Joseph Goldstein – Insight Hour – Ep. 160 – The Five Iddhis

Joseph Goldstein explores the Buddha’s concept of the Five Iddhis, which are the five elements of the teachings we need to bring to completion in order to truly awaken our hearts and minds.

This dharma talk from October 9, 1989, was originally published on Dharma Seed.

“This Iddhi of psychic power is inferior to the Iddhi of understanding. When the Buddha was asked what the true miracle was, he said the real miracle is the awakening of people’s minds, it’s not the flying through the air or the diving in the earth, it’s the awakening of the mind, the awakening of the heart.” – Joseph Goldstein

In this episode, Joseph shares his insight into:

  • The Sanskrit term, Iddhi, which refers to the particular power of something, bringing to completion a particular situation
  • The difference between psychic Iddhis and Iddhis of understanding and insight
  • The Buddha’s concept of the Five Iddhis, which are five elements of the teachings we need to fulfill to truly awaken our hearts and minds: fulfillment of special knowledge of the Dhamma; coming to a full understanding of the truth of suffering; bringing to completion the abandoning of the causes of suffering; the fulfillment of coming to the end of suffering; and the development of the path of practice
  • The Buddha’s concept of the four Iddhipadas, which are characteristics that are the road to success in our practice: zeal, effort, love of the Dhamma, and inquiry.
Ram Dass takes on miracles, psychedelic powers, and more astral fun and games in Here and Now Ep. 154

About Joseph Goldstein:

Joseph Goldstein has been leading insight and loving-kindness meditation retreats worldwide since 1974. He is a co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, where he is one of the organization’s guiding teachers. In 1989, together with several other teachers and students of insight meditation, he helped establish the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.

Listen to more from Joseph:

In the search for liberation, we must explore the nature of our existence. Joseph investigates the wisdom of impermanence in Insight Hour Ep. 2.
There are deeper levels of truth about reality. Joseph explores different ways of freeing the mind by understanding the habits of preference and the emptiness of thoughts in Insight Hour Ep. 41.
There are many nuances to the concept of Right Effort. Joseph explains how that effort can help us build real momentum in our spiritual practice in Insight Hour Ep. 83.
It’s possible to smile at the antics of one’s own mind. Joseph offers responses to questions about selflessness, shame, cravings, and more in Insight Hour Ep. 111.
Metta practice can penetrate deeply. Joseph explores how love, kindness, gratitude, and friendship can revolutionize our lives in Insight Hour Ep. 117.

Photo via Dragana Gordic