Listening Correctly and Cleansing the Body
Cleansing the body in order to bring about a calm and stable mind is an ancient technique. In this teaching, Phakchok Rinpoche talks about the tradition of the great Indian and Tibetan siddhas, who practiced the spiritual path amid their daily life. Their stories can inspire us because these individuals had regular jobs and many were householders with busy lives. He also recounts stories of some great masters who made significant accomplishments while in lowly circumstances.
Rinpoche then discusses the importance of our human body. We rely upon this amazing body to be able to benefit others. Therefore, we can respect it and be careful to keep it healthy and in good condition. Rinpoche shares some simple advice for preserving our health, including advice on diet and exercise. This advice is valuable for all of us regardless of our spiritual path. Tibetan medical systems contain extensive teachings on how to balance our bodies.
Cleansing the Body: Using the Breath
Finally, he gives some specific instructions on the way to cleanse the body using traditional breathing methods from the Indo-Tibetan tradition. Here he demonstrates the important process of expelling stale breath to align the wind energy (Tib. lung) in our bodies. When our wind energy flows properly, we are calmer and our emotions can settle naturally. We feel less tense and agitated and we don’t hold on to negative experiences or habits.
Rinpoche asks us to expel the stale breath before every meditation session or when we pray or chant. This seemingly simple exercise will bring great benefit if we remember to do it regularly.