The measure of progress in meditation is also something which different people view differently. It also very much depends on the tradition they follow. Generally speaking, the ability to meditate is usually assessed by the depth and length of dwelling in Silence, by the ability to keep one’s attention on the meditation object, by the depth of insights etc.

But the words which resonated with my heart were the words of an outstanding Buddhist meditation teacher Christoph Koeck from Vienna, Austria, who said that to him it was important how the person is able to manifest the qualities that arise from meditation in their everyday life. How they are really loving and patient in going about their everyday duties, their relationships… How they are perceptive and considerate. How they are truthful and conscientious.

Many people judge the degree of a teacher’s spiritual maturity by his or her paranormal abilities. And yet, paranormal abilities are something many black magicians have and even in the general population it is not anything unusual. These abilities slumber in every human being and to what extent, or whether at all, they awaken in us, depends on many circumstances, one of which is one’s purpose in life.  As a criteria of spiritual awakening they are grossly misleading. Besides that, in the philosophy of yoga as well as in Buddhism these abilities are not considered as particularly important. Wise teachers warn us that the siddhis, as they are called, may lead the spirirual seeker astray, diverting him from what is essential.   

This has been beautifully pointed out by a Western disciple of a Thai Buddhist monk. The man noticed that the monk had some paranormal abilities. The monk himself didn’t boast about them, he was absolutely unostentatious but still, they couldn’t be overlooked. And so, this disciple became curious and eventually asked him about it. And the monk gave him a grounding answer: “The purity of heart is important. Everything else are mere games.“

It is also essential to bear in mind that we may have the most enlightened and skilled teacher in the world, if we don’t do our spiritual practices, it will be to no avail to us.

Nobody can walk the path for us.