Sunday, July 15, 2018

Via Lionsroar / Four Steps to Magical Powers

Four Steps to Magical Powers
Before you fully embark on the path of the bodhisattvas and buddhas, says Chan master Sheng Yen, you must first practice the four steps to magical powers. What are these steps and what are the magical powers you need?
In both the early Buddhist and Mahayana traditions, there are records of supernatural powers being used. But what did the Buddha do when he was hungry? Did he conjure up a feast or have one catered by a deity? No, he walked around with his alms bowl begging for food. After he attained buddhahood, he walked from village to village spreading the dharma. He didn’t fly through the air. He didn’t magically erect monasteries but instead relied on laypeople to build them and to sew robes for the sangha. Before entering parinirvana, he received an offering of food that was tainted. You would think that he would have used his supernatural powers to know the food was bad, but instead he ate it and became very sick. So even though the Buddha possessed supernatural powers, he did not use them in self-centered ways.

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