Wisdom air and other secrets
Clarity of mind, or in other words recognition of rigpa, is in direct connection with channels and energies, or traditionally "winds" that blow through the channels. Channels which number up to many hundreds of thousands (I do not think it is possible to count them all, they are so many) are the energetic representation of our being. This energetic representation is the same as "mind" or energy body. In this short text I won't go into channels and centers but wish to mention a few things of the connection between the physical body-to-mind-to-rigpa. Several bits that I am going to say are held secrets of a couple of distinguished meditation traditions. Personally I do not think there is need for over-protecting secrecy.
A friend of mine mentioned that one of his Tibetan lamas, said to keep one's mouth open during atiyoga. The lama had said that keeping mouth open makes it "wisdom air". What this actually means was not explained. Here's my take on this.
Dzogchen atiyoga is the king and queen of all samadhis and meditation practices. To really "get it" one has to have a lot of "battle experience". By battle experience I refer to calmness and clarity of mind, insights to selfless nature of self and mind content, as well as valid practical conceptual knowledge of the structure and different functions of the mind.
Atiyoga is rigpa practice. Rigpa refers to knowing awareness, knowingness that is not self-based. Rigpa is not an experience, nor it is perceived. I hate to use such a foreign term like ”rigpa” because peoples minds, such as mine, are so easily caught by such attractive designations, but I use it because it really refers to something distinct. Mind is so multilayered and obscured. I do not think anyone really knows oneself as rigpa without extensive training.
Rigpa-genic areas of the body
The word ”erogenic” is used for areas of the physical body which when stimulated cause sexual arousal. In a similar way there are areas in the physical body which are helpful in making our minds clear. Ultimately the whole body is a ”rigpa-genic” area but it's not that obvious to have this insight. I've seen many not so experienced meditators glimpse this but due to their limited practice history and conceptual orientation they usually are not able to understand the core of it. So, some areas a more helpful than others in silencing our minds and in recognising rigpa. Breathing through the mouth can also be helpful.
In general, breathing through ones mouth while meditating, abiding as sky (three dimensional sky gazing, shamatha meditation without concretic support), has the effect of activating one or several of the central channels. The central channel which runs from the pelvic floor, though the spine to the top of the head has several layers. It's like an electrical wire with an outer, middle, inner and innermost layers. When any of the central channels becomes active it instantly affects the mind. To a beginner of meditation these moments are precious discoveries. He or she may think, ”Now I found it!” And in one sense this is valid, even though he didn't get to the innermost core. So, keeping one's mouth open can and does directly stimulate the central channel. The same can be done by a bunch of different means.
Just by being aware of the central channel, by doing deity practices, breathing practices, mudras, bandhas and so on. This can also be done by sensing the centers above the crown.
If you wish to get to the innermost of them, you can visualise the channel of hair's width made of transparent jewel. When you do this, *subtly pay attention*. If you have the battle experience, you will notice the difference. If you don't have it, you will not notice anything.
Many years ago, when my teacher Sara Sivakami was still alive she taught me a secret practice that she gave only to a few close disciples. She'd be fine me talking about this on a general level.
Sara was really skilled in mystical skills. She was a master of astral projection and lucid dreaming. She met and received many teachings like that from many teachers, including Lama Thubten Yeshe, a famous gelugpa lama, who at the time was in between reincarnations.
Once, she told me, when she had lied down for the night's rest, when she was subtly picked up by a particular mahasiddha who took her to a cave in the Himalayas. She recognised this cave as her abode of a previous life. She went inside the cave, or a network of caves, and was re-initiated into a very specific type of spiritual practice by gulping down a few drops of potion that was hidden. She knew where to look for the drink. When she drank these drops, she remembered these particular teachings again that she had practiced before. This happened during an astral projection.
This practice has to do with master glands inside the head, the pituitary and pineal glands and the tube connecting the two.
Now. At the back of the mouth there is something called ”soft palate”. Check it up to see what it means. By feeling the breath touching the soft palate, the pituitary gland becomes activated. When pituitary gland becomes active, the mind becomes clear and there is a possibility to recognise open awareness (rigpa) and abide as rigpa. When the activation of pituitary gland is joined with the activation of the pineal gland, it is hard to miss rigpa. The mind, with all it's layers becomes so thin and weak, while transparent rigpa-awareness becomes dominant. I am not talking about dharmakaya (body of all kinds of mind phenomena) only rigpa.
Interestingly I've heard of orthodox dzogchen practice called ”yangti” which is very secret. It is clear to me that an essential part of this practice has to do with pineal gland.
So, when the lama said that keeping mouth open makes it ”wisdom air”, it might have something to do with this. And even if it doesn't, what I have said above is valid in regards to recognition of rigpa.
Turning off the radio
Another point that came to my mind about keeping one's mouth open has to do with ”releasing body, speech and mind” as taught in Tibetan buddhism meditation. Inner speech refers to that part of our mind that is like a radio with a constant program on it: stories, ideas, comments, music, memories... This involuntary radio can be turned off simply relaxing the area of the mouth and jaws. If you keep your mouth relaxed and slightly open with a floating tongue, the radio-function stays off. This doesn't concern breathing through the mouth but it is useful and meaningful when calming the mind and when recognising rigpa. This can also be called ”wisdom air”, in my opinion.
These are some of my thoughts on this topic, mouth, breathing, rigpa and ”wisdom air”.