Introduction to Tibetan Heart Yoga
by Kim Katami
Open Heart, www.openheart.fi
- Man has three bodies:1. physical body2. energetic body/mind and3. awareness.Physical and energetic bodies are three-dimensional, awareness is non-dimensional.
- Practice of dharma is centered on removing dukkha or unsatisfactory and confused existence, as is taught in the Four Noble Truths. Existential confusion means perceiving our life in dualistic fashion. Because we perceive ourselves as individual entities or selves, we get confused and suffer. When this self-based dualistic perception does not arise, even momentarily, that is a moment free of suffering.
Introduction to Tibetan Heart Yoga: Lecture about the Principles:
- Selfing is spread over the energetic body or mind. It can be removed according to the laws, functions and mechanisms of the mind. Selfing cannot be removed by denying it or by disregarding the way how the mind works. Selfing cannot be thoroughly removed by physical exercises or by the means of plain awareness approach alone, although both are very relevant. Psychology cannot be bypassed. If profound transformation or realisation is attained it is through the delusion stored in your mind, not in any other way.
Tibetan Heart Yoga: Guided Practice:
- When samsaric mind is ”seen through” by sutra or tantra practices, it gets transformed into wisdom mind. Seeing through refers to the principle of vipashyana meditation which means ”seeing clearly”. Seeing clearly or vipashyana is a principle that can be applied in sutric or tantric fashion. When a mental element, such as a thought is seen through, it means that the self-charge in it is released. Thereafter it has no binding power that causes selfing. In this way, our sense of self is seen through and released by piercing through it, not by transcending it. As vipashyana practices are applied, the practitioner's mind becomes growingly more lucid, while one's true self, selfless awareness, becomes the dominant mode of living.
- Samsaric mind, in other terms, the psychology of man, has four main aspects:1. subject-self2. object-selves referring to thoughts and emotions3. subconscious mind (energetics inside the physical body, bhumis 1-6) and4. substrate consciousness (energetics outside the body, bhumis 7-10, skt. alaya vijnana).All aspects of the mind correlate directly to energy channels (nadi) and energy centers (chakra). The ”mind” consists of numerous energy channels and centers. Having a samsaric mind that goes round and round in thoughts, emotions, fantasies and dreams means that the channels and centers are filled with junk, junk that is our selves with all the habits, tendencies, needs and drives.
- By tantra practice, all of samsaric mind is transformed into wisdom mind. This means that the self-charge, self-delusion, is released from the mind elements. This is the outcome of vipashyana practice. ”Wisdom mind” means that all the thoughtforms and formless energies of the subconscious mind (numbers 3. and 4. together) become embodiments of awareness itself. When the self-charge is released from mental elements, their true nature is experienced. True nature refers to qualities such as sense of freedom, openness, lucidity, clarity, lightness, elation, naturalness, aliveness and utter ordinariness. All these are qualities of awareness or buddha nature.
- In tantra, the self-charge is removed with the help of a guru and buddha-deities, that the master or guru has assigned for practice. In Open Heart we ask blessings and meditate many different masters of the Mahasiddha Family, but the main masters are Guru Padmasambhava and Guru Ma Yeshe Tsogyal. Buddha-deities are cultivated through singing and repeating mantras, verbal sounds, which are the main technique of tantric yoga. Also Guru Yoga is one of our central practices where master's presence is invoked and felt in one's own bodymind.
- Deities are always learned or received through empowerment given by the guru or his representative so that the practitioner gets the deity or deities correctly.
- In Tibetan Heart Yoga, there are over 20 different buddha-deities. The list can be found from the website.
- By using mantras relating to buddhas, the practitioner's mind goes through a transformation where the self-charges are released from all mentioned areas of the mind systematically. While some effects can be instantly experienced, thorough transformation takes time and committed effort because selfing is so deeply ingrained in the channels and centers of the energy body.
- In addition to mantras, the practices include mudras (hand gestures), visualisations and breathing techniques.
- Open Heart-method includes three approaches: sutra, tantra and dzogchen. Tantra is recommended to householders because it is easy to learn and practice, and it gives fast results. Results of Tibetan Heart Yoga can be observed from publicly released bhumi studies from the Open Heart-blog and Open Heart-YouTube-channel.
- In Open Heart, progress in practice is measured with Open Heart Bhumi Model.
- The first task in practice is to open the bhumis, all the way up to the 11th bhumi which is the first ”mahasiddha bhumi”. Throughout this process one has glimpses and insights into the selfless nature of the mind and also grows in experiencing natural awareness.
- When the 11th, 12th and 13th bhumis open up, awareness becomes one's default mode. Opening of the 11th bhumi brings an important paradigm shift as one mostly rests in the natural state. There is no need to ”get back to it” anymore. From this point onwards, tantric and dzogchen practice is continued for the reason of removing all habits, tendencies and karmas which in other words is perfecting the bhumis.
- First (of three) stages of buddhahood is attained when the whole energetic body, including all channels and centers, relating to the four aspects of the mind, and the first 10 bhumis, is fully purified. After this there are no impulsive actions in one's mind at all. Being a ”buddha” means being free of one's mind while still having it. This is what the famous line from the Heart Sutra means: ”Form is emptiness, emptiness of form. Form is form, emptiness is emptiness”. A buddha does not experience selfing at all and because of this is no longer a samsaric being. The first stage of buddhahood could be described as ”mental nonduality” while the latter two stages, referring to 12th and 13th bhumis concern ”physical nonduality” and the so called ”light body” or ”rainbow body”.
- In Open Heart, attaining the first stage of buddhahood where all of psychology has dissolved into awareness, is seen as a realistic goal to be achieved in this body and life. It is not something that should be postponed because that is what we truly are.
May be freely copied and quoted with mentioning the source
Copyright Kim Katami 2017