Occult & Arcane!

Casual conversation between friends. Anything goes (almost).
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CedarTree
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Occult & Arcane!

Post by CedarTree » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:09 pm

So ancient sources, insights, experiences into this stuff.

Obviously from the Buddhist perspective we have some of this realm in the esoteric traditions of Tibet mostly.

What all subjects, practices, experiences, does Buddhism (Tibetan Buddhism only maybe?) share with this larger framework and the practices from all over the world.

Interesting subject I think to bring the great minds of Dharma Wheel on haha! :applause:

Practice, Practice, Practice

Motova
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Re: Occult & Arcane!

Post by Motova » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:36 pm

:popcorn:
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:58 pm
The four means of converting beings to the Dharma are generosity (which itself as four aspects: giving material gifts, conferring fearlessness, loving kindness and teaching Dharma), pleasant speech, conduct and setting an example.

Motova
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Re: Occult & Arcane!

Post by Motova » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:45 pm

:toilet:
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:58 pm
The four means of converting beings to the Dharma are generosity (which itself as four aspects: giving material gifts, conferring fearlessness, loving kindness and teaching Dharma), pleasant speech, conduct and setting an example.

Motova
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Re: Occult & Arcane!

Post by Motova » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:47 pm

:zzz:
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:58 pm
The four means of converting beings to the Dharma are generosity (which itself as four aspects: giving material gifts, conferring fearlessness, loving kindness and teaching Dharma), pleasant speech, conduct and setting an example.

Motova
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Re: Occult & Arcane!

Post by Motova » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:47 pm

:woohoo:
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:58 pm
The four means of converting beings to the Dharma are generosity (which itself as four aspects: giving material gifts, conferring fearlessness, loving kindness and teaching Dharma), pleasant speech, conduct and setting an example.

Motova
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Re: Occult & Arcane!

Post by Motova » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:48 pm

:sage:
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:58 pm
The four means of converting beings to the Dharma are generosity (which itself as four aspects: giving material gifts, conferring fearlessness, loving kindness and teaching Dharma), pleasant speech, conduct and setting an example.

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CedarTree
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Re: Occult & Arcane!

Post by CedarTree » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:50 pm

Lol the popcorn one sufficed.

Stop being afraid of the knowledge you may be witness to ;)

Seriously I can imagine some like Malcolm (who seems to have studied everything in existence) may actually have some really interesting points on cross-religious understandings and information here!

Practice, Practice, Practice

Motova
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Re: Occult & Arcane!

Post by Motova » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:10 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:58 pm
The four means of converting beings to the Dharma are generosity (which itself as four aspects: giving material gifts, conferring fearlessness, loving kindness and teaching Dharma), pleasant speech, conduct and setting an example.

MiphamFan
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Re: Occult & Arcane!

Post by MiphamFan » Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:39 am

There definitely has been a lot of cross-pollination of influences in esoteric lore all over Eurasia.

Not specifically Buddhist, but the whole Indic idea of a mandala went over to the Muslims who have magic rites involving "Al-Mandal" and which later passed on to Europe with variants of the Almandel/Armadel.

Islamic esotericism honestly is very similar to Indic, more similar than the esotericism of any other culture IMO. They establish the boundaries of the ritual space, request obstructing spirits to leave and they chant mantras on their rosaries for thousands of times. I would say the Muslims got it from the Indians, but Muslims themselves would probably say otherwise.

Mediaeval/Western esotericism had all those elements but not quite in the same order -- they have the rosary and chant Ave Maria/Kyrie Eleison etc, but AFAIK they don't chant any mantras within the ritual circle, although they have long invocations.

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Occult & Arcane!

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:21 am

OP is too vague, give your description, if not definition, of what you mean by occult & arcane "stuff".
Glorious one, creator of all goodness, Mañjuśrī, his glorious eminence!
Manjushri-namasamgiti

Motova
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Re: Occult & Arcane!

Post by Motova » Mon Dec 25, 2017 4:14 pm

Hypnosis is probably the best thing the west has come up with.
Malcolm wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:58 pm
The four means of converting beings to the Dharma are generosity (which itself as four aspects: giving material gifts, conferring fearlessness, loving kindness and teaching Dharma), pleasant speech, conduct and setting an example.

RengeReciter
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Re: Occult & Arcane!

Post by RengeReciter » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:26 am

There's a good deal of overlap between Buddhist practice and the activities that one would find in occult circles. The aims are, of course, very removed from one another (in most cases), but there is most certainly shared space.

Off the top of my head:

1. Communication with non-corporeal beings.

A lot of magic is centered around building relationships with helpful or benign spirits who will carry out the will of the exorcist (one who summons spirits) in a given matter. Traditional witchcraft makes use of familiars, the Western Mystery Tradition enlists hundreds of entities from older tomes of magic called grimoires, and Neopagans evoke deities appropriate to their goals. This is similar to the shamanic elements that you see in Tibetan Buddhism. East Asian Buddhism also features many sutras that speak directly of beings who, having sworn to protect the one who upholds the dharma, respond to the needs of the faithful.

2. Divination

Just about every magical tradition has a means of acquiring information about the near future or distant happenings. Tarot cards, geomancy, blessed bones, pendulums, etc. Some schools of Buddhism use divination in the course of their proceedings as well. I believe that the Shingon sect has their initiates wear a blindfold and toss a flower into a pool of water. Where the flower lands determines their tutelary deity/yidam. The Tibetans are of course famous for their system of Mo.

3. The use of non-material energies

Vajrayana has a lot of in-depth practices surrounding the channeling of esoteric power through the body's meridians, channels, and vessels. Wiccans have much less sophisticated techniques that they employ during their ritual work. Ceremonial magicians do as well.

Hope this helps!

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Occult & Arcane!

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:21 pm

My aunt claims she is a witch. Apparently she 'calls down the moon' every November. I've never seen it move, though.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः
उत्पन्नाजातुविद्यन्तेभावाःक्वचनकेचन

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kirtu
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Re: Occult & Arcane!

Post by kirtu » Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:30 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:21 pm
My aunt claims she is a witch. Apparently she 'calls down the moon' every November. I've never seen it move, though.
Well that's not it means.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Malcolm
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Re: Occult & Arcane!

Post by Malcolm » Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:34 pm

RengeReciter wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:26 am
This is similar to the shamanic elements that you see in Tibetan Buddhism.
What shamanic elements? You mean like the "Shamanic" elements in Nichiren Buddhism?
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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Re: Occult & Arcane!

Post by DGA » Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:53 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:34 pm
RengeReciter wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:26 am
This is similar to the shamanic elements that you see in Tibetan Buddhism.
What shamanic elements? You mean like the "Shamanic" elements in Nichiren Buddhism?
it would be helpful to define "shamanic." Are we referring to exorcisms, spirit possession, and whatnot? I'm not clear on what RengeReciter's meaning of the term might be as it relates to Vajrayana specifically or Tibetan culture generally.

But with regard to the role of shamanic practices viz. Nichiren Buddhism, I refer interested parties to Carmen Blacker's book The Catalpa Bow: A Study of Shamanistic Practices in Japan (Routledge, 2004)

RengeReciter
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Re: Occult & Arcane!

Post by RengeReciter » Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:54 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:34 pm
RengeReciter wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:26 am
This is similar to the shamanic elements that you see in Tibetan Buddhism.
What shamanic elements? You mean like the "Shamanic" elements in Nichiren Buddhism?
A Shaman is to my understanding one who serves as an intercessor between mankind and the constellation of spiritual beings associated with nature and its functions. He mediates when the relationship between these two parties becomes strained as a result of an individual polluting the habitat of a spiritual being or otherwise offering some insult or provocation. The Shaman will most often heal the grievance by pacifying the offended spirit or, when no such peace can be attained, employing more forceful methods to prevent the entity from being able to harm.

When Buddhism came to Tibet, it merged with the indigenous shamanic system, Bon, and took on characteristics and practices from that tradition. John Myrdhin Reynolds (aka Vajranatha), who was initiated into the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism, writes extensively about this cross pollination.
Vajranatha wrote:Furthermore, shamanism continues to be practiced in Tibet in its archaic form and such a practitioner is generally known as a Pawo (dpa'-bo) or Lhapa. This social function is clearly distinguished from that of the Lama or priest. A Lama is usually, although not always, a monk, whether he is nowadays a Buddhist or a Bonpo. In general, a Lama relates to the higher divine reality as a supplicant, communicating with that dimension through the medium of prayer, meditation, and the performing of offering rituals called pujas. In addition, there exists another kind of practitioner, the Ngakpa (sngags-pa) or Tantric magician and exorcist. Whereas the Lama or priest prays and petitions the higher spiritual order, the Tantrika or magician, by virtue of his magical power and his mastery of mantras, or spells and invocations, commands the spirits to obey his will and to do his bidding. The Pawo or shaman, on the other hand, is characterized by ecstasy, the entering into an altered state of consciousness, in order to have direct personal contact with the spirit world. But in Tibet, the methods of these three types of practitioners of healing-- the Pawo or shaman, the Ngakpa or magician, and Lama or priest-- are not necessarily exclusive. Many Ngakpas, although usually married men and not monks, are called Lamas because they also perform pujas or offering ceremonies, as well as shamanic exorcisms and other magical rituals. In addition, they may be accomplished scholars and teachers, having large followings among both monks and lay-people alike, and are not just simple village sorcerers. They may be either Buddhist or Bonpo in terms of their religion, although nowadays the majority of Ngakpas belong to the Nyingmapa school. Moreover, the most Pawo shamans in Tibet, although their shamanic techniques are of a different origin, now identify themselves as Buddhists in terms of their religious affiliation.
I don't know of any overtly shamanic elements in Nichiren Buddhism.

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Occult & Arcane!

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:34 pm

kirtu wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:30 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:21 pm
My aunt claims she is a witch. Apparently she 'calls down the moon' every November. I've never seen it move, though.
Well that's not it means.

Kirt
I don't think she knows what it means either. I'm pretty sure only the High Priestess is supposed to do that.

Of course, like most "witches", she picks and chooses what to take from Gardner and what not to take from him.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः
उत्पन्नाजातुविद्यन्तेभावाःक्वचनकेचन

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Coëmgenu
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Re: Occult & Arcane!

Post by Coëmgenu » Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:35 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:34 pm
kirtu wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:30 pm
Coëmgenu wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:21 pm
My aunt claims she is a witch. Apparently she 'calls down the moon' every November. I've never seen it move, though.
Well that's not it means.

Kirt
I don't think she knows what it means either. I'm pretty sure only the High Priestess is supposed to do that.

Of course, like most "witches", she picks and chooses what to take from Gardner and what not to take from him.
Kind of like a Vajrayāna practitioner who refuses instruction and insists on inferring everything themselves.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः
उत्पन्नाजातुविद्यन्तेभावाःक्वचनकेचन

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Malcolm
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Re: Occult & Arcane!

Post by Malcolm » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:24 pm

RengeReciter wrote:
Sun Dec 31, 2017 8:54 pm
When Buddhism came to Tibet, it merged with the indigenous shamanic system, Bon, and took on characteristics and practices from that tradition.
This is basically nonsense. Not your fault for repeating it, but it is bullshit. This is like calling Japanese Buddhism shamanic because many customs from pre-buddhist Japanese religion were preserved by Japanese Buddhists, such as worshipping the Kami and so on.

The Carmen Blacker book mentioned by Jikan has an excellent account of shamanic currents in Nichiren temples.
Buddhahood in This Life
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔


[A]nything at all that is well spoken is the word of the Buddha.

-- Ārya-adhyāśaya-sañcodana-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra

The different sūtras in accord with the emptiness
taught by the Sugata are definitive in meaning;
One can understand that all of those Dharmas in
which a sentient being, individual, or person are taught are provisional in meaning.

-- Samadhirāja Sūtra

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