Miroku

Tibetan prostrations

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Hi,
I would like to aks if someone here has experience with both the prostrations as they are done in tibetan buddhism and qigong. I am quite interested in how you view the benefits of prostrations on the body and etc
They seem like a quite good exercise and probably encourages flow of chi through the body, can anybody here support it from experience or from the teaching?
Also if you have done prostration what did you notice that happened with your body?
What about muscles that are used in prostrations, can doing them help me against my slowly growing beer belly?
Any kind of opinion is welcomed. :) 

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Hi,

 

I have practiced both qigong and also prostrations as part of Tibetan Buddhist ngondro.

 

Obviously prostrations do involve some physical exertion especially if you do a lot of them daily - but their purpose is not really this.  At least in the way I have been taught them it is really about two things - diminishing pride (and other negative attachment) and more importantly opening a door or connection to the lineage teachings.  This is a very deep level heart connection which is established and then never really closes.  So I would say, yes your subtle body is affected and thus qi flow and so on - but not in the way which normally understood.

 

Qigong on the other hand is much more directly about stimulating or encouraging the qi flow and has great health benefits.  In this sense it is much more than physical exercise - but is I think more productive if you are physically in good shape.

 

If your primary purpose is to get rid of your beer belly then I would not suggest prostrations - I would suggest martial arts or just running or similar together with basic qigong and also essential good diet, by which I mean fresh food properly cooked with no junk food + to lose weight low in carbs.  Best to find a teacher in your locale if you haven't already.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Miroku said:

What about muscles that are used in prostrations, can doing them help me against my slowly growing beer belly?

 

Old buddhist wisdom: "Not drinking beer will help against slowly growing beer belly!"

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LOL! To stay on topic: If you do prostrations until your legs get sore every day, it will burn a lot of calories and surely will help with burning body fat.

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14 minutes ago, Apech said:

Hi,

 

I have practiced both qigong and also prostrations as part of Tibetan Buddhist ngondro.

 

Obviously prostrations do involve some physical exertion especially if you do a lot of them daily - but their purpose is not really this.  At least in the way I have been taught them it is really about two things - diminishing pride (and other negative attachment) and more importantly opening a door or connection to the lineage teachings.  This is a very deep level heart connection which is established and then never really closes.  So I would say, yes your subtle body is affected and thus qi flow and so on - but not in the way which normally understood.

 

Qigong on the other hand is much more directly about stimulating or encouraging the qi flow and has great health benefits.  In this sense it is much more than physical exercise - but is I think more productive if you are physically in good shape.

 

If your primary purpose is to get rid of your beer belly then I would not suggest prostrations - I would suggest martial arts or just running or similar together with basic qigong and also essential good diet, by which I mean fresh food properly cooked with no junk food + to lose weight low in carbs.  Best to find a teacher in your locale if you haven't already.

 

Thanks Apech!
I just started doing prostrations as a part of ngondro and am quite interested in benefits of the whole thing. In some books from Lama Ole Nydahl books I have read that throught prostrations part of ngöndro you open up the channels or sth in that sense, would you agree with that?

Thank you for you advice it is appreciated!

 

14 minutes ago, Wells said:

 

Old buddhist wisdom: "Not drinking beer will help against slowly growing beer belly!"


Heh thanks for sharing that ancient wisdom Wells. :D I did stop drinking as much as I used to but the belly is still right there. Thank you for the other advice tho.

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5 minutes ago, Miroku said:

Thanks Apech!
I just started doing prostrations as a part of ngondro and am quite interested in benefits of the whole thing. In some books from Lama Ole Nydahl books I have read that throught prostrations part of ngöndro you open up the channels or sth in that sense, would you agree with that?

Thank you for you advice it is appreciated!

 


Heh thanks for sharing that ancient wisdom Wells. :D I did stop drinking as much as I used to but the belly is still right there. Thank you for the other advice tho.

 

Are you doing it with a teacher or from books?

 

I'd agree it opens up channels - the ngondro usually translated as 'preliminary' but that's a bit misleading - they are powerful practices in their own right - but the point is support to sitting in mahamudra.

 

 

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Just now, Apech said:

 

Are you doing it with a teacher or from books?

 

I'd agree it opens up channels - the ngondro usually translated as 'preliminary' but that's a bit misleading - they are powerful practices in their own right - but the point is support to sitting in mahamudra.

 

 

With a teacher but she is far away and sangha is far away too, so thought I might ask about this small thing here.
Yes I am aware they are important and Jigten Sumgon even said they are the main practice and since he is the father of the lineage I practice in I try to approach it from this point.
 

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1 minute ago, Miroku said:

With a teacher but she is far away and sangha is far away too, so thought I might ask about this small thing here.
Yes I am aware they are important and Jigten Sumgon even said they are the main practice and since he is the father of the lineage I practice in I try to approach it from this point.
 

 

 

Is that Drikong Kagyu then?  Cool.  Well if you are doing them anyway - do more to lose weight :)

 

I know many masters do three or more sets of ngondro in their lives.  Which is a bit embarrassing to think how long I have been struggling through them :)

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Just now, Apech said:

 

 

Is that Drikong Kagyu then?  Cool.  Well if you are doing them anyway - do more to lose weight :)

 

I know many masters do three or more sets of ngondro in their lives.  Which is a bit embarrassing to think how long I have been struggling through them :)

Yes it is. :) And to make things clear I dont really need to lose weight (my BMI is normal) I just have all the fat around belly and am generaly kinda weakish tho so finding a way to change that. :D 
Yes it is extremely humbling. Chatral Rinpoche even did it 14 times! Hope I can accomplish atleast one or two sets, but hey I am 22 y.o. I might get the chance.

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1 minute ago, Miroku said:

Yes it is. :) And to make things clear I dont really need to lose weight (my BMI is normal) I just have all the fat around belly and am generaly kinda weakish tho so finding a way to change that. :D 
Yes it is extremely humbling. Chatral Rinpoche even did it 14 times! Hope I can accomplish atleast one or two sets, but hey I am 22 y.o. I might get the chance.

 

14!  OMG!

Anyway - happy flopping on the floor :) if you are only 22 you have plenty of time.

 

 

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A tip on multiplying the merit of doing prostrations - perform on the days in the Tibetan calendar when the merit of activity is multiplied by a factor of 1,000, 10,000 or even 10 million.

 

Perform a full ngondro on these days and you get the merit of performing full complete ngondros.  Unfortunately even though the merit is multiplied the counts towards completion of the four 100,000s is still one to one.

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3 minutes ago, rex said:

A tip on multiplying the merit of doing prostrations - perform on the days in the Tibetan calendar when the merit of activity is multiplied by a factor of 1,000, 10,000 or even 10 million.

 

Perform a full ngondro on these days and you get the merit of performing full complete ngondros.  Unfortunately even though the merit is multiplied the counts towards completion of the four 100,000s is still one to one.

That is a good tip. :D Thx!

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8 minutes ago, Miroku said:

That is a good tip. :D Thx!

You're welcome!

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8 hours ago, Miroku said:

Hi,
I would like to aks if someone here has experience with both the prostrations as they are done in tibetan buddhism and qigong. I am quite interested in how you view the benefits of prostrations on the body and etc
They seem like a quite good exercise and probably encourages flow of chi through the body, can anybody here support it from experience or from the teaching?
Also if you have done prostration what did you notice that happened with your body?
What about muscles that are used in prostrations, can doing them help me against my slowly growing beer belly?
Any kind of opinion is welcomed. :) 

 

For me, prostrations exercise body, speech, and mind.

The physical movement works with the body, the prayers or mantras we recite during the practice works with speech, and whatever visualization we practice works with the mind. 

 

While I try to avoid mixing paradigms, there is no question that it has a positive effect on Qi flow.

In the unimpeded state, Qi flows naturally without interruption. 

During our lives we develop blockages or obstructions related to the physical and energetic body as well as the mind.

To the extent that prostrations assist us in removing such obstructions, the Qi flow will be improved. 

In a related way, as we are able to remove obstacles to resting in the nature of mind we can practice prostrations in that space.

It is a wonderful way to exercise and cultivate our ability to rest in the nature of mind (if that is your practice) while engaging in physical activity.

 

From a physical point of view, prostrations can be great exercise, especially for the legs.

You can also do them in such a way as to get some degree of pushup like work for the arms.

If I do 300 in one session at a consistent and brisk pace, I get a superb cardio workout.

I've noted changes in the flexibility of my ankles and improved strength in my legs. 

There isn't much core exercise in prostrations but I do think it could help some with losing the gut, along with some planks and push ups, or yoga. 

 

 

 

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but it's not just prostrations...

you have to do accumulations: 

1) prostrations 

2) mantra 

3) mandala offering

4) meditation after

 

100,000 each will make it 300,000 total. In about 3 years they say one should finish... 

 

I have started in April, but the progress slow so far, even I am attending webcasts...

 

it's a tantric system...

 

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1 hour ago, steve said:

 

For me, prostrations exercise body, speech, and mind.

The physical movement works with the body, the prayers or mantras we recite during the practice works with speech, and whatever visualization we practice works with the mind. 

 

While I try to avoid mixing paradigms, there is no question that it has a positive effect on Qi flow.

In the unimpeded state, Qi flows naturally without interruption. 

During our lives we develop blockages or obstructions related to the physical and energetic body as well as the mind.

To the extent that prostrations assist us in removing such obstructions, the Qi flow will be improved. 

In a related way, as we are able to remove obstacles to resting in the nature of mind we can practice prostrations in that space.

It is a wonderful way to exercise and cultivate our ability to rest in the nature of mind (if that is your practice) while engaging in physical activity.

 

From a physical point of view, prostrations can be great exercise, especially for the legs.

You can also do them in such a way as to get some degree of pushup like work for the arms.

If I do 300 in one session at a consistent and brisk pace, I get a superb cardio workout.

I've noted changes in the flexibility of my ankles and improved strength in my legs. 

There isn't much core exercise in prostrations but I do think it could help some with losing the gut, along with some planks and push ups, or yoga. 

 

 

 

Thank you Steve! That was quite insightful. :)

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1 hour ago, Miroku said:

Thank you Steve! That was quite insightful. :)

 

yes good one Steve.

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2 hours ago, qicat said:

but it's not just prostrations...

you have to do accumulations: 

1) prostrations 

2) mantra 

3) mandala offering

4) meditation after

 

100,000 each will make it 300,000 total. In about 3 years they say one should finish... 

 

I have started in April, but the progress slow so far, even I am attending webcasts...

 

it's a tantric system...

 

 

guru-yoga also.

Edited by Apech
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In the book Rainbow Painting, it says that the era we live in requires us to do four times the amount of repetitions. Our 400,000 counts as 100,000. It also says that if you do one repetition with the right state of mind, that one counts as 100,000...I assume the reverse would also be true, where one repetition done in the wrong state of mind counts as -100,000, and you lose points...so the quality of our effort in every single rep is what's important...and we need to do 4 times the amount of prescribed reps.

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4 hours ago, qicat said:

but it's not just prostrations...

you have to do accumulations: 

1) prostrations 

2) mantra 

3) mandala offering

4) meditation after

 

100,000 each will make it 300,000 total. In about 3 years they say one should finish... 

 

I have started in April, but the progress slow so far, even I am attending webcasts...

 

it's a tantric system...

 

 

1 hour ago, Apech said:

 

guru-yoga also.

 

In our tradition the ngöndro has 9 accumulations of 100,000 each - 

Guru yoga prayer

Bodhicitta prayer

Refuge prayer

Prostrations

100 syllable mantra (different than the Vajrasattva mantra)

Mandala offering

3 Heart mantras -

A Om Hung Ah A Kar Sa Le √Ė A Yang Om Du ¬†(essence of¬†Dharmakaya)

Om Ma Tri Mu Ye Sa Le Du  (essence of Sambhogakaya)

A Kar A Me Du Tri Su Nag Po Zhi Zhi Mal Mal So Ha (essence of Nirmanakaya)

For a total of 900,000

 

It does take a significant commitment, especially for those of us with full time jobs and families and such...

No less of a commitment for monks but at least they can dedicate themselves 100% to the practice.

Traditionally some complete the 900,000 in as little as 3 months in retreat.

That means 1,000 of each per day!

I don't know how they do it.

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, steve said:

 

 

In our tradition the ngöndro has 9 accumulations of 100,000 each - 

Guru yoga prayer

Bodhicitta prayer

Refuge prayer

Prostrations

100 syllable mantra (different than the Vajrasattva mantra)

Mandala offering

3 Heart mantras -

A Om Hung Ah A Kar Sa Le √Ė A Yang Om Du ¬†(essence of¬†Dharmakaya)

Om Ma Tri Mu Ye Sa Le Du  (essence of Sambhogakaya)

A Kar A Me Du Tri Su Nag Po Zhi Zhi Mal Mal So Ha (essence of Nirmanakaya)

For a total of 900,000

 

It does take a significant commitment, especially for those of us with full time jobs and families and such...

No less of a commitment for monks but at least they can dedicate themselves 100% to the practice.

Traditionally some complete the 900,000 in as little as 3 months in retreat.

That means 1,000 of each per day!

I don't know how they do it.

 

 

 

 

 

I feel tired just reading that :)

 

We do refuge prayer with prostrations.

Then vajrasattva, mandala offerings then guru-yoga mantra.

 

As I understand it the 100,000 is not a magic number.  Its just a big enough number to be somewhere between easy and impossible.

 

It took me many years to complete the prostrations - tho' in my defence I was working out of hotel rooms and no stable base for some of that time which made it very hard.  the vajrasattva mantras were much quicker and I'm currently on the mandala offerings (but its stuttering because I've had some other issues to deal with).

 

The way I've come to see it is that its a bit like a procession round a mountain - the mountain looks like one thing from the north, different from the west and so on.  In other words you are looking at the same thing from different perspectives rather than different things if you see what I mean.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Apech said:

 

 

I feel tired just reading that :)

 

We do refuge prayer with prostrations.

Then vajrasattva, mandala offerings then guru-yoga mantra.

 

As I understand it the 100,000 is not a magic number.  Its just a big enough number to be somewhere between easy and impossible.

 

It took me many years to complete the prostrations - tho' in my defence I was working out of hotel rooms and no stable base for some of that time which made it very hard.  the vajrasattva mantras were much quicker and I'm currently on the mandala offerings (but its stuttering because I've had some other issues to deal with).

 

The way I've come to see it is that its a bit like a procession round a mountain - the mountain looks like one thing from the north, different from the west and so on.  In other words you are looking at the same thing from different perspectives rather than different things if you see what I mean.

 

 

 

:lol:  It was daunting at first but the approach I take is that I am eating, breathing, and living, the days and years are passing, so I may as well be practicing. If I die before I finish, so be it...

 

The heart mantras and prayers all went fairly quickly.

I'm nearly there with the 100 syllable mantra and about halfway with the prostrations.

The mandala offerings are going to take a while yet...

 

One of the benefits (and intentions?) of such a large number I've experienced is that it forces me to focus more on the process than the goal and it also helps me to lighten up and have some fun with it rather than take it too seriously. Life the Alan Watts video I posted recently about music and life, this approach is very helpful in Buddhist practice, IMO. 

 

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42 minutes ago, Apech said:

I feel tired just reading that :)

 

Does it put you in a state of prostration? :D

 

Quote

We do refuge prayer with prostrations.

Then vajrasattva, mandala offerings then guru-yoga mantra.

 

As I understand it the 100,000 is not a magic number.  Its just a big enough number to be somewhere between easy and impossible.

 

It took me many years to complete the prostrations - tho' in my defence I was working out of hotel rooms and no stable base for some of that time which made it very hard.  the vajrasattva mantras were much quicker and I'm currently on the mandala offerings (but its stuttering because I've had some other issues to deal with).

 

Was it worth it though? Did it make you a better cat?

 

Quote

 

The way I've come to see it is that its a bit like a procession round a mountain - the mountain looks like one thing from the north, different from the west and so on.  In other words you are looking at the same thing from different perspectives rather than different things if you see what I mean.

 

I am afraid I don't...

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21 minutes ago, Michael Sternbach said:

 

Does it put you in a state of prostration? :D

 

 

Was it worth it though? Did it make you a better cat?

 

 

I am afraid I don't...

 

The lord he doth prostrate too much.

Edited by Apech
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