Green Tara of Wealth Teachings – Part 1



By His Holiness Dungse Shenphen Dawa Rinpoche

May 2013

The following is the first section of teachings Rinpoche gave last Spring at Yeshe Nyingpo. The remaining two sections will be posted over the next couple of months.

Motivation/Inspiration

It is important to develop the right motivation. Recognizing the infinity of sentient beings limitless as space all connected to us as our fathers and mothers—in order to free these sentient beings from the ocean of suffering, in whatever state of existence they may be—then we will listen to this teaching of Green Tara, Tara of Wealth (Tib. Norgyunma). By swift blessings may we accomplish the two purposes, the liberation of self and others.

The Three Kayas of Tara

Now so far as the practice of Tara is concerned, different schools have different ways of interpreting the three kayas of Tara. In general, the ultimate Dharmakaya Tara practice is Kuntuzangmo or (Skt. Samantabhadrani). In the Sambhogakayaa aspect she is Dorje Palmo or (Skt. Vajravarahi). In the Nirmanakaya aspect, which is the tulku aspect, then she is Jestun Tröma or Mother Liberator and she also appears as Dorje Yangchenma and Lamo Palchemo. Another Nirmanakaya manifestation is as the Twenty-one Taras.  These are in the general teachings.

Tara’s Aspects

According to the Nyingma Tersar she manifests as the outer, inner, secret and extremely secret – in these four aspects. In this lineage, the profound secret is the same as Samantabhadrani, Kuntuzangmo; inner is Kuru Kule; and outer is, Tröma, Kroda Kali; and outer is also the twenty-one main manifestations of Tara. That is one way. In another way, the extremely secret is Kuntuzangmo; then inner is Dorje Palmo; outer is Tröma Ngagmo; and again there are the manifestations of all the twenty-one Taras, including Yeshe Tsogyal and the many many wisdom dakinis who have also manifested. These are the whole host of dakinis that have appeared from then on. This is another way of looking at it.

Mother of All

So Yeshe Tsogyal has manifested as a Nirmanakaya form to many lama’s and many teachers and many practitioners. The infinity of these incarnations and manifestations simply cannot be conceived by anyone; it is beyond the mind. Yet in the aspect of the teachings, these dakinis are on all the levels of existences. Primarily they are there to teach, instruct, give secret teachings and to give empowerments and mind transmissions. Many of them remain in charnel grounds, doing ascetic practices and liberating all who they come into contact with. So Yeshe Tsogyal, and in this case, Tara is the mother of all the Buddhas. As such, her compassionate skillful means and wisdom are infinite. Mothers give birth to saints and all sentient beings. They don’t discriminate between who to give birth to and who not to give birth to. That is the excellent nature of a mother. From the point of view of the four types of birth: – miraculous, womb, moisture, and egg – the basis of our being depends on the mother. This mother doesn’t discriminate. (Tib. Gyel yul) means mother, mother of space. She is the mother of the dharmadhatu; she is the mother of space itself. Within space everything exists. Within this space is the ultimate enlightened clarity. Her nature is that. It is the ultimate realization of the mind, which is, emptiness, clarity and compassion. Those are the three aspects within this mother. Just as an ordinary mother loves her child and cannot forget him or her no matter what they do or wherever they go – the child will be in her heart and in her mind – so too is the love of Tara for all sentient beings. They are her children, particularly for Tara, who took a vow never to give up her female emanations. She will continue to emanate in a female form until samsara is empty.

Where does Tara come from?

She comes from the tear drop of Buddha Avolakitesvara, who, when he saw the suffering of sentient beings, no matter how many times he tried to remove this and empty this world of suffering, yet when he gazed back he saw the same suffering had increased even more than before, so in his sadness he shed a tear. From that tear Tara manifested and declared, “I will be the activity of the Buddha’s compassion. I will fulfill and liberate all these sentient beings who are suffering.” So she is a liberator of all sentient beings.

The Feminine Principle of Wisdom

When we come to know Tara, we have to understand that she is the predominant space itself. She is a dakini. Dakini doesn’t necessarily mean somebody who is flying in the sky and walking in space. True dakini means moving in the space of all the realms to work uninterruptedly for the benefit of all sentient beings. As I said before, their forms of manifestation are ceaseless. Tara symbolizes the feminine principle of wisdom, the wisdom of emptiness. That is the essence of the Buddha’s teachings anyhow.

This mother that we call dakini is totally enlightened and is crowned by all the Buddhas as their mother. All the Buddhas have the respect that she is their mother. They know that they have originated from her because she is emptiness itself. It is the space of great emptiness; emptiness of knowledge, wisdom and skillful means. Emptiness within which all the five kayas rest: Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, Nirmanakaya, Svabhavakaya, Abhisambhodikaya. All the kayas are represented. So of course all the kayas will arise from the emptiness, the vast emptiness that is the primordial space of the mother, the orginal primordial wisdom.

The Inner Understanding of Dakini

This mother who we call the dakini that is moving within the space of Dharmakaya, in the inner understanding, also refers to the awareness that is able to recognize its own luminosity – that is the meaning of da ki ni. Dakini then is the understanding of bliss and emptiness in union. Dakini means the primordial bliss. Bliss then brings self-cognition of the nature of the five kayas. This doesn’t mean in the ordinary sense, that is, the ordinary physical bliss that you talk about. No. You have to transcend physical bliss to the ultimate bliss of the kayas. Physical bliss itself is not the path to realization. No! The bliss of the kayas is a bliss in which your mind is absolutely aware and absolutely cognitive. It is a mind that can recognize and remain within its own recognition neither moving into nor grasping onto any phenomena whatsoever; it doesn’t matter whether it is gross or subtle. You can relate to the bliss with a sharp mind or you can be saturated by bliss in which you lose your mind, in which you have no idea what is going on. You are just shattered and blocked. This is not a stagnant kind of bliss I am talking about here. Rather this is the bliss which all Buddhas at all times abide in and enjoy. They remain in the nature of that bliss. Not that they are attached to it. It is the natural essence of enlightenment. That is the true nature of this bliss. So when you do ordinary practice, whether it is shamatha or shiné or whatever meditation you do, bliss is the natural skillful display of the mind. There is nothing wrong with it. You can either become absorbed in the bliss and lose your awareness through this absorption or you can awaken your awareness more clearly.

Respect for the Feminine Principle

Therefore, since the feminine principle is the principle of wisdom, that is the reason why, in the teachings of the Tantra, the fourteenth root downfall is belittling the feminine principle. In the process of enlightenment according to the Tantra, actually, females have more advantages to swiftly attain enlightenment than men. That is why if you belittle the feminine principle; speak harshly, criticize or fail to treat them well enough, then you will be hurting your own wisdom and the development of your wisdom. Moreover, unlike males, the feminine principle has the protection of the mamos. These are the wrathful female dakinis who protect and look after their well-being. That is why if you make them unhappy and angry, you will suffer, you will have the bad luck, things will not go right with you and things will not be auspicious for you. That is because they are backed by this power. In addition they have wisdom. They are intuitive, they can multi-task and they have an unforgettable memory that registers both pleasure and anger – that is, they can retain it. Whereas men, we tend to forget, quite soon.

Swiftest Liberator of all Fears and Sufferings

Therefore, the feminine principle points to the way of bliss and the way of liberating that bliss. Now as far as the practice of Tara is concerned, she is called Drolma Palmo, noble mother Arya Tara, the liberator of all fears and sufferings. In one sense she can liberate our mind streams and in another, whatever mental fears we have, she can give protection, she is swift at that.  She can dissolve all the sixteen fears that are there. She can subjugate all demonic forces, all illnesses and all epidemics – all of these. There is no one swifter than Tara to remove them. She is known for her swiftness when you ask her for help. There are some deities who will not respond so quickly. But in the case of Tara she is very quick and immediate to respond to your call when you call for her.

Tara’s Vajra Statement

Similarly with any sudden fears that come to us, if you can just utter the words, “Noble mother Arya Tara, you who know, please liberate me from this suffering,” this is all you say. You do not need to go into a very elaborate recitation. No need. All you need to say is this, “Noble mother, Arya Tara, you who know, please liberate me from these sufferings.” That’s not hard. In addition, she says that if you say these words, she will definitely come and remove that suffering. That is her vow; that is her promise; that is her vajra statement. This is the vajra statement that she said to Dudjom Lingpa, His Holiness’ predecessor, when she appeared in front of him and said, “These two lines are the essence of my practice; just call out to me by these two lines.” That’s it! So with great devotion in your heart, pray to her, invoke her, do her practice.

Tara’s Countless Manifestations

In essence Tara really represents the feminine principle and the feminine energy. That’s what that is. As I said earlier her manifestations to benefit sentient beings are countless. There is no one particular direction. If they need to appear as a butcher, she will appear as a butcher, if they need to appear as a prostitute she will appear as a prostitute. Therefore one should not criticize any profession. You don’t have the eye of the Buddha to know, to see, to recognize the person and to see who they really are. She could appear in any form, in any place or class.

Tara in this Practice

Now in this practice that we are doing, we would consider Samantabhadrani as the Dharmakaya, Kuru Kule as the Sambhogakaya manifestation and Tröma as the Nirmanakaya. Then in the general manifestion, the practice is Jetsun Drolma. This is all Tara. Then before Tara appears we have to visualize the four cardinal mothers manifesting in the East, West, South and North: – in the East, Yangchenma; in the West Rigchema; in the South, Ursema; and in the North, Norgyunma, Green Tara of wealth.

Then in the four directions you also have the four protectresses – the feminine manifestation of the four protectresses – and you have the twenty-one Taras relating to the sixteen fears; whether it be fire, epidemic illnesses, earthquakes, war, famine, disease, whatever; each of the twenty-one Taras has the skillful means to swiftly remove specific fears and suffering we have.

‘Wealth’ is Wisdom

In this particular case, we are talking now about the teachings of the Tara of Wealth. Please don’t misunderstand wealth to mean only material gains. Rather, in this context, it is important to understand wealth as wisdom. There is no higher wealth than wisdom. Within wisdom everything is spontaneously self-accomplished. If you have wisdom you will have the skillful means of executing that wisdom. In this Tara practice, you not only have the root mantra of her practice: – Om Vasudharani Soha but you also have Om Tam So Ha – at the end – for the four activities of pacifying, empowering, magnetizing, and subjugating.

Right Motivation

Now, when you do this practice of Green Tara, please have the right motivation.  To have the appropriate motivation in the beginning is crucial. It is critical that you develop it correctly. Don’t just say, “May I attain this and that…” Your motivation must be for the benefit of all sentient beings at the beginning, middle and end of your practice. In particular, when you begin the practice since we are following the Vajrayana path, Vajrayana is practice with a big mind, that is, expanded practice for all; practice that involves all beings. So when you begin, you have to think of all sentient beings. In this respect, think of your father and mother on either side of you; think of your friends in front of you; think of the host of all sentient beings behind you; the infinity of all sentient beings are with you doing the practice. That is important. The more you can expand your mind and include them, the more will be the merit. If you think only of yourself, what merit can there be? But if you think of the infinity of all sentient beings, then this is like a drop of water that you take on you finger; if you put this in the ocean then that drop which mixes with the ocean will never dry out. It becomes infinite.

Working with Bodhicitta

Bodhicitta that includes all sentient beings is important. Work with bodhicitta —you have to work with the bodhicitta. Bodhicitta is not about paying mere lip service—just saying things like, “I love you, I love all…I love everyone…” It is not some kind of lip service, which has no meaning at all, but just sounds good to the ear—nothing more. Just knowing that you can get butter and yogurt from milk is not enough. By just looking at milk and saying, “butter and yogurt!” you are not going to magically conjure up butter and milk. You have to churn the milk to get butter and yogurt. Similarly, you have to work with bodhicitta. You have to work with your mind training, exchanging self for others (Tib. tonglen) and your post-meditation (Tib. jethop) practice. This is vital. Therefore the training on the thirty-seven practices of a bodhisattva is very important; the training on the four joys and the six paramitas is also extremely important. The blessings all depend on how much you’ve managed to open your mind. What kind of devotion do you have to the teachings – not just to this teaching in particular, but to the words of the Buddha, and the wisdom they contain in general? How much confidence do you have in these? Much of the blessings is based on your own mind and how mature it is.

Lineage Blessings of this Sadhana

This teaching has tremendous blessings. It is from my father His Holiness’ mind treasures. Although the sadhana is short, don’t think that it is so short and compact that there must be something missing from it. There is nothing missing in this short sadhana. The blessing is full – the meaning is there – realization is there, and as much as I’ve received from my father to you, I have no broken samaya with my father, so the line of transmission is clear, clean and direct.

Wealth for All

In this practice, when you think of wealth, think of the wealth for all sentient beings and say, “May I remove the suffering of all beings; may I be a gem, a wish-fulfilling gem that fulfills the wishes of all my parent sentient beings.” With this practice have the kind of awareness that you are a gem that fulfills the wishes of all beings and that you’re the kind of person whereby whoever comes into contact with you gains a sense of the blessings of realization, a sense of what the truth really is – a sense of the truth itself.

Method/Phenomena All Dissolve into Wisdom

Now then, Yeshe Tsogyal is a manifestion of Tara, and she, is called Jnana dakini, which simply means wisdom dakini. As I said, the feminine principle is the wisdom. Therefore, that being the case, no matter how you practice, in the end the method will always dissolve into the wisdom. That’s where it is going to go. There is no way the wisdom is going to come out and dissolve into the method. No way – never! All phenomena must dissolve into its innate emptiness and that is the wisdom of the feminine principle. That is where everything is going to go.

The Eight-Petaled Lotus at the Heart

In the practice of Tantra we visualize an eight-petaled lotus in the heart, upon which is a sun and moon along with all the syllables sitting on this sun and moon. All your inner yidam practice sits on that sun and moon. The eight-petaled lotus signifies the feminine bliss principle of realization. These eight petals of the lotus are the eight blisses of realization. They are the eight drops. Later on, in the practice of trekchod and togyal, when you come to the atoms, these are the eight atoms that will fuse into ultimate Dharmakaya. That is what we visualize in our heart. So we visualize the lotus in our heart upon which all deities manifest. That means, the base in our heart is the wisdom Dharmakaya within which all must manifest.

Clarity – the Natural Radiance of Wisdom

So with Jnana dakini, the ultimate wisdom, then within that wisdom there is clarity – that is in the wisdom. Clarity doesn’t mean that there is something clear and bright that you see. Clarity means the natural radiance of the wisdom. Now only people who really practice togyal will understand this. But nonetheless, I would say, men in particular can gain tremendous wisdom with the dakini. Dakini is the path to purification. That is dakini. Dakini will exhaust all your karma. That is dakini – that’s her energy.

Pure Vision

So therefore then, in most of the pictures you will see Yeshe Tsogyal totally naked, holding a curved knife and a kapala. She is standing up. In most of the deity pictures you will see something like that. What she’s saying is, “Don’t see me as a sexual object.” Because if we see a feminine principle as a sexual object, that is the very thing that will throw us into samsara. What she is saying by her nakedness and her white reddish color is, “Don’t abandon your poisons take them onto the path. Through the practice of union – all union you experience – liberate that union into the union of the kayas.” So, we have to free that concept and have a purer vision towards the feminine principle. You should see them as your source of enlightenment, that’s what it is.

The Three Experiences of Meditation

All union, in the general sense, is for health but in the inner sense it is for realization. But as I said earlier when you do shiné or whatever practice, an ultimate aspect of the practice is bliss. (Tib. dewai nyam, selwai nyam, and metog psi nyam) – the experiences of bliss, clarity and non-thought. The three experiences of any meditation are to do first with dewa. What is dewa? dewa is bliss. And what is bliss? Bliss shatters the conceptualizing mind. That’s what bliss shatters. Bliss is healing, bliss is medicine and bliss will shatter the gross phenomena. That’s what bliss will shatter.

Impartial Love and Compassion

Now then, as I said, impartial compassion is for all. Mothers when they give birth don’t choose to give birth to this child but not to that one.  That doesn’t happen. When the sun shines, the sun shines on all phenomena; it shines on all the parts on the land. It doesn’t just shine on this land and not another part. No! Also, when it rains, it rains on all the land; it doesn’t just rain on one particular spot. Likewise, a mother doesn’t choose those to be loved and those not to be loved. She doesn’t make that choice. So, her compassion is infinite and impartial. What greater strength can you have when you remain in that awareness? It is great strength. You will say to yourself, “Come what may, I will take the challenge. Come what may, I will face it.”  That is the courage of the Mother. She has great power. She has this great, unhindered power to subdue all demons. Her wisdom mind recognizes all phenomena.

The Four Obscurations:

The Obscuration of Karma

Now then, before we go into this practice, let us talk first about the four obscurations we all have which are important to remove. The first obscuration is called (Tib. le gi dripa), this is the obscuration of karma. What is the obscuration of karma? The obscuration of karma concerns committing actions such as the five heinous acts – killing your father, killing your mother, killing an Arhat, drawing the blood from a Buddha and creating a split in the Sangha. These are acts that once committed, you go into great suffering because of the fruition of that karma. So these five actions are something we really, really have to avoid. These are the major causes of the heaviest kind of karma. In general, of course, when you have taken your refuge vows, one of your refuge vows is not to take any life anyway, right? So it is already there when you have taken refuge, not to take life and to respect that all sentient beings have life. Don’t believe that fish and pigs are happy that you are eating them. They are not saying, “Kill me… kill me. Eat me… eat me. I’m here for you to enjoy.” No! Life is precious for everyone; for every insect, life is precious. Just as you think, “If I can live one day longer; if I can live two days longer; if I can live one year longer,” similarly for everybody, life is precious There is nothing more precious to us than our life and living. Because once you die or you are killed you don’t know where you will be reborn. Don’t believe that just because you’re born a human this time round you’ll be reborn a human; or if you’re born an elephant, you’ll be reborn an elephant. No, no, no! That is not going to happen. Human life is so precious. Don’t take it for granted. Don’t take anything for granted. Today you are able to eat and shit. Don’t take that for granted. A time may well come when you are not able eat and shit. Then you will realize the good fortune of even that simple action – how important it was to you. So don’t take anything for granted. Appreciate it. Appreciate this moment.

So of course killing your father and mother – the ones that gave you birth; the ones that gave you the chance to practice the Dharma; and the ones that brought you into a conducive situation to do so – how could you even consider killing them? Think of the mother, the pain she went through when she gave birth. Her life might almost have come to an end when she gave birth to you and she would have given her life for you at that time. That was not an easy thing for her. Then when you were small think of all the worries she went through, putting food into your mouth, worrying when you were sick. Finally all the care she has taken for you to grow into adults. Yet how is she repaid? Perhaps, if they have a little bit of wealth you just think of getting their wealth.

So, you have to examine what great things you have done for them. Killing your father and mother is out the question. Parents are called (Tib. tenchen palma), one who has been extremely kind to you; one who has given you so much love. Killing them is unimaginable, absolutely unimaginable. You don’t realize that your parents are the objects on which you can practice. They become your practice because you learn to respect them and respect is the single most important thing in the feminine principle. They are not chattels or some kind of old clothing on a washing line. If you don’t respect them you won’t get respect for yourself. That’s not possible. So the first one is, as I said, (Tib.le gi dripa). So don’t ever commit those five actions.

The Obscuration of the Passions

The second obscuration is, (Tib. nyonmon dripa). This is the obscuration of the passions. Basically this arises from ignorance. Ignorance arises from the fact of ego; that is, clinging to your ego. So there are the obscurations of the five passions that we have. These five passions basically relate to ego.

Intellectual Obscurations

Next is (Tib. shejey dripa), intellectual obscuration is the third. Intellectual obscuration is not being able to understand – confusing subject, object and action. This is intellectual obscuration. The more knowledge you have, the more ego you have, that is intellectual obscuration. That’s what that is. The more knowledge one has the humbler one should be, but it doesn’t always go into that.

Habitual Obscurations

The last one, which is the most difficult of all, is the (Tib. bar chak dripa). Of all the obscurations this is the worst. Habitual obscurations arise from not understanding tsa, lung and thigle; not understanding the three meridian forces in your body; the nerve force, the wind force and the essential essence force, these three. Basically the tsa, lung, thigle refer to the essence you received from you father—the bone structure you received, and the essence you received from your mother—which is the blood, the radiance and the skin. So with this tsa, lung, thigle when you don’t understand how they work in principle, what their functions are, then you create habitual obscurations, because these three are essentially the three kayas. All sentient beings have the three main channels. We have the central channel, the left channel and the right channel, called uma, roma and kyangma. These three channels refer to the essence of the white and the essence of the red. These essences refer to atoms that are in the body and upon which the body takes form. Through the help of the five elements, form takes shape on the basis of these five primordial atoms. These five principle atoms of the body are also the five wisdoms.

Misunderstanding Tsa, Lung, Thigle

The habitual obscuration occurs when you do not understand what the tsa is, what the lung is, and what the thigle is.  When you do not understand these, then much of the knowledge of self is missing. Why? Because you are not what you think you are. You are the combination of these three, tsa, lung, thigle which have formed together and that seem to make a self but they are not the self.  Rather, self is selfless. There is no such thing as the existence of self. Self does not exist. But what is radiantly present and aware are these three: – tsa, lung and thigle. These three create the gross phenomena, the subtle phenomena, and the extremely subtle phenomena.

Habitual Formations – Entrapment

Now (Tib. bar chak dripa), habitual obscuration is extremely difficult to get rid of because it forms into a habit on the second reflection that you do it. Similarly, at the time of death, when you die, you will also repeat everything in the same way as you’ve always been doing things. You won’t say, “Oh now I am dying it’s not the same situation.” No, it’s exactly the same. This is the reason why in the dream you continue to do the same thing in your dreams as you do in your day-to-day life. The habitual tendency has not been dissolved. Dreaming is nothing but the continuation of the mind; people are not smaller; colors are not different. They are the same because mind continues. And with this mind that continues to follow its habits – then there is not much liberation since you continue doing the same thing over and over and over again. So as I said, of the four obscurations, habitual obscurations are the worst, because habitual obscurations are about forming patterns and as you keep on feeding those patterns you go grosser and grosser into those patterns. You don’t get lighter – you just get worse and worse. They entrap you slowly; slowly the repeated actions and thoughts entrap you into that pattern.

Introduction to Tsa, Lung, Thigle

Now I am going to explain to you a little bit about tsa, lung and thigle. I cannot go into detail but I will go into the subject a bit, just to introduce it to you. Tsa, lung, thigle are to be understood from the Dharmakaya, Sambhogakayaa and Nirmanakaya. So in the very original primordial time there was no ‘body’, as such. ‘Body’ did not exist. What existed was simply space.  So in this space—all of a sudden the wind moved in this space. When the wind started to touch space and move, the friction of the wind moving in space created the nerves; that friction then formed the nerves. Now as the wind goes into those nerves, the union of the wind and the nerves creates the essence, called thigle. Thigle is not only seminal essence; it is the essence of realization; it is the essence of light and clarity. That is what the thigle refers to. Therefore, just as you blow down a hollow tube, sound will come, likewise, in the same way, wind, nerves and thigle essence form.

Lung/Wind

Now the wind essences are represented by the twelve mandalas of space. The entire space is composed of twelve mandalas. These are the major mandalas. We are not talking about minor ones, which can be infinite, but rather the major ones, which are twelve winds. Accordingly, when a woman is pregnant, as the baby forms it takes nine months to develop the winds which develop the child. When the child is born then three other winds come into the child’s growth and these make up the twelve winds that are present.

Thigle/Essence

As far as thigle is concerned, both males and females have seminal essence. However, the female’s seminal essence is called rakta. Their seminal essence is in the form of blood and our seminal essence, though it is in the form of blood, is different—it is white—but the essence is the same. That doesn’t mean that the females don’t have white thigle. They do have this. But most of the time, their red blood drops more. Now, in that red and white essence there are eight negative and positive atoms respectively.

This white or the red essence comes from taking the best of the food. The nourishment of the food transforms slowly and then it goes into the heart. From the heart, the blood gets purified once more. There is a lot of purification that goes into making the rakta and the thigle. It is not that it just simply goes straight to thigle, no. It has to go through a long filtering process. First the gross food is filtered into the blood. Blood is filtered through the heart into pure blood. So what goes into your heart is pure blood. Pure blood from the heart goes back into the bone. It goes into all the bone marrow. Inside the bone marrow it filters once again. That’s why, if you look at the detail of bone structure you’ll see so many compartments. This is for the filtration process.

Once the thigle is processed, it turns into light and this light goes through the bones and then to the brain. Then it stays there in the brain. That is why we talk about thirty-two Buddha fields on the crown. This is what that refers to. The thigle breaks into thirty-two atoms and goes up into the top of the crown. So we have now thirty-two Buddhas, in the crown, sixteen at the throat, eight in the heart, sixty-four at the navel and eight again in the secret centre. In one month, a single pin drop of thigle is produced. It’s not like this process produces a whole litre. No. It makes a tiny pin drop. That’s all that it will produce in this time. That is thigle. So this thigle is the product of the most purified, purified essence of all.

Tsa/Nerves

So, therefore then, the yoga is based on doing the movement of the tsa, lung correctly; doing the correct kind of breathing; the correct kind of visualization and moving these nerves. Now as far as the nerves are concerned, there are twelve thousand meridian nerves, multiply that by two equals twenty-four; multiply this three times, equals seventy-two then add another twelve and this comes to eighty-four. The eighty-four thousand stanzas of the Buddha’s teachings refer to the eighty-four thousand nerves we have in our body. The Buddha gave one teaching for each nerve, that’s why it’s called the eighty-four thousand stanza teachings of the Buddha. His entire teaching comprises of eighty-four thousand stanzas. So we have the eighty-four thousand nerves in our body. We have gross nerves, subtle nerves and extremely subtle nerves. All these nerves that are now forming, the principle twelve thousand multiplied three or four times subdivided breaks down into eighty-four thousand nerves. This is so far as the nerves are concerned.

We have to understand the tsa, lung, thigle. Through understanding this, we will understand the habitual nerves (Tib. bar chak yurwa) that are coming up. We will understand what they are. These habitual tendencies are the most difficult of all to purify because they are constantly retaining the memory of what you are doing. They retain that memory and, although so far as we are concerned, that memory is not important, nonetheless we will always be referring to that memory.

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Photograph by Ed Heckerman

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