Padre Pio and His Stage of Spiritual Cultivation
It’s amazing how readily people will recognize a saint in THEIR spiritual tradition, but refuse to recognize the same spiritual phenomenon exhibited by "their" saint when those same phenomena occur to (are manifested by) cultivation adepts in OTHER traditions. People readily find some way to deny them elsewhere, or non-equate them, or use all sorts of other illegitimate mental tricks to prevent an opening up of wisdom.
Of course it’s easy to see the "why" behind the various denials – then people would have to admit to the commonality or non-denominationality of the spiritual path. They’d have to admit a lot of things they wouldn’t like.
They’d have to admit that maybe some other paths were right, too, or at least give up the idea that theirs is the ONLY way …and " Heaven forbid" if that included an entirely different religion! Blasphemy! How could that be possible?
They’d have to admit that there is a commonality to the stages of gong-fu achieved on the spiritual path, and it’s just that some people reach these stages of manifestation, and others don’t … and that there are indeed various levels of achievement that signify success in spiritual practice.
They’d have to admit to a lot of things they don’t want to admit, including a letting go of wrong ideas.
Remember, all the genuine religions and spiritual paths employ common cultivation principles to cultivate the mind to a state of emptiness, and then with that proficiency of mental purity (discriminative emptiness) comes gong-fu or kung-fu. These are the physical and mental transformations, due to mastery of chi and shen in conjunction with the mind, that occur on the spiritual path.
So of course, the lowest stages of spiritual transformation - that give rise to the gong-fu and miraculous stories or abilities most commonly equated with saints - are commonly found across traditions. Why? Because the path is a COMMON PATH. How could it be otherwise? If I’m African and lift weights, my muscles will get bigger. If I’m Chinese and lift weights, my muscles will get bigger. If I’m Russian and take up weight lifting, my muscles will get bigger. If I’m American or Australian and I begin to lift weights, my muscles will get bigger.
And similarly, no matter what my religion, if I cultivate a state of no-thought, emptiness, mental purity, detachment, one-pointedness or however you wish to word it, then I too will achieve the same stages of kung-fu that others do within entirely different traditions if they too cultivate a similar state of EMPTY mind. It’s ridiculous to think otherwise. You’d have to abandon (or bend mightily) the laws of logic and reason to achieve a denial objective.
Sure you can do thaty — just DENY it and refuse to even think about it. That’s why people never make spiritual progress because that type of ridgidity and fixity of holding on to thoughts is the antithesis, the exact opposite of what you HAVE to cultivate to succeed, namely mental detachment or mental emptiness. Just let go of your thoughts and cultivate to see what is truly so instead. Why should impartiality scare you?
These stages are common across ALL genuine traditions. All you have to do is cultivate empty mind, via whatever method your chose, and they will occur. You can read about them for free in the 189 page download at Stages of Kung-fu. Use prayer if you want, or visualization practice, or pranyama breathing exercises, or all sorts of other techniques to attain these stages. Wrap them up in your tradition if that makes you feel better when you practice, but USE them you MUST. It’s ridiculous to listen to book worms as spiritual guides if they don’t actually cultivate these states.
Now a case in point is the Catholic priest, Padre Pio. A great little book entitled Padre Pio: A Catholic Priest Who Worked Miracles and Bore the Wounds of Jesus Christ on His Body, by Brother Michael Dimond, details many of the events in the life of this Christian saint that are clearly the non-denominational stages of samadhi attainments. Similar attainments can be found in the life of the Russian Eastern Orthodox adept, St. Seraphim.
But guess what? These same phenomena are found elsewhere, and it’s because other adepts cultivated similar states of gong-fu.
Padre Pio’s exhibition of biolocation is none other than the simple the achievement of the Taoist yang-shen emanation body, that takes 3 years of devoted practice after the opening up of chi channels that’s found in countless traditions. Nothing secret or mysterious about that there. His flying in the air, as also demonstrated by Milarepa, and Hindu and Taoist adepts, is also a common cultivation phenomena achieved by great kundalini experts. His ability to work without sleep showed that he cultivated shen and samadhi. His instructions on prayer are the same instructions on mindfulness that we find in all sorts of cultivation schools, especially Buddhism ("You must not become distracted….Go on praying without ceasing."). His 125 degree "fevers" were the result of his chasity in conjunction with the kundalini purification of his body that would happen when the real chi of your body ignities from cultivation practice.
What cultivation practice? Any cultivation practice that involves chasitity and one-pointed concentration. You can turn to the yoga schools, or Kashmir Saivism, for more examples. If you are a Sikh or Sufi and cultivate correctly, you will achieve this, too. The same goes for Tibetan Buddhism and Taoism, which refers to this stage as the arousing of the clumsy fire.
What’s the big deal? It’s not a CHRISTIAN phenomenon or Buddhist phenomenon or Taoist or Hindu phenomenon. It’s a common result of the APPLIED principles of spiritual practice, a common stage of achievement. You can use whatever tradition you want to get there, but remember that the stages of achievement are common stages of achievement.
We could easily pair a Padre Pio with a Muktananda and do quite well…
All these common spiritual phenomena can be found in countless other cultivation adepts, though in different religions. Open your eyes, throw out sectarianism, and throw a little logic into the mix rather than grasp to claims of superiroirty and inferiority in dogmas. Start investigating things and your eyes will open. Start cultivating and you will prove this to yourself.
And Why are these same stages of achievement open to you? Because the results of the path are non-denominational. It’s just that people wrap the practices with different dogma to keep them alive and get people to practice in the first place. There are different minds and different levels of wisdom and merit, and so there are needs for different paths.
You can wrap filet mignon with bacon.
You can coat it with gorgonzola cheese.
You can smother it with a blanket of mushrooms.
You can wrap it with a million different tastes and flavors but it’s still filet mignon underneath.
The same goes for the methods to cultivate attainment, and the stages of achievement. That’ wrapping with multiple flavors is how masters ensure the continuity of spiritual practice and the survival of traditions.
Start investigating things to realize the non-denominationality of the path…and start using the excellence sof other traditions to shed light on your own, and improve your own practice.
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