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About Armando

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  1. The Transformation of Emotions

    I agree. It's good to be as objective as we can regarding our more difficult emotions, and that includes identifying and defining them correctly.
  2. What do you sleep on?

    During the seven years in my monastery in Kathmandu, I was sleeping in a traditional 'meditation box', and usually for no more than four hours a night. Living in Germany again, I no longer do that, but I am content with a simple mat on the floor. And I still don't sleep very much.
  3. Of course, I respect the lineages too. However, I encouraged you to share your personal experience because I knew this wouldn't touch upon any lineage questions. Your personal experience is yours alone. Where you should go from there is another matter entirely.
  4. Nevertheless, it is interesting that you discovered these Tummo basics spontaneously by yourself during your practice. It is another example illustrating that the methods of Bön and Vajrayana are by no means something artificial and imposed on the practitioner, but that they draw on natural processes. An observation that I tend to highlight in my teaching; especially beginners in the west often find this insight helpful as they can be somewhat perplexed by some of the methods at first. But you are quite right, it is better not to try taking your Tummo practice to the next level on your own, i.e. without personal instruction allowing you to do this safely.
  5. I agree with the latter view, overall. Visualisation can be an effective tool for us to communicate with and operate on the levels subtle energy, at least for the time being.
  6. In fact, in Tantric Buddhism, there are practices of even amplifying a toxic behaviour temporarily as to really grasp its lesson. A way that is not without danger, obviously, and would best be done only under the guidance and supervision of a master, however, I observe that people will sometimes repeat destructive patterns of behaviour unwittingly until (as you indicated) they can take that next step on their journey, or else... Making you wonder if that is not what it was all aimed at in the first place.
  7. So it may seem at first, but if you look on to completion stage, you may find that your earlier practice prepared you for what is to follow later. For convenience, I will quote from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso: Essence of Vajrayana, p. 92 f.: Doesn't this description remind you of something? Even though Vajrayana comes with an immense variety of seemingly disparate methods, every so often, you will find that kind of interwovenness underlying it all - making it a comprehensive system.
  8. I don't see any problem with you sharing your personal experience in this regard. Rest assured, I wouldn't have suggested it in the first place, otherwise.
  9. The Transformation of Emotions

    Yes, music has a great power to release and heal emotions. And chanting mantras can be seen as a variation of that. It goes without saying that sometimes we need to dig deeper to get somewhere with our issues. But music, whether we are ourselves making it somehow or just listening to it, definitely should have a place in our cultivation. And I believe every traditional culture is using it that way.
  10. Thank you for sharing your experiences. As a matter of fact, some of the wisest and most caring individuals I have met in my life have been through similar things and worse...
  11. simplify

    Going out on a limb Would this be an acceptable reply? This topic looks like an interesting game to play, but I am new on this forum and I am not sure if I am actually getting this right...
  12. Thank you for answering that so aptly for me, Ilumairen. There is really not very much to add to this, except perhaps that there will always be those in any system of cultivation (including Buddhism) trying to use their meditative practices to escape from their issues. And while we all should certainly integrate ample opportunities for levity into our lives, at the end of the day, our practices can and should have helped us confront and make progress with our issues - which they have the potential for doing in so many ways, especially when we are talking about Tantric Buddhism. There truly isn't much chance to release any issues before it is ready to be released anyway - but there are plenty of ways to trick ourselves into believing we got over them and have attained a higher level now, when there is still so much we once decided to tuck away in our basement. Yet there comes a time when, in order for true progress to take place, we need to bring that stuff back to the light of day, so we can apply awareness and come to terms with it. In some cases, this may mean that we let it go for good at last, in others we may decide to even put it back on that shelf in our living room, at least for the time being.
  13. Yes, as presented more at length a few posts above... This is one of several methods that employ Tummo breathing. Do you have any personal experience with this method?
  14. Hello my friends, The crucial question of how to deal with destructive emotions that keep us from acting with wisdom, compassion and loving kindness has been raised in another thread. I take the liberty to quote some of the posts that particularly inspired me to start the current topic, including my own replies to them, as this may serve to highlight some of the complexities that are inevitably involved. Let me start by presenting a simple method from Tibetan Buddhism that I like very much and that I often practise myself. But most of all, I chose this particular method because, in its simplicity and beauty, it is something anybody can use anytime, whether they consider themselves Buddhists or not. And talking about that, by no means do we need to limit this discussion to Buddhist methods. Actually, I would love to hear also from people outside those traditions about what they are doing to deal with negativity they find in themselves and in others. That's why I chose to post this topic in General Discussion rather than in the Buddhist section. That said, I do hope specifically for my new Buddhist friends to chime in. Anyway, may I present now the so-called Tonglen cleansing method. This can be used whenever you encounter a negative emotion either in your environment or in yourself and you feel the urge to do something about it. Once this has been established, you turn your attention to all the other people in the world that are feeling that same emotion. Then you inhale slowly, and while doing so, you take all that negativity into your heart centre, carefully maintaining awareness. There in your heart centre, you visualise some kind of black hole absorbing that dark cloud of negativity (or whatever form you are giving it) completely. Hold your breath for a few seconds. Allow all negativity to be transformed in your heart centre! Now as you exhale, visualise and feel all this cleansed energy emanating from a star-like spot in your heart centre, right where the black hole used to be previously. Allow yourself to bathe in this energy and send it out to your environment and all those people that may benefit from it. If you try this simple exercise, I would love to hear back from you about your experiences. Armando
  15. Let go, be here, now!

    Beautiful... Thanks for sharing!