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Post by ngodrup »

The genuine human femurs can have a very distinct
haunting sound that is very desirable in chod. Best
would be hair raising, even. it's nothing at all like
a trumpet or section of garden hose. ;)
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Post by DGA »

Apparently, it's time to raise this old thread from the dead once more.

It seems to me that many Dharma-supplies outfits are out of stock for many items, and that prices are going up up up for what they do have. For example, check ebay for kangling and you will see that some cow-bone (or yak bone?) items made in China that were selling for $20US as tourist items are now presented as priceless antiques selling for hundreds.

I think much of this is a consequence of the Nepal earthquake.

Anyway, given this situation, what ought someone in search of a kangling do? Wait it out, or maybe try carving something out of wood as a provisional fix?
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Post by yeshegyaltsen »

Actually selling bone implements has been illegal in Nepal for many years now. A few shops might keep them under the counter, but you'll pay premium black market/ westerner prices. And the tremendous increase in prices for all things Vajrayana has more to do with the growing market for this stuff among upper middle class Chinese than it does with the earthquake, though the latter certainly didn't help the situation.
However, when it comes to kanglings, there are very specific guidelines for what can be used, so it's not that any old bone will do. In other words, only a fool would try to make one without knowing the details of the source. And even if you find a "real" one, it may not be the right one for you and thus might actually harm your practice. So it's a bit of a mine field. Of course, if your teacher tells you that you need to use bone, then ask them to find you one. Otherwise, if that doesn't describe your current circumstance, then you're probably better off learning on wood, or even doing without until you can find the real deal and somebody to teach you how to play it. Besides, you might want to make sure you know how to throw a party before you start inviting the whole neighborhood over to join in, if you catch my drift.
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Post by DGA »

yeshegyaltsen wrote: better off learning on wood
This ^^^ is my intention. I'm learning this practice element by element (visualization, melody, &c) and the next part is the instrumentation. I just don't want to buy something that would likely be inferior to what I could make myself.
Besides, you might want to make sure you know how to throw a party before you start inviting the whole neighborhood over to join in, if you catch my drift.
Excellent advice.

Thank you for the helpful post.
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Post by Soma999 »


I think context should be brought up when considering kangling. During Machik's time, practitionners were into cremation ground, or graveyard. They could access bones as easily as someone in the rainforest can access wood.

Now, in my opinion, as we are on 21 century, things changed, and should be considered differently.

I would not consider using bones for many reasons. It can comes from politic prisonners. It can come from animal that has been very badly treated (the energy - fear ang anger - is fixed in the bones). It can comes from graveyard, and i don't find that respectuous. Would you appreciate bones from your body being sold on ebay ? Or the bones of your grandparents ?

Bones taken without permission, in fact stolen (whether with money or not - if the heart doesn't give in this case, it's stolen) may carry not so good energy.

If we consider for exemple indian texts about the use of skins as sheet we can use : there are specification for tiger skin, etc... but the time of those texts are not our time. Philosophy remains, but need to be adapted. Now, if we hunt those animals that are on their way to disapear, we act in a very negative way, it's not dharma anymore.

It's better i guess to use sheep skin, or even synthetic skin, and focus more on intention and consciousness.

A friend used sugar instead of salt in a ritual (without knowing it). It worked. The mind is what matter the most.

There is also a story about a Vajrakilaya practionner who, even if he pronounced badly the mantra, because of his pure mind, attained deep realisations. This story is traditionaly told and could be found on different books.

I think the key to consider is that *the tools don't make the magician, but a magician can change even a play on words into an incantation, and a simple tool into a channel of higher energy".

How did all chod practionners did on ancient time ? Did they have Damaru with gold ? Did they have cloth in silk ? A palace and servants ? A mala with 9 kind of precious stones ?

With all this rush on tools, clearly, the one who is winning is the seller. Still, i find very interesting that damaruworks for exemple contribute to keep the tradition to the highest standards and respect the text. This is highly respectable is guess.

I feel that what matter the most is the mind, the purity of intention. Give a simple staff to a real magician, and it will become the most sacred magical staff.

Higher spirits can read our soul, our intentions, and i guess they are much more pleased when they see compassion than by display of all kind of stuff.

Still, if our condition allow us to have great tools, that could be an opportunity to have great tools. It could be very interesting. But it's not THE condition for realisation.

If we want to consider all external factors, we should practice also at certain time of the day, during certain astrological position, with certain colours, facing this or that direction,...

But what matter the most is the mind. A pure minds transcends all condition and can perform miracles.

My advice is : keep it simple for the stuff, adapt to your context, and come to know your mind in all its beauty.

Initiation is a matter of heart, devotion, patience and work. No tools can and will compensate for your own shortcomings. The tool to make divine is you.
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