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Bindi

Buddhism and the subtle energy body

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This level seems to be rarely discussed in Tibetan Buddhism (or any Buddhism for that matter), but it is the level I'm interested in, and why I tend to pursue Hindu Yoga approaches instead.

 

Is Dzogchen considered to be superior perhaps, a more direct path or so?

Pointing Out the Dharmakaya (p. 169)

By Thrangu Rinpoche

 

Because of dualistic thinking, prana enters the left and right channels. This divergence of energy in the subtle body corresponds to the mental activity that falsely distinguishes between subject and object and leads to karmically determined activity. Through yogic practice, the pranas can be brought into the central channel and therefore transformed into wisdom-prana. Then the mind can recognize its fundamental nature, realizing all dharmas as unborn (empty).

Another question I have along the same lines, where does the Tibetan Buddhist concept of ajna as the end point fit in, again it's never mentioned in dzogchen discussion, or any Buddhist discussion I've come across.

 

In Tibetan Buddhism, this chakra [ajna] is at the end of the central channel, which runs up the body to the top of the head, and then over and down, terminating at the forehead. The two side channels continue inwards towards the two nostrils and end there.

Edited by Bindi
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Tibetan esoteric practices, to yield proper result, is 99% reliant on the gradual development of the student/teacher relationship, thus, just as it is improper to share intimate details of one's private life, it is just as improper to divulge intimate details of such practices, especially over the internet. It just seems more responsible not to do so, to avoid compromising the delicate and subtle energetic embryo that is being formed, but thats just me. Others might feel differently. Having a guide into spiritual terrains is as useful as having one when attempting to climb Mt Everest or venturing deep into unknown territories. Just practically useful and makes sense. 

 

Self-experimentation may produce the right result, but the odds are not great. I think those who take this route have no inkling at all whats really involved, or perhaps they do, but choose to ignore the potential repercussions of unguided sojourns. 

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This may be of interest:

 

 Secret Map of the  Body

 

 

Synopsis of Secret Map of the Body

 

Yangonpa's unique Hidden Description of the Vajra Body presents the triad constituting the Vajra Body - the channels, energy winds, and vital essences - as the basis for the application of experiential tantric yogic techniques.

 

Buddhism often relegates the body to a role subordinate to that of the mind; the focus of Yangonpa's Hidden Description is the body itself, with its manifold layers - coarse, subtle, and very subtle.

 

In his presentation of the human body's energy structure he contends that it is not simply the means to achieve enlightenment - but enlightenment itself, blending the highest tantra notion of the body as the method with the Dzogchen total perfection principle as the fundamental nature of all phenomena.

 

This book presents for the first time the translation of two texts: the biography of Yangonpa, the Great Mirror, and his short but illuminating treatise Hidden Description of the Vajra Body. Gyalwa Yangonpa is said to have realized the nature of mind at a young age on hearing instructions on the Dzogchen mind cycle of teachings. He was installed as the abbot of Lhadong monastery. During his lifetime, 1213-1258, he was devoted to four precious masters of different lineages. Under the guidance of the first two, he undertook solitary retreat and, following a clear vision of the energy system of body and mind, came to master this inseperable matrix.

 

An exceptional being gifted with powers, knowledge, and wisdom, Yangonpa led an exemplary life and his spiritual achievements won him a large number of followers. His literary output left a mark in the writings of later masters of all Tibetan schools, including Lama Tsong Khapa, the Eighth Karmapa, Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye, Raga Asya, and Jigme Lingpa.

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Tibetan esoteric practices, to yield proper result, is 99% reliant on the gradual development of the student/teacher relationship, thus, just as it is improper to share intimate details of one's private life, it is just as improper to divulge intimate details of such practices, especially over the internet. It just seems more responsible not to do so, to avoid compromising the delicate and subtle energetic embryo that is being formed, but thats just me. Others might feel differently. Having a guide into spiritual terrains is as useful as having one when attempting to climb Mt Everest or venturing deep into unknown territories. Just practically useful and makes sense. 

 

Self-experimentation may produce the right result, but the odds are not great. I think those who take this route have no inkling at all whats really involved, or perhaps they do, but choose to ignore the potential repercussions of unguided sojourns. 

 

I'm really referring to the anatomy of the subtle body, the channels and chakras and other subtle body formations, which seem to me no more dangerous to know about than the anatomy of the physical body.

 

I'm not proposing that esoteric and powerful methods be broadcast, i'm referring to a much simpler level than this. Perhaps more real knowledge of the basis of subtle body realities could lead to more informed decisions, rather than having to rely on blind trust.

 

For instance in my first quote, Thrangu Rinpoche relates dualism of the mind to divergence of energy in ida and pingala. This gives a level of concreteness and tangibility to what seems to be presented otherwise as something separate from any foundational reality, but it hardly seems to be potentially harmful knowledge. 

 

What he claims can then be examined with some basic knowledge of the subtle body. For me, knowledge of physical anatomy has great value. And knowledge of subtle anatomy has equally great value. As Yangonpa states in the quote above the body has manifold layers, coarse, subtle, and very subtle. The anatomy of those layers, and how the mind relates to all three layers, is of interest to me. 

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an acupuncture  person with some "knowledge" could do a great deal of unintended physical damage to a client, -- the unintended psychological/soul damage that could be done via a person with some "knowledge" of subtle energies and methods could be a 100 times that per a comparative analogy regarding their student, -- for there are very hungry and predatory beings ready and waiting for their next prey and meal to come along... either on this side or on the other side.  (btw, that is not a speculation)

Edited by 3bob
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Seems there is academic "value" in knowledge for knowledge's sake but the phrase "knowing just enough to be dangerous" becomes quite real when attempts are made to apply said knowledge prematurely, without sufficient wisdom or skill. This holds true for so many avenues, doesn't it?

Edited by Brian
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Hi bob, I think you give acupuncture experts more credit than they deserve. One does not need to know anything about energy or acupuncture to inflict "soul damage" to another. Simply posting on TTB or reading TTB is esoteric acupuncture. Just living your life is acupuncture.

 

You don't need to direct energy, needles, chi gung, or martial arts to affect another's energy body. It just happens.

 

How do you receive my acupuncture right now? Can you feel it? :)

Indeed. The ripples we create intersect with and interact with other ripples constantly, regardless of whether we know it or intend it. This becomes more significant as we come to realize it. All the more reason to tread gently, I think. Edited by Brian
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RV.

umm, if an incorrect or correct needle is incorrectly inserted in a major or even certain minor zones serious physical damage can be done - that is a straight up and verifiable point/fact... I understand what you are getting at in your post but that is not quite where I was coming from although such is or can be a factor with various and or subtle energies.  (although such is not so easy to verify or prove by most in comparison)

 

Aloha

Edited by 3bob

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There is so much information already online, it seems a bit late to try and stuff the genie back into the bottle. And like the internet, that information can be used for good or bad.
 
But again everyone is referring to methods, not basic understanding of the anatomy of the subtle body, and its relation to mind.

 

I came across this the other day, and I thought about it for a while, in terms of the inner heart and the crown. I found it gave ego a concrete level that I appreciated. How can this level of information be misused? BTW, on the site, people were being directed to find a teacher and listen to him/her for how to go beyond ego.  

 

ego-of-person.jpg
 

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The people on that Spiritual Science Research Foundation are aligned to a teacher called Jayant Balaji Athavale who they call His Holiness.  Athavale founded an organisation in India called Sanatan Sanstha and according to its Wiki page members of Sanatan Sanstha have been arrested for terrorism namely the Panvel, Thane and Vashi bomb blasts.

 

Some dark energy involved perhaps???

 

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The people on that Spiritual Science Research Foundation are aligned to a teacher called Jayant Balaji Athavale who they call His Holiness.  Athavale founded an organisation in India called Sanatan Sanstha and according to its Wiki page members of Sanatan Sanstha have been arrested for terrorism namely the Panvel, Thane and Vashi bomb blasts.

 

Some dark energy involved perhaps???

 

 

But I'm not talking about their methods, just the image. Does it have any value? Like in my first quote about duality of mind and ida and pingala, I'm not promoting Tibetan Buddhism, but looking at his statement on face value, and asking whether what he says has merit. 

 

There is no presumption that what these authors/images present is automatically true, as far as I'm concerned everything needs to be questioned, I wouldn't personally play it any other way. 

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Tibetan esoteric practices, to yield proper result, is 99% reliant on the gradual development of the student/teacher relationship, thus, just as it is improper to share intimate details of one's private life, it is just as improper to divulge intimate details of such practices, especially over the internet. It just seems more responsible not to do so, to avoid compromising the delicate and subtle energetic embryo that is being formed, but thats just me. Others might feel differently. Having a guide into spiritual terrains is as useful as having one when attempting to climb Mt Everest or venturing deep into unknown territories. Just practically useful and makes sense. 

 

Self-experimentation may produce the right result, but the odds are not great. I think those who take this route have no inkling at all whats really involved, or perhaps they do, but choose to ignore the potential repercussions of unguided sojourns. 

 

I've worked with many teachers both formally and informally and I agree the empathy connection is all important. In a very real way it's sacred and hence something to be discussed only with those who respect it.

 

However, I suspect we all need to eventually find our own way. A teacher can only take us so far. As the well known saying goes, "Kill the Buddha!" Kill the Buddha if the Buddha exists somewhere else. Kill the Buddha, because you should resume your own Buddha nature.

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There is so much information already online, it seems a bit late to try and stuff the genie back into the bottle. And like the internet, that information can be used for good or bad.

 

But again everyone is referring to methods, not basic understanding of the anatomy of the subtle body, and its relation to mind.

 

I came across this the other day, and I thought about it for a while, in terms of the inner heart and the crown. I found it gave ego a concrete level that I appreciated. How can this level of information be misused? BTW, on the site, people were being directed to find a teacher and listen to him/her for how to go beyond ego.

 

ego-of-person.jpg

 

Well...

 

As a conceptual model, I suppose some might find value in it (I don't, though). As a physical description, however, it is fundamentally flawed. Physically speaking, ego is part of consciousness and consciousness resides in the brain. In fact, researchers have recently identified precisely where in the brain it is probably located -- or at least where the on/off switch is located.

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Well...

 

As a conceptual model, I suppose some might find value in it (I don't, though). As a physical description, however, it is fundamentally flawed. Physically speaking, ego is part of consciousness and consciousness resides in the brain. In fact, researchers have recently identified precisely where in the brain it is probably located -- or at least where the on/off switch is located.

 

I find no value in the diagram either, but I disagree with your statement "consciousness resides in the brain". The brain is so intimately connected with the whole body and hence the environment that such a statement is misleading at the best. And that's without going into experiences of the subtle body. However theories of consciousness are something whole books are written about - it's one of the great mysteries of life. Certain theories resonate with my own experience, but these materialist 'brain and mind are one' theories are not to my liking.

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This level seems to be rarely discussed in Tibetan Buddhism (or any Buddhism for that matter), but it is the level I'm interested in, and why I tend to pursue Hindu Yoga approaches instead.

 

Is Dzogchen considered to be superior perhaps, a more direct path or so?

Another question I have along the same lines, where does the Tibetan Buddhist concept of ajna as the end point fit in, again it's never mentioned in dzogchen discussion, or any Buddhist discussion I've come across.

 

There are plenty of books about Tibetan channels, drops, winds, lung, practices and "psychic anatomy".

 

Here are some

 

http://www.amazon.com.au/The-Bliss-Inner-Fire-Practice-ebook/dp/B003XF1LH0

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Six-Yogas-Naropa-Inspirations/dp/1559392347

 

http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Drops-Of-Dharmakaya-Tradition/dp/1559391723

 

http://www.amazon.com/Clear-Light-Bliss-Mahamudra-Vajrayana/dp/0948006218

 

http://www.amazon.com/Wonders-Natural-Mind-Dzogchen-Tradition/dp/1559391421

 

 

Pretty much all of them say that the central channel terminates at the brow.

The brow is also known as the best place to separate mind and the clear light.

Edited by Tibetan_Ice
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Putting the concept into words:

An inflated ego surrounds us with a barrier truth cannot penetrate. It is an obstacle to making progress on any of the other soul-traits that might need improvement.

Climbing Jacob's Ladder: One Man's Journey to Rediscover a Jewish Spiritual Tradition

By Alan Morini

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There are plenty of books about Tibetan channels, drops, winds, lung, practices and "psychic anatomy".

 

Here are some

 

http://www.amazon.com.au/The-Bliss-Inner-Fire-Practice-ebook/dp/B003XF1LH0

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Six-Yogas-Naropa-Inspirations/dp/1559392347

 

http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Drops-Of-Dharmakaya-Tradition/dp/1559391723

 

http://www.amazon.com/Clear-Light-Bliss-Mahamudra-Vajrayana/dp/0948006218

 

http://www.amazon.com/Wonders-Natural-Mind-Dzogchen-Tradition/dp/1559391421

 

 

Pretty much all of them say that the central channel terminates at the brow.

Thanks T_I, I'll look into your references.

 

I cannot help but find it interesting that Tibetan Buddhism reverses the order of the last 2 chakras. It completely changes the whole focus of certain spiritual practices, and makes me think of Ramana saying that releasing kundalini to go straight up through the crown is useless.

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Thanks T_I, I'll look into your references.

 

I cannot help but find it interesting that Tibetan Buddhism reverses the order of the last 2 chakras. It completely changes the whole focus of certain spiritual practices, and makes me think of Ramana saying that releasing kundalini to go straight up through the crown is useless.

 

Could you expand on this?  

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   by the way when was the last time a healthy person was concerned about and writing down the chemical reactions going on inside of their stomach at any particular moment, or wastes going out of the lower channel? (thus a similar idea just a different area that points to letting the intelligence of inner workings work)

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I agree that this in a very interesting topic, not least because enlightenment (and the way there) ties in intimately with processes happening in the subtle body. The very term 'enlightenment' refers to a kind of light, subtle in nature, although it in fact influences the way the physical eyes perceive the environment.

 

Now, Buddhism can be said to be primarily a philosophy, and many of its schools are not really interested in esoteric considerations. Vajrayana is more esoteric than most other brands, however.

 

But my first Buddhist interest was Zen, which (besides some references to the lower dantian/tanden as the 'store-house' of qi/ki) is very sober. Early in my zazen practice, I had some strong sensations of energy flow, which quite surprised me. To obtain answers, I turned to other spiritual systems.

 

All systems of spiritual cultivation have one thing in common - they work with and on the human subtle anatomy and physiology. The latter are key in understanding the functioning of spiritual practices, be they of the Buddhist, Daoist (qigong/alchemy) or Kabbalistic variety etc, and their study illuminates how such diverse practices relate to each other.

 

No doubt, many a devout follower of a particular tradition will abhor and warn of such a comparative approach, but I for one am of the conviction that the traditional ways should be supplemented by a science of spiritual awakening that is still in very much in its infancy.

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On a side note: dear bindi,

 

In the different vajrayana lineages, sadhanas etc. you will find different numbers of chakras, different ways of visualizing them etc.

 

Why?

 

They don't "really" solidly exist

 

Mind is the main thing and if you visualize in a certain way the impure winds (karmic winds=dualistic thought process) will start to move a certain way and give certain results

 

Clarity, non thought, bliss

 

In the lineage I'm thought in tsalung is seen as the "companion" to realize and stabilize the view

 

My guru also simply said if you are not ready and guided well you'll end up in the lemon factory (maybe you know how people on haldol etc. look? Like they constantly eat lemon...)

 

I put the lemon factory there, Rinpoche wouldn't know what that is

 

I write you all of that because you will find many different maps of the vajra body

 

Method is infinite

Wisdom is wisdom

Edited by RigdzinTrinley
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   by the way when was the last time a healthy person was concerned about and writing down the chemical reactions going on inside of their stomach at any particular moment, or wastes going out of the lower channel? (thus a similar idea just a different area that points to letting the intelligence of inner workings work)

I don't think we are spiritually very healthy though, so the analogy doesn't necessarily hold.

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