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Ghosts and spirits

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  • Ghosts and spirits

    Dear monastics,

    To introduce myself: I am a practitioner of Buddhism and Yoga and I live in an ordaniry town in Germany.

    The following question has been attracting my curiosity lately:

    What do I have to do in order to be able to see/feel/recognize ghosts or, say, tree spirits?
    Is there any mental prerequisite in order to be able to do that?
    If I ever see one, is it possible to talk to them? How do they behave? Why are they here?
    Can they be found everywhere, or only at special places?
    Do you think that seeing such unusual beings would be beneficial in the sense that it could invigorate my practice of the Dhamma?

    Kind regards,
    Michael Steinfeld

  • #2
    Dear Michael,

    If seeing ghosts/spirits doesn't come naturally to you, it is usually no simple matter to get to the point where you can see them. What is required, according to Buddhism, is deep meditation, and even then there is no guarantee you will see these things. So keep practicing your mediation until you achieve a proper state of samādhi, and then these phenomena will sometimes appear on their own.

    Yes, it is theoretically possible to talk to them. The Buddha is said to have done this prior to his awakening. But again, it takes a lot of dedication to get to that point.

    You don't have to be in any particular place. Meditation gives you access to these phenomena independent of where you are.

    Perhaps it will invigorate your practice, perhaps it won't. Sometimes these things are so fascinating in their own right that they can distract you from the main task at hand, which is practicing the eightfold path. A much more powerful incentive to practice is reflecting on suffering. The more clearly you see that there is a problem to be overcome, the more powerful your practice will be.

    With metta.


    • #3
      Thank you very much, Ajahn Brahmali, for that reply.



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