What does Buddhism say about psychic and medium abilities? Well, first of all there’s the terminology; Siddhi or Rddhi is the Sanskrit term used. There are many lists of these supernatural powers, and many examples of them being demonstrated by Buddha and others back in 500BC. There’s also a text of the biographies of the 84 Mahasiddhis (Buddhist psychics) available now with the title “Masters of Mahamudra” from about 1000AD. But later, for instance in a Zen monastery of the 1700’s, you would be kicked out for practicing these abilities. Why? Well, if you go back to what Buddha taught, he said basically that practicing psychic abilities was not as valuable as as learning to care for yourself and others. Zen monasteries grew to become very focused and determined to reach that goal and don’t allow tempting distractions like these abilities. You can see that if the reason you strive to develop such a skill is because it makes you feel good about yourself, then maybe you can’t afford to fail. That leads to delusion, which is the #1 danger of developing those skills according to Rev. Larr who founded the Chapel in 1972. There’s also the pitfall of the consumer of psychic advice, which Hollywood and our culture encourage. Here you could become addicted to finding out what you “should” do; from your life’s goals to what you should buy at the grocery store. So what’s the good side? Rev. Larr’s #1 reason to learn medium skills was to avoid accidentally crossing over by being sensitive to warnings about accidents and such. His #2 reason was that the experience of being a medium removes the fear of death. But it’s tricky to avoid the ego attachment, and I’ve seen many fall into it over the years, and almost none recover from it. The bottom line as I see it is that as you get more settled with yourself and the world, everything gets simpler and easier, and some things that appear supernatural become natural for you to experience. We’re just a part of an evolving Nature, and suffer when we get stuck on specifics whether it’s psychic abilities or more money.

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