The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Six Yogas ཆོས་དྲུག་གམ་རྣལ་འབྱོར་དྲུག
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In Tibet, Six Yogas of Naropa is very well known. They include Tummo, Illusory Body, Clear Light, Dream Yoga, Bardo and Phowa. The Six Yogas of Niguma are almost identical to the Six Yogas of Nāropa but are the version taught by female master Niguma, and it is more dakini style.
Since 11th century, Six Yogas is mostly practiced in the Kagyu and Nyingma schools. Six Yogas are mentioned as the practice of Anu yoga practice, but the Gelugpa's five stages of practice are also very similar including silence of body (illusory body), silence of voice, silence of mind, clear light and union. There are different terminologies; however the method of practice is essentially same.
Six Yogas are an advanced chain of practices from Anuttara yoga tantra; it is the main body of completion stage practice. The main goal of the Six Yogas is to achieve the blissful and clear light natured buddhahood.
Tummo is the foundation of other practices including karmamudra. It purifies all negativities and enhances the innate bliss. Illusory body is an essential support for Tummo, and it helps our mind become free from attachment and aversion. Clear Light is the most essential aspect of Six Yogas; through this the great samsara illusion will be completely removed. The Dream Yoga is a bridge from life to death. It is also known as the check point, because if one is good with Dream Yoga then there are no worries for the bardo. Dreaming is the middle state between a waking state and a state of death. Bardo is a method of preparation for obtaining pure illusory Sambogakaya, or enabling one to make a choice for a good rebirth. Phowa is considered a short cut of enlightenment. It is first aid enabling one to be ready for the time of death and it is the path to the pure land of Medicine Buddha.
The order of Yuthok six yogas are:
གཏུམ་མོ་བདེ་དྲོད་རང་འབར།། divine fire yoga of the self-blazing blissful heat
A practice to generate our inner divine fire element to eliminate the root of all imbalances and increase perfect bliss and wisdom.
Milam (rmi lam)
རྨི་ལམ་ཉིང་འཁྲུལ་རང་དག། the dream yoga of self-purified illusion
To realize the hidden function of our mind and energy, enabling us be free from all types of blockages and emotions.
Osel (‘od gsal)
འོད་གསལ་གཏི་མུག་རང་སངས།། the clear light of self-awakened ignorance
To understand the true nature of our mind and awareness of presence.
Gyulu (sgyu lus)
སྒྱུ་ལུས་ཆགས་སྡང་རང་གྲོལ།། the illusory body of self-liberated attachment and aversion
To discover and experience the real nature of our body and all existence.
Bardo (bar do)
བར་དོ་ལོངས་སྐུ་རང་ཤར།། the intermediate state of self-manifested sambhogakaya
The process of dying and way to total freedom after death, and a practice for chosing a good rebirth.
Phowa (‘pho ba)
འཕོ་བ་མ་སྒོམ་སངས་རྒྱས།། the transference of consciousness as liberation without meditation
A practice on how to die in peace for the final spiritual journey.