Ajahn Chah's Telepathy

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Viscid
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Ajahn Chah's Telepathy

Postby Viscid » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:00 pm

So, some of the disciples of Ajahn Chah believe he had telepathic powers.

Here,

Ajahn Jayasaro tells an anecdote about how Ajahn Chah read someone's mind that they were really hungry and going to take more rice than usual.

I recall listening to an Ajahn Brahm dhamma talk where he says that Ajahn Chah was answering someone's questions of which they told Brahm was jibberish, but made perfect sense to Brahm because he said Chah was answering his questions by reading his mind. I can't find that talk now though.

Regardless, it disappoints me that the people involved in these anecdotes did not simply ask Chah whether or not he was telepathic. (What's the harm in asking?) Or, in the case of Jayasaro, think that there may be more plausible explanations other than his teacher having extraordinary superpowers. (Maybe Chah knew that the disciples was sick for a couple days prior and would probably be hungry that day?)

I'd imagine the whole telepathy thing is just a byproduct of students' romantic, mystical ideations about their teacher, and not a real phenomenon. :shrug:
Last edited by Viscid on Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ajahn Chah's Telepathy

Postby bodom » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:06 pm

Viscid wrote:I'd imagine the whole telepathy thing is just a byproduct of students' romantic, mystical ideations about their teacher, and not a real phenomenon.


Not according to the Buddha.

"Kevatta, there are these three miracles that I have declared, having directly known and realized them for myself. Which three? The miracle of psychic power, the miracle of telepathy, and the miracle of instruction.


Kevatta (Kevaddha) Sutta: To Kevatta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah

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Re: Ajahn Chah's Telepathy

Postby Kenshou » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:11 pm

I suspect that being a really good teacher, being skilled at reading people, could be mistaken for something more by those willing to see it as such.

Or maybe he was psychic, who knows. Too late to find out now!

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Re: Ajahn Chah's Telepathy

Postby Moggalana » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:11 pm

Have you ever heard of so-called mirror neurons? Maybe telepathy works similar, only more subtle. Or it's just gibberish...
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Re: Ajahn Chah's Telepathy

Postby Viscid » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:12 pm

:stirthepot:
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Re: Ajahn Chah's Telepathy

Postby bodom » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:26 pm

"And what is the miracle of telepathy? There is the case where a monk reads the minds..mental events..thoughts..ponderings of other beings, and individuals, [saying,] 'Such is your thinking, here is where your thinking is, thus is your mind.'"Then someone who has faith..conviction in him sees him reading the minds... of other beings... He reports this to someone who has no faith and no conviction, telling him, 'Isn't it awesome..astounding,..great the prowess of this contemplative. Just now I saw him reading the minds... of other beings...'"Then the person without faith..conviction, would say to the person with faith and conviction: 'Sir, there is a charm called the Manika charm by which the monk read the minds... of other beings...' What do you think, Kevatta — isn't that what the man without faith, without conviction, would say to the man with faith and with conviction?""Yes, lord. ""Seeing this drawback to the mirale of telepathy, Kevatta, I feel horrfied,..disgusted with the miracle of telepathy."
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah

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Re: Ajahn Chah's Telepathy

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:45 pm

Moggalana wrote:Have you ever heard of so-called mirror neurons? Maybe telepathy works similar, only more subtle. Or it's just gibberish...


personally i think this is a perfectly reasonable way to look at the phenomenon. i have been around monks who on several occasions have done things like this, to both me and a friend, just known our minds without asking questions or us even having spoken to them yet, and not just on trivial matters but specific topics. its out there. students of ajaan mun report he could do the same.
my idea here in regards to mirror neurons is, if one has enough insight into their own minds, and if mirror neurons "fired" in their minds due to contact with another, then essentially they are not reading the other's mind, but knowing their own minds. does this make sense? this is why you would gain this ability through meditation.
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Re: Ajahn Chah's Telepathy

Postby Viscid » Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:48 pm

jcsuperstar wrote:if one has enough insight into their own minds, and if mirror neurons "fired" in their minds due to contact with another, then essentially they are not reading the other's mind, but knowing their own minds. does this make sense? this is why you would gain this ability through meditation.


Sure. I'm convinced that cultivating self-awareness and compassion results in heightened empathy, and that good teachers are very good psychologists who can read people well. But you cannot call this ability 'telepathy,' as we all have this ability to a certain extent; empathy is not extraordinary. Knowing how other people are feeling and thinking based on facial expression or context is an essential aspect of social communication.
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Re: Ajahn Chah's Telepathy

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:43 am

:stirthepot:
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Ajahn Chah's Telepathy

Postby PeterB » Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:05 am

I saw Ajahn Chah quite a lot and learned much from him. Did he have Iddhis ?
Dont know. Dont care.

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Re: Ajahn Chah's Telepathy

Postby Aloka » Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:50 am

PeterB wrote:I saw Ajahn Chah quite a lot and learned much from him. Did he have Iddhis ?
Dont know. Dont care.


Peter I'm intrigued, did he visit the UK or did you see him in Thailand ?

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Re: Ajahn Chah's Telepathy

Postby PeterB » Thu Jul 22, 2010 10:41 am

He visited Chithurst more than once Aloka, and also his centres in the USA.

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Re: Ajahn Chah's Telepathy

Postby Aloka » Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:49 am

PeterB wrote:He visited Chithurst more than once Aloka, and also his centres in the USA.



That must have been wonderful, Peter !

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Re: Ajahn Chah's Telepathy

Postby PeterB » Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:14 pm

Yes it was.
:anjali:

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Re: Ajahn Chah's Telepathy

Postby Annapurna » Thu Jul 22, 2010 1:45 pm

Viscid wrote:Regardless, it disappoints me that the people involved in these anecdotes did not simply ask Chah whether or not he was telepathic. (What's the harm in asking?)


What's the use in knowing?
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Re: Ajahn Chah's Telepathy

Postby fabianfred » Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:12 am

If one practices Samatha concentration meditation to the fourth jana then telpathy is one of the possible attainments....as is knowledge of past lives....being able to see beings in other realms......being able to fly.

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Re: Ajahn Chah's Telepathy

Postby simplemind » Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:27 am

Wow. I've not learned to read my own mind yet ;)

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Re: Ajahn Chah's Telepathy

Postby suriyopama » Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:17 am

Buddhist Monastic Code II - Chapter 10 - Misbehavior

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... .ch10.html

In AN III.61, the Buddha tells a brahman that many hundreds of his bhikkhu disciples are endowed with psychic powers. Nevertheless, he forbade them from displaying those powers to householders.

"A miracle of psychic power, a superior human state, should not be displayed to householders. Whoever should display it: an offense of wrong doing." — Cv.V.8.2

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Re: Ajahn Chah's Telepathy

Postby jcsuperstar » Mon Aug 02, 2010 2:57 am

Viscid wrote:
jcsuperstar wrote:if one has enough insight into their own minds, and if mirror neurons "fired" in their minds due to contact with another, then essentially they are not reading the other's mind, but knowing their own minds. does this make sense? this is why you would gain this ability through meditation.


Sure. I'm convinced that cultivating self-awareness and compassion results in heightened empathy, and that good teachers are very good psychologists who can read people well. But you cannot call this ability 'telepathy,' as we all have this ability to a certain extent; empathy is not extraordinary. Knowing how other people are feeling and thinking based on facial expression or context is an essential aspect of social communication.

empathy is way different from what I'm talking about experiencing.
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Re: Ajahn Chah's Telepathy

Postby Being Person » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:45 pm

This is an interesting topic to me and I have a fair amount of questions about the topic of discussion, psychic powers, telepathy and miracles? In truth the three words individually include consideration for absence of knowing what really happened or there is a mystery of some sort that people generally aren't familiar with and maybe wonder about. A manner of labeling something that holds what might result in delusion of some sort at some time or other.

Quite simply, in my opinion, it's a manner of attainment antiquated with mental formations and some sense of what might be considered a knowing presence with the formless realms where abiding in awareness includes seeing with the mind as if mind functions like a the sight sense door despite the absence of visual seeing. Such manners of abiding could be construed as communing, which would require inscrutable considerations.

In general, as I'd describe what I imagine such perspectives to be derived from, it's a manner of abiding with beings of the non-physical realms with a familiarity of such realities where the dynamics of reality in the presence of human beings holds particular dramas concerning the journey's of many beings interacting and interplaying of different dimensions, conscious and subconscious, and different conditioned realities associated with the different dimensional realities. Or, a clarity of knowing which is inherently freeing pertaining to the reality of transcendent awareness, in some respects, that which knows resolution of indifferences.
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