Open Heart Bhumi-model
and other bhumi-models
This text is related to this: http://openheartopenheart.blogspot.fi/…/stages-of-spiritual…
Does our bhumi model have resemblance to Tibetan bhumis? Maybe. Probably. Difficult to say based on quite vague descriptions that are usually available, as that at Wikipedia. It's the same kind of thing with the descriptions of paths in theravada which was critisized by Daniel Ingram in his book.
The Open Heart-bhumi model is based on the chakra system of man, which therefore is universal: bhumis 1-6 inside the head between the level of the eyes until the top of the head, and bhumis 7-13 above the crown, related to the 7 chakra system there. I have explained this in the Stages of spiritual attainment-text linked above all parts of Bhumi Study Series. That is also how all these lamas and teachers have been ranked. It is an in-depth study. One really has to study empiripically what this study says and shows in pictures in order to understand it.
I once had a chat with a man (who shall go nameless here) who was asked to teach dzogchen by his Tibetan master and who also is fluent in Tibetan language. I was able to squeeze him enough for him to say that,
"However, there is a correspondence between between levels of realization [the thirteen bhumis] and the location at which the prāṇa vāyu remains stably within the central channel. But this is attendant with the realization of emptiness through completion stage practice and is not purely a function of vāyu's ascent and descent in the central channel."
Other than that I have no experience or knowledge from the orthodox Tibetan tantra or dzogchen camp. But based on this it is likely that there are great similarities. Study the pictures (of the Bhumi Study Series found from this blog). Put people of the same bhumi right next to each other and try to figure out what is identical.
How to check your own bhumi? Or that of others?
I think it would be very useful to discuss how this bhumi-spotting skill can be developed. It's not difficult but it requires detailed study. After this study one can see directly who is who or who is not. This study may come with surprises as in some cases of the study series.
Basicly: There are 6 small chakras inside the head between the level of the eyes and the crown. These centers are in even intervals. Just observe from which level, corresponding to a number of the concerned bhumi, do you observe the external (or internal) world? Where does it open from? Check where it is open and where it is closed. With stream entry, the first bhumi is open, that's where your ground (bhumi) is right after awakening. And the open spot keeps climbing higher, pops up regularly with further mind purification/progress of vipashyana.
The same method of inspection applies with the higher bhumis but then one really has to have good skills to find out the exact one. The higher bhumis can, however, be divided into two main categories: bodhisattva bhumis and mahasiddha bhumis. When you study it and compare the subtle energy of the masters, it becomes evident that there is a significant difference between a bodhisattva and a mahasiddha. And that mahasiddhas, spiritual masters, are actually very rare in physical form.
I am very happy to present this type of mapping of spiritual attainments and offer it to anyone who is interested. If one has the skills, it is applicable to anyone. It doesn't matter which tradition, teacher or practitioner is concerned. This bhumi model transcends the differences in traditions and their respective terms and often difficult or even impossible to understand-descriptions. It gives a different spin on the whole thing. I feel, it is also a big step towards a more complete presentation of pragmatic dharma. But this is just me talking. It is others who have to learn it, apply it and either dump it or use it.
- In most buddhist traditions bhumi openings are talked about. They don't use that name for them but they speak of awakenings, insights, kensho, satori, shinjin, semngo tropa and so on. They all speak of the same openings but as far as I know only in Open Heart these openings are correlated to the energetic body and that is because they do directly correlate to the energy body. I often speak of zen master Hakuin who like his Chinese predecessor spoke of 18 kenshos and many smaller ones. It is logical to think that he didn't have the same awakening again and again as the definition of a kensho is that it is irreversible so therefore it cannot be going through the same door again and again. This indicates that the subsequent awakenings are further awakenings within the awakened state. So if Ta Hui and Hakuin, for example, spoke of having a certain number of kenshos, I am sure many others from many other traditions have also had them. A question arises: Are or could awakenings from the first one onwards be related to the energy body? The answer is of course because it is the karmic energy stored in the energy body, in the energy centers and channels (nadi) which is the cause for having awakenings. If there was nothing there, we would already be fully enlightened buddhas and we could not have any insights.
Vajrayana and dzogchen teacher Malcolm Smith said:
"However, there is a correspondence between between levels of realization [the thirteen bhumis] and the location at which the prāṇa vāyu remains stably within the central channel. But this is attendant with the realization of emptiness through completion stage practice and is not purely a function of vāyu's ascent and descent in the central channel."I find that this correlation between the consecutive openings, their perfection and the energy body, specifically, subtle centers (chakras, wheels of energy) is very helpful in mapping where we are because it is sort of like watching the temperature from the thermometer where the mercury at certain locations indicates a certain temperature. So this bhumi model is like measuring tool. I believe that at some point in history the knowledge of mapping bhumis has been existent but then, as often happens, it disappeared. Currently I am going through an extensive body of traditional buddhist materials and articles on bhumis, or grounds, that explain Open Heart Bhumi Model further.
- Kim Katami