deepbluehum wrote:They are using the word kundalini, but it is a different concept altogether. In Vajrayana, there is really no kundalini. It's not about motivation really. In Hinduism the kundalini is a living force that acts of its own. In Vajrayana, practitioner uses visualization to generate the fire element. Nothing acts of its own. Here the fire element and bijas are being utilized as tools, particularly to dissolve red and white bindus into the heart center in a death rehearsal of sorts, the endgame is to gain an intuitive understanding of how birth occurs so that it can be stopped. In Dzogchen, the situation changes again, because method is a kind of sem zin. As you know Togal is the big deal of Dzogchen, and methods are all auxiliary ways to get into trekcho, which you need to have a successful togal. In Kundalini yoga the job is finished when the kundalini works its way up to the sahasrara chakra, because at that time, one can enter sahaja nirvikalpa samadhi. Again this happens of its own. Now I've revealed all I plan to. Much more can be said. How this makes the two realizations different is that Buddhist realization is completely beyond Samadhi.
Well, I understand perfectly what your POV is, however you are acting like those teachers and myself were all conflating tummo practice with kundalini which is not the case. I thought that was clear. What you describe above "In Vajrayana" is tummo practice. However, the quotes I put forth make it clear that they are making a distinction between the two, and still acknowledging kundalini as a force that is worked with consciously. I understand the path of kundalini yoga as it is taught traditionally outside of Buddhism. Rudi's work is more or less the same, in that the emphasis is surrender, to allow the force to work on you.. however, there is a lot of effort building up to that point. Though maybe there is quite a difference between what you are referring to and what my training in Rudi's work was, because in Rudi's work the ascent to the crown chakra was not the end.. it then descended back down through the chakras and again up the back, continually refining the system and more deeply digesting the energy.. very similar to the microcosmic orbit of taoist yogas. Nirvikalpa samadhi was not the goal, but endless unfolding growth and expanding realization without limit. So it is a bit different than the conceptual framework of traditional kundalini yoga. Nityananda did not discuss conceptual frameworks much. Clearly, Muktananda and Rudi taught vastly differently and didn't see eye to eye. However, it is clear to me that Rudi was working with the same energy, and energy pathways.. but in a different way. This opens up the point that there is different ways to work with this energy other than the orthodox kundalini yoga that you keep saying is the only way to work with kundalini. These are energies of our incarnated bodies, ultimately inseparable from our minds. Therefore, Vajrayana would not ignore them, but understand them and work with them.. but in a different way than the hindu approach. Yes, the view of Vajrayana does not solidify anything as real ultimately, it is beyond such eternalist mistakes, but it still recognizes relative reality and works with it consciously-- which is what is happening in tsa-lung of course. In the ultimate view there are no limitations.. Milarepa can fit inside a yak horn, no problem. But not until he has fully arrived at that realization beyond all concepts. Until then, we are still working with relative functionality, including working with the channels and winds, etc. Of course the relative methods are different, as is the view, path result.. that is not disputed by anyone. But your replies make it sound like you are claiming these are separate self-existing energies that are peculiar to each tradition.
That all said, back to Vajrayana: I don't believe the teachers above are just confused or misinformed, not understanding what the term means or what they are talking about. That is what you allude to in your above reply. That is rather condescending towards Lama Yeshe and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, neither of which were lightweights or easily confused! I am not at liberty to discuss the details of private interviews I have had with my own lamas, but I find your statements contradictory to what I have learned from them. Maybe we are talking past each other. I do agree that there is a big separation in the traditions regarding the training and ability to consciously control these energy movements, vs. the emphasis in kundalini traditions to let the energy do what it will. This is a Buddhist concern about those traditions: that the winds will get stirred up, and then be out of our control..potentially causing damage to the subtle centers that can last beyond this lifetime even. This relates directly to CTR's quote I posted where he says: It seems to be quite dangerous, this process of working with energy, like chandali practice. You're playing with energy. If you don't work properly with the guna principle, then there's the possibility of distorting all the nadi systems into imperfection.
He says "like chandali practice" meaning tummo, but earlier he says in the visualization of the chandali and in kundalini practice differentiating them as different practices. Clearly, they don't have the same function.. in tummo the whole body is heated to the point of not needing clothes in freezing temperatures.... kundalini yogis do not develop this capacity.
I do agree with the dangers of kundalini practice as it is generally taught. I know of people that have gone crazy doing it. One of my Lamas has helped people that have really screwed up their channels doing it. I have been to a talk with a famous kundalini yogi who outright emphasized how many mental institutions in India were filled with people who were kundalini yoga casualties.
I know people who teach this stuff and have great capacity to wield shakti and they are not very evolved as human beings on even a mundane level. So I clearly see the issues with these methods.
However, I would hesitate to decide that we Buddhists don't engage in anything beyond conscious control. The entire enterprise of Guru devotion, and Guru Yoga, cultivating deep faith.. this is a form of developing this deep sense of surrender.. this is absolutely essential for tsa lung practice including tummo. Success in tummo is not some mechanical enterprise. It is predicated on devotion and supplication prayers. This activity brings us into a state of surrender. Only then can we begin to work with these energies.. In the same way that a Hindu yogi may concentrate on different chakra points, so do we, but we do with specific visualizations, and with refuge, bodhicitta, and right view. The goal is not the same, the method is not the same, but there is quite a bit of overlap even when comparing these things... the differences are actually more subtle than you present. There is not any reason to discuss this anymore, I agree. If I felt kundalini yoga was the right approach I wouldn't be here. But it is not as cut and dry as you present. There is always a great deal happening in our practice tradition that is beyond the scope of the discursive mind. Thankfully. The one thing I could say though is that we have a much more refined technique that is presented and safeguarded by living Buddhas.. ideally it won't land us in the insane asylums, ---though that also happens to Vajrayana Buddhists as well!