Showing posts with label Tibet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tibet. Show all posts

Meditation - Tibetan Buddhism - What Is The Buddhist View Of The Self?




    The Self is the Antithesis of Selflessness. 



    All four Buddhist schools consider emptiness to be a 'self-emptiness,' but this does not imply that things are devoid of themselves. 


    • No thing, not even an emptiness, would exist if objects were empty of themselves. 
    • Rather, in the Prasangika paradigm, the term'self-emptiness' refers to an object's absence of intrinsic existence. 
    • The term'self-emptiness' differentiates Buddhist emptiness from theories like Samkhya, which claim that a person is empty of being all of the world's things. 


    This emptiness is known as a 'other-emptiness,' and it may be realized by differentiating one thing from another, such as distinguishing the person (purusha) from the nature (prakrti) that gives birth to all appearances in the Samkhya philosophy. 


    • On the other hand, realizing a'self-emptiness' entails identifying the lack of a false predicate of an object, such as the absence of its own intrinsic existence, rather than separating one entity from another. 


    The things that constitute the foundations of the characteristic of emptiness do not present to the mind when emptiness is directly cognized. 

    As a result, some Tibetans, such as the Jo-nang-bas, misunderstood Buddhist emptiness as a 'other-emptiness.' Self, defined as intrinsic existence, is denied in the Prasangikas' sophisticated doctrine of selflessness. 



    In the Prasangika System, The Hypothetical Synonyms For 'Self' Are: 


    • True establishment (satya-siddhi/bhava, bden par grub pa/ dngos po). 
    • Existence as it is (satya-sat, bden par yodpa). 
    • Existence in its final form (paramartha-siddhij don dam par grub pa). 
    • Existence as [its own] particularity (tattva-siddhide kho na nyid du grub pa). 
    • Existence as a [self-contained] reality (samyak-siddhi, yang dag par grub pa). 
    • Svalakshana-siddhi, ring gi mtshan nyid kyis grub pa). 
    • A significant existence (dravya-sat, rdzas yod). 
    • Existence that is capable of establishing itself (tshugs thub tu grub pa). 
    • Existence from the object's perspective [rather than from the subject's perspective] (svarupa-siddhi, rang ngos nas grub pa). 
    • The presence of a goal (vishaya-siddhij yul gyi steng nas grub pa) # It is able to exist because of its own strength (svairi-siddhi\ rang dbang du grub pa). 
    • In the item to which the designation is applied (prajnaptivishaya-siddhi, btags yul gyi steng nas grub pa). 
    • Gdags gzhi'i steng nas grub pa (gdags gzhi'i steng nas grub pa) svabhava-siddhi, 
    • (rang bzhin gyis grub pa) svabhava-siddhi, (svabhavata-siddhi, ngo bo nyid gyis grub pa). 
    • In a way that covers its foundation of designation (gdags gzhi'i go sa gnon pa I tshul du yod pa). 
    • Gdags gzhi'i ngos nas grub pa) exists from the standpoint of designation. 


    The members of this list are merely 'hypothetical' synonyms because 'synonym' (ekartha) in Buddhist logic implies 'one thing,' therefore all synonyms must exist. 


    • These words for'self' can only be 'hypothetical' synonyms since they relate to non-existents.
    • All of these words are opposites of dependent-arising since the subtle self, which is denied in the Prasangika conception of selflessness, indicates an independent being. 
    • Each elucidates the concept of non-dependence a bit further. 


    'Existing from the side of the basis of designation,' for example, implies that if you looked for the item named, you'd find it among the bases of designation, as their composite, or as the composite of their previous and later moments. 


    • 'Substantially existent' implies that an item exists by its own power rather than via the force of statements. 
    • Existing able to establish itself implies existing in the object's foundation of designation by way of the object's own entity, rather than via the power of words and phrases. 
    • 'Existing via its own power' refers to the object's own unique way of existence. 



    'Establishment via the force of a designating awareness' is the Prasangikas' unique definition of 'dependency.' 


    Phenomena are thought-dependent in the sense that only if the thought that identifies an object exists can that thing be posited as existing (conventionally), and if that idea does not exist, the object's (conventional) existence cannot be postulated. 


    • Nothing exists inherently since this applies to all things. 
    • It's like to a snake being imputationed to a rope. 
    • If a speckled and coiled rope is not clearly visible, the idea 'This is a snake' may emerge. 
    • At the moment, the composite of the rope's components and the pieces themselves could not possibly be construed as a snake; the snake is only conjured up in the mind. 


    Similarly, when the concept " emerges in reliance on the mental and physical aggregates, the composite of the previous and later moments of the aggregates' continuum, or the composite of the aggregates at one time, or the individual aggregates themselves cannot be posited in the least as the I. 


    Furthermore, there is nothing distinct from the aggregates or their composite that can be interpreted as I. 


    As a result, the I is only formed by thinking in reliance on the aggregates, rather than being essentially as it seems. 


    • A person's connection to the six components that make up his or her grounds of imputation or designation—earth, water, fire, wind, space, and consciousness—can be analyzed in the same way. 
    • A person is neither a collection of them, nor is he or she any of them separately, nor is he or she something other than them. 
    • As a result, a person is proven not to exist fundamentally. 

    Only the Prasangika school recognizes all of the aforementioned words as synonyms; non-Prasangika schools do not place the same value on these terms and therefore arrange them differently. 


    • The Chittamatrins, for example, would not claim that dependent phenomena (paratantra) are independent just because they exist intrinsically; "inherent existence" for them simply implies that things have their own way of being. 
    • The Prasangikas, on the other hand, argue that the terms "innate existence" and "own way of being" indicate independence. 
    • Non-Prasangikas further argue that if things were solely named in the sense of being unfindable among their bases of designation, they would cease to exist since the unfindable could not possible be functional. 



    The other schools, according to the Prasangikas, have misunderstood the meaning of 'only designated' or 'only imputed' (prajnapti-matra, btagspa tsam); the Prasangikas claim that although this word implies that the designated object is not its foundation of designation, it does not indicate non-functionality. 


    • What is simply labeled may be functional, much as a lady produced by a magician can captivate an unsuspecting audience, which is a fundamental yet challenging aspect of the Prasangika-Madhyamika system. 
    • It is claimed that when a yogi believes he is advancing in his knowledge of emptiness, he loses ground in his understanding of conventional objects, and that when he thinks he is progressing in his understanding of conventional things, he loses ground in his understanding of emptiness. 
    • It is important to remember that progress in the presentation of emptiness helps in the presentation of conventional things, and progress in the presentation of conventional objects aids in the presentation of emptiness for someone who has discovered the Prasarigika perspective. 


    The Prasangikas escape the extreme of destruction by opposing only intrinsic existence rather than mere existence. 

    • They escape the extreme of permanence by asserting merely nominal existence rather than intrinsic existence. 
    • To put it another way, they explain exactly how things exist and do not exist. 
    • Because things exist imputedly, the absence of even nominal or defined existence would constitute an extreme of annihilation—an extreme of non-being. 
    • Because things do not essentially exist, intrinsic existence would be an extreme of permanence—an extreme of existence. 
    • The extremes are no nominal existence, which means no being at all, and intrinsic existence, which is 'finer' and 'coarser' than the proper presentation. 

    As a result, the two most extreme ideas are that things do not exist fundamentally and that things do not exist by design. 



    Extremes do not exist, but their ideologies do, and they can be dismantled. 


    Many people believe that the Prasangikas have reached a point of nihilism, that they are no different from nihilists who reject the reality of rebirth and so on." 


    • The Prasangikas themselves deny any resemblance, claiming that nonperception of previous and subsequent births is insufficient to determine the emptiness of previous and subsequent births. 
    • To begin, one must first determine what previous and subsequent births are and whether or not they occur. 
    • Then, using logic like the present birth becoming a past birth when the future birth becomes the current birth, one may deduce that past, present, and future births are all interdependent and hence do not exist fundamentally. 
    • The emptiness of births may be determined by recognizing that previous and subsequent births do not exist fundamentally. 
    • It is necessary to identify both the positive subject (births) and the negative predicate (non-inherent existence) since one cannot determine emptiness just by looking at nothing. 

    The Nihilists in question are Dialectician Nihilists, not Meditating Nihilists, since some of the latter achieve meditative clairvoyance and therefore experience a limited number of previous and future lives.


    • Future lives, according to the Dialectician Nihilists, do not exist since no one is observed coming here from a previous life or going from this life to a future existence. 
    • Future lives, according to the Madhyamikas, do not exist intrinsically because they are dependentarisings, or, to put it another way, because they are defined by concepts and ideas. 
    • They do not, however, reject the reality of past and future lives. 
    • Both the Nihilists and the Madhyamikas have quite distinct theses and motives.


    List Of Research Sources


    • Oral teachings of Kensur Lekden. 
    • Annotations by Nga-wang-bel-den 





    Meditation - Tibetan Buddhism - How Does Meditation Help With Self Awareness?



     

      Meditation: Self-Awareness. 

       

      These are the steps taken by someone who is just learning to meditate: 


      - How does a novice gain experience with the concept of emptiness? 

      - How to develop a similitude of exceptional insight based on a calm abiding similitude? 

      - How to develop genuine unique insight based on genuine quiet abiding?

      - How to develop direct emptiness cognition? 

      - During the second stage of, how to dwell on nothingness?

      - Yoga Tantra at its highest level. 



      EMPTINESS IN THE FIRST STAGE OF MEDITATION.


      How can a novice get experience with the concept of emptiness? 


      • Through one of many reasonings, a yogi gets an early acquaintance with the concept of emptiness at the first stage. 
      • He goes through three fundamental meditation steps: recognizing the object negated in the perspective of selflessness, establishing that selflessness follows from the reason, and establishing the presence of the reason in the subject. 


      The person's selflessness is the first object of meditation, and the logic employed is Chandrakfrti's sevenfold reasoning. 


      • In the idea of selflessness, identifying the object is prohibited. 
      • One must first focus and cleanse one's thoughts. 
      • One waits for the I to emerge while sitting calmly. 
      • If it does not, an appearance of it is produced by thinking ", and the appearance is seen with a subtle kind of awareness. 
      • If the awareness that observes the appearance is too powerful, the I will either not exist or will emerge and vanish soon. 


      As a result, one should let the awareness conceiving I to be produced constantly, and one may acquire a solid feeling of it by observing it as if from a corner. 


      • You might also pretend that you're being accused, even if it's untrue, and keep an eye on your sense of self. 
      • One could recall a false allegation in which one believed to themselves, "I did not do this; I am being falsely accused." It is possible to get a good idea of how the non-analytical brain perceives me by observing the accused I. 

      If a yogi's recollection of such an accusation is weak, he or she cultivates it until the feeling of I as misconceived by the inherent nonanalytical mind becomes clear. 


      • This inherent mind makes no distinction between whether the I is identical to or distinct from mind and body. 
      • It imagines an I that is self-sufficient, capable of establishing itself, naturally or intrinsically existing from the beginning, and merged with the appearance of mind and body, without any thinking and by the power of habit. 
      • Even if such an I does not exist in actuality, an image or idea of it exists and will emerge. 
      • The look of a concrete I is first difficult to recognize, but it becomes apparent with time. 
      • The I seems to be the breath at times, and the stomach at other times, like when someone has an upset stomach and says, "I am ill." The I may appear as the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, or mental awareness at times. 

      The I Seems To Be Physical At Times And Mental At Other Times.


      According to the Fifth Dalai Lama, the appearance of the I and the appearance of the mind and body are, in the end, as if mingled together like water and milk, undifferentiated yet clear enough to grasp with the hand. 


      • In his Manual of Instructions on the View, Dzong-ka-pupil ba's Kay-drup states, "If the mind thinking 'I' is not created, you should manufacture the idea 'I' and promptly examine its manner of manifestation." You'll learn about its look without having to mix it up with anything else... 
      • There is a distinct mode of appearance of I to the consciousness which thinks " if you gaze softly from a corner without losing the awareness thinking ", and this appearance is not any of the mental and bodily aggregates. 

      The I does not seem to be a fictitious identification, but rather looks to be self-created. 



      You are trapped in circular existence by believing that the I exists as it appears. 


      Is it possible for the I to seem self-established if its appearance is mingled with that of mind and body? 


      • It might seem theoretically impossible for it to be self-established and mixed at the same time, but the inherent intellect apprehending I does not logically evaluate its object before, during, or after its apprehension. 
      • The appearance of a self-established I is intermingled with the appearance of mental and physical elements, but it is not identical. 

      Ling Rinbochay, the current Dalai Lama's Senior Tutor, stated that if someone puts a pin in your finger, you feel that the pin is lodged in you, not simply your finger. 


      • You have a strong feeling of the I who is in pain. 
      • To determine this look, it is critical to conduct a prolonged, delicate study of it without allowing it to vanish. 
      • Before moving on to the second stage, some instructors recommend observing the I for a week or even months. 


      In Vedanta, the jiva, or 'limited individual existence,' is frequently described as being the size of a thumb and situated in the 'heart.' 


      • In Vedanta, the jwa is merged with the infinite self, Brahman, whereas in Buddhism, the appearance of a concrete I is analyzed, found to be non-existent, and overcome, eventually leading to a direct realization of emptiness in which the subject, wisdom consciousness, is merged with its object, emptiness, like fresh water poured into fresh water.



      List Of Research Sources.


      • The Great Exposition of Tenets by Jam-yang-shay-ba. 
      • Oral teachings of Kensur Lekden. 
      • Tenets as presented by Jang-gya. 
      • Manjushr, the Sacred Word of the Fifth Dalai Lama 
      • The Manual of Instructions on the View by T. Kay-drup. 

      • Oral teachings of Ling Rinbochay. 

      • Jam-yang-shay-ba describes five phases of emptiness meditation. 





      Meditation - Tibetan Buddhism - How Do Buddhists Do Tibetan Meditation?




        Investigation Via Meditation.

         

        Determining that selflessness is a result of the rationale. 


        • The ascertainment that if the I exists in the manner it is understood, then it must be either the same entity as the mental and bodily aggregates or a separate entity from those aggregates is the second of the three fundamental stages in meditation on personal selflessness.' 
        • If the I exists intrinsically, it must be either the same entity as the aggregates or a distinct entity. 
        • Entity similarity and dissimilarity are mutually incompatible; if two things exist, they must be identical or dissimilar. 


        If the I is discovered to be neither essentially the same as nor fundamentally distinct from the mind and body, then the I does not inherently exist. 


        • One may conclude that the I does not inherently exist as it seems by using the seven-fold argument. 
        • If non-inherent existence permeates, or happens with, every instance of not being intrinsically the same as or different from the aggregates, such an inference cannot be formed. 
        • To put it another way, a yogi must understand that whatever is fundamentally neither the same as nor distinct from its basis of categorization does not exist inherently. 
        • One must come to the clear conviction that a third option of tangible existence does not exist. 
        • When this happens, one begins to question one's own existence in the same manner that one begins to doubt an old friend. 



        Identifying the reasons' existence in the subject 


        In summary, 


        (i)'I' do not inherently exist because I I am not the aggregates, 

        (ii) I am not an entity other than the aggregates, 

        (iii) I am not the base of the aggregates, 

        (iv) I am not inherently based on the aggregates, 

        (v) I am not inherently possessing the aggregates, 

        (vi) I am not the aggregates' shape, and 

        (vii) I am not the aggregates' shape. 


        After recognizing the inherently existing I and determining that it must be either the same as or distinct from mind and body, the third stage in emptiness meditation is to establish the first reason as a characteristic of the I, demonstrating that the I is not mind and body. 


        Many arguments are offered here, and each should be carefully examined until one emerges that challenges the idea that the I is made up of mind and body."


        • I Demonstrating that the I is not comprised of the intellect and body 
        • The statement of an I would be meaningless if the I were made up of mental and bodily aggregates. 
        • The aggregates would simply be referred to as". 
        • The I is not the aggregates since the selves would be many if the aggregates were many, and the aggregates would be one if the I was one. 
        • The I is not the aggregates since the I would be created and disintegrated in the same way that the aggregates are. 
        • The I is not created essentially, and it does not dissolve naturally, since if it did, recollection of previous incarnations would be impossible. 


        Because the two I's from separate lives would be fundamentally distinct, they would be unrelated. 


        • Because there would be no transfer of the potencies acquired through activities because the Fs of various lives would be unconnected to each other, the I is not naturally created and does not essentially dissolve. 
        • Because the I would meet with the consequences of acts not done by itself, the I is not essentially created and does not naturally dissolve. 


        If, on the other hand, the potencies acquired through acts were transferred, the consequences of those deeds would be experienced by an I who was completely distinct from the I who did the deeds. 



        Demonstrating That The I Is Identical To The Intellect And Body


        • The I is not a separate entity from mind and body since it would lack the collective characteristics of creation, dissolution, enduring, shape, experiencing, and realizing things if it were. 
        • The I is not a distinct entity from the mental and bodily aggregates; if it were, the name I would be meaningless. 
        • The I would be a non-product, because non-products aren't subject to change, while the I does. 
        • Because there would be no object to be perceived as I if the I were a distinct entity from the aggregates, there would be no object to be apprehended as I. 
        • The I would be a non-product, similar to nirvana, or a non-existent, similar to a sky flower. 

        If the I were a distinct entity from the aggregates, it would be apprehendable apart from them, just as the character of form is apprehendable separately from the character of awareness. 

        However, this is not the case. 



        Demonstrating that the I is not the foundation of the mind and body.


        The I isn't fundamentally the foundation of the mental and physical aggregates, like a bowl of yogurt or snow that blankets and surrounds a forest of trees, since if it were, the I and the aggregates would be two separate things. 


        In the first rationale, this has already been rejected. 

        • Demonstrating that the intellect and body are not the foundation of I
        • The I is not fundamentally founded on the aggregates, as a human living in a tent or a lion living in a jungle is, since if it were, the I and the aggregates would be two separate things. 

        In the second rationale, this has already been rejected. 

        • Determining that the I does not have mind and body by default 
        • The I does not naturally own the aggregates in the same way that a person does not inherently possess a cow, since if it did, the I and the aggregates would be two separate beings. 
        • The I does not intrinsically own the aggregates in the same way that a person owns his body or a tree owns its core, since it would make the I and the aggregates the same thing. 


        In the second and first reasonings, these views have already been rejected. 



        Demonstrating that the self is not a combination of intellect and body.


        Because the aggregates constitute the foundation of the designation I, and an item named is not its basis of designation, the I is not simply a composite of the aggregates. 


        • The I is not the aggregates' composite because the aggregates' composite does not exist essentially; if the aggregates' composite existed inherently, the composites would be many like the aggregates, or the aggregates would be one like the composite. 
        • Also, if the aggregate composite were a separate entity from the aggregates, it would be distinguishable from the aggregates and lack the aggregates' character, but this is not the case. 



        Establishing that the I is not a physical form 


        Because form is physical, the I is not the shape of the body. 


        • If the I were just physical, it would not be aware. 
        • Furthermore, the form of the body does not exist fundamentally since it is made up of the shapes of the body's limbs. 
        • Without more thought, one understands that the I does not exist fundamentally. 

        Non-inherent existence results if a phenomenon is in none of these seven connections with its bases of designation, and now it's clear that the I, body, and mind can't be in any of these seven relationships. 


        • As a result, the I does not exist as a physical entity as it is often thought. 
        • Before gaining a grasp of emptiness, novices must first get familiar with the logic over a lengthy period of time. 
        • Reasons, on the other hand, do not need infinite establishment since if every reason had to be established by another reason, the primary thesis would never be realized. 
        • The reasons have been established to the point that they have been proven by experience. 

        If a person lacks this experience, other options, such as examples, must be considered in order to acquire the required experience that defines the reasoning.


        List Of Research Sources


        • The Great Exposition of Tenets by Jam-yang-shay-ba. 
        • Annotations by Nga-wang-bel-den.





        Meditation - Tibetan Buddhism - What Is The Concept Of Dependent Arising?

         



          If a yogi is told by his guru to meditate on the I's non-inherent existence using dependent-arising logic, he should think to himself, "I don't intrinsically exist since I'm a dependent arising." 


          There are three stages to the meditation:


          In the context of selflessness, identifying the object is prohibited. 

          • This phase is the same as the sevenfold reasoning process. 
          • The yogi recognizes the appearance of an I as if it covers all of its grounds of identification, and he or she also recognizes how the mind responds to this appearance. 


          Determining that selflessness is a result of the rationale 

          • Because intrinsic or independent existence is the polar opposite of dependent-arising, it is determined that whatever is a dependent-arising does not inherently exist. 


          Establishing the existence of the subject's rationale 

          • Because the life of a being in cyclic existence is formed by predispositions set by an action motivated by ignorance, the I is a dependent-arising because it is produced by contaminated acts and afflictions. 



          Ignorance of the nature of the individual motivates even the virtuous acts that lead to joyful migrations and the non-moving deeds that lead to life in the form and formless worlds.


          • Because it achieves its existence in reliance on its parts—its earlier and later moments, mind and body, and so on—the I is a dependent-arising. 
          • Because I am imputed in reliance on a consciousness that specifies, ", I am a dependent-arising. 
          • Without more thought, one realizes that the I does not exist inherently since one has already established that whatever is a dependent-arising does not exist essentially and has now established the existence of the reason—being a dependent arising—in the subject I. 

          The shortness of dependent-arising reasoning demonstrates why yogis first use the sevenfold reasoning, which elucidates in detail how the I cannot be discovered under examination. 

          • The sign of dependent-arising is sufficient to demonstrate that the subject cannot be discovered under analysis.
          • Nevertheless, it takes more than one examination of dependent-arising to understand that analytical unfindability or non-inherent existence are both associated with being a dependent-arising. 
          • Dependent-arising reasoning is also used to things other than people, such as the body: Because it is a dependent-arising, the body does not exist fundamentally. 

          In the context of selflessness, identifying the object is prohibited.


          One recognizes a body that seems intrinsically existing and self-established in the context of being indistinguishably intermingled with the appearance of the five limbs and trunk. 


          • It's the look of the body covering all five limbs and the trunk. 
          • Determining that selflessness is a result of the rationale 
          • Whatever is dependent-arising does not exist essentially, since inherent existence refers to something that existing independently of others. 

          Establishing the existence of the subject's rationale 


          • Because it is created by the mother's blood and the father's sperm, the body is a dependent-arising organism. 
          • Because it achieves its own existence in reliance on its parts—arms, legs, head, trunk, and so on—the body is a dependent-arising entity. 
          • Because it is imputed in reliance on arms, legs, head, trunk, and so on, the body is a dependent-arising entity. 


          Without more thought, one understands that the body does not exist by default. 


          The body does not inherently exist because,

           

              • it is not the arms, legs, etc., 
              • it is not a separate entity from the arms, legs, etc., 
              • it is not the base of the arms, legs, etc., 
              • it is not inherently dependent on the arms, legs, etc., and 
              • it is not inherently possessing the arms, legs, etc.



          List Of Research Sources


          • The Great Exposition of Tenets by Jam-yang-shay-ba. 
          • Annotations by Nga-wang-bel-den 




          Meditation - Tibetan Buddhism - Why Do Buddhists Meditate?




            Emptiness As The Ultimate Mode Of Existence



            Emptiness is the ultimate mode of existence of all things, according to the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras. 


            • Buddhapalita and Chandrakirti lucidly remarked on Nagarjuna's explanations in perfect line with his thinking, and Nagarjuna described the ways to that emptiness. 
            • Not only to achieve omniscience, but also to achieve freedom from cyclic life, it is essential to depend on the perfection of knowledge as these masters describe it. 
            • This perfection of knowledge is required for anybody who wants to become a Hearer Superior, Solitary Realizer Superior, or Bodhisattva Superior. 


            Subhuti, one who wants to achieve the enlightenment of a Hearer must study precisely this perfection of knowledge, according to the Eight Thousand Stanza Perfection of Wisdom Sutra (Ashtasahasrikaprajnaparam it a). 


            • Subhuti, anybody desiring to attain the enlightenment of a Solitary Realizer must master this perfection of knowledge. 
            • This perfection of knowledge is also to be learned by the Bodhisattva, the Great Being who wants to achieve the supreme perfect full enlightenment. 
            • The awareness of the subtle emptiness of all things, according to Nagarjuna's writings, is a precondition for the path of liberation from cyclic existence. 

             



            Misconception Of An I



            According to his Precious Garland (ab), "as long as the aggregates are misconceived, so long is there misconception of an I. 


            The simple recognition of the person's crude selflessness is insufficient to liberate oneself from cyclic existence. 


            • The ultimate delicate suchness of the individual, as well as the mental and bodily aggregates, must be realized. 
            •  The inherent non-analytical mind that misunderstands the nature of people and other phenomena must be eradicated. 
            •  It is insufficient to just stop the mind from forming a self of people and phenomena, or to simply stop the attention from wandering to things, since they are not adequate to realize emptiness. 
            •  If they did, profound slumber and fainting would be accompanied with the ludicrous awareness of nothingness. 




            The Seeds Of Cyclical Life Are Eliminated



            The seeds of cyclic life are eliminated, according to Aryadeva, when selflessness is recognized in things. 


            [Extreme] ideas emerge with [the notion of fundamentally existing] things, according to Chandrakirti in his Supplement to (Nagarjuna'sj 'Treatise on the Middle Way'VIA ). 

             

            • When [the idea of an essentially existing] thing does not exist, these [extreme concepts] do not emerge, just as there is no fire when there is no fuel. 
            •  Wisdom examines in this manner, says Bhavaviveka, with the mind in meditative equilibrium. 
            •  The entities that cause these events Apprehended in a traditional manner. 
            •  Who wants and what is wanted, says Shantideva, when one has sought [for them] as realities. 
            •  It is difficult to renounce [misconception] without doubting the target of this [misconception], according to Dharmakirti. 


             All Mahayana teachers declare that the way to nirvana is via object examination, not just withdrawing the mind from them. 


            •  It is necessary to investigate whether or not the intrinsic existence of things, as perceived by the natural non-analytical mind, exists. 
            •  One must establish that things do not exist as thought and penetratingly comprehend the falsity of intrinsic existence via argument and biblical reference. 


             It is critical to evaluate with discerning knowledge on a regular basis. 


            According to the King of Meditative Stabilizations Sutra (Samadhiraja), analyzing and cultivating the selflessness of phenomena has the consequence of achieving nirvana. 


            •  Peace can be attained via no other means. 
            •  'Analyzing via unique insight and recognizing the absence of intrinsic existence comprise knowledge of the signless,' states the Cloud of Jewels Sutra (Ratnamegha). 
            •  'The clever are those who properly evaluate things separately,' states the Brahma Sutra (Brahmapariprchchha). 


            The great Mahayana teachers taught a variety of reasoning techniques aimed at determining suchness in order to reveal the road to liberation for the fortunate, rather than for the sake of debate. 

             

            'All of the analytical reasonings put out in Nagarjuna's Treatise on the Middle Way (Madhyamakashastra) are only for the purpose of sentient beings achieving freedom,' Dzong-ka-ba states. 


            •  The desire to be free of cyclic existence is the driving force behind studying phenomena and realizing emptiness. 
            •  Those of lower ability among Buddhist practitioners engage in religious practice in the hopes of achieving a joyful migration in a future existence. 
            •  They have seen the agony of bad migrations and want to escape it by pursuing virtue. 




            Being A Buddhist Practitioner



            To be called a Buddhist practitioner, one must put out effort in religious practice for the purpose of enhancing one's current lifetime; at the very least, a Buddhist's objective is to achieve a happy existence as a human or a deity in a future life. 


            • Others, with more ability, want to escape the cycle life entirely. 
            • They recognize that achieving a joyful migration in the next life is insufficient since they must still age, get sick, die, and be reincarnated in line with their previous actions. 
            • Their drive for practice stems from a desire to free themselves from circular life. 


            Others, with even more ability, see the depth of their own suffering, infer the pain of others, and practice in order to liberate themselves from cyclic existence and achieve Buddhahood in order to assist all sentient beings in doing so. 



            Thus, prior to meditation, it is critical to declare a motivation vocally and explicitly: 


            • I am meditating on emptiness and studying things in order to achieve freedom from cyclic existence and omniscience so that I may assist other sentient beings in doing the same. 
            • Another possibility is that I am contemplating emptiness and studying things in order to achieve freedom from cyclic existence. 
            • The former is much more powerful since it connects all sentient creatures via meditation. 
            • The power of meditation grows in proportion to the number of creatures with whom it is associated. 
            • Emptiness is a highly strong meditation object in and of itself. 



            According to Aryadeva, those with less merit would have no reservations about this concept [of emptiness]. 


            •  Even a hunch [that some things are empty] Wrecks cyclic existence's [seeds]. 
            •  Even the notion that emptiness—the absence of intrinsic existence—is the mode of being of things upsets the same reasons that generate the endless cycles of helpless pain. 
            •  Because when one has such suspicions, the real mode of being of things behaves as if it were a mental object. 


             According to Dzong-ka-ba, aspirational prayers should be offered for the ability to listen to treatises on the profound [emptiness], memorize them, think about their meaning, meditate on them, and have faith in them over the course of a lifetime, all without jeopardizing the determination of cause and effect's dependent-arising. 

             

            • Though the transfer of Buddhist instruction to Tibet was foretold in sutra, Jam-yang-shay-ba cautions that few would follow the perfection of knowledge all the way to meditation
            •  He claims that although many people remember the phrases and propound the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras, only a few people really attain wisdom perfection. 
            •  He goes on to say that untold numbers of people refuse to concentrate on emptiness because of the five ruinations, but instead claim to focus on the 'natural mind,' or something other than emptiness that lacks the elaborations of dualism. 


            It is a mistake to believe that there is another ultimate goal of meditation since 'natural mind,' 'freedom from the elaborations of dualism,' and so on are none other than emptiness itself, and it is meditation on emptiness that puts an end to the elaborations of misunderstanding. 


            The numerous teachings that Buddha does not even abide in the middle way, or that Buddha eventually does not even teach emptiness, must be interpreted to mean that he does not abide in, or teach, an inherently existing middle way, or essentially existent emptiness. 


            Those who profess to concentrate on emptiness but do not really do so are wrong in believing that they may comprehend the suchness of things simply by removing the attention from objects and stopping thinking. 

            Instead, analysis is the fundamental basis of emptiness meditation. 



            List Of Research Sources 



            • Tenets as presented by Jang-gya. 
            • Oral teachings of Kensur Lekden. 
            • The Great Exposition of Tenets by Jam-yang-shay-ba. 






            Psychic Traditions of Tibet

             


            We look at the relationship between meditation achievement and psychic consciousness in the early stages of study with Tibetan meditation practitioners in India. We would list many various practices momentarily rather than provide an in-depth account of each of them since this is a summary to provide a taste of the culture's psychic rituals. Since there is a scarcity of literature on Tibet's psychic rituals, much of what follows is focused on interviews with a variety of individuals. Psychic practitioners are well-known in Tibetan culture, but there has been no scientific investigation into their methods. Psi is widely used in Tibetan traditions, with three major places that claim to have ancient origins. Extrasensory vision, precognition, and psychokinesis are also examples of parapsychological features of the subconscious. The oracles, which include god possession, are the oldest Tibetan traditions. The mahasiddhis and a Tibetan deity named Palden Lhamo are sometimes used in Mo divination.

            The attainment of psychic abilities through Buddhist meditation practice, and a belief in deliberately selected reincarnation, culminating in tulkus that are classified using a number of psychic practices, are two fields of more recent beliefs that are mainly related to monastic societies and stem directly from Buddhism.



            Tibetan traditions are a unique blend of original shamanic Bon beliefs, Buddhism, which arrived in Tibet approximately 1,300 years ago, and Indian Buddhist tantric traditions, which arrived in Tibet approximately 1,000 years ago. Tibetan tradition's psychic elements date largely from the pre-Buddhist shamanic era, but they are not inherently anti-Buddhist and have since been thoroughly introduced by monks into their rituals. There are several various forms of Buddhism, but Tibetan Buddhism is known for including and developing psychic powers.

            Per culture has its own point of view on the universe. Exploring a particular world will also allow us to view our own beliefs and ideas in a new way. Beliefs are an integral part of one's emotional makeup, which is influenced to a large extent by the society in which one is raised. We are always unaware of our belief structures until they are pointed out to us or until we go to an entirely new community where people have very different views.

            Most Tibetans consider the psychic as a normal part of life. The use of astrology by Tibetans is an example of divination's importance in daily life. Their calendars list over a dozen different characteristics of each day, such as whether it is a good day to start a company, get married, have a funeral, or even throw a party!



            Tibetans have a culture of oracles, also known as kuten, which means "medium." The Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government consult the Nechung Oracle, who is recognized as the state oracle, after entering trance and being possessed by a god. The deity then talks through the medium, offering guidance and prophecy, which is used to make decisions by people at all levels of society.

            The Dalai Lama holds the oracle in high regard, as shown by the following quote: It has been customary for the Dalai Lama and the government to meet Nechung during the New Year festivities for hundreds of years. In addition, he can be contacted at other occasions if either party has a particular question. For readers of the twenty-first century, this can seem far-fetched. But we do so for the simple reason that time has shown that the oracle's response was right on any of the few times when we have posed questions to him. Surprisingly, the oracle's responses to questions are not ambiguous.

            There are a lot of oracles out there. Many monasteries, as well as the more traditional village lay oracles, may have their own resident oracle, who is sometimes a monk. In a series of private interviews, Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche revealed the following details about oracles. Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche was recommended because he was an expert on Tibetan Buddhism's tantric facets. We are thankful and fortunate to have had the opportunity to share time with him—a profoundly holy man.



            A successful prophecy is dependent on two factors: the medium's capacity and the participants' confidence. He thought trust was necessary and compared this interaction between the medium and the sitter to using a crutch if you have a bad leg—you need both to walk effectively. Many of the people we've talked with have emphasized the importance of religion. For example, the head of the Nyingma sect, Penor Rinpoche, said that the diviner must have complete faith in the deity, and the questioner must have complete faith in the diviner, when it comes to divination.

            As a result, the sitter must have full confidence in the medium's skills, and since there are both good and bad mediums, one must verify their effectiveness over time to build trust in them. He believed that it was necessary and try and see whether the oracle's divination would be accurate. Buddhists, he said, are like scientists in that they double-check everything. He clarified that if you have a precognition, you will improve the certainty of your intuition by telling a lot of people what they think of it, and that you can do so.

            He advised making ratings for anything, such as a 3- or 6-month prophecy, checking the individual who gave it: are they trustworthy? What are their ways of expressing themselves? What are their credentials? What is education? What is the way they dress? Should they have good communication skills? What is their track record? In a related vein, he claims that we would scrutinize all. He used the comparison where someone may look joyful or unhappy, but it's all in their head. He was adamant that our senses can be deceiving, and that our senses are faulty when we're ill.

            The Tibetan tantric teaching that an oracle becomes possessed by a god because of the wind energy in their channels was also stated by Kirti Tsenshabe Rinpoche. The channels are analogous to the nadis of the Yogic tantric tradition, and the wind energy is conceived similarly to prana. He believes that certain people will see into the future because of past-life karma linked to their wind energy. This was echoed by several other people we talked with.

            The art of Mo divination is much more general than oracles. At least one lama who performs Mo divination can be found in almost every monastery. There are also a lot of lay villagers who "do the Mo." According to an article in the Tibetan magazine ‘Cho Yang, the object of divination is to examine a person's life condition to provide advice about how to answer or cope with it. Remedial behavior, such as rituals, evokes constructive energies that may lead to a shift in a person's karma. When a person performs a divination, he or she is dependent on the power bestowed upon him by a deity.

            This strength may have been gained through a past-life bond with the lord and strengthened through retreats that included reciting a mantra a million times, comparing himself with the deity with strong focus, and the generation of spiritual pride. The purpose for performing divination must be genuine, and the primary goal should be to assist human beings.

            This quotation exemplifies the Tibetan practice of combining shamanic and Buddhist practices. Relation with a god is considered an integral part of the psychic act, as it is in the beliefs about the oracle, and the Buddhist teachings of karma and altruistic motivation are stated.

            Eleven separate divination methods are mentioned in the Cho Yang journal paper. Doughball divination is only used by high lamas to assist in the discovery of a significant reincarnation, so it is seldom used. Potential candidates' names are drawn on paper and then rolled into a dough ball. Each candidate's name is placed in an equal-sized ball, with special care taken to ensure that each ball is similar. These balls are set in a sealed bowl in front of a holy stone, such as a temple idol, and monks stay in the temple for three days, reciting prayers day and night.

            The cover is withdrawn on the fourth day, and a high lama rolls the doughballs around in the bowl before one comes out. That's the ball with the response inside.

            This procedure was repeated three times in the case of the new Panchen Lama, who was imprisoned by the Chinese, and each time the same name came up. Dice and Mala divination are the most common types of divination. In Mala divination, the individual carries the mala, which is a string of prayer beads, with the fingers of each hand randomly picking a bead.



            The intervening beads are then counted out three at a time before only one, two, or three remain, revealing the divination's result. Dice would be tossed in a similar way, with the diviner breathing on the dice before casting.

            In most cases, three dice are used. The guidance in the first two types of divination is provided by books that explain what the various results represent. Odd numbers, for example, are considered lucky when rolling the dice, whereas even numbers are considered unlucky. The best result with the mala is three beads. Unlike doughball, dice, and mala divination, which rely on a "random" occurrence providing a significant association with the person's query or synchronicity, direct clairvoyance is used in the next most common method of divination.

            Dorje or Lhamo Yudronma, a guardian god, is known for using mirror divination. The mirror is mounted ceremonially, and ceremonies are done, as with previous Mo types. The diviner sees the deity's manifestations, reflections in writings, and letters. When we went to see Amathaba, a lovely old Tibetan lady who lives in one of the Tibetan settlements in south India, she saw a misty dawn scene that eventually cleared, and she viewed it as an initial challenge that would be resolved. To help resolve the challenges, she suggested asking the local nuns to say special prayers and hang prayer flags. This is a natural occurrence.



            She claims it was a gift she was born with and that it ran in her blood, with her becoming the seventh person to inherit it. In her scenario, three mirrors are stacked vertically in a tub of rice. She sees the deities associated with the divination in two of them, and the actual reading in the front mirror. She is well-liked in the city, and many people seek her advice. You peer at the thumbnail and blow on it to receive the image of thumb nail divination. When the Mo is performed using a mirror or a thumbnail, the diviner is more likely to see specific symbolic visions, which are then translated considering the querent's dilemma.

            Also in this category come precognitive or clairvoyant dreams.

            These, like most Tibetan methods, are associated with a certain god. As in mirror divination, various objects are linked to different objects. We were told about a local woman who sought the advice of a lama, who advised her to have a dream about her dilemma. That night, the lama even recorded their own dream. The lama then compared the two visions and made assumptions, which turned out to be true. Although Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche agrees that prophecies will manifest as visions in dreams, he believes this is less credible because not all dreams are prophecy, and one can never be certain whether a dream is correctly prophetic.

            The querent is usually the one who does the next set of activities. Until 1959, about 80% of Tibetans were semi-nomadic in some way. As a result, their procedures are much easier than previous approaches, and the knowledge needed is mainly whether it is advantageous to perform a particular operation. Nomads are fond of bootstrap divination. The belts, which are made up of wide strips of webbing tape, are folded into squares and then yanked apart. If they separate quickly, it's a good sign; if they tangle, it's called unfortunate. This method of divination has been described to me by several people, and it appears to be quite common in Tibet.

            Tibetans also notice omens such as seeing certain birds, hearing certain songs, or hearing people utter auspicious things, all of which are good. There are a variety of derogatory indicators as well, such as monkey talk or, more surprisingly, watching a black cat cross your way before embarking on a trip. It's odd that a black cat has such a mystique in both Britain and Tibet! Divination may also be done by looking at the fires in a ceremonial fire or watching a butter lamp.

            In this event, the fire god is invoked, and then the blaze is seen. Various kinds of fire have varying meanings. Apart from the value of faith, which is often discussed in interviews with diviners, another aspect that is considered utterly vital is praying to Buddha or a protector deity, most usually Palden Lhamo, who is Tibet's and divination's main protector deity.

            Palden Lhamo is usually concerned with dice and mala divination. Many of the diviners we talked with insisted that they are not psychic; rather, they are the conduit for the god, who guides the roll of the dice, or whatever form they use, by them. They don't believe themselves to be doing anything more than facilitating communication between the querent and the deity. According to Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, if your supplication to the lord is fine, then you will have a good Mo. In addition, having a positive relationship with the god improves your abilities.



            He also claims that those who have a strong belief in Buddhism are stronger at doing the Mo, and that their ability improves over time. It's also critical that the diviner's "steam" channels have been cleansed. Before being found fit to perform Mo divination, one Rinpoche we spoke with had gone through three months of purification rituals, including singing deity-specific mantras, prostrations, and pujas. Divination varies from the most basic "positive or poor luck" omens to finely specialized clairvoyant talents, and from rituals that anybody may do to those that are usually practiced only by monks, as this list of various types of practices shows.

            This part of Tibetan psychic tradition is the one that has the most in common with Buddhist teachings. The shamatha discipline of one-pointed emphasis and the vipassana discipline of contemplative insight are the two meditation disciplines of Buddhism. The development of shamatha calm-abiding, or mental quiescence, is regarded as a necessary first step. Many traditional Mahayana and modern Tibetan Buddhist scriptures, as well as Yogic teachings, connect meditation attainment to the creation of psychic forces.

            Since Buddhist clairvoyancy requires what we term miraculous forces, it seems that this "clairvoyancy" is more like what we might call omniscience in the West, rather than the clairvoyance we study in parapsychology. Traditional Buddhist scriptures speak of the six super knowledges gained by concentration perfection and make it clear that practicing concentration meditation leads to both enlightenment and psychic consciousness, and that one cannot exist without the other. In interviews with various monks, it was repeatedly emphasized that only a small number of individuals achieve samadhi and clairvoyant powers, and that clairvoyance is only 80 percent accurate.

            Only absolute enlightenment leads to omniscience. Not everyone who meditates will achieve samadhi, and not everyone who meditates will develop psychic abilities. To put it another way, there is a genius for enlightenment, a genius for yoga, and a genius for psychic consciousness. While we can all learn something, not everyone is gifted. Just a few people are gifted with genius.

            A new study conducted at a yoga ashram and with Tibetan Buddhist monks found that those who had practiced meditation for longer periods of time, tested by an image examination for precognition and clairvoyance, did appear to have more accurate psychic knowledge. However, since this study is still in its early stages, the teachings can only be considered "suggestively verified" at this time. The yoga studies have been published, while the first Buddhist thesis was discussed at a conference and sent to a journal but has yet to be published.

            Many cultures seem to have certain apprehensions about psychic phenomena. In most civilizations, we hear accounts about paranormal powers being used for derogatory ends, and Tibetan culture, in an obvious contradiction, is no exception. Tibetan culture, as previously said, is still very similar to its shamanic origins. Shamanic civilizations embrace psychic phenomena as a natural fact of life. The wonder and terror that accompany psychic phenomena are very visible in shamanic societies.



            Demons, and the apprehension of them, seem to be widespread in Tibet. Disease, for example, is often believed to be caused by a bad spirit among Tibetans. Someone became sick after a tree in the garden was chopped down, according to legend, and this was linked to the tree's spirit. This is a traditional shamanic notion. Sickness is often linked to a sorcerer who, at someone's invitation, sends an evil spirit, or curse.

            This isn't to suggest that shamans only use their psychic powers for worse, but it is to say that they have been used in this manner often enough for people to grow a mistrust of them. Milarepa's legends, in which he is said to have killed many people at a distance, exemplify the fear of "evil" sorcery and the illusion that people would commit such atrocities. People talking about the individual "mikha- suk" also created a belief in illness.

            In Western culture, this is referred to as the "evil eye," and it refers to damage caused by undue acclaim for some sort of achievement or accomplishment, such as possessing a particularly attractive item or a freshly constructed house that has become the talk of the town. This is thought to be especially dangerous for very young children, who need special care.

            There is also the apprehension of a spirit known as a "disa," which means "smell-eater," which is a captured spirit that runs after food and is said to be pleased by the sheer smell of the food put for it. There is a perception that a spirit may inhabit a living person or a dead person, and that the spirit is always trapped inside an object that once belonged to that person. An amulet is a necklace worn around one's neck to ward off evil or damage. It's always used to keep you safe from damage you don't know about. A "ga'u," a kind of amulet, is a small silver casket that holds relics, images of holy people, and other objects. Tibetans sometimes wear a ga'u under their coat.

            And, of course, the classic case of a guy using a charm to seduce a young person! We found it fascinating that in our interviews with Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, he repeatedly emphasized the role of Buddhism in building a moral sphere in which psychic powers could be used. In several respects, Buddhism is being firmly developed to morally “move on” from some of the issues that arise in shamanic cultures.

            One concern is that when discussing psychic phenomena, you can draw a spirit, which may or may not be helpful. There is a belief, for example, that when you are possessed by a demon, such as the oracles, you stop evolving at the level of the spirit who owns you—or you simply stop developing. Tibetans believe that all ghosts have the potential to hurt us. Many legends exist of a kind of ghost known as "hungry ghosts," as well as others that would draw you to your death. When doing Mo divination, Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche advised being wary of ghostly obstacles.

            They, or other creatures, have the power to hinder and hurt us. He believes that prayer to the guardian god at the start of the divination, good karma, and merit provide us with protection. He further claims that personal growth can be divided into two paths: going into the unconscious and going for super-consciousness. Psi powers, such as oracular trance, dreams, or hypnosis, are usually associated with the former, while spiritual growth is associated with the latter. Spirit communication, as practiced by mediums, is inextricably linked to the unconscious nature of consciousness.

            For Tibetans, this is a complicated and paradoxical topic since, as Buddhists, high lamas perform Mo divination on the behalf of people who come to them for various purposes. They also do tulku identity divination. There are also several oracles, some of which are formal state oracles. As a result, psi is practiced all over the world. The need for defense, as well as the existence of unethical practitioners, is recognized, but there is no prohibition on practicing. Tibetans, according to our translators, are very pleased with this obvious inconsistency.

            The fear of unethical psi use is a very visible surface fear; the fear of pride is a more nuanced fear. It is considered impolite in the Indian subcontinent and among Tibetans to pay some particular attention to psi. Psychic powers are believed to have a negative impact on one's spiritual development. It is emphasized that having achieved Enlightenment, one is no longer troubled psychologically by the acquisition of psychic abilities, while psychic abilities are very tricky by unenlightened individuals, and are synonymous with deceit, glamour, and vanity.

            His Holiness is a saint. In his book Freedom in Exile, the Dalai Lama shares a need for Western science to experiment. When we met with Geshe Samten, the director of the Sarnath Institute, he told me that, while Tibet has a long history of psychic ability, even those who have a reputation for psychic knowledge will doubt their abilities. He claims that claiming to be psychic or “showing off” your ability is frowned upon.

            There must be a real reason for practicing paranormal abilities. Even claiming to have completed a certain stage of meditation is seen as a roadblock on the way to enlightenment. Humility is thought to be necessary for spiritual growth. The Dalai Lama, for example, has stated several times that he is a plain monk who is not clairvoyant.

            Since these are hidden teachings, Tibetans have a history of not speaking about them. The Dalai Lama, for example, writes about Herbert Benson's work with Tum-mo meditators: We agreed to let him go ahead, despite our reservations, because we believe in the importance of modern science. We were aware that many Tibetans were opposed to the proposal. They believed that since the activities in question are based on hidden teachings, they should be kept secret.

            Tibetan monks and nuns who use methods that are believed to be linked to the creation of psychic knowledge swear not to talk about their activity or disclose their skills. Practitioners first take their vows, after which they prepare and exercise. This avoidance of recognizing one's psychic powers, which are thought to manifest at one stage of spiritual maturity on the way, is a tacit awareness of psi and its expression from which we could benefit.

            Another part of the psychic's apprehension is the realization that authority corrupts, and that attractive psychic powers are seen as extremely strong. It is true that such psychic faculties capable of a worldly use, such as the Dibba-cakkhu or clairvoyance, Dibba- sota or clairaudience, Mano-Maya-Kaya or projection of the'astral body' and other paranormal forces, are established in the course of Buddhist meditation, according to Francis Story in an introduction to a book on early Buddhist Pali Canon. The Buddha and the Arhats had those abilities, which they used when necessary to help the ignorant who requested "signs and wonders."

            However, the Buddha mostly despised their use, choosing to disseminate the Dhamma through the "miracle of teaching" and the self-propagating force of reality. They can become attachment-forming faculties in those that are not yet completely emancipated from earthly illusion, and as such must be defended against and conquered in the fight for Nibbanna. According to Buddhism, anybody who engages in concentration activities to gain supernormal powers or Iddhi is doing so with the wrong intention and putting himself in grave danger. If any authority corrupts, supernormal power has the potential to corrupt much further. This is a very real fear, and we're confident that most people will recall instances of this aspect of human life.

            Not claiming to have powers you don't have is one of the Buddhist precepts. As previously mentioned, in our conversations with Kirti Rinpoche, he often mentioned confirming that the practitioner is not a charlatan, for example while discussing oracles. He also said that it is important to examine the psychic practitioner's appearances: "Don't be fooled by appearances; look at what is actually being taught." He emphasized the importance of examining the essence rather than the appearance. He used the metaphor of a poem to caution people against being fooled by pretty words. What is it about psychic powers that fascinates us so much?

            Why do we revere those who have them too easily? This is the source of both the phony psi and the ego glorification that people feel while displaying psychic abilities.

            This is just the start, a glimpsing of a vast and complicated society and its common ideas about the psychic world. His Holiness the Dalai Lama is promoting scientific research into this subject, which we find fascinating. And he's doing so while well mindful of the challenges.

            The peril in linking divine conviction to some empirical theory. This isn't to suggest that we believe the oracle and monks' ability to withstand nights spent outside in subzero temperatures are proof of supernatural abilities. Many who argue that Tibetan approval of these phenomena demonstrates our backwardness and barbarism will find me disagreeable. This is not an empirical attitude, except from the most detailed scientific standpoint.

            However, just because a theory is agreed does not mean that anything associated with it is right. When coping with subjects about which we have no knowledge, extreme caution must always be exercised. This is where science can help, of course. After all, we just think something enigmatic because we don't get it. We also created methods to do things that science cannot yet fully understand by mental conditioning. This, then, is the foundation of Tibetan Buddhism's alleged "magic and mystery."

            Ignorance is a significant roadblock. The aim of the empirical method is “truth.” Is it possible to avoid falling into the pitfalls that accompany the creation and use of psychic abilities if one has a thorough understanding of the psi process? I believe it does, and I believe this is one of the most compelling explanations for conducting parapsychological research in Tibetan culture.