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Six Yogas of Nāropa


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(Tib., nāro chos drug). Common term for six dharmas or doctrines transmitted by the tantric adept Nāropa to the founder of the Kagyü school, Marpa. The Six Yogas have remained an important part of the teachings of the school since its foundation and are standard practice in the three-year, three-month, and three-day retreat undergone by trainee Kagyü lamas. They consist of: (1) Tummo (gtum mo) or ‘heat yoga’, a technique of heating the body by visualizing fire and the sun in the meditator's body; (2) Gyulü (sgyu lus), an illusory or subtle body endowed with the qualities of a Buddha.including the Six Perfections (ṣaḍ-pāramitā); (3) Milam (rmi lam) or ‘dream yoga’, in which the meditator learns to maintain conscious awareness in the dream state; (4) Osal ('od gsal) or ‘clear light’, by which the natural luminosity of emptiness (śūnyatā) is apprehended; (5) Bar-do or ‘intermediate state yoga’ which trains the meditator to withstand the disorienting experiences of the intermediate state between death andrebirth; (6) Phowa ('pho ba) or transference of consciouness, in which the ability to separate the consciousness from the body is attained. Sometimes a seventh yoga is mentioned known as ‘transference’ (grong 'jug), by means of which a meditator can transfer his consciousness into a recently deceased body in the event of premature death. This enables him to continue his meditational practice without the interruption caused by being reborn as a baby.

(1) Tummo (gtum mo) or ‘heat yoga’, a technique of heating the body by visualizing fire and the sun in the meditator's body; (2) Gyulü (sgyu lus), an illusory or subtle body endowed with the qualities of a Buddha.including the Six Perfections (ṣaḍ-pāramitā); (3) Milam (rmi lam) or ‘dream yoga’, in which the meditator learns to maintain conscious awareness in the dream state; (4) Osal ('od gsal) or ‘clear light’, by which the natural luminosity of emptiness (śūnyatā) is apprehended; (5) Bar-do or ‘intermediate state yoga’ which trains the meditator to withstand the disorienting experiences of the intermediate state between death andrebirth; (6) Phowa ('pho ba) or transference of consciouness, in which the ability to separate the consciousness from the body is attained.

Subjects: Buddhism.


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