Is Levitation Possible?


Levitation is the stuff of lore and legend.  Magicians have been creating the illusion for hundreds, if not thousands of years, and the topic comes up in spiritual circles too.  Can yogis and monks really levitate?  Well, before we answer, let’s take a moment to question the questioner.  Why is this question arising in the first place?  Is it not because we’re always drawn towards sensationalism?  Would most people not see something like this as entertainment?  It’s why the news is dramatized – it draws the crowds, and it sells.

The fact is that whether levitation is true or not, whether miracles really occur, and whether siddhis (spiritual gifts) are real, we need to recognize that the question is an egoic pursuit.  To a true mystic, these questions simply do not arise because they know that life is an infinite mystery and any occurrence that is not in their daily experience is simply that.  These things are not a miracle, in fact we can say they are perfectly natural, but simply not in everyday experience.  In the mystical traditions, spiritual gifts are very often kept secret precisely because of the danger of sensationalism, and egoic grasping.  Often, only when a practitioner is well beyond the power of the ego, will Grace avail the siddhis.  There are many cases of course where people do have certain gifts and talents, and are not on the egoless path, and we see plainly where that leads.

We can now answer the original question, realizing that these abilities don’t add to life, nor are they worthwhile pursuits.  They’re simply byproducts of a life lived in clarity.  The masters always advise seekers not to pay any attention to siddhis, because the ego will grasp.  Now then, open your mind and see how little science knows about the wonders of existence.  So yes, there are ways in which one can become less available to gravity.  There are certain spiritual practices, and yogic kriyas, that enable this state.  Also, when kundalini spikes with great force, one may find themselves bouncing in a way.  A live body feels lighter than a dead body – if you’ve ever carried a lifeless body, you know.  If you have been a meat eater, and you switch to a vegetarian diet, you feel lighter do you not?

But to come back to the original point: “It is related that Sakyamuni [the historical Buddha] once dismissed as of small consequence a feat of levitation on the part of a disciple, and cried out in pity for a yogin by the river who had spent twenty years of his human existence learning to walk on water, when the ferryman might have taken him across for a small coin.”  – Peter Matthiessen



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