WINDS, CHANNELS AND DROPS By His Eminence Garchen Triptul Rinpoche

His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche: "So today, my dharma friends, I will give an introduction into the channels and winds. And it is the mode of being, our body in connection with the mind. And if one understands the meaning of secret mantra, then one understands that one's own body is like the mandala of the Victorious Ones. It is the abode of the deities. Milarepa has taught that this precious human incarnation is the vehicle that will bring us to the pure state of Buddhahood. And depending on the virtues we are practicing, we can use that human body to go up, because the virtues we are practicing in the human body are very powerful. But also the non-virtuous actions we are practicing, they will send us down. Those going up and going down depends on the human body. Therefore, this precious human incarnation is like the chungchur (ladder) between going up and going down. There are many methods to apply on the path of practice. But all of those practices, they are leading us to the state of enlightenment. Having realized the Buddha nature, their innate state of mind, that will lead us to the state of Buddhahood. So all those practices are one method to lead us to Buddhahood. Initially, one goes for refuge in the outer source of refuge, which are the three jewels. Then inwardly, one practices the three roots, which are the guru, the lama, the yidam deity and the dakini. Having gone to refuge, one applies oneself in the practice of the three roots. That is, innerly, outerly, and secretly. It is the way of being with our body, which is the channels, the winds and the drops. Having internalized those into practice, the results are that one will achieve the kayas, the three Buddha bodies. All those qualities are contained within everybody's body. Now when it comes to the practice of the winds, channels and drops, there is the condensed, the concise and the mediocre and extensive practice. The extensive practice would be the Six Yogas of Naropa. First, one meets with a guide, a teacher who has experiences in those practices. If one doesn't have the experience of meeting with those teachers, and just goes ahead with the practice, then great faults can arise from that. Through these practices, great qualities can arise, but also great faults will arise, and for that reason those practices are secret practices. The practices of the winds, channels and drops are secret practices. In the six practices of Naropa, in the extensive version, one practices them for about thirteen years. And then if one practices, one can accomplish the siddhis within one lifetime, just like Milarepa did. In a mediocre case, one practices them for five or seven years. Or one can practice for three years. When one practices for three years, one gets an approximate understanding of how the practice works. There are actually these days people who are doing those practices. You can ask many masters like Traga Rinpoche who are doing those practices who have acquired great gifts


We first have the crown chakra. the wheel of great bliss. a mind filled with bodhicitta. There are many scriptures. Rinpoche stated: "Long ago. and for that. Those great masters have put those practices into practice. which is a wheel on the crown. there are various visualizations. [Editor's note: In a previous earlier teaching. In the same way. And then we have the secret chakra.and details. So we divide all those pieces up. we need to purify. we only use the first four: the crown. for example. the heart and the navel chakras. and in its impure state. one needs to understand approximately the way of the channels and the winds. but when we are making the visualization. humans only had the central channel. There is an exact number of how many channels there are. and how they are located and so forth. which is the emanation chakra. 2 . For example. It is those two that determine whether a mind is pure or impure -that is. It is erected like a pillar. When we are practicing. the pure state is a mind that wishes to benefit others. and one needs to acquire those qualities. But first. we are going in stages. where they explain the way of being of the channels. So first and foremost. But due to wrong influences. right and middle -meet below the navel. continuously those practices of the winds and channels. And probably when we are practicing. the body you experience in deeper meditation. medical scriptures on the body. it is a mind filled with self-clinging. America has many different districts. and it is a small practice. the four wheels. So the first thing is to dispel those faults. So what is it I will introduce to you today? It is a practice you can practice on a daily basis. it is not quite exactly like they say in those medical scriptures. so we are dividing the four chakras.] And then there are the four chakras. So first one needs to even out those roads so vehicles can travel on those roads. And all three channels -the left. It is the channel of wisdom. and ask for guidance. so that we can understand this. One could invite. but actually do already exist in the subtle body. the two side channels were created (duality?) These channels are not created by our imagination. make the channels even. when we start out with the practice. Regarding the channels. if there were no roads. Just like the mind. then nobody could go on those roads. of how the channels go through the body. Then we have the throat chakra. but with great results. one needs to purify those channels so the winds can travel in the channels. and there are four chakras. And then there is the left and the right channels. the throat. the number of channels are probably similar. which is the wheel of dharma and then we have the navel chakra. there is a pure state and an impure state. For instance. just like preparing them as a road. in America. For example. So first there are three main channels. which is the enjoyment wheel. a mind filled with negative emotions. So first there are the three channels: the central channel extends from the secret place up to the crown. And then the left and right channel separate at the navel and extend upwards. Then we have the heart chakra.

First you can think that from each center. Practice calm abiding and shamata. the chakra of enjoyment. 3 . In the end. but then being aware that there are countless channels that are separating. From each of those. it separates into sixty-four. first visualize the eight channels coming from that chakra then they become separated into the sixty-four channels. the emanation chakra. from each wheel. but for the crown now. They multiply and from each of those another channel is merging from them. channels. which are allpervasive. So first you start out like that. on one's crown chakra. So this is how you can visualize it.When Rinpoche is giving those instructions on the visualization. Visualize this over and over again. traveling down the left and the right channels and they meet at'below the navel. Then at your throat chakra. are eight branch channels that are going to multiply more and more. at the navel chakra. When you hold the wind. Each pore of the body is connected to a separate channel. And in the end you can now say we have thirty-two. another two channels are merging. in one's heart chakra. eight branch channels are going in the four cardinal directions. ultimately there are sixteen channels springing from them. you have eight channels coming from the crown chakra. and in the four intermediate directions. Visualize all those channels coming from the central channel. Hold them for some time at the navel chakra and hold your attention for some time. and then you have sixteen channels. please meditate on them while he is giving it. And they separate up even more and more. This is the purification of the channels. It separates into thirty-two. there are coming from the heart chakra. At the navel chakra. they pervade the whole navel area. Then into two and two. one bas 32 channels emerging from the crown. branching off even more. and there is no measure as to how many channels there really are. you can visualize thirty-two. in one's throat chakra. there are eight channels in total and yet they multiply into fine subtle channels. Generally. and visualize the central channel as the trunk of a tree going in the center and many branches. and multiply even more. But you can start out with visualizing them separating into eight. Closed off and held closely. and in one's navel chakra. First you again visualize eight channels. but they are so many and subtle. separated from the wheel. Then from the heart chakra. At the crown chakra as well. it separates into eight. the dharma wheel. it separates into sixteen. Then they separate into two. As for the visualization at the crown chakra you start out first visualizing all the chakras eight branch channels springing from them. But still being aware that countless channels are pervading that whole space from each pore. Hold these winds there for some time. You can first visualize eight channels for each of the chakras. but they separate more and more. In each pore there is a channel. Then regarding the' winds traveling down the channels: Visualize them. spring from it.

You keep that for some time. the flame starts breaking because the wind is meeting with the flame. think the syllable hung. You will actually feel heat arising. methods. you combine the wind and your mind and.single-pointedly. the syllable ah. as you are training. therefore. These are all practices. One first needs to practice and habituate one's mind in mindful awareness and hold the winds and mind together. you will be able to abide and not be distracted. we are visualizing our winds merging in the navel chakra and it abides there for some time. and you can also think as the hung is merging with the AH. Then you visualize as you breathe in. So you just stay for a short time and then breathe out with the syllable HUNG again. The navel chakra is the royal seat for the energies.. then the flame is getting stronger and it starts crackling. and filled up by the winds. That is the way and method to make the mind abide. does not get distracted and does not go all over. And when the wind meets with the flame. Jigten Sumgon has said that it is a method to be able to abide with one's mind '-these practices of the winds. As you breathe in. The mind does not get lost. you will feel heat arise. The practices of mahamudra and dzog chen are to make the mind abide. you can visualize a flame to be just like a batter lamp at the navel point where the three channels. one has a very brief visualization. the wind is merging with the fire.. you receive the blessings of the Buddha. visualize that everything becomes empty of self nature. And at some point. hung. but the mind is focused together with the winds. Visualize it merging with the fire. ah. You can only do it for a short time. to make the mindahi. In the beginning. where there is the syllable ab. They merge with the navel chakra with the flame. and purify the channels. At that time. When one doesn't understand about the winds and channels. As you breathe out. So what is the purpose of holding the winds? It is a method to be able to abide . All the practices of dzog chen. You visualize and recite ohm. So when you do these practices with the winds with channels. So you keep the energy in your navel. In the beginning it will not abide there for a very long time: At the navel chakra. the central. That is the . Condense them and hold them.. hold it and breathe out. one's mind goes all over. try to hold the air inside the navel chakra for some time. As you breathe in. shamata and mahamudra are for that. 4 . in the beginning. and hold that for some time. a method to purify concepts arising. And at some point of practice. And so the mind doesn't get lost. that the winds and mind are connecting and merging. As you breathe out. As they merge with the AH syllable. that winds are going down and with the syllable ohm you think ohm and they meet at the navel chakra. heat will arise. It is like making a road.visualize all the channels are pervaded by those winds. but you will not be able in the beginning to hold it for a very long time. when we are visualizing. You empty the channels and that is the way you are training in the purifying of the channels. So first. and where the left 'and right channels meet.

that will not happen in one visualization. with the winds. over and over again. so. visualize. And tomorrow. to the throat. when one hasn't had much experience in the practice. For that we need to train in stages. But we need to go in stages. that our spine is straight. the crown wheel of great bliss.So. it is to be visualized very clearly. first. over and over again. you visualize the flame at the navel. Then the winds are filling up all the channels. Whether it takes a day. it is difficult to have them all visualized together. That depends on the mental capacity of the individual. And then you visualize the heart. fine clarity. When it comes to the visualization. And sometimes it takes a whole month for only one step. And only when the first one becomes clear. But until the channels become clear. then visualize the winds. and ultimately in the central channel. do you go to the next step. Generally. Only then will the winds be able to travel properly in the channels. very fine --just like when you have a needle and a thread. First focus on the visualization of the channels. or a week. one should meditate on that over and over again. 5 . when that has become clear. then we visualize the throat and ultimately we feel the winds filling up each and every one of our pores. It takes very much a certain subtle. step three and step four. but have the visualization very clear. approximately. until finally all the channels are filled up with the energy. Somebody today will practice the visualization of the channels and then it becomes clear. when we-are training in the practice of the-winds. according to those instructions. one needs to visualize the chakras. comes the OHM AH HUNG meditation. and you want to put that thread through the hole in the needle. In the beginning. it will be difficult for us to have a proper visualization. So first we need to train like that in stages. at the same time. So. First we visualize the crown. and purify each one by one. And fourth. it is important that our physical posture is correct. Then. but now for us it is most important for us to sit with a straight spine. First you visualize only the crown chakra. one will practice visualization on the winds and so forth. So. wheels and channels in stages. You visualize the winds gathering there and filling up all the channels at the crown chakra. where we also need to sit in the full lotus position. so practice those visualizations gradually. Then thirdly. So we go from step one. and visualize all the channels coming from the heart are filled up by the winds. In the Six Yogas of Naropa. we need to visualize it over and over again. But in the beginning. And you visualize each by each. And that is how we are purifying. and every one. But first we need to train the travel of the winds and purify the channels. or a month and so forth. one actually should sit in the seven-fold Vairochana posture. we are sitting in the seven-fold Vairochana posture. Hold the winds. If you do not visualize practice in stages. because for the beginners. And then you go on to the next one. So first you only have that visualization. and you visualize that all the channels in the throat are filled up with the energy of the air. step two. clarity is very important.

And at your navel chakra. just before the sun rises. So in order to purify channels. Also the deity Vajrayogini dwells in the navel chakra. but in fact at all times afterwards. So as you are walking. And then you can visualize a very large Vajrasattva on top of that. Then after some time. until our pores are completely purified. before it becomes light. not too long. You don't have to say OHM AH HUNG. In the beginning hold the winds for shorter times. For somebody whose visualization does not become very clear. the winds will emerge from your body out. even through your nails. as you are purifying your body. and that dwells at the navel chakra. one by one until you come to the OHM AH HUNG. and then the water entering our crown chakra and central channel and extends throughout all the fine chakras. When you go to sleep. then your channels will be purified. but you're holding the winds there with your mind. you cannot hold it for a very long time. You should never forget the OHM AH HUNG breathing. You should do this practice every day. When you wake up in the morning. the warmth. you can practice it. they all are contained in the OHM AH HUNG mantra. the stem of a flower meeting with one's central channel at the crown of one's head. There is a strong force in your body. and your body will become very pliant. but more frequently. And as the water is flowing through the body. we can also use the Vajrasattva practice. The wind is exiting. that are going through the body. and then you have them come back out again. you should not hold it too forcefully. after the morning. or wherever you are outside. emerging from your body. Generally. and also. and then you visualize that the stem acts like a pipe that is making the nectar in the water flow through your body. Then the third step is the ohm ah hung meditation. And the principle one is the one that creates the heat. Even if you have other commitments of deity mantras. a little bit. So when you practice that over and over again. as you fall asleep you think OHM AH HUNG. When you are walking around inside. It is the abode of the lama and the yidam deity. something we create mentally on our head. you imagine all the channels are being purified. just think the sound. you should always do the OHM AH HUNG breathing practice. So you visualize them flowing down and you hold them for some time. Now as for the practice of the OHM AH HUNG breathing: In the beginning. together with the water is coming out from your body. who dwell there at all times. something that would help is to visualize a flower. you visualize a small flame. So you visualize with the winds together. at all times. even in your dreams. immediately after you visualize Vajrasattva. you can be aware that the lama and the yidam are always abiding there. winds. but if one condenses them all. there are five main winds that go through the body. When you are visualizing the flame at your navel chakra and you hold your winds there.And then you go on to the winds visualization. And then you come to the flame. 6 . there are many life energies. So after some time. you will be able to remind yourself of OHM AH HUNG. and with the flower stock on our crown chakra. You can always visualize the ohm ah hung breathing wherever you are. and you visualize that over and over again. you should do this practice at dawn. but also your obscurations will be purified.

one needs to recognize that one's outer five elements which constitute the body are. The difference that is important to understand is that the deity is somebody with an altruistic mind.In a pure state or an impure state. But generally. one will establish that form one has visualized in the practice. When you do this practice in combination with having received empowerment instruction with the Vajrayogini meditation. we will receive the blessings of the deity. but I'm not practicing them at the present moment. because we have self-clinging. For example. then the outcome of one's generation yoga stage practice can be that one becomes. after one has died. if one does not practice with the mind of bodhicitta. So generally. Then. So the difference between a god and a demon is that a god has bodhicitta. and the nature of self-clinging is suffering. or impure like sentient beings. Vajrayogini always dwells there. in the bardo state. one becomes a demon. in their purified form. If we recognize it. with bodhicitta. whether we recognize it or not. and train your mind in it. after one has died. one will be in an intermediate stage in a demonic body. if one has self-clinging. But if one has no bodhicitta. So there are various profound oral instructions of Jigten Sumgon and also the Six Yogas of Naropa. without any bodhicitta (loving kindness) for others. Instead. if one practices wrathful generational yoga deities but with self-clinging attitude. the five consorts. If we do not recognize it. one will not go to the pure realms as a result of one's generational stage yoga practice. It is said if one practices the winds and channels without bodhicitta. just naturally that heat will arise. we transform it into a fault. So visualize that flame over and over again. then even if you don't practice. then great faults can arise from that. but later. So I can tell you that whatever I 7 . that in order to benefit all sentient beings. bestow the blessings of the speech and the blessings of the body and so forth: We beseech the buddhas to dispel our self-clinging. we will be overpowered by afflictive emotions. and a demon is someone with selfclinging. when you have habituated your mind to the practice. If one realizes their purity. whether we are purified like buddhas. One will go about motivated by anger and jealousy. And when one practices with self-clinging. then one has self-clinging. one can have the karma of being reborn as a fish. and a demon has self-clinging and afflictive emotions. and will only cause harm. As it also says in the "Thirty-seven Practices of the Bodhisattva": "The nature of self-clinging is suffering. then actually one knows the root of it is bodhicitta. and the inner five afflictive emotions which are impure. it will become even more powerful. In regard to the generation stage yoga practice of deity visualization. Immediately heat will not arise. and only cause harm for other sentient beings wherever we go. even though the deity is there. are in their purified form. we all have Vajrayogini abiding at our navel chakra in the form and nature of that heat. in that visualization. the five dyana buddhas." And then we will be established as a demon. That is why we said yesterday in the empowerment. If one practices the channels and the winds without bodhicitta.

that. one's whole body becomes like big masses of heat and flames. and the concepts. and you need to practice that until the heat is arising most important to breathe in the hung. There have been many visualizations for that. it is very beneficial for illnesses like cold illnesses that come from freezing. Through the strength of the flame. our practice. This is not a secret practice. That heat is very beneficial. and we have the five elements. in the beginning. So we have the five wisdoms. Only then is one allowed to do this practice. I'm always practicing the flame at the navel. to be there. When one's body is in a weakened condition. The five afflictive emotions are formed into the five wisdoms. it can be practiced by anybody. is made of the five elements: It's very essence. Visualize great masses of fire. the form. and the body becomes like a butter lamp. And then that heat is also appearing and arising. Visualize that AH. when it meets with flame. So this practice of the breathing with the ohm. we have the five winds. that flame at the navel. immediately visualize the flame and the emotions like a big heap of dry grass. Before we start our session. Always keep your mind and the winds together at the navel chakra. When afflictive emotions arise. one meditates and habituates one's mind to this practice. and to prolong life in taking the essence. like we often see burning behind and surround the deities. So first you visualize the flame continuously at all times. They go in pairs of fives. The body. over and over again. and the inner mind if afflicted with negative emotions. And it is beneficial against self-clinging and against outer illnesses of the body. So at all times. ah. Especially when we visualize the flame. will decrease.practice now. But generally the nature of wisdom is fire. it will decrease self-clinging. the essence is the five winds. as with Manjushri. When one visualizes that over and over again. especially Milarepa. it will burn off the afflictive emotions. The nature of wisdom is fire. visualize. That conception. The afflictive emotion is compared to wood. So that fire of Mindful awareness is just like an illuminated fire that is always lit. the outer body. if one condenses them down. When one condenses them 8 . if it is afflicted by illness. it is important that that heat is always being there. that is my body. Jigten Sumgon and the practice of guru yoga is very important. So it is a blazing wisdom fire. Sometime~ it is depicted as a sword. and is beneficial and helpful in removing inner and outer physical illnesses. then the visualization of the flame is a method to defeat those afflictions. And the nature of fire is wisdom. and so when one is not distracted from that mindful awareness. For example. to firewood. hung is a method to make the winds and the mind collect and stay together in the navel. but must be practiced only with bodhicitta (compassionate motivation for all sentient beings to be enlightened). most important keeping the ah at the navel and breathing out with the HUNG. that my body is me. until real heat and warmth is arising from that flame. we should supplicate the previous Kagyu masters.

it is something which is our true nature. they are pervasive throughout all of space. and we need to realize it's true being. So when one realizes something being as it really is. This is the practice of taking the essence of the wind energy. all of them are condensed into the five consorts and the five dyani buddhas. the enlightened qualities. we have the five winds. and you visualize them going down the channels. and your whole body is filled up with rainbow wind energy. So these five are the very essence of all the buddhas. still our life and our merit can decline. it makes the flame stronger. you could visualize that you are taking in all the selfclinging of all sentient beings throughout all the six worlds. Those let the five elements and all. the way it really exists. the elements decline and suffering will arise from that. Depending on the five afflictive emotions. based on bodhicitta. are all pervasive through all space. they represent all the buddhas themselves. and the enlightened activities of the Buddhas. Now. and they are filling up the central their essence. And what makes it decline? It is our selfclinging and the five afflictive emotions. We need to realize something that is really existing. which are the true nature. and the five wisdoms are like fire. where the flame is located. that very essence. then you visualize that rainbow wind energy is filling up all the channels. which are the same in nature to other sentient beings. we apply ourselves to transforming them into the five wisdoms and the practice of extracting the essence. the essences decline. In its pure form for all the buddhas. When you are visualizing transforming those into wisdom. the winds. So even though our body and our mind are established by these pure substances. the appearance of rainbow light. And the five dyani buddhas. all afflictive emotions together with our own afflictive emotions and self-clinging. in order to restore that. So visualize all those self-clinging and afflictive emotions entering your nose in the form of a black oil. Transforming the five poisons into the five wisdoms. So you visualize that outside there are those winds that are appearing like swirling rainbow colors and we have the five colors of the rainbow. When you visualize it merging with the navel chakra. And when oil 9 . In the same way. we speak about a space that is pervaded by the light rays. one can practice it together with the wish of benefiting others: The practice of taking on the suffering and giving happiness through the ohm ah hung breathing. the winds. In dzog chen terms. you draw those threads in and they are entering your nose. abiding like a rainbow. Then you visualize that as they are swirling. So therefore. to be existing. the enlightened speech. and they merge with the fire at the navel. When you are breathing in. and it goes down your channels and merges with the flame at the navel. They are the enlightened body. When one condenses the five wisdoms to their essence. then one knows that the blessings of the buddhas and that very essence. For another visualization for the winds. which are the five father aspects. even more powerful. in the form of five threads. the enlightened mind. you are practicing taking the essence of the winds. and they natur3ny pervade and are omnipresent. the five poisons are like wood. we have the five winds.

The principle aspect of this practice is that one's mind and one's energies and one's winds are gathered together as a method to be not distracted. but the principle is to understand that we need to' collect together our winds and mind as 8 method of non-distraction. to really train oneself. a practice of non-distraction. we think our body is ourself. then wherever the wind is going. At all times. visualize you are breathing out all your love and you are sending it out to all sentient beings. the warmth energy. one's body doesn't have any reality. me. every channel is meeting with each pore. When we are sweating. and the fire is blazing very strongly. Especially since we have a strong clinging to our body. and therefore. for example. So always keeping the winds at the navel chakra. From each of the pores. having no essence or reality to it. There are many different visualizations regarding that. was able to fly in the sky. 10 . then it shows us how many channels we have. it has no essence and is full of holes inside. The inner and the outer merge. And think that all the self-clinging and afflicting emotions of all sentient beings in the six realms is burned up by that black oil. But that only happens depending on the heat. and great qualities will arise. and keep the winds at that place. visualize that black oil is meeting with the fire. I teach this mostly to all my disciples. we realize it has become one and the inner mind and the outer space. and that really gives rise to inconceivable benefits. great benefits. unless one is practicing. At some point the wind will enter the central channels. they are essentially one. we should always collect the winds together with our minds. practice only this. and that will bring great qualities. We need to practice the channels and winds over and over again. or doing other things. or essence to it. before we go to sleep. when you look through it. And from each of the pores. Then we will also be able to remember it in our dreams at some point. It is the basis of the lifesustaining wind energy in the body. if one trains. when we are speaking. Then. One does not realize that. On the basis of one's practice. Then even in our dreams. So that is the reason why Milarepa. That is the main aspect of the ohm ah hung breathing. So there is no real essence. I. as you breathe out. and the warmth of that love is melting the ice block of self-clinging into water of all sentient beings. So through that practice. there are great qualities in that. So there are really great qualities to acquire in this practice of the channels. we will be able to focus our mind on that. And depending on that. In the same way. to free oneself from that: it is beneficial to decrease that clinging to our body. the sky. It is just like a little cotton cloth. But if one keeps one's channels and winds together. visualize the ohm ah hung breathing. purify obscurations and heat will arise in one's body. When one is doing those practices. training in the channels and winds. have it focused together. sweat is coming out. so that they really will enter the central channel at some point. myself. then it makes the fire bum very strongly. So keep that visualization for some moments. I tell this to all my disciples: I mostly practice only this. one can practice extracting the essence. it benefits one's own life and purifies one's obscurations. just like a cloud appearing in the sky. naturally one's concepts and afflictive emotions will decrease. one's mind will be going. When we remember at all times.meets with fire.

Transcribed & edited by Rosemary Vail (818-761-0052 for other teachings by His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche) This teaching was given in February of 2007 at the Tibetan Buddhist Center in Albuquerque. this is a very profound instruction. He always does those practices. They are Rinpoche's words. winds and mind in this practice. they will decrease more and more. of the winds and channels. then that is very beneficial for both physical illnesses and concepts. And also. One gains some-independence over them. New Mexico. it is like when we have a need for sleep. All the impurities and so forth. Through this practice. will be purified. May this teaching benefit all sentient beings Translated by Ina Bieler. But to do that little meditation already is very beneficial. I just mostly do this practice ofthe winds. a cure for insomnia. 11 .So one can merge one's channels. and channels -what I have just shared with you. cleansed through the training of the channels and winds. he has mastered those practices. I don't do them anymore. or afflictive emotions. they are part of the Six Yogas of Naropa then ask Traga Rinpoche for help. If you are interested in learning the practice -especially when one is young.

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