very little or no English.

After staying in the temple for a while, he one day asked leave of his teacher to go to another monk who knew better English for instructions. Then his teacher said that there was no other monk who could speak better English. He himself spoke the best English in the place.

Then the American monk remembered the Thai man whom he met before he asked for ordination. He told his teacher "There was a man I met here on the day I asked to be ordained who spoke perfect English, could I not seek his services as a translator?". The teacher was a bit surprised and asked details of this man from his pupil.

After listening to the story, he said "That is impossible! only the Sangha-Raja of Thailand has the keys to that shrine room. That is the place where the kings come for temporary ordination." So the American monk was taken to the Sangha-Raja of Thailand and asked to narrate the story once again. When he described the pictures and the stories he heard relating to the pictures inside the shrine room, the Sangha-Raja could not doubt his story. He was taken inside the shrine room to narrate the story and was asked how the Thai man had looked.

On looking around the pictures on the wall once more, the American monk saw to his surprise that the picture of the man he saw was adorning the wall. He pointed to the picture and said "that is the man".

It was the picture of King Rama I who had passed away many years ago. As such it was established that the American monk had met a God or Devatha who was formerly the King Rama I of Thailand who had also built that temple.

I have known this American monk, and I know that this story is true. Therefore it is true that there are Gods, It is true that they exist, even today. Not only in Thailand, but in Sri Lanka as well, even in Australia where I live presently.

A personal experience

I can tell you another story, a personal experience of mine in recent times. The Buddhist Society of Western Australia was getting ready for Vesak Celebrations one day.

Preparations got underway to hold open air celebrations in the night on Vesak day at a Central location in Perth. With just a few days to go we got to hear that the weather forecast was not good for Vesak day and night. It was forecasted that there would be severe storms.

As the days closed in the people who got together to organize the show were very doubtful of going ahead. Many requests came to me as president of the Buddhist Society of Perth to cancel it.

Continued faith

We had invited the Prime Minister to come as a special invitee amongst many other special guests. There were many calls asking me whether it would not be cancelled. But I continued to have faith.

Though people were surprised at my resolution, I decided to go ahead with the celebration despite the requests to cancel it from many quarters.

The day dawned with very cloudy skies. As the day advanced the conditions did not improve. It started to rain heavily and continued on to the evening. We heard over the news that the weather conditions were quite bad in surrounding areas as well.

It was worse than what the forecasts also predicted. However as night time advanced, and it was approaching to the time that we wanted to commence the celebrations the storm ceased and the sky cleared as if by magic. The full moon came out in all its splendour and illuminated the scene of the celebrations.

Vesak celebration

All those who gathered there that day had a most peaceful and serene Vesak celebration. Perfect weather prevailed until the celebrations were over and everyone went away to their homes. Thereafter the storm recommenced. And we got to know that even during the time of the celebration the storm had been raging in the surrounding areas.

I know that this miracle was aided with the help of the Devathas, who enabled us to have the Vesak Celebrations without any hindrance.

Therefore it is not a lie that Gods do exist, and they do assist the pure followers of the Dhamma.