What's the big deal about the Yogas of Naropa?

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willimon7
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What's the big deal about the Yogas of Naropa?

Post by willimon7 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:36 am

Hey all,

First post on dharmawheel, so my apologies if this discussion has already been had somewhere else.

Basically I am wondering why it seems like everybody looks so highly upon the six yogas of Naropa?

I have explored some zen, and some basic tibetan practices ober the last few years, but am currently living in a monastery in Thailand immersed in the Theravaden tradition.

Although I do feel drawn to many aspects of the six yogas, I wonder how influenced I am by all the hype and mystery around it. It seems like simpler and more basic practices can take one all the way, so why add all the complexities and details?

What it makes it such a unique, or powerful practice?

Thanks to any and all that have wisdom to share. :)

ConradTree
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Re: What's the big deal about the Yogas of Naropa?

Post by ConradTree » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:07 am

http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=4704" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.ph ... 798#p36798" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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kirtu
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Re: What's the big deal about the Yogas of Naropa?

Post by kirtu » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:23 am

ConradTree wrote: http://www.dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.ph ... 798#p36798" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The above link in particular is useful (the second link in ConradTree's posting). However this will be incomprehensible to people who don't already know the teachings.

In terms of Tibetan Buddhism, the Six Yogas of Naropa harness internal energies in the body with the best result being Buddhahood within one lifetime (including at death). This is esoteric Buddhism and is not found in either the Sravakayana teachings or common Mahayana teachings. As you know, the Sravakayana teachings result in Arhantship possibly within seven lifetimes in the best case or Buddhahood in both the Sravakayana and common Mahayana after 3 uncountable eons.

However there are different systems in Tibetan Buddhism using the subtle body (the internal energies I referenced above). The Six Yogas of Naropa specifically refer to the Kagyu system although they are also called this in the Gelug teachings.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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kajibabu
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Re: What's the big deal about the Yogas of Naropa?

Post by kajibabu » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:26 pm

willimon7 wrote:Hey all,

First post on dharmawheel, so my apologies if this discussion has already been had somewhere else.

Basically I am wondering why it seems like everybody looks so highly upon the six yogas of Naropa?

I have explored some zen, and some basic tibetan practices ober the last few years, but am currently living in a monastery in Thailand immersed in the Theravaden tradition.

Although I do feel drawn to many aspects of the six yogas, I wonder how influenced I am by all the hype and mystery around it. It seems like simpler and more basic practices can take one all the way, so why add all the complexities and details?

What it makes it such a unique, or powerful practice?

Thanks to any and all that have wisdom to share. :)
This all depend upon levels of people understanding and learning interests. Just to give an analogy, some people may fly to reach particular destination, some may choose car, some may travel by bus or other means to get the same destination depending upon their interests, affording capability, time availability, hobbies or whatever comes on their ways. Similarly, some people may enjoy and be happy practicing Theravada Buddhism, some may like Mahayana Buddhism and some may go intensively with Vajrayana depending upon many simultaneous factors shaping their lives. If you are curious about Six Yogas of Naropa, just go and study or practice; and know about this, if you can't, just let others do. These are not the matters of comparision and as a Buddhist practitioner not good to label others out of your curiosity or other people's big interest in it....
Babu, Nepal

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conebeckham
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Re: What's the big deal about the Yogas of Naropa?

Post by conebeckham » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:36 pm

willimon7 wrote:Hey all,

First post on dharmawheel, so my apologies if this discussion has already been had somewhere else.

Basically I am wondering why it seems like everybody looks so highly upon the six yogas of Naropa?

I have explored some zen, and some basic tibetan practices ober the last few years, but am currently living in a monastery in Thailand immersed in the Theravaden tradition.

Although I do feel drawn to many aspects of the six yogas, I wonder how influenced I am by all the hype and mystery around it. It seems like simpler and more basic practices can take one all the way, so why add all the complexities and details?

What it makes it such a unique, or powerful practice?

Thanks to any and all that have wisdom to share. :)
The short answer is that Vajrayana techniques, and in particular the Completion Stage practices of the Highest Yoga Tantras, are very powerful methods. Naropa's Six Yogas is a synthesis and collection of the completion stage methods of many Highest Yoga Tantras.

For a committed individual with the proper preparation, these methods bring about results more quickly and effectively than other methods.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

ConradTree
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Re: What's the big deal about the Yogas of Naropa?

Post by ConradTree » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:11 pm

Malcolm wrote:But to get back to the main point -- for example we talk about "subtle minds". What are subtle minds, what makes them subtle? The reduced frequency of spanda, pulsation, movement of the vāyu in the body. When the vāyu moves, concepts arise -- no movement, no concepts. No concepts, nothing really we can all mind at all. When the vāyu moves very little, then we call that "a subtle mind". Sutra for example, has no methods to reduce the movement of vāyu to such an extent that such "subtle minds" are accessed.
Malcolm wrote:in sutra there are no methods for approximating the experience of realizing emptiness.
Malcolm wrote: The more direct route one has to a repeatable experience of non-conceptuality, the easier it is to realize emptiness non-conceptually. Shamatha practice always possesses concepts. Shamatha is a conceptual meditation. Sutrayāna vipashyana, below the path of seeing is also conceptual. Sutra does not possess any methods to approximate the experience of non-conceptual emptiness. Vajrayāna does.
:cheers:

willimon7
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Re: What's the big deal about the Yogas of Naropa?

Post by willimon7 » Thu May 01, 2014 2:34 am

Thanks everybdy for the helpful answers. :)

One follow-up question though. What does Malcolm mean when he says that "Sutrayāna vipashyana, below the path of seeing is also conceptual."?

What does it mean to be below "the path of seeing"? Also do Vajryana practices include vipashyana? Do the Six Yogas? Are some of the yogas more concentration based, and others more vipashyana based?

Thanks again for your help!

ConradTree
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Re: What's the big deal about the Yogas of Naropa?

Post by ConradTree » Thu May 01, 2014 2:35 am

Malcolm is talking about stuff like sexual yoga and tummo and the reason why they are superior to meditation.

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conebeckham
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Re: What's the big deal about the Yogas of Naropa?

Post by conebeckham » Thu May 01, 2014 4:05 am

Actually, the practices are very much "meditation," and include concentration and vipassana, though there are other dimensions to these practices.
དམ་པའི་དོན་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ཆེ་བ་དང་།
རྟོག་གེའི་ཡུལ་མིན་བླ་མའི་བྱིན་རླབས་དང་།
སྐལ་ལྡན་ལས་འཕྲོ་ཅན་གྱིས་རྟོགས་པ་སྟེ།
དེ་ནི་ཤེས་རབ་ལ་ནི་ལོ་རྟོག་སེལ།།


"Absolute Truth is not an object of analytical discourse or great discriminating wisdom,
It is realized through the blessing grace of the Guru and fortunate Karmic potential.
Like this, mistaken ideas of discriminating wisdom are clarified."
- (Kyabje Bokar Rinpoche, from his summary of "The Ocean of Definitive Meaning")

Kunzang
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Re: What's the big deal about the Yogas of Naropa?

Post by Kunzang » Thu May 01, 2014 4:35 am

willimon7 wrote:Thanks everybdy for the helpful answers. :)

One follow-up question though. What does Malcolm mean when he says that "Sutrayāna vipashyana, below the path of seeing is also conceptual."?

What does it mean to be below "the path of seeing"?
"Path of seeing" is the third of the five paths. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bh%C5%ABmi ... Five_Paths" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; for a very abbreviated overview.
Critics slap labels on you and then expect you to talk inside their terms. - Doris Lessing

dakini_boi
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Re: What's the big deal about the Yogas of Naropa?

Post by dakini_boi » Thu May 01, 2014 5:22 am

Malcolm wrote:But to get back to the main point -- for example we talk about "subtle minds". What are subtle minds, what makes them subtle? The reduced frequency of spanda, pulsation, movement of the vāyu in the body. When the vāyu moves, concepts arise -- no movement, no concepts. No concepts, nothing really we can all mind at all. When the vāyu moves very little, then we call that "a subtle mind". Sutra for example, has no methods to reduce the movement of vāyu to such an extent that such "subtle minds" are accessed.
This is very interesting. Why wouldn't very refined shamata practice reduce the movement of vayu to such an extent? And how is it that shamata is conceptual but tummo isn't?

ConradTree
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Re: What's the big deal about the Yogas of Naropa?

Post by ConradTree » Thu May 01, 2014 5:54 am

Tummo:
Malcolm wrote: We primarily use the three channels as a visualization guide for the prāṇa vāyu in our bodies that we breath in. For example, we use the visualization of the lower ends of the three channels to focus our attention below the belly, for example -- through muscular contraction of the mulabandha and the uddiyāna bandhas we collect and force vāyu into arterial system and cause it to supersaturate our cells, capillaries, etc. with vāyu and ojas (the real bodhicitta element within our body) that it pumps. Simultaneously, our heart rate slows, and this means for a time not only is our consciousness "slowing down" i.e. because the karma vāyus are now suspended, but the venous blood is returning less impurities into the blood stream temporarily while the ojas is flushing and restoring the cells. This is why Khumbaka, for example, is the hidden secret to longevity in both Hatha Yoga of the Nathas, and in Vajrayāna. Through the two lower locks, we slow blood flow into the vena cava, saturate blood with prāṇa vāyu and send it into the arteries, etc. Ojas itself has two stores within the body -- the heart and also the brain. This is why we do the visualization of blazing and dripping, etc.

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