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Can you believe in other beliefs such as astral projection and be a zen buddhist?

Silly question eh… it probably is im just trying to make sense of things because im thinking about doing the zen buddhist thing 🙂
I say the question because zen and buddhism i guess, believe in no self and conciousness is an an idea we made up, just like time is, which is useful to catergorise things.
But things like astral projection believe in a ‘you’ as it were, another body of yourself in the astral world and other planes beyond the physical world.
Now my assumptions are most skeptics and buddhists, many but not all, would think that conflicts alot with some of the philosophies…that its the human ego, that these things are just a product of the mind, a fantasy we may want, a deep desire to have something more meaningful in life such as visiting other planes…
But i really wanna give buddhism a go, and not cancel out that things like astral projection are just manifestations of the mind.
Your thoughts?


  1. Well, Buddhism will take you “as is.” You can come to it with pretty much whatever beliefs you want, because one of the tenets of Buddhism is to question everything, and then accept it if it makes sense to you and reject it if it doesn’t.
    As your study deepens, your views may well change. That exploration and change is all part of the fun. 🙂

  2. I don’t really know the answer to your question. But I will say this: I am borderline an atheist but I consider myself agnostic because I’m open to the possibility of something supernatural.
    The reason I say that is, I’ve had hundreds of astral projections and I can’t deny that it’s real. People pooh-pooh me when I talk about it but I just say, “Sorry, but they’re happening on their own, I’m not causing it to happen!” In the beginning, I didn’t TRY to do this, it just happened to me and I had no idea why or what it was. Later on, I did learn how to make myself have one (which was very hard for me!!) and have had quite a few interesting experiences over the years.
    I’m agnostic, primarily because of these astral projections.

  3. In an important sense, Zen does not care what you believe.
    It is not quite accurate to say Zen and Buddhism believe in no self or believe consciousness is an idea we made up. Zen and Buddhism practice a thorough-going examination of the nature of consciousness and of where our ideas come from. And they practice letting go of mere ideas and beliefs in order to have direct experience of such things as they are.
    Buddhism, especially Zen, is empirical. So my advice to you is not to approach things in terms of “giving Buddhism a go.” Just get on with practicing the techniques. And forget about canceling things out in terms of the ideas you have about the manifestations of the mind. Just stop cherishing opinions and look at how things really are.

  4. Hi there!
    The idea of “no self” is quite nuanced–there is no *separate* self. As Thich Nhat Hanh says, when we say that the cup is empty, we must ask, “Of what?” The cup is full of air, but empty of tea. When we say that we are empty, we must ask, “Of what?” The answer is, “Of a separate existence.” But we still exist! If there is no tea cup, there is nothing to be empty in the first place. The truth is, we are very full, full of all the experiences that have made us, full of our ancestors, full of energy. There is no contradiction between Zen and astral projection.
    Also, the Buddha himself encouraged people to practice their own faiths alongside his teachings.
    I hope this helps!
    Yours always in the Dharma,

  5. The self that practices Buddhism, and astral projection and the imagination of the self interpreting all of them are simply manufactured states. There is no end to conflict as long as there is a desire for congruence. Within congruence/agreement is the germ of conflict inherently. Address this first.


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