Samatha to See Gods.

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Samatha to See Gods.

Postby Son » Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:48 am

For a long time I have been able to feel the presence of devas in certain places, and to understand partially some of their affairs. This only refers to the devas that live parallel to us, on the lowest heavenly sphere, specifically on the surface of earth. These are devas that live in the ground, in plants and trees, and in the air. I've noticed this to be true, on certain occasions. In the house I used to live, deep in the woods, in a field across from that house was a huge round oak tree, which a pleasant deva called his own home. He enjoyed the horses and the bats, and humming in my friend's ear. He was always happy to see me, and delighted in watching over the horses, and endangered fox squirrels who dwelt amid the field with him. I always tried to ask him about learning the Dharma, and he understood little of what I said, but he still enjoyed it very much. This sparked an interest in relating to devas in a spiritual way, rather than just a neighborly way as had been my custom earlier in life. So that is why I'm posting this now.

However as some of my meditation, actually samatha, diminished, so too did my perception of these devas diminish, but my feeling for their presence (a fleeting irresolute feeling) has never gone, the same feeling that's always been there since earliest childhood. Now in this season of this later year of my life, I was taken to a secluded place in this new neighborhood I live in, by a friend, and as we proceeded through the forest path, I became aware that we were entering the earthly dwellingplace of a multitude of gods. I began to see them, first a watchman of some sort, who I bowed to and whose only response was to raise a finger to his lips. We then saw two gods in large puddles of water, gods talking to each other at a dirt crossroads, gods floating in the air above the tree tops, and so on. It was practically a village, and I was distinctly aware that a "lord" of some sort was present, since I felt his awareness of us constantly, and whenever we strayed from the area, I felt his eye over us fade. (Here we glimpsed an asura.)

Eventually my friend took me to the creek she wanted to show me, where there was a male god lounging by a tree, and a female going about her own business. Down in the creek, where the spring water poured from a small tunnel, there was a very young-looking goddess who--I suppose--dwelt in one of the trees growing above the pool or in the water itself. As per usual, nowadays, I was hardly able to understand anything she said, but I could vaguely see her, just as I had vaguely saw the others. This was only because most of them were much brighter than usual--because of the time? Who knows.

I feel like after so many years, waiting around on these feelings, it's time to actively pursue them. I'm going to relate to these gods in a spiritual way, with the Dharma. For the benefit of myself and others. I'm posting this to ask about experience, and to ask about samatha meditation in regards to seeing and hearing godly beings.

Thank you.
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Re: Samatha to See Gods.

Postby Eccedustin » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:37 am

Hmm..So, do you see these Gods physically? Literally? Or do you sense that they are there?
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Re: Samatha to See Gods.

Postby Son » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:57 am

Eccedustin wrote:Hmm..So, do you see these Gods physically? Literally? Or do you sense that they are there?


I've seen them physically before, yes, as a result of long-term samatha. When that was diminished, so was the physicality. The memory, perception that is, it itself a very powerful force here. But inconsistently, I have always been aware of them, since my earliest childhood memories. This is very related. I even have some memories of living as an earth god--very pleasant memories. And someone who had no knowledge of Buddhist teachings once told me that I made them think of a bright man living in a tree. The relatedness of this is really not important, though I'm sure. So that's not my interest or my goal here--my own previous divinity that is. Not important.
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Re: Samatha to See Gods.

Postby Viscid » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:59 am

Ever see any nagas?
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Re: Samatha to See Gods.

Postby Eccedustin » Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:05 am

Son wrote:
Eccedustin wrote:Hmm..So, do you see these Gods physically? Literally? Or do you sense that they are there?


I've seen them physically before, yes, as a result of long-term samatha. When that was diminished, so was the physicality. The memory, perception that is, it itself a very powerful force here. But inconsistently, I have always been aware of them, since my earliest childhood memories. This is very related. I even have some memories of living as an earth god--very pleasant memories. And someone who had no knowledge of Buddhist teachings once told me that I made them think of a bright man living in a tree. The relatedness of this is really not important, though I'm sure. So that's not my interest or my goal here--my own previous divinity that is. Not important.



What do they look like? The Devas?

Tell me about your memories as an earth God.
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Re: Samatha to See Gods.

Postby Son » Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:07 am

Viscid wrote:Ever see any nagas?


I see one almost every time I visit a certain spring. It is very long and thick, but it doesn't have a human body like you see in pictures sometimes. This one in particular has an owl-like man face, you might would say, and antlers of some kind. He is very protective of the entire spring area. The spring itself is a state park. If you want to see the god for yourself, the park is called Ponce de Leon Springs State Park, in Ponce de Leon Springs, Fl. Beautiful place really.

Relating this to the topic, in my thinking if I could communicate with him in some way, I'm wondering how if at all he might help other beings around him, including the multitude of animals under his watch.


Image

That's the spring pool, the place where I usually saw him is the dark shrouded area in the back, behind that gorgeous tree there.
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Re: Samatha to See Gods.

Postby Eccedustin » Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:11 am

Son wrote:
Viscid wrote:Ever see any nagas?


I see one almost every time I visit a certain spring. It is very long and thick, but it doesn't have a human body like you see in pictures sometimes. This one in particular has an owl-like man face, you might would say, and antlers of some kind. He is very protective of the entire spring area. The spring itself is a state park. If you want to see the god for yourself, the park is called Ponce de Leon Springs State Park, in Ponce de Leon Springs, Fl. Beautiful place really.

Relating this to the topic, in my thinking if I could communicate with him in some way, I'm wondering how if at all he might help other beings around him, including the multitude of animals under his watch.


Image

That's the spring pool, the place where I usually saw him is the dark shrouded area in the back, behind that gorgeous tree there.


Do other people see him when you see him or are you the only one?
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Re: Samatha to See Gods.

Postby Viscid » Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:17 am

Son wrote:Relating this to the topic, in my thinking if I could communicate with him in some way, I'm wondering how if at all he might help other beings around him, including the multitude of animals under his watch.


He probably wouldn't listen to advice from some idealistic human with the gall to think they're wiser than he.
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Re: Samatha to See Gods.

Postby Son » Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:18 am

Eccedustin wrote:
Son wrote:
Eccedustin wrote:Hmm..So, do you see these Gods physically? Literally? Or do you sense that they are there?


I've seen them physically before, yes, as a result of long-term samatha. When that was diminished, so was the physicality. The memory, perception that is, it itself a very powerful force here. But inconsistently, I have always been aware of them, since my earliest childhood memories. This is very related. I even have some memories of living as an earth god--very pleasant memories. And someone who had no knowledge of Buddhist teachings once told me that I made them think of a bright man living in a tree. The relatedness of this is really not important, though I'm sure. So that's not my interest or my goal here--my own previous divinity that is. Not important.



What do they look like? The Devas?

Tell me about your memories as an earth God.


Most of them look like exceptionally beautiful people. You see celebrities that are supposed to be "good-looking," but it's like the gods don't even have to try to look lovely, they are just effortlessly stunningly beautiful. The oak tree god I saw wore a robe-like clothe, with an ornamental headpiece. Another one I met in the woods, who was much bigger for some reason, hardly seemed to be wearing anything but it was very difficult to picture him at all, due to lack of samatha. A devi I met who, interestingly enough, lived around my mother's house in that same area, was a very stern looking lady, pale, with a white robe-like clothe on, and a simpler headpiece.

I had always thought that "kumbhandas" didn't actually exist, but I saw two of them one night, while on a hill at someone's else house in the country. They were small, green, wrinkly little things that were just funny to look at. What to call them doesn't matter to me. I also saw a god once, a man, who on that same night actually fell down from the sky, landed on the ground, and made the entire household and outside property actually seem brighter, safer, and more peaceful. He had a great headpiece and he was absurdly beautiful to look at. He seemed a lot stronger somehow than any others I have... witnessed.

But again my focus is to establish more of a relationship, for the sake of helping others and myself spiritually. In this direction.
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Re: Samatha to See Gods.

Postby Son » Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:21 am

Viscid wrote:
Son wrote:Relating this to the topic, in my thinking if I could communicate with him in some way, I'm wondering how if at all he might help other beings around him, including the multitude of animals under his watch.


He probably wouldn't listen to advice from some idealistic human with the gall to think they're wiser than he.


I'm inclined to agree. However, he did take it upon himself to show himself to me. I didn't look for him, he allowed me to know he was there, by glaring at me from across the park. Eventually I thought it was okay to go visit that area (a shady pool where absolutely no one goes, except turtles). One time I visited, he actually appeared, and after I bowed repeatedly, he did something which people normally call blessing. I think that if I spoke to him in the "correct" way, he might hear me out. You know the indigenous Americans learned a lot from these sentient beings. I'm sure he's been in that spot for a long, long time.
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Re: Samatha to See Gods.

Postby Son » Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:51 am

Eccedustin wrote:
Do other people see him when you see him or are you the only one?


I've never been there with anyone who would be able to. So I can't say.
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Re: Samatha to See Gods.

Postby JBG » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:16 am

Son wrote:I feel like after so many years, waiting around on these feelings, it's time to actively pursue them. I'm going to relate to these gods in a spiritual way, with the Dharma. For the benefit of myself and others. I'm posting this to ask about experience, and to ask about samatha meditation in regards to seeing and hearing godly beings.

Thank you.

Why would you want to do that? Do you believe that the devas can teach you Dharma better than some human teachers or do you believe that you can teach Dharma to the devas and gods?

I've read of experiences with devas etc by some Theras of the Thai Forest tradition, but personally I wouldn't want to get involved with them if I had such experiences. I would be afraid that it could lead to things I have no ability to handle by myself. Maybe just for a moment I would intentionally spread the attitude of metta to all living beings and then try to direct my attention elsewhere.

So, in my opinion, it's better to develop samatha-vipassana meditation for the purpose of liberation than for the purpose of discussing with devas and gods. And, regarding the relations with gods and devas, after you have crossed the river and are on a safe ground you don't need the advice of internet forum posters.
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Re: Samatha to See Gods.

Postby Son » Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:40 am

JBG wrote:Why would you want to do that? Do you believe that the devas can teach you Dharma better than some human teachers or do you believe that you can teach Dharma to the devas and gods?

Neither, really. Not completely.

I've read of experiences with devas etc by some Theras of the Thai Forest tradition, but personally I wouldn't want to get involved with them if I had such experiences.

Okay, it would be helpful to hear about those experiences. People reference them often but I've never heard details. Other than that, it's okay if you do not have such experiences, but in that case you can't say much about what I want to do.
I would be afraid that it could lead to things I have no ability to handle by myself.
I've never been afraid of that at all. Not everyone is the same.
Maybe just for a moment I would intentionally spread the attitude of metta to all living beings and then try to direct my attention elsewhere.

I do that anyway, but it doesn't change what's going on. Some people think they can "wish" gods or pretas away sometimes.

So, in my opinion, it's better to develop samatha-vipassana meditation for the purpose of liberation than for the purpose of discussing with devas and gods.

I have always practiced it for the purpose of enlightenment, and it's been beneficial. But I'm not going to achieve nirvana any time soon. What's so bad about trying to accomplish something that I apparently have the elements to explore? There are many things you could use to progress toward enlightenment, that you don't use or even notice. I'm not "wasting" effort. I simply don't have the same background, or paths, that you do. Everyone is different.

And, regarding the relations with gods and devas, after you have crossed the river and are on a safe ground you don't need the advice of internet forum posters.

I have not yet achieved nirvana. And I don't think I'm going to any time soon. In this age it is incredibly rare that nirvana is achieved in the human world, or even sotapannahood. Many humans throughout this age of Dharma have skillfully interacted with the heavenly spheres, many of them in the Pali texts, including the Buddha. Maitreya bodhisattva is living in Tusita as we speak. It doesn't mean all these people weren't "using the methods of enlightenment in the best way," everyone is different. I have good motivations as well as any Dharma Follower.
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Re: Samatha to See Gods.

Postby daverupa » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:01 am

Viscid wrote:
Son wrote:Relating this to the topic, in my thinking if I could communicate with him in some way, I'm wondering how if at all he might help other beings around him, including the multitude of animals under his watch.


He probably wouldn't listen to advice from some idealistic human with the gall to think they're wiser than he.


One might discuss a Sutta about merit with such a being, to some benefit, yes? Maybe craft a short four-line poem about it (or just find one to offer), since that seems to be what devas are fond of.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Samatha to See Gods.

Postby JBG » Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:12 am

Son wrote:Okay, it would be helpful to hear about those experiences. People reference them often but I've never heard details.

Well, see for example:
Patipada, and "The Story of Venerable Ajaan Chob" p.129->
and
Mae Chee Kaew p.109->
from
http://www.forestdhamma.org/books/english/
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Re: Samatha to See Gods.

Postby Viscid » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:31 pm

daverupa wrote:One might discuss a Sutta about merit with such a being, to some benefit, yes? Maybe craft a short four-line poem about it (or just find one to offer), since that seems to be what devas are fond of.


I agree, actually. I like the poem idea-- it'd be a way to express himself authentically without it being some awkward 'discussion.' How about a physical offering as well: food, perhaps? Fruit and nuts? Incense would be a no-no in a forested area.

So, proper procedure would be to: Bow, give offering, recite sutta/poem, bow, exit. Or something along those lines..
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Re: Samatha to See Gods.

Postby JBG » Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:24 pm

I too don't get it, but I don't make fun of it, 'cause I'm sure there are people who get it, whatever it is.
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Re: Samatha to See Gods.

Postby Eccedustin » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:27 pm

Have you tried taking photographs of these Devas?
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Re: Samatha to See Gods.

Postby Rui Sousa » Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:27 am

I believe the Jhanas are a requirement for rebirth in the Deva realms, and a Deva's mind is more often than not in a Jhana state.

I guess a good way to comunicate could be to sit a do samatha. If a Deva recognizes in the human the ability to reach Jhanas it may have some interest in communication.
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Re: Samatha to See Gods.

Postby santa100 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:10 pm

Is it possible to communicate with a Deva? Sure, but...one will need to attain the fourth jhana according to MN 79, Culasakuludayi Sutta (ref: http://tipitaka.wikia.com/wiki/Culasakuludayi_Sutta )
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