Meditation misconception — You will gain psychic powers
Well, that’s actually not a real misconception because the practice of meditation can help you gain and/or increase psychic abilities.
The misconception is that meditation should be used to reach those psychic levels of power. During the bygone time of the Buddha, there were countless of monks and others who had psychic abilities.
Two people in particular were famous for their psychic powers. The first one was obviously the Buddha. The second one was Maha Moggallana. He was of one of the Buddha’s closest disciples.
He was known to have the ability to penetrate other people’s thoughts. He was also very adept at telekinesis, astral travel and was known to have the dive war and eye. I would not bother going into the details and specifics of those power because they do not matter.
The Buddha was strongly “opposed” to the use of psychic powers and even though they were used during certain situations when it was needed. The Buddha asked the monk to not used their powers. He did that in order for the other people to be enamored with those powerful yet futile powers.
Meditation was never about developing super human abilities. Meditation is about the cessation of suffering for ourselves and others. That’s why, the Buddha never spent any time to promote or advocate psychic powers.
Some people can have innate predisposition for psychic powers because of their karma and past lives. They can be directly developed through meditation as a byproduct of the cultivation of the mind but they should never be the goal.
If you have some abilities, you don’t need to be ashamed either. It is what it is. There is nothing wrong with having those kinds of abilities just beware of what you do with them. For those of you who want to try to develop those psychic powers. Please bear in mind, that it might take years and even lifetimes to get to a certain level.
Plus, you need to have a mind that is really pure. I heard a story of a monk who had the ability to levitate very high, he could pretty much fly. However, as soon as he would have unwholesome thoughts his abilities would wane so save yourself the time. Meditation is not about gaining anything. Meditation is about letting go, stillness and peace