Annual India Tours
These lectures were transcribed by T Vd Broek. Heartfelt
gratitude is offered for all the hours of work spent on this Dharma activity.
These talks are offered free of charge. They have been slightly edited.
Nov 3 1990
Always be conscious of your motivation. When you initiate an activity, if it is initiated with a positive intention, when that activity is completed you validate the type of motivation you have and make it deeper for you. If you have an idea that coming to the meditation hall is something which is beneficial it is good, but to that we should add a more universal motivation to that which qualifies you to a mahayana presentation which means you think beyond your own needs. By that when you motivate, have the attitude that just as I want happiness, others want happiness. And just as I want to avoid suffering, so do others want to avoid suffering. This way your mind has a broader scope to it. It is profound if you consider that by coming here and being involved in the meditation process, and then finally when you finish and wind down, that action makes a full activity.
As we are trying to develop a deeper or more integrated level of consciousness, it is good to have that awareness that consciousness then means I am putting myself in a better position, that I can better handle all situations. To attain that you have to be more conscious of what motivates you. You get a higher position as on a hill, and a better vista.
I am sure that you can appreciate that in all experience it is the position you hold yourself in which gives you the experience. If you have a very brittle ego, a fragile position, a lot of projections, expectations as to how things should be, you are placing your personality in a very brittle way. Because the; more you have projections about something, the more those projections might not be fulfilled, the more you have options about being unhappy. In that way you should try to be as open minded as possible because it means you are less susceptible to being miserable because of some expectation you have is not met. All that ties in trying to be a little more positive and being as open minded as you can in a positive context.
I thought we would do a few exercises in regards to channels in the body. In that way, in the Buddhist traditions, our energies or mind run in the various channels and meridians. There are certain channels that are more productive of equanimity or a more stable mind state. To produce that there are three factors. One is body posture, sitting upright so your abdomen can breath properly. Secondly there is breathing with your abdomen. The traditional teachings say that if you take your navel and went four fingers below that, and in about two inches, is your psychic channel for your stomach chakra. In the yoga systems it is the point of focus. In the tantric system it is the point of focus. In the martial arts system it is the point to come from. If you can come from that place you are coming from a place of great power. You will have to find it for yourself. It is an actual position where you find a certain emotional sense of stability, will be the pervading emotional experience. You will feel quite grounded at that point and that is the point you should look for in your body.
The third facet is called clearing the channels. Out of thousands of channels in the body there are three principle ones in which your mind and energy runs. Whether it is considered to be the nervous system or the actual channel system, it is immaterial. If you cut the tummy open you are not going to find the stomach chakra but we as emotional experiencing being, if we look through experience we will find that there is definitely a center we emotionally experience.
There is a chakra in the navel, heart, base of throat, crown of head, and forehead. The easiest one to experience, for example I remember as a teenager when I had my first date. I had a tightness in the throat! Sounds stupid but on reflection, I can now see that it was my chakra being quite tight! I am certain we all have our own little emotional experiences that we can draw on. That helps to identify that we do have a chakra system whether it is related to physical nerve channels or it is just an emotional focus.
There are said to be seventy two thousand channels that comes down to sixteen main channels, of which those can be brought into three very large channels. The central channel, the one on the right and left side. They are all related to particular energies. The right hand one is related to the moon and and white energy, the left one is related to the run and red energy, the central one neutral.
For us a meditators, we try to center our mind into the central channel. If we do that the clarity of mind and serenity of mind are instantaneous. The central channel is visualized as running from the crown of the head, down in front of the spine to just below the navel. The full extent is extended to the sex organ but we need not be concerned with this. It should be visualized as being very straight like the shaft of an arrow, the size of a drinking straw. It should be translucent and clear like glass, has a bluish color on the outside and pinkish color on the inside. It should be hollow.
The side channels run from the nostrils up to the crown and then down parallel to the central channel. The mind normally runs only in the side channels and they say it is related to the emotions you have and the type of character you have as to which side predominates. One side is related more to aggressiveness and the other to desire, that style of energy.
They are purified through breathing through the nostrils, three times through the left, three times through the right, and three through both. This is a breathing exercise for centering yourself based on cleaning and purifying the three channels in the central part of the body and from there to just focus on those and try to move your mind into the central channel and not allow it to be caught to the side channels. You should try to feel as if you were very centered, as if you felt you were really pristine and clear minded, and that is the experience of being centered in the central channel.
So these channels should be visualized as described with the qualities of being clear, flexible and moist. They should not be clouded, crooked, or brittle. If you move into chakra meditation, you should generate a sense of warmth called the moist warmth, that then opens the various chakras in your body.
For the first series of six breaths, you should have the two side channels lock together just below the navel, a touch longer than the central channel. As you inhale with the right nostril, you would draw the air in and it would flow down through the right and into the left channel and when you exhale it should be felt as coming round full circle and coming out the left nostril. Do this three times, then reverse the process. You inhale with the left nostril, around and out the right nostril tree times. Then you put your hand down, inhale with both nostrils. At this time you visualize the right and left channel going into the bottom of the central channel. When you inhale feel the energy come down the side channels and have it rise up the central channel into the crown. And it is cleaning it out!
The point is if you do it well and with some concentration,l you will get a much more clear sense of being about yourself. In the tantras and in the medical texts, it says if you have an awareness of your breathing you will find that your inhalation will predominate in the right nostril for three hours and then switch over to the left, then back to the right. In this way it goes back and forth depending on the time of the day, the emotions you are experiencing, and the type of attitude you have that affects the flow of the energy in the body. In that way you would like to get out the negative flow of energy and into the positive flow of the energy of the being This exercise is to help you center and become more focused and clear.
At a later date we will do some exercises where you try to actually develop and open your central channel at the level of the navel. Right now we should just work at this, alright?
In the visualization process, not only feel that the air energy flows up and down, but also allow it to have the quality of white light energy. The technique, they say, is from all the Buddhas and bodhisattvas, feel that their white light energy comes in together with the breath, and as it flows through it purifies and delusions we have. Our body is washed clean.
When you have completed those nine cycles of breathing, try to develop a level of concentration which places your mind inside the central channel. To do that you have to reflect that your eyes, ears, nose tongue and body sensations are at a secondary level of consciousness. They are not the primary consciousness. The primary consciousness is the minds awareness. Focus your minds awareness, feeling it is inside the central channel. There are different points you could concentrate on, but at this point feel that your awareness is focused and arising from they level of the navel and that your mind's consciousness is one with that. Try to generate the non dualistic state.
Dualistic states are generated when you are looking with your eyes, you look at that point. So it is dualistic. The non-dualistic point is just mind's awareness in the central channel. Focus that way as clearly or pristine as you can so your consciousness has a clarity about it.
Copyright 1994 Daka's Buddhist Consulting
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