What is Bon Shamanism

Discussion of the fifth religious tradition of Tibet.
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Re: What is Bon Shamanism

Post by Grigoris » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:02 pm

Off topic posts split to here.
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Re: What is Bon Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Sat May 05, 2018 2:56 pm

Tashi delek,

Here a very rare photo of an obstacle ritual performed by a Bönpo (Shaman).

==============
By:

Nyima Drugdag Rokaya a Menri Geshe.


Question:
Is this Lhalu Chilu?

Geshe Nyima Drugdag Rokaya:
no, it's a kind of removal of obstacle ritual
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Re: What is Bon Shamanism

Post by Mantrik » Sat May 05, 2018 8:30 pm

kalden yungdrung wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 2:56 pm
Tashi delek,

Here a very rare photo of an obstacle ritual performed by a Bönpo (Shaman).

==============
By:

Nyima Drugdag Rokaya a Menri Geshe.


Question:
Is this Lhalu Chilu?

Geshe Nyima Drugdag Rokaya:
no, it's a kind of removal of obstacle ritual

Shaman ritual - 00.jpg
With a Nepali khukuri. :)
http://www.khyung.com

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Re: What is Bon Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Wed May 16, 2018 7:17 pm

Tashi delek,

Alexander is a Russian Bönpo and he likes Shamanism somehow.
In Tuva there are a lot of Shamans who know their practice of rituals very well.

https://www.google.nl/maps/place/Tuva,+ ... authuser=0
========================



By:
Alexander Hosmo


He returned from the field of force in Mongolia.

Met with a very wise shaman (his name will leave behind the scenes). On the day of the first sermon of the Buddha performed the rite of "Kamlaniâ", at one of the sacred places of Tuva.

Earlier, I often attended Tibetan rituals, but for the first time I saw a real and efficient ritual! My bows to the white sky.
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Re: What is Bon Shamanism

Post by Mantrik » Wed May 16, 2018 8:44 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 8:30 pm
kalden yungdrung wrote:
Sat May 05, 2018 2:56 pm
Tashi delek,

Here a very rare photo of an obstacle ritual performed by a Bönpo (Shaman).

==============
By:

Nyima Drugdag Rokaya a Menri Geshe.


Question:
Is this Lhalu Chilu?

Geshe Nyima Drugdag Rokaya:
no, it's a kind of removal of obstacle ritual

Shaman ritual - 00.jpg
With a Nepali khukuri. :)
I asked Nepali shamans - this is very much their form, the khukuri, etc. .
Why would a Russian use Nepali shamanism and call it Bonpo?

So, it turns out he isn't a Bonpo Shaman but a Russian Bonpo who has met Tuva shamans. You realise how misleading your post was?

Please indicate which lineage he follows and who taught him this ritual which you call Bonpo........I know Mongolian Darkhad elders, Nepali shamans and others from other cultures etc. so it would be really interesting to check it out.
http://www.khyung.com

Om Thathpurushaya Vidhmahe
Suvarna Pakshaya Dheemahe
Thanno Garuda Prachodayath

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Re: What is Bon Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Fri May 18, 2018 1:28 pm

IN ADDITION:

Tashi delek,

Lama la Rokaya is an experienced Shaman in the Bön Tradition of the 3 lower ways. ( Trulshen thegpa )
He can do the ritual for us Bönpos and he is not asking money for that.
Only the costs for barley, rice and some other small things has to be paid, e.g. the basic costs.

He is clairvoyant and could tell me who is my family and where they come from and also he knew my future intentions.

Also Lama la can do the Mo and astrological calculations.
The 34th Menri Trizin Rinpoche is a good friend of Lama la, he told me. :anjali:

Lama la is teached by the Menri Monks.
lama La wears the Bön Tantric Hat.


viewtopic.php?f=78&t=26441

Sometimes he does not feel himself so well, this practice cost a lot of energy (health).

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

Question:
By Ken

This is an interesting dish. What is this ?

Lama la Rokaya
That is the image of one's La-soul at the time of recalling the degration of Soul
La - 00.jpg
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Re: What is Bon Shamanism

Post by Mantrik » Fri May 18, 2018 3:38 pm

kalden yungdrung wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 1:28 pm
IN ADDITION:

Tashi delek,

Lama la Rokaya is an experienced Shaman in the Bön Tradition of the 3 lower ways. ( Trulshen thegpa )
He can do the ritual for us Bönpos and he is not asking money for that.
Only the costs for barley, rice and some other small things has to be paid, e.g. the basic costs.

He is clairvoyant and could tell me who is my family and where they come from and also he knew my future intentions.

Also Lama la can do the Mo and astrological calculations.
The 34th Menri Trizin Rinpoche is a good friend of Lama la, he told me. :anjali:

Lama la is teached by the Menri Monks.
lama La wears the Bön Tantric Hat.


viewtopic.php?f=78&t=26441

Sometimes he does not feel himself so well, this practice cost a lot of energy (health).

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

Question:
By Ken

This is an interesting dish. What is this ?

Lama la Rokaya
That is the image of one's La-soul at the time of recalling the degration of Soul

La - 00.jpg

I think when you described that he is a Bonpo who 'likes Shamanism somehow' it may be closer.
Lama, Lhapa, Pawo or Ngakpa - I respect them all, but this looks muddled.
http://www.khyung.com

Om Thathpurushaya Vidhmahe
Suvarna Pakshaya Dheemahe
Thanno Garuda Prachodayath

Micchāmi Dukkaḍaṃ (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्)

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Re: What is Bon Shamanism

Post by Summers » Fri Jun 01, 2018 3:05 am

Mantrik wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 3:38 pm
I think when you described that he is a Bonpo who 'likes Shamanism somehow' it may be closer.
Lama, Lhapa, Pawo or Ngakpa - I respect them all, but this looks muddled.
The Nepalese shamans of the sherpa, tamangs, etc., who all originate from Tibet, are the old Bönpo like those of pre-Buddhist Tibet.

I don't know this Lama, but it's possible he is from a Nepalese family, or he studied with Nepalese Bombo. IRC some Tibetan Bönpo do accept the shamans as being Bön, either the pre-Tonpa Shenrab type, or the post-Tonpa shen vehicle Kalden mentioned.

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Re: What is Bon Shamanism

Post by Summers » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:00 pm

I would like to see this conversation continue as I think this is interesting, especially for Bönpo considering these two groups (jhankris and Yungdrung Bönpo) go by the same name and share many dieties and we can expect in the future to see more Nepalese jhankris whose religion is Yungdrung Bön and incorporate those elements in the same way many today are Tibetan Buddhists or Hindus. Is it breaking vows, refuge, etc. for someone to be a jhankri? Personally I think it's okay because being a shaman is not a choice.

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Re: What is Bon Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:11 pm

By: John Vincent Belleza

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Lha-pa Bön-nyid (Interviewed on September 23–25, 2005)

Lha-pa Bön-nyid is a charming and discrete family man in his middle years.
He was born in the Rabbit Year (1951) to parents of the Hor clan and a much older clan native to Sekhor (bSe-’khor).

His mother’s sister, a nun, was also a spirit-medium, as well as a disciple of the celebrated rNying-ma lama Degyal Rinpoche (bDe-rgyal Rin-po-che).

Bön-nyid learned the ways of spirit-mediumship from Khampai Pachung (Khams-pa’i dPa’-chung), the late great shaman of the region (see Calling Down the Gods for an account of this formidable individual).

Bön-nyid first went into trance at the relatively late age of 25, that is, after the end of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. During the extremely trying times of the Cultural Revolution, traditional Tibetan and Chinese practices of all kinds were proscribed. Bön-nyid states that the primary reason for calling upon the deities is to heal the illnesses of those who seek him out. He carries out his work freely with no expectation of financial reward.

Bön-nyid is a spirit-medium for the Gyagar (rGya-gar) gods, Nyenchen Thanglha’s (gNyan-chen Thang-lha) circle, Nor-lha, and Atak Lumo (A-stag klu-mo).

The Gyagar gods are a diverse collection of divinities of both native and Indic origins.

The sundry spirits in this group belong to a system of classification inspired by epic literature and Buddhist doctrine.

Nyenchen Thanglha is of course the most powerful mountain god of the eastern third of the Changthang, and a popular god of spirit-mediums throughout the Tibetan world.

Nor-lha is a syncretistic figure combining elements of the Indian god of wealth Dzam-bha-la and native wealth-bestowing spirits of a zoomorphic persuasion. Atak Lumo is one of the heroines in the Ling Gesar (Gling ge-sar) epic, a female warrior of immense prowess and influence.

Before possession, Bön-nyid offers his heart, lungs and other organs to the presiding deities of the trance ceremony. This practice is derived from Chöd, a radical Buddhist practice for quickly cutting through mental obscurations.

In anticipation of being overtaken by the gods, Bon-nyid also invokes the mistress of the subtle energy channels of the body (rtsa-bdag) to take up residence at the threshold of his channels. He says that this enables the divinities to descend and enter into his body. Bön-nyid believes that at the moment of possession, his consciousness (rnam-shes) is conveyed into space and is under the care of the celestial gods (lha).

The trance ceremony I witnessed was convened at night in Bön-nyid’s black yak-hair tent. The tent was jam-packed with family members and neighbors. A simple altar for the ceremony had been erected in front of the family altar. The gling or main mirror of the ceremony was inserted upright into a bowl of barleycorn. Circular copper alloy mirrors, some many centuries old, are used to direct and shelter the deities of the trance.

That night preliminary prayers began at 21:35. For these invocations, Bön-nyid wore a simple white turban on top of his head and a brocade mantle over his shoulders.

The spirit-medium said his initial prayers playing the hourglass-shaped hand-drum (da-ma-ru) and the flat-bell (gshang), standard instruments of his profession.

The chanting was slow and deliberate, an occasion for those present to enter into a more thoughtful frame of mind, perhaps saying their own prayers in silence.

The many deities invoked range from the Buddha himself to the epic hero Gesar to the ancient warrior spirits known as drabla (dgra-lha).
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Re: What is Bon Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:25 am

By: John Vincent Belleza


The Priest

Constancy in Upper Tibetan rock art motifs and subjects and probably elements of the mytho-ritual and narrative structures undergirding them carries over into anthropomorphic depiction. Yungdrung Bön literature is laden with descriptions of priests and adepts such as the gshen, bon/bon po and dpon gsas, who are purported to have lived in prehistoric times. Some accounts of their dress, ornaments, implements and other attributes are quite detailed.15 Deities are customarily portrayed wearing the same costumes and ornaments as humans.
Commonly occurring outer dress in Yungdrung Bön texts includes the animal skin greatcoat (slag pa), feathered or hide overcoat (thul pa), ral ga (gown of cloth), and the woman’s mantle (la’u), etc.

Headgear is said to have consisted of various kinds of turbans (thod), helmets (rmog), peaked headdresses (go cog), bird horn crowns (bya ru), and feathers (bya spu), etc. Many of these kinds of coats and headgear are noted in Old Tibetan literature, pushing back reference to them as far as the 8 th or 9 th century CE.17

For the pre-7 th century CE period, the rock art of Upper Tibet supplies graphic evidence for styles of dress consonant with textual references.

18 However, verification that the exact same types of clothing for ancient personalities are intended is elusive, because rock art depictions tend to be rudimentary, lacking careful treatment of the cut and
materials involved. Indeed, many anthropomorphs are so cursorily rendered that few anatomical or cultural traits are discernable.
Bön - John Vincent Belleza - Priets .jpg
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A pair of anthropomorphic figures whose pose mimics one another, as if simulating a
dance or some other kind of orchestrated activity. The pair is flanked by two counterclockwise
swastikas, once more hinting at the long-term importance of this symbol on the Western Tibetan
Plateau. The red ochre used to make the pictographs is unusually dark in color. Srin mo kha
gdang, Spiti. Protohistoric period.


The rock art of Srin mo kha gdang, a hard-to-reach cavern near the summit of a mountain, is cultic in nature, and almost entirely devoid of pedestrian scenes such as hunting and pastoralism.

The composition in the above photo have conveyed any manner of activities with ritualistic,
mythological or narrative undercurrents.

The two swastikas enhance the extraordinary or sacred quality of the scene, whatever that might have been. Although the textual use of the word swastika as a designate for non-Buddhist religious traditions appears to postdate the Imperial period,it is clear from the rock art of Upper Tibet and other western regions of the Plateau that this symbol loomed large over religious groups of the prehistoric era.
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Re: What is Bon Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:28 pm

Tashi delek,

A priest at Tongren County (ཐུན་རིན་རྫོང་, 同仁县; pinyin: Tóngrén Xiàn), known to Tibetans as Rebgong (རེབ་གོང་, རེབ་ཀོང་, or རེབ་སྐོང་)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/…/Tongren_Co



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Re: What is Bon Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:00 pm

Tashi delek,

Below a nice interpretation about what is Shamanism in relation to Bön
Many thanks for this precious contribution about what is shamanism :twothumbsup:

==========================
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By: John Reynolds / Vajranatha

As a spiritual and psycho-therapeutic technique, shamanism goes back to the very origin of the human race which itself is lost in the dim mists of time.

The presence of the shaman is already well-attested in European cave paintings belonging to the Paleaolithic era. Archaic traditions found among primitive tribes throughout the world claim for shamanism a celestial or extra-terrestial origin, and thus another principal function of the shaman over the course of countless millennia, besides healing and guiding the dead, was to maintain this direct communication between humanity here below on the surface of the earth with the heaven worlds above.

In terms of human evolution in primeval times, the shaman was the first culture hero, bringing humanity out of the nighttime darkness of a purely animal existence into the daylight of true human consciousness. The shaman was the first of all humans to speak with and walk with the Gods. In the pursuit of this knowledge, the shaman ascended into the heavens and descended into the underworld where one encountered certain archetypal figures, both gods and ancestors, who initiate the individual into a death-and-rebirth transformation of one's total being, and confer upon one the wisdom and the power to aid and protect and guide humanity, relieving its ills and suffering.

But the shaman belongs not only to the heavens, but equally to the earth. The shaman's religion is a pagan religion of nature where the human being is seen as a part of nature and not as something existing in opposition to it.

The purpose that is taught here is to live in harmony with the natural environment on a very personal and intimate level, as did early humanity generally in the days before our now omnipresent urban-industrial civilization spread across the face of the earth like a corrosive cancer.

Thus, besides healing, yet another primordial function of the shaman was insuring the ecological balance by way of inter-species communication. Through ritual magic and clairvoyant knowledge, the shaman could ensure success in the hunt for the tribe, that they might survive to live another season, but no species would be hunted in excess or to the point of extinction. And with regard to the hunt, he negotiated a covenant between his own people and the spirits of the hunted species.

Generally, in the context of shamanic culture, illness or disease was seen as arising from a disharmony or break in the natural order and in the moral order of the world, as well as from an imbalance in and weakening of the personal energy field of the human individual. The energies within the individual and those outside oneself in the natural environment must be brought into balance and into harmonious interaction.

This balance and harmony existed primordially, from the time of the beginning, but has been interrupted and shattered by the thoughtless and sinful actions of mankind. To rediscover and re-establish this lost primordial harmony, all obsessive and negative thinking which serves to block the free flow of the energy within the individual must be dissolved. In this way, the individual can come into the realization of his full innate potentiality, manifesting his energy in the world about him without disrupting the natural order of things.

But it is especially due to the destruction of the natural environment by human groups and by individual human beings that diseases have come into manifestation in our world. Humanity is not alone in this world. This planet earth, itself a living organism in its totality, is surrounded by and suffused throughout with an aura of energy that is like an atmosphere or ocean.

Nature spirits live in this dimension of the energy of our planet, like fish living in the waters of the sea. Disturbed and offended by the thoughtless destructive actions of mankind, such as the ploughing up the earth, the cutting down of the forests, the damming of streams and rivers, the polluting of lakes, and so on, they inflict illness upon an erring mankind as a terrible retribution. Since these nature spirits are energy beings, they can directly effect the energy of the individual and that individual's immune system which is correlated with one's personal energy field. In such a case, it was then necessary to call in an expert healer or shaman in order to re-establish the primordial harmony existing between humanity and nature, thereby effecting a cure and a healing.


This ancient Tibetan shamanism and animism, the pre-Buddhist spiritual and religious culture of Tibet, was known as Bön, and a practitioner of these shamanic techniques of ecstasy and ritual magic, the methods of working with energy, was known as a Bönpo. Bönpo is still the designation for a shaman in many tribal regions of the Himalayas. But increasingly, over the centuries, the ecstatic shaman has been replaced by the priestly Lama or ritual expert, and so later Bönpos in Central Tibet also came to fill a role more ritualistic than ecstatic.

There exists a parallel here to what occurried in ancient India where the Rishis or ecstatics of the early Vedic period, who communed directly with the celestial gods during ecstatic flights into the heavens, were later replaced by Brahman priests, experts in the performing of rituals and sacrifices in order to invoke the powers of the gods and ensure their cooperation for human benefit and prosperity.

Originally the word Bönpo meant someone who invoked the gods and summoned the spirits. Thus a Bonpo was an expert in the use of mantra and magical evocation. Mantra or ngak (sngags) is sound and sound is energy.
Mantra is the primordial sound that calls the forms of all things into being out of the infinite potentiality of empty space which is the basis of everything. Sound or word has a creative power.

But this term Bönpo in ancient times appeared to cover a number of different types of practitioner, whether shaman, magician, or priest. Here there seems to be a strong parallel of the role of the Bönpo in ancient Tibet with that of the Druid in ancient pre-Christian Europe. Just as the Druidic order was divided into the three functions of the Bards, the Vates, and the Druids, who were singers, soothsayers, and magicians respectively, so the ancient pre-Buddhist kingdom of Tibet was said to be protected by the Drung (sgrung) who were bards and singers of epics, the Deu (lde'u) who were soothsayers and diviners, and the Bönpo (bon-po) who were priests and magicians.

Another archaic term closely related to Bönpo was Shen or Shenpo (gshen-po), and this term may have originally designated the shaman practitioner in particular. The Shen system of practice was transmitted through family lineages, especially in Western and Northern Tibet, then known as the country of Zhang-zhung, so that Shen also came to designate a particular ancient clan or tribe.

The first shaman, the archetypal shaman, so to speak, who brought the knowledge of shamanizing from the heaven worlds above to a nascent humanity living on the surface of the earth, appears to have been originally known in the Tibetan tradition as Shenrab Miwoche (gShen-rab mi-bo-che), a title meaning "the great supreme human shaman".

Of course, in the traditions of the later monastically organized Yungdrung Bön and in the extant Bönpo texts from at least the 8th century of our era, Shenrab Miwoche is represented as being much more than an archetypal shaman; he is a fully enlightened Buddha, comparable in every way to Shakyamuni Buddha who appeared in Northern India in the 6th century before our era. Tönpa Shenrab descended from the heavens, specifically, from the heaven-world of Sidpa Yesang (srid-pa ye-sangs), in the form of an azure colored cuckoo bird, the herald of spring.
This occurred some 18,000 years ago, according to the traditional Bönpo reckoning. He thereupon incarnated as a human being in the country of Olmo Lung-ring which surrounded the holy nine-storeyed cosmic mountain of Yungdrung Gutsek (g.yung-drung dgu-brtseg) in Tazik or Central Asia.

In this mysterious land at the center of the world, which was in later Indo-Iranian tradition identified with Shambhala, he combatted and overcame the evil schemes and machinations of the black magician and incarnate demon-prince Khyabpa Lag-ring. Then he instructed humanity, not only in the spiritual path to enlightenment and liberation from Samsara, but in the various techniques of ecstasy in order to communicate with other worlds and invoke the positive energies of the gods (lha gsol-ba), and also in the rites of exorcism (sel-ba) whereby human beings might free themselves from demonic influences (gdon) and the various diseases caused by demons and other hostile spirits.


The history of the development of Bön may be divided into 3 phases:

1. Primitive Bön more or less corresponds to the archaic shamanism and paganism of ancient Northern and Central Asia. This shamanism is still practiced in its original and unreformed version is remote areas of the Himalayas, as well as on the borders of Tibet and China.

2. Yungdrung Bön or Old Bön (bon rnying-ma) was the high religious culture of the ancient kingdom of Zhang-zhung which centered around Gangchen Tise or Mount Kailas in Western Tibet. This kingdom, which possessed its own culture and language and writing, maintained an independent existence long before the rise of civilization in Central Tibet in the seventh century with the coming of Indian Buddhism to that country. In the next century, the Zhang-zhung kingdom was incorporated into the newly expanding Tibetan empire established by the Yarlung dynasty of Central Tibet, and the Zhang-zhung culture ceased to have an independent existence. However, the teachings of Yungdrung Bön did not solely originate in Zhang-zhung, but were said to have been brought from Tazik, that is, Iranian speaking Central Asia, to Zhang-zhung in Western and Northern Tibet by a number of mysterious white-robbed sages long before the political events of the seventh and eighth centuries. Besides shamanism, healing, magical rites of exorcism, astrology, and divination (these practices belong to the 4 lower or Causal Ways among the Nine Ways of Bön), Yungdrung Bön contained the higher spiritual teachings and practices of Sutra, Tantra, and Dzogchen.

Moreover, due to the spiritual influence of Yungdrung Bön and later Indian Buddhism, many animistic practices have been reformed and the practice of blood sacrifice more or less eliminated in Tibet, although it is still practiced on occasion by the Jhangkri shamans of Nepal.

In Yungdrung Bön, Shenrab Miwoche is portrayed as a perfectly enlightened Buddha who is the source of the philosophical, psychological, and ethical teachings of Sutra, the profound methods of psychological transformation and psychic development of Tantra, and the ultimate mystical and gnostic enlightenment of Dzogchen. Yungdrung Bön continues to flourish even today in many parts of Tibet and among Tibetan refugees in exile in India and Nepal.

3. New Bön (bon gsar-ma) was a deliberate and conscious amalgamation of the Bön of Zhang-zhung with the Buddhism of Indian origin, especially as this spiritual tradition was represented by the Nyingmapa school in Tibet. New Bön greatly revered the luminous figure of Guru Padmasambhava, the Tantric master from the Indo-Iranian country of Uddiyana, who first established the Nyingmapa tradition in Tibet in the 8th century of our era. And like the Nyingmapas, the the New Bön greatly relied upon Termas (gter-ma) or rediscovered "hidden treasure texts", recovered over the centuries by various Buddhist and Bönpo masters and visionaries.

These Termas had been concealed in the distant past by illuminated masters of the esoteric tradition, such as Padmasambhava and Dranpa Namkha, because the times were not yet ripe for their revelation and dissemination among the Tibetans, and they were rediscovered in later centuries. In the reformed Bon, one finds a monastic system, philosophy colleges, and a scholastic tradition and curriculum fully comparable to that found in the other schools of Tibetan Buddhism, especially the Nyingmapas. On the other side of the matter, many ancient Bönpo rituals and practices have been accepted into the Buddhist schools of Indian origin in Tibet and, in particular, as the cult of the Guardian spirits, the old pagan pre-Buddhist deities of Tibet who are now the protectors of the Dharma.


Furthermore, shamanism continues to be practiced in Tibet in its archaic form and such a practitioner is generally known as a Pawo (dpa'-bo) or Lhapa.

This social function is clearly distinguished from that of the Lama or priest. A Lama is usually, although not always, a monk, whether he is nowadays a Buddhist or a Bönpo. In general, a Lama relates to the higher divine reality as a supplicant, communicating with that dimension through the medium of prayer, meditation, and the performing of offering rituals called pujas. In addition, there exists another kind of practitioner, the Ngakpa (sngags-pa) or Tantric magician and exorcist.

Whereas the Lama or priest prays and petitions the higher spiritual order, the Tantrika or magician, by virtue of his magical power and his mastery of mantras, or spells and invocations, commands the spirits to obey his will and to do his bidding.

The Pawo or shaman, on the other hand, is characterized by ecstasy, the entering into an altered state of consciousness, in order to have direct personal contact with the spirit world. But in Tibet, the methods of these 3 types of practitioners of

healing-- the Pawo or shaman,
the Ngakpa or magician,
Lama or priest-- are not necessarily exclusive.

Many Ngakpas, although usually married men and not monks, are called Lamas because they also perform pujas or offering ceremonies, as well as shamanic exorcisms and other magical rituals. In addition, they may be accomplished scholars and teachers, having large followings among both monks and lay-people alike, and are not just simple village sorcerers. They may be either Buddhist or Bönpo in terms of their religion, although nowadays the majority of Ngakpas belong to the Nyingmapa school. Moreover, the most Pawo shamans in Tibet, although their shamanic techniques are of a different origin, now identify themselves as Buddhists in terms of their religious affiliation.

In general, the Pawo is characterized by spirit possession. After entering into an altered state of consciousness or trance induced through drumming and chanting, his or her consciousness principle known as the Namshe (rnam-shes) is projected out of the physical body through the aperture at the top of the skull into one of the three symbolic mirrors arranged on the shamanic altar.

These 3 mirrors represent the gateways to the other worlds of the

Lha (the celestial spirits),
the Tsen (the earth and mountain spirits),
he Lu (the subterranean water spirits), respectively.

These 3 types of spirit correspond to the three zones -- sky, earth, and underworld-- into which the world was divided in the ancient Bönpo shamanic cosmology.

The shaman has direct access to these 3 worlds and their inhabitants by means of an altered state of consciousness. At the moment when one's Namshe leaves the physical body, one's guardian spirit or spirit-guide, also called a Pawo, enters one's now vacated inert body and thereupon speaks through the shaman as a medium. This spirit-guide responds to questions and can diagnose the cause of the illness in question, usually that being some offended spirit. Then he recommends a procedure for effecting a cure and this usually includes the performance of a healing ritual (gto) in order to restore a harmonious balance of energies between the afflicted individual and his natural environment. In this way, a healing or a re-harmonization is realized.

With the establishment of Buddhism, together with its monastic system, as the official religion of Tibet in the 11th century and thereafter, certain among these Pawo shamans came to be employed by the larger monasteries, and even later by the Tibetan government, as oracles. Such an oracle is known as a Lhapa or Sungma (srung-ma).
The most famous among these oracles is the State Oracle attached to Nechung monastery, and he is usually possessed by the spirit Pehar, who is said to have been originally a deity of Turkish origin. The State Oracle continues to function in exile at Dharamsala in India, the seat of HH the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in exile.

The Ngakpa, on the other hand, as a Tantrika and an exorcist, is rarely possessed by the spirits. Rather, the Ngakpa is able, by way of certain meditations and other psychic techniques, to enter into an altered state where one's consciousness or Namshe leaves the physical body in a subtle mind-made body (yid-lus) and enters into the dimensions of the Otherworld, where one searches for fragments of the soul of the afflicted person which has been stolen by deceitful spirits or imprisoned there by a black magician.

A patient suffering from soul-sickness or loss of soul is characterized by inertia, weakness, depression, and loss of interest in one's surroundings and everyday affairs. If the La (bla) or the soul, this being a subtle energy field that serves as the vehicle for the individual's emotional life, is not recovered and restored to wholeness in the patient within a sufficient period of months, there exists the possibility of physical death.

The Ngagpa may also perform a ritual procedure for this purpose known as La-guk (bla 'gug), "recalling the soul". The Ngakpa, by virtue of his power to enter the Otherworld and return with treasures of knowledge and power, is able to diagnose the causes of diseases and prescribe a variety of methods for effecting cures.

These same practitioners among both the Buddhists and the Bönpos have also been responsible for the rediscovery of Termas or "hidden treasure texts" which have contributed so much to the spiritual heritage of Tibet.

Because the Tibetan people were thought not yet ready to receive these teachings, or else there was an actual danger of persecution, these Terma texts were concealed in ancient times at various remote places in Tibet by certain illuminated masters of the past, principally Padmasambhava. Then they were rediscovered many centuries later by Tertons (gter-ston) who were the reincarnations of the original disciples of those ancient masters.
Some of these Termas were found as actual physical objects and texts (sa-gter), others came through visions (dag-snang) and auditions (snyan-rgyud), and yet others were channelled directly through divine inspiration and automatic writing and therefore constitute "mind treasures" (dgongs-gter). Not the least among these Terma texts is the famous Bardo Thödol (bar-do thos-grol), now widely known in the West as the Tibetan Book of the Dead.


The Lama, whether Buddhist or Bönpo, is also profoundly engaged in healing practice. Many Lamas have been specifically trained in the practice of Tibetan medicine at a monastic college. Moreover, the most common ritual performed by Tibetan Lamas at the popular level is the tse-wang (tshe-dbang) or "long life empowerment", a kind of psychic healing that invokes and channels healing energy into the participants in the ceremony, whether they are ill or not. In many ways, the Lama and the Ngagpa have usurped in Tibetan society the archaic function of the shaman, and after the introduction of Buddhism into Tibet, many cultural figures such as Guru Padmasambhava and the famous yogi Milarepa, have been assimilated to the archetype of the First Shaman.

Thus it came about that the archaic shamanic techniques of the Palaeolithic have now been absorbed into the high spiritual and intellectual culture of both Buddhism and Bön in Tibet. This may be seen, for example, in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, where the Lama or the Ngakpa functions as as a psychopomp or guide for the perilous journey of the individual soul through the Bardo experience leading to a new rebirth. Or again, with the practice of the Chöd rite, using visualization, as well as chanting and dancing to the accompaniment of the shaman's drum, the practitioner gains mastery over the spirits through offering to them the flesh of one's own body.

In many ways this Chöd ritual recapitulates the initiatory experience of shamanic initiation, with its motifs of dismemberment and resurrection. The practice of the Chöd is said to be particularly effective in preventing the spread of plagues and infectious diseases. Both of these traditional Tibetan practices, the Bardo rituals and the Chöd rite, represent a journey from fragmentation to psychic wholeness.

Thus, in Tibetan culture, we find a harmonious integration of the archaic techniques of altered states of consciousness deriving from a primordial North Asian shamanism with the highly sophisticated psychic sciences of Buddhism and Bön.

Now that we are on the threshold of the 21st century, our urban-industrial technology and rampant unrestrained commercialism threaten to devastate our natural environment world-wide, imperiling the very survival of the human race on this planet. It is this author's belief that the ancient wisdom and profound psychic sciences of Tibet, which emphasize living in a harmonious relationship with the natural environment, as well as with other human beings, will have a profound contribution to make to evolving a new type of global civilization that is both humane and wise.
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Re: What is Bon Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:28 pm

Tashi delek ,

Pau Nyima, who practices a shamanic tradition passed down through his maternal bloodline, is one of only two known living Tibetan shamans remaining in the world today, according to the Foundation for Shamanic Studies in Mill Valley, California. He was chosen to continue his family’s healing tradition when he entered puberty and started having spiritual experiences that indicated his fate was to be a Lhapa.

In addition to sucking illnesses out of a body, with actual objects being spit out to show the patient the source of their illness, shamanic treatments can also include a soul retrieval ceremony, a ceremony to release a deceased soul who is stuck into the afterlife, or a ritual to end misfortune that causes child after child in a family to die.
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Shaman removed two black slugs – negative spirits – from my left arm and shoulder.


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Re: What is Bon Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:51 pm

Tashi delek,

Shamanistic practices in Bhutan vary from region to region, and even surprisingly, from village to village. Additionally shamans are called by different names depending on the region.

They are called pamo, pawo, nyeljom, lhapa, bönpo, terdag and many other names.

Nyeljoms are what they call local doctors from Western Bhutan.

These are women said to be possessed by deities who act as local doctors and use prayers to heal physical ailments. Physical healing, they believe, comes when the imbalance in the body, usually coming from evil or vengeful spirits, are exorcized.

The shaman’s role is to act as medium in order to find out what upset the spirit in the first place, and to find a way to appease it through rituals that include dancing and chanting.
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Re: What is Bon Shamanism

Post by Mantrik » Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:06 pm

Summers wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:00 pm
I would like to see this conversation continue as I think this is interesting, especially for Bönpo considering these two groups (jhankris and Yungdrung Bönpo) go by the same name and share many dieties and we can expect in the future to see more Nepalese jhankris whose religion is Yungdrung Bön and incorporate those elements in the same way many today are Tibetan Buddhists or Hindus. Is it breaking vows, refuge, etc. for someone to be a jhankri? Personally I think it's okay because being a shaman is not a choice.
I know a jhankri shaman who has given me transmission of this and that. He is far closer to Hindu than any association with Tibet, but inevitaby the Tibetan diaspora will have greater influence.
It is a dangerous thing to generalise with shamanism as much is familial lineage (in his case over 25 generations) and not easily, or wisely, to be categorised as anything other than what it is. :)
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Re: What is Bon Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:46 am

By: Manolo Amador

CHAMANISMO EN TIBET
"El chamanismo se sigue practicando en el Tíbet en su forma arcaica, generalmente es conocido como Pawo (dpa'-bo) o Lhapa. Su función social se distingue claramente de la de la Lama o sacerdote.

A Lama suele ser, aunque no siempre, un monje, sea hoy en día un budista o un Bonpo. En general, un Lama se refiere a la realidad divina superior, la comunicación con esa dimensión por medio de la oración, la meditación y la realización de ofrecer rituales llamados pujas.

Además, existe otro tipo de profesional, el Ngakpa (sngags-pa) o un mago tántrico y exorcista. Considerando que el Lama o sacerdote ora y hace peticiones de la orden superior espiritual, el Tantrika o mago, en virtud de su poder mágico y su dominio de los mantras o hechizos e invocaciones, manda a los espíritus a obedecer su voluntad y hacer su voluntad.

El Pawo o chamán, por su parte, se caracteriza por el éxtasis (la entrada en un estado alterado de conciencia) con el fin de tener un contacto directo y personal con el mundo espiritual.

Pero en el Tíbet, los métodos de estos tres tipos de profesionales de la sanación -- Pawo o chamán, el ngakpa o mago, y Lama o monge -- no son necesariamente excluyentes. Muchos Ngakpas, aunque los hombres y no a los monjes generalmente casados, son llamados Lamas, ya que también realizan pujas u ofrecen ceremonias, así como exorcismos chamánicos y otros rituales mágicos"


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Re: What is Bon Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:35 pm

Tashi delek,

Shamanism is declining in Nepal because it has been neglected by the different authorities.It is our tradition and culture and has to be preserved . The group of Hyolmo and Tamang People trying to preserve the Shamanism Bön or Bönpo religion in Nepal by organizing this kind of programm to share the feelings and communicate with the world .People are very much familiar with Lamaism in Himalayas but the history of Shamanism is even older than the Lamaism which cannot be neglected.


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Re: What is Bon Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:37 pm

IN ADDITION:

Nepal Hyolmo/Tamang Bön or Bonpo Shaman organisation Rally Part-3

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Re: What is Bon Shamanism

Post by kalden yungdrung » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:42 pm

IN ADDITION:

Tamang Bönpo

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