|The following article is from the Winter, 2012 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.|
by TENZIN WANGYAL RINPOCHE
This extraordinary, step-by-step method for dealing with disease is rooted in the shamanism of the ancient Tibetan Bon tradition. Best-selling author Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche is widely considered a master of the tradition and is known for his clarity and generous sharing of these practices. The White Liquid Practice is one of many detailed in The Tibetan Yogas of Body, Speech and Mind.
IN ANCIENT TIMES YOGIS AND practitioners used methods of energetic and pranic healing to overcome obstacles to meditation and improve their health. This is one such practice from "The Pith Instruction of Tsa Lung (Channels and Winds)," a chapter from the Zhang Zhung Nyen Gyti.
Healing of the body is more complete when it occurs on many levels. Consider that any time you have a disease or injury, you suffer from more than just the negative physical sensations. You may also carry around within you some kind of mental image or mental or energetic block associated with the pain, discomfort, fear, or events surrounding the illness or injury. This image or block is as much a part of your sense of your body as the actual pain or discomfort is. It can linger in you for days, months, or even years.
For example, after a traumatic experience with cancer, some people may live the rest of their lives identifying with an image of diseased tissue or of chemotherapy treatments even if their cancer was completely eradicated. Harboring mental images such as these can slow your recovery, limit the freedom to enjoy life, and be an obstacle to the open awareness of meditation.
I recommend the White Liquid Practice to Heal Disease for any physical illness or injury. The practice can have profound physical benefits as it opens the chakras (energetic centers of your body) and purifies obscurations and obstacles to your practice. If you do the practice consistently and correctly, in time your mental images of any disease or injury will become associated more with bliss and spaciousness than with pain, discomfort, or mental or energetic blocks.
This practice is best done with guidance from an experienced, knowledgeable master. To do it effectively, you must maintain the correct position of the body as described below, visualize the five seed syllables in their correct positions, and follow the directions for breathing and visualization.
The practice is done in the following way:
Connect with higher wisdom (through the practice of guru yoga).
Pray to the enlightened beings, asking them to "Please purify me and bless me so I may have success in this healing practice."
Squat on the floor with arms crossed, hands on knees, spine as straight as possible, head tilted slightly down, and the big toe of your left foot pressing on the big toe of your right foot. (See illustrations.) This position creates the physical pressure necessary for generating heat and promoting upward-moving energy. If the position is too uncomfortable, you can add support, while still maintaining pressure, by placing a cushion under your heels or buttocks.
Now, imagine an energetic channel running through the center of your body from the area of the sexual organs through your heart to above the crown of your head. Imagine that in this central channel and on the soles of the feet there are five seed syllables, as shown in the line drawing below. Visualize a seed syllable at each of five locations:
- A green YAM on the sole of each foot, representing the air element
- A red RAM at the secret chakra in the area of the sexual organs, representing the fire element
- A red OM at the heart chakra
- A white A at the throat chakra
- A white, upside-down HAM above the top of the crown.
Practice to Heal Disease
Each syllable faces out. If you cannot maintain a mental image of a syllable at least try to visualize its color and feel the quality it represents.
As you maintain the posture and visualize the seed syllables, breathe in deeply and exhale the stale breath. Repeat three times. Then, to activate the prana, take in a deep breath of pure air, inhaling it into the secret chakra, and hold. Normally air is experienced as entering the lungs, but for this practice imagine and feel that the air is being inhaled deeply into the secret chakra. While holding, feel that the breath and your diaphragm are pressing downward, and at the same time contract lightly upward with the muscles of the perineum and anus so that the upward pressure meets the downward pressure. Hold the breath in this way for as long as you can.
Visualize and feel the blissful nectar dropping down not only into areas of your physical body but also into any mental images you associate with pain, injury, or disease.
While continuing to hold the breath, visualize generating healing flames: Clearly see and feel the air quality of the green YAM at the soles of the feet. Imagine and feel that the upward pressure from contracting the muscles at the base of the pelvis causes the air energy to move gradually upward. As soon as the air touches the red fire of RAM in the secret chakra, the fire blazes. The flames move straight up through the central channel where they first touch the red OM in the heart and then the white A in the throat. Like rocket boosters, the OM and the A each additionally fuel the flames.
The blazing hot fire moves up through the brain and into the crown chakra. As soon as it touches the white, upside-down HAM, the HAM melts into a divine liquid—a blissful, creamy white nectar that drops down through all the nerves and channels of the body, especially into areas where there is pain or disease. See and feel the warm nectar flow into diseased lungs, torn ligaments, injured disks or inflamed skin, any areas where you experience pain, numbness, or general malaise.
With the nectar's flow, feel the removal of disease and pain. This liquid of the melted HAM is felt both as a warm physical sensation and as a deep quality of bliss. Sense the bliss on three levels:
- on the mind level as a flow of subtle consciousness
- on the pranic level as a flow of healing energy
- on the physical level as a flow of creamy nectar
Visualize and feel the blissful nectar dropping down not only into areas of your physical body but also into any mental images you associate with pain, injury, or disease. For example, allow the nectar to flow into the image of receiving chemotherapy for lung cancer, the image of a car accident where whiplash occurred, the image of teeming microbes, or the image of a caustic, dark cloud where a breast used to be.
When the healing nectar enters each of the physical areas and images, see and feel it merging with them and transforming them completely, clearing away all disease, pain, and injury and creating clear space in their place. More and more, feel the opening of that space that is the absence of disease and pain and feel the increasing presence of light and bliss within the space.
Abide in the experience. When it diminishes, repeat the practice. When you finish the practice, dedicate its merit to the benefit of all sentient beings.
adapted from Tibetan Yogas of Body, Speech, and Mind by ANNE MARIE CUMMINGS EVERY TIME ROBERT PERKINS