maanantai 30. toukokuuta 2016

Testing the Mind of Meditation

Testing the Mind of Meditation

Mind of meditation is expressed and embodied by the physical body. State of mind and awareness (dual/nondual) can be demonstrated, verified and tested with simple physical contact. Please watch the video below for introduction.

Four modes of mind

  1. Dualistic frame of mind, embodying negative thought or emotion
  2. Nondualistic frame of mind, embodying positive thought or emotion such as loving-kindness, compassion, joy or peacefulness*, sutra-style
  3. Nondualistic frame of mind, tantric guru yoga, tantra-style
  4. Nondualistic frame of mind, open awareness/ati-meditation, ati yoga-style

Ways of testing

  1. Gentle touch with soft pressure. Chest, shoulder, back, free variations. A way for beginners to see how their state of mind affects their bodies and how both negative and positive frames of mind can actually be concretized. Tester is there to give support for the tested.
  2. Adding emotional negativity to the way of testing. Making physical contact in more aggressive manner, like poking to simulate conflict situations from everyday life. A way to test our frame of mind and attainment in an artificial conflict situation to see how our mind training might do in real life. Returing nondual frame of mind is one gets lost in dualistic mind content.
  3. Very aggressive testing, poking and shoving by one or several testers. An artificially created situation where one's mind is tested in very aggressive conflict situation, as if bullied by one or several people.

sunnuntai 29. toukokuuta 2016

Cutting through Samsara and entering Nirvana, Part 3: Twist and Shout!

Cutting through Samsara
and entering Nirvana, Part 3:
Twist and Shout!

Check also:

Jigme Lingpa, talks about distinguishing between samsara and nirvana in his famous book, Yeshe Lama. Rushen or korde rushen has the meaning of separating or distinguishing samsara and nirvana. This is the basic training of natural perfection, also known as dzogchen. Jigme Lingpa quoted in italics.

Rushen of body

How to do the rushen of body is explained in the root tantra:

With the body, in motion or reclining,
Or twisting and turning, perform yoga postures,
Stretch and bend the limbs
And put the body through its paces.
Just as you conceive it, physically enact
The behaviour of the six kinds of mythic beings.

Accordingly, in order to revert the physical, vocal and mental activity initiated by karma and natural propensity, and in the future to halt it entirely, go to a place where it is certain that no one will intrude and where you cannot be seen or heard... Then say to yourself, ”I am here for the sake of all sentient beings to separate, distinguish and define samsara and nirvana physically, energetically and mentally, so that in the future I need not return to samsara.”
After generating bodhi-mind in that way, strip naked and... Then, run and jump, twist and turn, stretch and bend and, in brief, move your body in whatever way comes to mind – but without purpose or design.

Rushen of Speech

Then, similarly, in order to pull apart and define samsara and nirvana in speech... Chatter, nonsensically to yourself and speak various languages randomly.

Twist and Shout!

First a reminder: Please remember that yours truly is not an adept of the orthodox dzogchen-tradition.

What we have in the previous quotes is something very interesting when done in action. My interpretation of distinguishing samsara and nirvana by bodily and verbal means is as follows.

Basically, what the great master Jigme Lingpa is saying here is for one to allow the samsaric tensions be released, shaked, vibrated, shouted or voiced by physical means. When this is done, samsara is automatically released and nirvana, open natural awareness reveals itself.

What the master suggests here, in effect is no different than what ancient tribes have done when singing and dancing around the fire. The effect is the same when people of today sing and dance to different rhythmical music at concerts. Recently I witnessed a growd dancing to a wonderful Korean electronic dance group. The thoughtless and clear minds of both these, dancers and musicians were noticeable. The drummer spent long times in the thoughtless state, fervently beating his drums! All these people surely experienced the effect of this, whether they knew to call it with the proper technical term known in dzogchen or other schools.


Several years ago I came to spontaneously think that shaking the body briskly is a wonderful way to release tensions, both physical and mental. When one begins to shake the body, soon the shaking takes on it's own and there is no need to continue it anymore as it does itself. This is a natural mechanism of the human nervous system, animals have it and use it too.

In yoga, spontaneous physical shaking, trembling, jumping, moving, shouting and voicing in a non-rhythmical non-composed manner, is called by the term ”spontaneous kundalini kriya” or just ”physical kriya”. To some people this begins by itself, often to their surprise, while to others this doesn't start spontaneously at all. However, the nervous systems of all men have this ability to shake off what doesn't belong there. It's just spontaneous shaking and voicing which naturally covers areas of physical and psychic blocks in the bodymind that seek for a release.
This mechanism may be consciously stopped at anytime. This has nothing to do with going into a hypnosis or a trance. One is perfectly aware and conscious of this happening.


Dr. David Berceli, founder of the TRE-system has done wonderful scientific research and fieldwork with this principle. TRE refers to ”trauma releasing exercises”. In TRE some simple exercises and stretches are used to get the natural trauma releasing mechanism working which then takes on on it's own. His organisation has educated hundreds of TRE-instructors worldwide. What they do is no different to what Jigme Lingpa is suggesting or what is done by those with physical kriyas. However, the theoretical explanation and the meaning of it varies.

Rushen-practice in the Open Heart-style

In the beginning of a Rushen-session, sit quietly for a moment, let your breath calm down and relax. After a moment, chant Machig Labdron's guru mantra 4 or 8 times aloud. After this initial contact with the master, stand up, lie on your back or take a position that you feel like taking. Allow physical shaking and/or spontaneous voicing to begin. Let it happen naturally on it's own. Don't manipulate the natural chaotic pattern of the shaking or shouting. Don't try to release tensions, the inbuilt mechanism takes care of this on its own. Allow it to happen. When the body wishes to take a new position, allow it to happen. You will see that the natural stress releasing mechanism goes through all the tensions in logical manner. Just observe this, as you would observe thoughts or emotions come up and go by in open awareness meditation (ati yoga).
Continue for 20-30-40 minutes in one session. After a shaking session, lie down and rest for 5-10 minutes. You might feel very tired after the first couple of sessions but this tiredness goes away eventually. Then sit up and practice Ati-meditation. This Rushen-practice may also be done as a preparation for Tibetan Heart Yoga-session.

The way how the body shakes goes in periods. It may be very slow and calm while on the other hand it might be very fast, aggressive and uptempo. Allow it to be as it comes, don't change it. Yet know that it can be stopped at any time.

What is very important is to be able to observe objectively. This is a basic skill of meditators. However, if you are a beginner, know that sometimes strong emotions can come up. If this happens your body might shake aggressively, you might shout in fear, you might start crying and so on. Something like this that you didn't expect to happen, might happen. It's totally OK. It's subconscious tensions, stresses and traumas, samsaric bodymind content releasing itself. However, if you feel it's too much, you can stop the session at any time. If you feel uncomfortable to return to Rushen-practice, do it in a group or with a friend. You can also do this eyes open which will help you to stay ”here”, instead of getting lost in emotions or memories. In general, one can have eyes open or closed whichever is preferred.

The main reason why this is done is to shake off samsaric mindstuff from our bodymind in order to recognise our natural knowing awareness. It's that simple. Doing this has other benefits as well. Your physical fitness can become better, your sleep becomes deeper and more restful, your overall vitality becomes enhanced and of course you'll just feel fresh and clear after doing these sessions, both physically and mentally. This is because the knots of your dualistic mind are loosened or untied. Rushen (outer) combined with tantric practice, such as Tibetan Heart Yoga, which is called ”inner rushen” by Jigme Lingpa, does the same thing, emphasizing more the inner aspects of our dualistic conditioning. The general purpose of all of this is to cut through samsara and enter nirvana. Use it and enjoy it!


Spontaneous movements may develop to ”deity embodiment” as demonstrated in several videos by Pauliina:

Thank you for reading,

- Kim Katami, 29.5.2016

Open Heart

keskiviikko 11. toukokuuta 2016

Cutting through Samsara and entering Nirvana, Part 2: Cessation/Nirodha

Cutting through Samsara
and entering Nirvana, Part 2:

Cutting through Samsara and entering Nirvana, Part 2 - speech and guided practice.

    Check also:

      Feedback from Cutting through Samsara and entering Nirvana, Part 1:

      S: ”After watching your latest video about the chanting, and doing it, something shifted and there was a clear seeing completely through thought, to the empty nature that is it, which has remained open.”

      J: ”After 2 hours after the shouting session, my mind and perception kept flickering off and on. It was similar to lights being turned off and on, off and on, again and again, in a quick rhythm. These cessations lasted for a few seconds at a time. It kept happening again and again. Afterwards I felt very tired”.

      You describe going "unconscious without going unconscious", awareness shifting and going through something that is new to you. This is called cessation or nirodha. It is like turning off the lights and electricity of the house but not becoming unconscious. These moments are like big leaps, in spiritual sense. This is so because cessation resets the mind momentarily. It's like if you have a big, noisy and messy engine going on and on, making noise, creating fumes, like the dualistic mind does. But when you take electricity plug out for a moment... The engine stops for a moment. This is a glimpse to the natural mind, natural awake awareness. There is nothing and no one there. Literally. This is the permanent mind state of a fully enlightened one, mind of a buddha. That's the mind of no-self. No self in any shape or form. In other words, That's emptiness.

      When cessations start happening they might feel dramatic at first. When the lights come back on and the usual mind state resumes, you might feel, ”What was that!? Am I going insane?” Mind reacts like this, with fear and confusion, because it tries to figure out what happened. But it can't because cessation is non-conceptual and conceptual understanding only goes so far. So for some period of time cessation feels like a dramatic drop into the unknown and coming out of it also feels as dramatic, like a jump or something like that. There is this big threshold. If cessations are long, say minutes or hours, which are very rare, one is not able to be active and do things during cessation. Usually cessations are just a few seconds long, at a beginner stage. Later they can be for minuts and hours. People who wake up, have a short cessation and it has enough power to take the charge out of the subject-self.

      In hindu dharma, this dramatic leap is called kevala nirvikalpa samadhi. It's a beginning stage of cessation. But with time and practice the drop into and jump back from cessation wears off. With practice, it becomes natural, it transforms. In hindu yoga this mature stage of cessation is called sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi. Sahaja means natural. This means that one's conditioned dualistic mind becomes permeated by no-self realisation. Here the dramaticity of it, is gone and one can do things in cessation. Eventually, cessation is not interrupted, it becomes natural. It grows on you and at some point you don't even notice it happening. Mahasiddhas and buddhas are in the state of natural cessation all the time, bodhisattvas aren't yet.

      At first when you sit down and start meditating without doing anything, Ati-meditation, you might be self-aware, aware of sitting somehow, aware of the breath, aware of being there. But at some point a shift happens, a cessation takes place and knowing also disappears. In cessation there is no knowing at all. Nirodha is a stateless state of no body, no mind, no God, no buddha, no wisdom, no compassion. It is non-conceptual and without self-awareness. It is a complete stop, a full stop, complete disappearance. Cessation is a peak of meditative experience. And there is a good reason why all meditative traditions and texts have mentioned cessation as something very important. Cessation is sort of like a reset button of a meter, like there used to be in old video or tape players. Everything returns back to zero in cessation and therefore it has a significant impact on the mind and our psychological being.

      In case you are wondering what sometimes happens in your meditation and especially Ati-meditation with open eyes, this is it. There is surely a relation between cessation and progress in bhumis as well. 

      Have a nice day,

      - Kim Katami, 11.5.2016 


      torstai 5. toukokuuta 2016

      Cutting through Samsara and entering Nirvana, Part 1: Cutting through

      Cutting through Samsara
      and entering Nirvana,
      Part 1:

      Cutting through Samsara and entering Nirvana, Part 1-guided practice

      Samsara means being caught up by a mind that goes around in cycles. Samsaric mind refers to thoughts, feelings and subtle energy where thoughts and feelings are born from. This includes the sense of separate self or the sense of ”I” or ”me”. Actually all thoughts and feelings are charged with some sense of me-ness.

      When the samsaric mind is too busy and makes one go crazy because the mind is so scattered, there is a need to cut this cyclical function of the mind that thinks and feels.

      This cutting has to be thorough, a thorough cut through all levels of the samsaric mind. The talkative mind can be silenced simply by relaxing the jaws and the surface of the subconscious mind can be calmed down by relaxing the belly and the physical body but to cut through through all levels of the samsaric mind, we also have to cut through the subtle energy that is beyond the form of thought and emotion. This subtle energy is dormant and has no form. That is why it is not easy for meditators to perceive. However, this is a way to cut through through that as well. And when this is achieved, a stateless state of open awareness, where the mind has been completely blown out, is entered. The meaning of nirvana is literally ”blown out” as in candle's flame that is blown out.

      Tsoknyi Rinpoche says in his book Ground, Path and Fruition:

      The practice of the Thorough Cut is like taking a great big knife and just cutting the snake of solidified confusion. You take a machete to all the thoughts of the past and the future, to the whole complex of confusion about what is real and what is not, and just hack them down in one fell swoop. There is no visualization. Do not think about it. Just cut it. Drop it. It is very energetic. It is not like having a nice meditation.

      There are many methods to help with this and one whole class of those methods is the one called Parting Samsara and Nirvana. In it, you get your body moving-active, walking, anything-and then stop and look, immediately, and in that moment completely cut through all of the thoughts-conceptual, intellectual, gross, subtle, whatever.

      You can shake your body violently or you can shout or whatever; just work for four or five minutes and suddenly drop everything.

      In terms of the traditional methods of parting samsara and nirvana, practitioners would go to the jungle, take off all their clothes, and just jump, jump, jump, shout, shout, shout, and do crazy things to cause a real breakdown. Or they would jump into icy water. By these methods you can intoxicate all the small states of mind and really stay in rigpa.