Buddhism and Magick
I recorded a video on Karma and Rebirth and I discuss Tibetan ‘Soul’ magick. Shingon in Japan also engaged in Magick as well, as does Shinto. Daoism in China is all about Magick, astrology, and fortune-telling
None of this is Buddhism, yet you will find plenty of it in Buddhism!
The Zen Center I started with, Dharma Rain Zen Center, did engage in Magical Rituals – Fire protection, calling on deities for blessings, evoking spirits as Dharma protectors and protecting ourselves from evil spirits, and there was also a whole Spiritual Ancestor thing too. Actually, all the Zen Centers in the USA I visited engaged in Magick rituals that came from Japan. There is even a possession ritual where the Priest would invoke a Bodhisattva and let the spirit ‘Posess’ them for a ceremonial purpose (Segaki) – Crazy but true. There is a lot of secret things about Japanese Zen that most have no clue about!!
I did study with the Tibetans for a bit, The FPMT, and much of what they engage in is Soul Magick, a type of immortality in my humble opinion. The FPMT runs a resort called “Land of Medicine Buddha” where they use Healing Magick to cure those who are often diagnosed as terminal. There was a lot of Protection magick as well as calling on Deities to bring about a situation conducive to learning the Dharma. There was also a group of Tibetan Western Monks who would put a curse on anyone you wanted for a fee.
Theravada also has Magick, and I was told by a senior bhikkhu that some sects and monks engage in Magical practices, however, in his sect it was totally forbidden. Yet, he did say that many of the Laymen believe in Magick and go to such monks who know of Magick for various reasons.
There is also plenty of Magick in Western culture too. Pagan magick for sure, and even Christian Magick is a thing if one cares to look for it.
There is also “Black Magick” (Use of Magick for personal gains) and my first Zen teacher was quite aware of such practices and forbid the discussion of such practices or for any of the students to engage in such.
As a layman, I have no restrictions in this regard, however, it is considered unskillful to engage in Magick, as the Buddha spoke to such things.
I have been on the Bodhisattva path for 35 years now. I found that “Magick” is real enough though is a big distraction for the Bodhisattva. Many who go down the Magical path tend to get lost in it without a master to guide them. I have seen monks go crazy who engage in Magick without training, and was told by senior monks of the dangers of Magick, especially those who are untrained and uninitiated (playing with fire). Some Yoga schools and Indian Gurus recklessly push their students into Magick creating all kinds of troubles.