What is Bon Shamanism

Discussion of the fifth religious tradition of Tibet.
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kalden yungdrung
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What is Bon Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:09 pm

Tashi delek,

Here again , a to the point explanation of John, about what is Shamanism.

Shamanism, lecture with John Reynolds from yesterday.

‘Dzogchen and the Tibetan Book of the Dead’ with John Reynolds this weekend in Lekdanling,
come and join! Because of the nature of the course we will not stream it.


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Vasana
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Re: What is Shamanism

Post by Vasana » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:17 pm

This event and the weekend seminar was actually last week and is not at Lekdanling this weekend.
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Re: What is Shamanism

Post by Mantrik » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:28 pm

I would prefer to hear from the Lhapas, the Buryats and Darkhads and other traditional practitioners about their practices.

People mean well, but tend to fall into the trap that there is something you can define as 'shamanism' whereas there are myriad variations.

I used to think trance and possession of the body by a spirit was the best way to define if a practitioner was a shaman but even that is too simplistic.
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Re: What is Shamanism

Post by jkarlins » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:54 pm

Thanks for posting this. He seems to know a lot, I just listened to a few minutes, but may be back for more later.

Jake

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lelopa
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Re: What is Shamanism

Post by lelopa » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:04 am

Mantrik wrote:
Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:28 pm
I would prefer to hear from the Lhapas, the Buryats and Darkhads and other traditional practitioners about their practices.

People mean well, but tend to fall into the trap that there is something you can define as 'shamanism' whereas there are myriad variations.

I used to think trance and possession of the body by a spirit was the best way to define if a practitioner was a shaman but even that is too simplistic.
I second that
ཨོཾ་ཨཱཿཧཱུྃ་བོ་དྷི་ཙིཏྟ་མ་ཧཱ་སུ་ཁ་ཛྙཱ་ན་དྷཱརྟུ་ཨཱཿ

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Re: What is Shamanism

Post by tingdzin » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:13 am

Ocans of ink have been spilled by scholars tryng to provide a satisfactory definition of "shamanism". Really it's an intellectual construct rather than a real "thing".

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kalden yungdrung
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Re: What is Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:57 am

Tashi delek,

Below a nice contribution to the meaning of Shamanism.
Author
Tenzin Wangyal / USA

http://entheology.com/peoples/shamanism ... -of-tibet/ :twothumbsup:
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kalden yungdrung
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Re: What is Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:43 am

Tashi delek,

According Tenzin Namgyal from Ligmincha the USA, the Tibetan Shamans have the knowledge of a certain vow, they know in common.
(See also link above)

Tenzin Namgyal :

In that moment the great Bön sage Sangwa Dupa (secret essence) manifested as the wrathful yidam deity Tsochog (Foremost Excellence) and vanquished the 5 demons.
Through the vow the demons were forced by Sangwa Dupa to take on that occasion, his teaching still has the power to communicate with these negative forces.

This is the vow Tibetan shamans recall in rites when they communicate with disturbing spirits, particularly the 5 great demons, to convince them not to create problems and confusion: “Because of your promise to Sangwa Dupa, you must not disturb my sponsor or my people, for which I pay you with this offering.”
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Re: What is Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:00 am

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Re: What is Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Mon Dec 25, 2017 5:32 pm

Tashi delek,

Gurung shamanism is in Nepal popular.
Gurungs generally believe in Buddha and Bodhisattvas.


Gurungs employ 3 categories of priesthood , each following different practices

- Ghyapri,
- Pachyu
- Bön Lama

Practices of Pachyu have been influenced by Buddhist teaching, and they are often associated in various rites with lamas.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gurung_shamanism




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Re: What is Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:11 pm

Tashi delek,

The term dongba (Nakhi: dto¹mba, Chinese: ; pinyin: ; literally: "Ba of the East") refers to priests of the Nakhi people of Southwest China, who are masters of traditional culture, literature and Dongba symbols.


The Dongba are Bön priests.

They play a major role in Nakhi culture and preach harmony between man and nature. Their costumes show strong Tibetan influence, and pictures of Bön gods can be seen on their headgear. Tibetan prayer flags and Taoist offerings can be seen in their rituals.

Religious rituals are also conducted by the priests to propitiate the spirits, as they were believed to be living in every part of the natural world.

The core of the Dongba religion is based on the belief that both man and nature are 2 half-brothers born of 2 mothers and the same father. This creates revenge from heaven, which falls upon humans who use up too much natural resources.

Prior to Tibetan influence, it is suggested that the original Nakhi priests were female llü-bu. At that time, statues or religious images could be widely seen everywhere.

A complete annotated translation of ancient Nakhi Dongba Books (traditional Chinese: ), in 100 volumes, has been published.




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http://www.popflock.com/learn?s=Dongba
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Re: What is Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:17 pm

Dongba and smoke offering, (Sangchöd ?).

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Re: What is Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:25 pm

Tashi delek ,

The Dongba have a very rare script.

The Dongba script appears to be an independent ancient writing system, though presumably it was created in the environment of older scripts.

According to Dongba religious fables, the Dongba script was created by the founder of the Bön religious tradition of Tibet, Tönpa Shenrab (Tibetan: ston pa gshen rab) or Shenrab Miwo (Tibetan: gshen rab mi bo)
Dongba script - 00.jpg
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.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dongba_symbols
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Re: What is Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:53 pm

Varis wrote:

Sorry, I think I've asked about the wrong thing. What I meant to ask was if the Yungdrung Bön tradition still has certain shamanistic practices of the past. I know you wrote before about the lower vehicles of Bön that involve practices for making offerings to the Gods, etc. but I was curious if these practices include things like out-of-body journeys to visit the heavens or speak to the spirits that shamans engage in, and whether or not Bönpo still practice them. In particular I'd also like to ask about the sort of drumming practices seen among shamans, I've see videos of Bönpos using those traditional shaman drums with the kilaya at the bottom that Himalayan Bönpo shamans also use (Dhyāngro I believe they're called?), are these used to summon spirits, heal, etc. in the way shamans do?

Thank you.
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Tashi delek Varis,

Better to deal with your last question here.

By: Tenzin Wangyal

It is interesting to note that one of the ways the Buddhist schools attempted to suppress Bön, was by accusing Bön practitioners of being 'intellectually uncivilized' - of being mere primitive shamans. However, in the deepest sense, shamanic belief is the Tibetans' very lifeblood. Tibetans of any religious school who get ill will enact rituals, such as putting up prayer flags, to invoke their guardian spirits and perform ransom rites to remove disturbing spirits, without a moment's hesitation.

Shamanism contains much wisdom that is used to harmonize imbalances, by working on re-establishing good relationships with spirits. The work of Native American shamans in contacting guardian animals for guidance, strength and knowledge, is of great value for healing and for restoring a harmonious relationship with animals, the
elements, the sky and the whole environment.

A practitioner of the Bön ways, however, might warn contemporary western shamans about the dangers inherent in certain of the practices they perform the drum journey, is one such example, used for finding the 'guardian' animal (which they then trust completely) and collaborate with in healing. It is by no means certain that the 'guardian' animal that the shaman meets during the drum journey will be beneficial.

In that kind of journey, or out-of-body experience, one can meet hundreds of different beings, just as a non-human being, coming into the human world, will meet 100 of humans.
The shamanic experience is very important, so it is crucial to have the right guardian, which must be found through real awareness and realization.

In Tibet most locations, towns and mountains have their own guardian protectors, just as the various religious schools share protective guardian deities. Yet it were yogis, lamas and realized masters who recognized, subjugated and initiated these powerful beings as dharmapalas, or guardians, of the teachings. Until meeting these masters,
many of these beings were wild and untrustworthy spirits or the ghosts of evil or confused people, just as the guardian animals the shaman meets may be evil.

==================

So the drum journey can be dangerous for certain unskilled Shamans, if they are in search for the helper animal.
In Bön we have so some methods to catch demons in traps who cause problems.

Here we deal sure with Shamanism on a high skilled level.

Some helpers of Bön , who have been converted to Dharma helpers / protectors, is Pehar and is known in Bön as Zhang Zhung gi srung ma. But one other story deals with a Pehar who stems from Hor (Mongolia).

But Pehar is known also in India under a different name Raja shel ging dkar po.

Pehar is given 3 different names:

Gyal po demon - Pe dkar chenpo
Chös rgyal / Dharmaraja - dgra lha chen
Tsang pa karpo

Guru Rinpoche gave him the name dBang pyug yeshe mgön.

So a Shaman can meet demons and more during his drum journey and the Shaman needs protectors and helpers on his journey. Subjugating demons is in the lower vehicles / ways of Bön, therefore a well known aspect, including the rituals how to catch them with traps. Nyingma knows it also very well.

The Dharmapalas are a result of these rituals as well the Nechung oracle of Lhasa (Pehar Gyalpo), which seemed to be "tamed", by Guru Rinpoche. Or was it Pehar from Hor (Mongolia) maybe ?


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Re: What is Shamanism

Post by Varis » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:56 am

kalden yungdrung wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:53 pm
So a Shaman can meet demons and more during his drum journey and the Shaman needs protectors and helpers on his journey. Subjugating demons is in the lower vehicles / ways of Bön, therefore a well known aspect, including the rituals how to catch them with traps. Nyingma knows it also very well.
If I understand this correctly, what you're saying is that drum journey practices and methods for working/attaining helper spirits do exist in the casual vehicles of Bön? Do you know if any Bön Lamas today teach them?

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Re: What is Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:57 pm

Varis wrote:
Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:56 am
kalden yungdrung wrote:
Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:53 pm
So a Shaman can meet demons and more during his drum journey and the Shaman needs protectors and helpers on his journey. Subjugating demons is in the lower vehicles / ways of Bön, therefore a well known aspect, including the rituals how to catch them with traps. Nyingma knows it also very well.
If I understand this correctly, what you're saying is that drum journey practices and methods for working/attaining helper spirits do exist in the casual vehicles of Bön? Do you know if any Bön Lamas today teach them?
Tashi delek V,

Thanks for your replies.

There are in the first 4 Ways of Bön different approaches regarding the subduing of negative external forces.
Sure they are teached because they all belong to the world of Bön, but the Shen priests make more use of certain methods like the drum.

But the drum journey is for sure never / not the only way to help out of compassion suffering sentient beings.

Bön Monks do it different because they have already protectors like Yeshe Walmo etc. which is a very powerful method to control negative forces. Then we have the oath which the 5 demons sweared to Sangwa Dupa ( a previous emanation of Buddha Shakyamuni) and this oath is used by certain Bön priests as a method as well by other Shamans from other traditions.

So in Bön we can chose that method which we can handle or are able to use. All in all Bön has regarding the 4 ways everything in house / on stock to subdue negative forces, which are appreciated very much in the 4 other Tibetan Traditions, because they are effective.

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By:
Tenzin Wangyal from the USA.


Tibetan Shamanism is found in the first 4 causal ways. Shamans in Tibet take a very earthy and dualistic approach to life, healing the disturbances and illnesses in this life without being concerned about the next life.


These first 4 causal ways of the native Tibetan shamans’ paths, are called:

- Chashen (The way of the Shen of Prediction),
- Nangshen (The Way of the Shen of the Visible World),
- Trulshen (The Way of the Shen of ‘Magical’ Illusion), a
- Sichen ( The way of the Shen of Existence).



1. Chashen, the first way
comprises medical diagnosis and healing, as well as various ancient divination and astrological rites performed by the shaman to determine whether the person who needs to be healed has an energetic imbalance, or is being provoked by a demonic spirit, or negative energy (as mentioned above).
Nowadays these rites are still widely practised in Tibetan communities.



2. The second way, Nangshen,
comprises various rituals for purification to summon energy and enhance prosperity, to suppress and liberate negative forces, and to invoke and make offerings to powerful deities and pay ransoms to demonic spirits.

These practices are very widespread in Tibet. Families perform small ones, while large scale ones are usually performed collectively in towns, villages and monasteries. In ransom rites, an effigy is prepared which represents the beneficiary of the rite, or the shamanic practitioner who is performing it. I remember when my mother had been ill for a long time we tried to heal her by means of different medical treatments, but nothing helped. We then performed several minor rites, but these did not work either.

So finally we invited some shaman monks, who performed a big ransom rite, in which they prepared a large effigy of her (in fact, people often make life-size effigies) and we dressed it in her clothes, so that it was very lifelike and resembled her closely. Then we performed the ritual, offering the effigy in her place to repay her karmic debt to spirits. She was given a new name, Yehe Lhamo, in place of her old name, Drölma, as a kind of new birth into the world, and she recovered from her illness.
In giving new names to persons who have bad luck caused by demons etc. a new name causes that the demon attacker cannot see anymore the person.



3. Shamans of the 3rd way,
Trulshen, go where there is strong, wild energy, where they perform practices to conquer the spirits and demons that inhabit those places, subjugating them into their service.

One achieves this through practicing:
- mantra (words of magic power)
- mudra (meaningful hand gestures to communicate with gods and spirits)
- samadhi (meditation), while performing sadhanas (devotional practices) to engage various wrathful goddesses such as Walmo and Chenmo.

The aim of these wrathful practices, which are directed against enemies of the teaching, are to protect the practitioners and the teaching against danger and threats.
Here we see a more known way to protect, that what we normally practice. Like Yeshe Walmo practice......

It is very important to perform these actions with an attitude of love and compassion towards other beings, and should not be performed solely for the shaman’s benefit.



4. Working with the soul of the living and the dead is the most important feature of the 4th way,

Sichen, which contains a detailed explanation of the principle of the la (soul), yid (mind), and sem (thinking mind). “The la is the karmic trace, which is stored in the kunzhi namshe, (or base consciousness). The sem follows the karmic trace and produces blissful, painful and neutral experiences which are experienced by the yid.”

When a living person’s soul is lost, shattered, or disordered, there are practices to recall and reinforce its energy, such as soul retrieval. In relation to the dead, there are explanations of 81 different types of death, such as accidental death, suicide, murder, and sinister death.

Following these kinds of death, it is very important to perform appropriate rites, especially if the death occurs in a place which is energetically disturbed (for instance, a place where untoward events such as accidents regularly occur).

A particular specific method found in this way, is that of the ‘4 doors’, to vanquish negative spirits, using 360 different methods. There are also funeral rites to guide the soul immediately after death, communicating with the ghost of the deceased and feeding it until its next rebirth.

One of the most important practices performed by Tibetan shamans of the sichen path is soul retrieval – Lalu (literally redeeming, or buying back the soul), and Chilu, (redeeming the life-energy).

These practices are widespread in the Bön tradition and also in all Tibetan Buddhist schools. One could discuss the soul and life-energy philosophically at great length; but in brief, life energy is the force that keeps mind and body together and the soul is the vital energy of the person.

External negativities can cause these 2 forces to decline, be disturbed, or even lost. Through the lalu and chilu rites, these forces can be recalled, repaired and balanced.

To recall the life force in the chilu ritual, the shaman sends out energy as light rays, like a hook, to catch the blessings of the Buddhas;
- the power of all the protectors, protectresses and guardians;
- the magic power of all the spirits and 8 classes of beings;
- the vital energy of the life force of the beings of the 6 realms. He summons this powerful energy from all the corners of the universe and condenses it into syllables, which he introduces into the disturbed person’s heart through his crown chakra, reinforcing his life force.

As last is very specific the following oath.

In that moment the great Bön sage Sangwa Dupa (secret essence) manifested as the wrathful yidam deity Tsochog (Foremost Excellence) and vanquished the 5 demons. Through the vow the demons were forced by Sangwa Dupa to take on that occasion, his teaching still has the power to communicate with these negative forces.
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Re: What is Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:19 pm

Tashi delek,

Here a very educative video regarding Shamanism and buddhism in Buryatia part 1
We can clearly see that Russian / Mongolian Shamanism is integrated in the Buddhism from those countries.
So it is in Tibet.

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kalden yungdrung
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Re: What is Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:20 pm

Shamanism and buddhism in Buryatia part 2.

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kalden yungdrung
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Re: What is Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:27 pm

IN ADDITION:

Healing / Shaman Voyage

=============
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Re: What is Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:31 pm

Fire on the Mountain - A Gathering of Shamans.
Here we can see how the Dalai Lama is present during the demonstratio done by many Shamans from different countries.


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