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General Forums => Reviews => Topic started by: jah777 on January 23, 2013, 02:54:12 PM

Title: From Tibet to Mount Athos to Elder Paisius
Post by: jah777 on January 23, 2013, 02:54:12 PM
This is an excellent book that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in Tibetan Buddhism and other Eastern non-Christian spiritual traditions.  I wanted to mention the book here because I have not seen much mention of it and the book is fairly new.  The story is narrated of a young man named George who was baptized Orthodox as a baby but then was kidnapped by his grandfather and taken to be raised in a Buddhist monastery.  His grandfather encountered Buddhism only as an old man and marveled at the amazing powers that the monks exhibited.  He grieved that he was too old to become a Buddhist monk himself and cultivate these powers, so he kidnapped his 2 year old grandson so that he could at least be raised in such a monastery and taught all of the secrets of their powers.  By the time the boy became a teenager, he was among the most highly accomplished monks in the monastery and had cultivated incredible powers.  He was even counted among the elite monastics under the Dalai Lama.  Eventually, however, he begins to wonder about where he came from and who his parents were.  He tracked down his parents, encountered Orthodoxy for the first time since he was a baby, and through an encounter with an Orthodox priest he began to wonder whether there was a greater power in Orthodoxy than what he had learned.  He eventually goes to Mt. Athos and meets Elder Paisios. 

The story of George is told by a man who came to know George while he was staying on Mt. Athos.  One story from the life of George that is narrated in the book is found  also in the Life of Elder Paisios written by Hieromonk Isaac, where George attempts to show off his powers to Elder Paisios.  This story relates how George's powers were futile against the power of the sign of the cross, and how the demons beat and harmed him when he was defeated by Elder Paisios. 

George goes into great detail in the book about how the Tibetan monks worship Satan and have all of their powers from the demons, how the demons help them accomplish marvelous things, how Tibetan Buddhist monasticism imitates the Orthodox monastic typicon very well externally but in the service of the Evil One, etc.  George's desire to repent and embrace Orthodoxy, and how the demons to whom he was closely connected created so many hardships for him when he wished to leave their clutches, is also related.  George also provides a very helpful description of the various demons and how they attempt to ensnare us. 

This book is very important, as sadly even some among the Orthodox are ignorant of the demonic powers behind many non-Orthodox spiritual traditions and may be tempted to think that somehow Tibetan Buddhism is "close to" Orthodoxy, or that there is at least something to learn from it.  Such people are not influenced in their thinking by the Scriptures or the Fathers but by the philosophies of this world and "political correctness".  The book is short, concise, but very illuminating and helpful for those who wish to take seriously the spiritual struggle against the invisible enemy.

This book can be purchased from:

http://www.orthodoxchristianchildren.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=1171&category_id=39&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=100001
Title: Re: From Tibet to Mount Athos to Elder Paisius
Post by: ialmisry on January 23, 2013, 03:01:35 PM
This is an excellent book that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in Tibetan Buddhism and other Eastern non-Christian spiritual traditions.  I wanted to mention the book here because I have not seen much mention of it and the book is fairly new.  The story is narrated of a young man named George who was baptized Orthodox as a baby but then was kidnapped by his grandfather and taken to be raised in a Buddhist monastery.  His grandfather encountered Buddhism only as an old man and marveled at the amazing powers that the monks exhibited.  He grieved that he was too old to become a Buddhist monk himself and cultivate these powers, so he kidnapped his 2 year old grandson so that he could at least be raised in such a monastery and taught all of the secrets of their powers.  By the time the boy became a teenager, he was among the most highly accomplished monks in the monastery and had cultivated incredible powers.  He was even counted among the elite monastics under the Dalai Lama.  Eventually, however, he begins to wonder about where he came from and who his parents were.  He tracked down his parents, encountered Orthodoxy for the first time since he was a baby, and through an encounter with an Orthodox priest he began to wonder whether there was a greater power in Orthodoxy than what he had learned.  He eventually goes to Mt. Athos and meets Elder Paisios. 

The story of George is told by a man who came to know George while he was staying on Mt. Athos.  One story from the life of George that is narrated in the book is found  also in the Life of Elder Paisios written by Hieromonk Isaac, where George attempts to show off his powers to Elder Paisios.  This story relates how George's powers were futile against the power of the sign of the cross, and how the demons beat and harmed him when he was defeated by Elder Paisios. 

George goes into great detail in the book about how the Tibetan monks worship Satan and have all of their powers from the demons, how the demons help them accomplish marvelous things, how Tibetan Buddhist monasticism imitates the Orthodox monastic typicon very well externally but in the service of the Evil One, etc.  George's desire to repent and embrace Orthodoxy, and how the demons to whom he was closely connected created so many hardships for him when he wished to leave their clutches, is also related.  George also provides a very helpful description of the various demons and how they attempt to ensnare us. 

This book is very important, as sadly even some among the Orthodox are ignorant of the demonic powers behind many non-Orthodox spiritual traditions and may be tempted to think that somehow Tibetan Buddhism is "close to" Orthodoxy, or that there is at least something to learn from it.  Such people are not influenced in their thinking by the Scriptures or the Fathers but by the philosophies of this world and "political correctness".  The book is short, concise, but very illuminating and helpful for those who wish to take seriously the spiritual struggle against the invisible enemy.

This book can be purchased from:

http://www.orthodoxchristianchildren.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=1171&category_id=39&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=100001

how did they hide George in the Dalai Lama's entourage until this exposé?   I should think he would stick out and attract attention before then.
Title: Re: From Tibet to Mount Athos to Elder Paisius
Post by: Jetavan on January 23, 2013, 03:13:04 PM
Interesting book. Are there any reviews? It's not on Amazon.
Title: Re: From Tibet to Mount Athos to Elder Paisius
Post by: psalm110 on January 25, 2013, 06:46:52 AM
Do Buddhist monks have powers ?.
Title: Re: From Tibet to Mount Athos to Elder Paisius
Post by: Ansgar on January 25, 2013, 07:13:28 AM
Do Buddhist monks have powers ?.
Well, I think it depends on which kind of buddhism it is. Since buddhism, historically, have been very good at assimilating into other cultures, it has often incorporated native beliefs into its own belief system. The belief that monks can acquire magical powrs might well be a result of such fusion.

I have read that some people claim to have seen tibetan monks levitate above the ground. 
Title: Re: From Tibet to Mount Athos to Elder Paisius
Post by: Iconodule on January 25, 2013, 10:11:40 AM
Do Buddhist monks have powers ?.

Highly cultivated Vajrayana monks and lamas, called siddhas, have a number of powers. This can include clairvoyance, ability to control weather, levitation, etc. A highly publicized and well-documented power of some Buddhist practitioners is the practice of tummo, one of the six esoteric yogas of Naropa, where the adept generates heat by meditation and can remain warm even in freezing environments.

Buddhist teachers will constantly say that the attainment of such powers is not the purpose of Buddhist practice, but nevertheless these stories circulate to beguile the faithful.
Title: Re: From Tibet to Mount Athos to Elder Paisius
Post by: Iconodule on January 25, 2013, 10:13:09 AM
Do Buddhist monks have powers ?.
Well, I think it depends on which kind of buddhism it is. Since buddhism, historically, have been very good at assimilating into other cultures, it has often incorporated native beliefs into its own belief system. The belief that monks can acquire magical powrs might well be a result of such fusion.

I have read that some people claim to have seen tibetan monks levitate above the ground. 

The belief in siddhis is rooted in Buddhism itself and the sutras generally attribute various magical powers to the Buddha. While there are many commonalities with Hinduism here, the explanations of these powers are authentic to Buddhist philosophy.
Title: Re: From Tibet to Mount Athos to Elder Paisius
Post by: psalm110 on January 25, 2013, 10:17:23 AM
Klaus Kenneth was a buddhist monk he mentions in his testimonys he would see demons when meditating. His testimony is on YouTube. http://youtu.be/Z0ydiMuju-c
Title: Re: From Tibet to Mount Athos to Elder Paisius
Post by: Iconodule on January 25, 2013, 10:23:03 AM
Klaus Kenneth was a buddhist monk he mentions in his testimonys he would see demons when meditating. His testimony is on YouTube. http://youtu.be/Z0ydiMuju-c

Well, remember many Christian monks, including saints, report seeing demons when praying or engaged in other pious activities.

A lot of the Buddhist "saints" reported seeing demons, being taunted or attacked by them. They are typically ignored or revealed to be illusory.

There is even a tantric practice called Chöd (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ch%C3%B6d) where the practitioner visualizes himself being eaten alive by demons. Among other things this practice is supposed to undermine attachment to the body.
Title: Re: From Tibet to Mount Athos to Elder Paisius
Post by: Alpo on January 25, 2013, 10:26:18 AM
Do Buddhist monks have powers ?.
Well, I think it depends on which kind of buddhism it is. Since buddhism, historically, have been very good at assimilating into other cultures, it has often incorporated native beliefs into its own belief system. The belief that monks can acquire magical powrs might well be a result of such fusion.

I have read that some people claim to have seen tibetan monks levitate above the ground. 

The belief in siddhis is rooted in Buddhism itself and the sutras generally attribute various magical powers to the Buddha. While there are many commonalities with Hinduism here, the explanations of these powers are authentic to Buddhist philosophy.

Are you a former Buddhist or something? You seem to have in-depth knowledge of all things Buddhist.
Title: Re: From Tibet to Mount Athos to Elder Paisius
Post by: jmbejdl on January 25, 2013, 10:27:10 AM
Klaus Kenneth was a buddhist monk he mentions in his testimonys he would see demons when meditating. His testimony is on YouTube. http://youtu.be/Z0ydiMuju-c

I believe that I saw a demon whilst meditating. At the time I didn't know what exactly to make of it, though it certainly scared me. It's one of the things that led to me leaving Buddhism.

James
Title: Re: From Tibet to Mount Athos to Elder Paisius
Post by: Ansgar on January 25, 2013, 10:28:15 AM
Do Buddhist monks have powers ?.
Well, I think it depends on which kind of buddhism it is. Since buddhism, historically, have been very good at assimilating into other cultures, it has often incorporated native beliefs into its own belief system. The belief that monks can acquire magical powrs might well be a result of such fusion.

I have read that some people claim to have seen tibetan monks levitate above the ground. 

The belief in siddhis is rooted in Buddhism itself and the sutras generally attribute various magical powers to the Buddha. While there are many commonalities with Hinduism here, the explanations of these powers are authentic to Buddhist philosophy.
Thank you. I wasn't absolutely sure. I just knew that buddhism often mix with native religion so I thought that this could also have been the case here.
Title: Re: From Tibet to Mount Athos to Elder Paisius
Post by: Iconodule on January 25, 2013, 10:30:45 AM
Do Buddhist monks have powers ?.
Well, I think it depends on which kind of buddhism it is. Since buddhism, historically, have been very good at assimilating into other cultures, it has often incorporated native beliefs into its own belief system. The belief that monks can acquire magical powrs might well be a result of such fusion.

I have read that some people claim to have seen tibetan monks levitate above the ground. 

The belief in siddhis is rooted in Buddhism itself and the sutras generally attribute various magical powers to the Buddha. While there are many commonalities with Hinduism here, the explanations of these powers are authentic to Buddhist philosophy.

Are you a former Buddhist or something? You seem to have in-depth knowledge of all things Buddhist.

Yes, I was formerly a Karma Kagyu Buddhist. No, I was never able to levitate or teleport.  :)
Title: Re: From Tibet to Mount Athos to Elder Paisius
Post by: psalm110 on January 25, 2013, 10:42:41 AM
Quote

Yes, I was formerly a Karma Kagyu Buddhist. No, I was never able to levitate or teleport.  :)

Did you kno any monks that could fly or even teleport ?.
Title: Re: From Tibet to Mount Athos to Elder Paisius
Post by: Iconodule on January 25, 2013, 10:47:50 AM
Quote

Yes, I was formerly a Karma Kagyu Buddhist. No, I was never able to levitate or teleport.  :)

Did you kno any monks that could fly or even teleport ?.

I met lamas with such supposed abilities but never witnessed anything myself.
Title: Re: From Tibet to Mount Athos to Elder Paisius
Post by: Ansgar on January 25, 2013, 11:27:10 AM
Do Buddhist monks have powers ?.
Well, I think it depends on which kind of buddhism it is. Since buddhism, historically, have been very good at assimilating into other cultures, it has often incorporated native beliefs into its own belief system. The belief that monks can acquire magical powrs might well be a result of such fusion.

I have read that some people claim to have seen tibetan monks levitate above the ground. 

The belief in siddhis is rooted in Buddhism itself and the sutras generally attribute various magical powers to the Buddha. While there are many commonalities with Hinduism here, the explanations of these powers are authentic to Buddhist philosophy.

Are you a former Buddhist or something? You seem to have in-depth knowledge of all things Buddhist.

Yes, I was formerly a Karma Kagyu Buddhist. No, I was never able to levitate or teleport.  :)
Was that before or after the death of the 16th Karmapa?
Title: Re: From Tibet to Mount Athos to Elder Paisius
Post by: Iconodule on January 25, 2013, 12:04:49 PM
Do Buddhist monks have powers ?.
Well, I think it depends on which kind of buddhism it is. Since buddhism, historically, have been very good at assimilating into other cultures, it has often incorporated native beliefs into its own belief system. The belief that monks can acquire magical powrs might well be a result of such fusion.

I have read that some people claim to have seen tibetan monks levitate above the ground. 

The belief in siddhis is rooted in Buddhism itself and the sutras generally attribute various magical powers to the Buddha. While there are many commonalities with Hinduism here, the explanations of these powers are authentic to Buddhist philosophy.

Are you a former Buddhist or something? You seem to have in-depth knowledge of all things Buddhist.

Yes, I was formerly a Karma Kagyu Buddhist. No, I was never able to levitate or teleport.  :)
Was that before or after the death of the 16th Karmapa?

After. I was immediately faced with the confusion and sordidness of the 17th Karmapa controversy.
Title: Re: From Tibet to Mount Athos to Elder Paisius
Post by: Jetavan on January 25, 2013, 12:33:41 PM
Do Buddhist monks have powers ?.
Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism posit that the practice of meditation can lead to various sorts of siddhi (Sanskrit) or iddhi (Pali).

The greatest holy persons in these traditions always stress that the development of siddhis/iddhis can help encourage one's faith and practice, but one should not make it one's goal to gain such powers, since being attached to the powers can lead to pride and egoism. The Hindu sage Ramakrishna (19th century), said that the gaining of such powers in fact prevents communion/union with God.