Birth, Life and Death

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Birth, Life and Death

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Printed on recycled paper.

Cover by Fulvio Ferrari

© 2006 Shang Shung Edizioni 58031 Arcidosso - Italia Tel: 0564966039 E-mail: [email protected] www.dzogchen.it All rights reserved.

IPC- 449EN06- Approved by the International Publications Committee of the Dzogchen Community founded by CMgyal Namkhai Norbu

Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

ON BIRTH, LIFE AND DEATH

Translated from Tibetan into Italian and Annotated by Elio Guarisco Translated from Italian into English by Andrew Lukianowicz

CONTENTS

FOREWORD

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PREFACE

13

ON BIRTH, LIFE AND DEATH 19

GENERALINTRODUcnON

THE NATURE OF THE HUMOURS AND TtiE ORGANIC COMPONENTS OF THE BODY TYPES OF HuMOURS

Five Types of Wind FiveTypesofBile Five Types of Phlegm The Six Main Characteristics of the Wind Humour The Seven Main Characteristics ofthe Bile Humour The Seven Main Characteristics ofthe Phlegm Humour General Locations ofWind Specific Locations of Wind General Locations of Bile Specific Locations of Bile General Locations of Phlegm Specific Locations of Phlegm General Functions of Wind Specific Functions of Wind General Functions of Bile Specific Functions of Bile General Functions of Phlegm Specific Functions of Phlegm TYPES oF ORGANIC CoMPONENTS

The Functions of the Organic Components

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21 23 23 23

1A 24 2S 26 28 28 '29 '29 79 79 '29 30 30 30 31 31 33 33

The Relationship between tho Humours and the Organic Components

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BIRill THE CAUSES OF CoNCEPTION THE FERTILE PERIOD SIGNS OF PREGNANCY THE MANNnR OF FoRMATION OF T.HI! FoETus IN mE WoMB FUNcTIONs oF mE ELnMENTs IN THE FoETus SECONDARY CAUSI!S FOR THE GP.NDER OF THP. FOETUS THE STACiF.S OF INTRALTERII\E DEVELOPMENT The Fish Stage The Tortoise Stage The Pig Stage THE NATURE oF THE FoErus DEVEWPMENT THE SnvEN CoNSTITUTIONS oF THE CHILD's Bm>Y Characteristics of the Seven Constitutions The Digestive Heat in Relation to the Seven Constitutions The Manner in Which the Different Constitutions of the Child are Formed DIET ANI> BEHAVIOUR OF TilE PRF. male aspect and in the second year in its female aspect. The elemerit of Capacity (dbang khums) is the element associated with the Capacity (dbang thang) of the individual. When a baby is born it has its first contact with the outside world: lights, sounds, tastes, odours and touch sensatio!ls that constitute the experiences of the five senses. The prevailing conditions at that moment determine the Capacity of the individual.

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THE STAGES OF INTRAUTERINE DEVELOP!\fENT Relying on the interrelation between the sperm and ovum and the power of the elements, the foetus must grow gradua1ly passing through the three stages caUed the Fish, the Tortoise and the Pig.

The Fish Stage After conception has taken place, through the power of the elements (the embryo) gradua1ly develops and grows. With regard to this process, and from the point of view of the description given in the texts ofthe tantras, the initial nucleus of the body is held together by the Air (element). Starting from the night that marks twenty-four hours after conception the sperm and the ovum are enclosed in a single outer 'cover'; but inside, like a pea composed of two separate halves, they have not blended together. Within them the Air and the mind ofthe chi1d to be born are held without the possibility of separating (from the sperm and ovum due to) the binding cage of the four elements. Subsequently, until the fourth day, through the functions of the individual elements, the Air and the mind of the child to be born undergo a process of blending, heating and expanding. At the end of this process, the 'life' forms and abides, resembling the erected thread of a spider's web that serves as the basis for (all the stages of) growth and decline. The (Tibetan) medical texts also explain that when this life thread stands straight life will be long; if it twists to the left or right life will have obstacles and if it bends downwards it will be short. On the fifth day the Water element holds the embryo together and works for its growth. On the sixth day the Fire and Air elements assemble together and can either work for the development or the destruction of the embryo. In this way, during six days the natural function of each element serves as the support for the formation of the foetus.

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Then gradually the elements assemble two at a time every two days, thus preserving the nucleus of the body. That is to say two elements, one male and one female, assemble together and thus enable the development of the various components of the foetus' body. In this way the embryo gradually develops through the power of the nature of the elements and about nine weeks and four days after conception, by the force of the Air element the foetus starts to move and stretch its limbs. From that time on the foetus will start to be able to continue its growth through the contribution of the nutritious substances furnished by the mother's blood and flesh. In brief, during (the first) four weeks the foundation of the foetus' body forms; then during another nine weeks, the basis of the inner parts of the foetus' body forms. During these (weeks) the foetus' body forms length-wise; accordingly, its shape roughly resembles .the form of a fish. This is why the designation 'Fish Stage' is used.

The Tortoise Stage Three months after conception the mother's abdomen starts to swell and by pressing over the pubic bones it is possible to touch the uterus. The pregnant woman feels a sensation as if a fleshy lump has formed (within her womb). About the fifth month the bottom ofthe uterus reaches about a finger span below the navel. During these (months) orifices gradually emerge on the lump of the foetus' body and the four limbs form; accordingly, its shape roughly resembles the form of a tortoise. This is why the designation 'Tortoise Stage' is used.

The Pig Stage About six months after conception the bottom of the uterus reaches about one finger span above the navel and month by month it rises ever higher. At the ninth month the uterus reaches up to two finger spans below the edge of the sternum; then when birth appro~thes again it descends to one or two finger spans and wid-

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ens somewhat. During these (months), the foetus's body is completely ripe and the hair and body hairs have also grown; accordingly, it roughly resembles the form of a pig. This is why the designation 'Pig Stage' is used.

THE NATURE OF THE FOETUS DEVELOPMENT

The body ofthe child comes into existence, forms and is completed through the conjoint power of the three Humours. However depending on various circumstances, such as the u~equal strength or preponderance of Wind, Bile and Phlegm Humours present in the sperm and the ovum or the improper diet and behaviour of the mother during pregnancy, the constitution of the body ofthe child can form in seven different ways.

THE SEVE~ CONSTITUTIONS OF THE CHILD'S BODY

1. Because of the preponderance of the Wind nature in both the sperm and the ovum or the mother's excess in light, coarse and other foods and behaviour that generate the Wind Humour, the child's body forms and grows with the Wind constitution. 2. Because of the preponderance of Bile nature in both the sperm and the ovum or the mother's excess in sharp, hot and other foods and behaviour that generate Bile, the child's body forms and grows with the Bile constitution. 3. Because of the preponderance of Phlegm nature in both the sperm and the ovum or the mother's excess in heavy, oily and other foods and behaviour that generate Phlegm, the child's body forms and grows with the Phlegm constitution. 4. Because of (the preponderance of) both Wind and Bile, the child's body forms and grows with the double Wind and Bile constitution. 5. Because of (the preponderance of) both Phlegm and Bile, the child's body forms and grows with the double Phlegm and Bile constitution.

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6. Because of(the preponderance ot) both Phlegm and Wind, the child's body forms and grows with the double Phlegm and Wind constitution. 7. Through an equal proportion of Wind, Bile and Phlegm, the child's body forms and grows with the triple Wind, Bile and Phlegm constitution. There is the tradition of considering the body with a single constitution as being weak; the body with a double humour constitution as middling, and the body with a triple humour constitution as being excellent; and among the bodies with a single constitution, the body with the Wind constitution as being weakest.

Characteristics of the Seven Constitutions Persons with the Wind constitution have a body that is bent or crooked and thin with a dark complexion; they find it difficult to articulate speech, are rough in their character and when they move their joints creak. They sleep little, do not tolerate cold and they like foods and drinks that are sweet, sour, bitter and hot very much. This body constitution is deemed one ofthe weakest. Persons with the Bile constitution have great hunger and thirst, their hair and complexion is yellowish, they sweat profusely and smell a lot, are endowed with middling physical strength and are of keen intellect and very proud. They like foods and drinks that are sweet, bitter, astringent and cool very much. Persons with the Phlegm constitution are tall, are endowed with great physical strength, are fat and their body is slightly curved backwards. They are relaxed, withstand hunger and thirst weJJ, have little body heat and sleep a lot. They like foods and drinks that are hot, sour and astringent very much. Because the potencies of their respective Humours are equal, most persons with a double and in particular those with the triple Humour constitution have greater balance both in look and behaviour.

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The Digestive Heat in Relation to the Seven Constitutions The digestive heat of persons with Wind constitution is not balanced and it changes randomly; at times persons with such constitution have great digestive power and at times they do not digest etc.; related to that, their bowels are hard and laxatives scarcely work for them. The digestive heat of persons with Bi1e constitution is very strong and they digest swiftly; related to that, their bowels are loose and they can have diarrhoea even on eating yoghurt or drinking whey or buttermilk. The digestive heat of persons with Phlegm constitution is very weak and they have little digestive power; related to that, their bowels is neither hard nor loose and unless they take laxatives they do not casually have diarrhoea. The digestive heat of those who have a double or triple Humour constitution is neither too strong nor too weak and thus completely congruent with the normal level.

The Manner in Which the Different Constitutions of the Child are Formed The different types ofbody constitutions of the child are formed through the condition of the Humours and Organic Components of the parents, the diet and behaviour adopted by the mother during pregnancy and various other interdependent factors. Thus in order to favour normal formation of the child's body, the pregnant woman must discriminate properly the places, climatic conditions and behaviour to avoid and those to adopt. This is of the utmost importance.

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Wind

Wind constitution

Bile

Bile constitution

Phlegm

Phlegm constitution

Wind-Bile

Double constitution

Phlegm-Bile

Double constitution

Wind-Phlegm

Double constitution

Wind-Bile-Phlegm

Triple constitution

Dn:T A:'liD BEHAVIOUR OF THE PREGNANT WOMA.l'\1

There are two very important things the pregnant woman must attend to during the period of pregnancy: diet, comprising various types of solid food, watery food and beverages, and different kinds of behaviour.

The Pregnant Woman's Diet In brief, aJI kinds of diets consist of three categories: solid food, watery food and beverages. Among soJid food, the pregnant woman should stop eating poultry. If she eats a lot of poultry the strength of her pelvic bones increases and at the time of childbirth the womb will have difficulty opening. Furthermore she must pay particular attention principally to solid foods that are hard to digest, such as unripe fruit: this is most important. Among beverages, she should stop taking any kinds of intoxicants, especially wine and liquor that harm her body and that, passing through the essence of her Organic Components, can cause damage to the ·child she is cari)ring in her womb.

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She should also take care not to eat excessive amounts of those foods or beverages that provoke the arising (of disturbances) of Wind, Bile or Phlegm. In particular, she should avoid those foods and beverages that provoke the arising (of disturbances) of the Humour of Wind, Bile or Phlegm that is predominant in her body and be skilful in adopting, according to circumstances, the diet which reinforces her Wind, Bile and Phlegm condition. In this regard, she needs scrl!pulously to adhere to proper meal times and the right amount in the intake of food: these are two crucial factors for preserving her health. Proper meal times means (having) three meals a day (morning, midday and evening) in conformity with her habits, not to dine too late or eat foods that are difficult to digest and not to eat foods that cause acidity such as yoghurt or cheese in the evening. If we consider the stomach in quarters the right amount in the intake of food means to fill two parts of the stomach with food, one part with beverages and to leave the remaining part empty. This is certainly the correct standard for the measure of daily intake of food.

The Pregnant Woman's Behaviour The daily behaviour that is suitable for the pregnant woman to follow consists, in brief, of three categories: behaviour ofthe body, behaviour of the voice and behaviour of the mind.

The Pregnant

Woman~~

Behaviour ofthe Body

Concerning the body, the pregnant woman should avoid engaging in dangerous and turbulent activities such as doing very strenuous work, jumping and running or entering cold water. With her body relaxed she should apply Yantra Yoga 19 (and other physi19 Yantra Yoga ( 'phrul 'khor) is a system of Tibetan Yoga imported from India that comprises physical movements, breathing exercises and concentration methods.

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cal exercises), and in her free time take walks on a pleasant hillside or near the bank of a river, in woods or in gardens. She must not go to places that induce fear such as cliffs, places that are very dark or in close proximity to wild animals, and also avoid doing (fearful) activities or attending (fearful) spectacles. Usually, the more physical movement we do not compelled by necessity, the more it contributes to our physical well being and the health of our body. Thus, doing housework, office work and travelling about are certainly also beneficial but cannot replace wandering around in gardens, etc. During the former activities the feelings of pleasure and pain are continuously present in the mind, therefore they can hardly be beneficial like (the latter activities) performed in a relaxed state of body and mind. While we wander around in gardens our mind is relaxed and joyful and at the same time we can breathe pure and fresh air, hence it is especially beneficialfor health. From the fifth month of pregnancy onward is a very important time when the pregnant woman should eschew sexual intercourse and definitely should be careful not to have her abdomen pressed by weights or exposed to knocks, hitting or blows. In the case of an accident such as knocks or blows to the abdomen or falling on her belly it is important that she undergo a check up immediately and that she take rest for a few days in a relaxed state. If, by some unfortunate circumstances, the risk of losing the child is detected she must lie with a low pillow (under her head) and her legs slightly raised. This is imperative. She should try to sleep at regular times at night and not less than eight hours.

The Pregnant

Woman~

Behaviour of the Voice

Concerning the voice, the pregnant woman should not get animatedly involved in arguments or quarrels motivated by anger, nor associate with people who recount or provoke such (arguments and quarrels). Wit~ good and agreeable friends she should engage only in pleasant talks or conversations that calm (the mind) and com51

pletely avoid conversations that might cause anger, resentment, worries or suffering; this is extremely important. Furthermore, also avoiding the company ofboisterous companions and shunning noisy environments she should try to remain relaxed, enjoying various kinds of gentle, pleasant and melodious music that she likes, such as that of flutes. If she is a habitual smoker she should stop smoking immediately. Moreover anyone, whoever it may be, whether husband, relative or friend, too should respect her rights and not smoke in places where she usually stays and breathes, and in aJI possible ways do their utmost so that she can breathe pure air. Why? Because the air that she breathes can be even more beneficial or harmful to the child in the womb than the food she eats. (Moreover) the child's body must form through the beginning phase and reach complete growth through the formation phase. The main functions ofthe three phases ofbeginning, formation and completion must emerge through the power of the elements, and the principal power ofthe elements is connected with the mother's breath. Therefore it is certain that the impure air contaminated by smoke from cigarettes and other agents that the mother inhales will in the long run become a secondary cause of serious damage to the child's blood, flesh and bones and to the hollow and solid organs that form during the child's development phase (in the womb).

The Pregnant Woman~ Behaviour of the Mind Throughout the period of pregnancy, the woman should do everything she can in order not to be overcome by suffering, fear, worry and heavy responsibilities. She should do her best and try in all ways to remain in a calm, relaxed and cheerful frame of mind. Related to that, her husband, relatives and friends should be ready to help in bringing about these important circumstances that she needs. It goes without saying that this is not only one of their important duties but also a sign of showing her their sincere love and friendship.

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EXAMINING THE CoURSE OF THE PREGNANCY

From the time when pregnancy is certain the woman must undergo thorough checkups as to whether it is (proceeding) correctly or not. If any anomalies occur, having been able to detect these in time she must intervene promptly with the appropriate treatment. This is a point of central importance and fundamental to guarantee the health of both mother and child. Elements to be taken into consideration regarding check-ups are: whether she is in a good state of health in general or not and the previous course of her menstruation. Also, whether she has already given birth to children or not and whether childbirth took. place in the normal way or not. Moreover, examining carefully her heartbeat, the swelling of her breasts, whether her blood pressure is normal or not and the degree of her physical strength, etc., one must be able to determine without delay any condition that needs treatment. In particular, sixth months after conception the position of the foetus and the size of the (mother's) abdomen should be examined regularly. (At the time approaching birth) most foetuses have the head facing downwards: this is the correct position. At childbirth such foetuses are born easily. However a few foetuses lie sideways: this is an unfavourable position and for this reason such foetuses cannot be born naturally. In any case, during the months of pregnancy it is possible for the position ofthe foetus to undergo many changes. For example, at the time approaching birth it is possible for a foetus initially with its feet pointing downward to change its position so that its head points downwards, or for a foetus initially with its head pointing downwards to point its feet downwards or horizontally. Thus, in the phases of formation and completion of the foetus and particularly when the moment of childbirth approaches it is very important that the pregnant woman undergo precise check-ups. If the position of the foetus is incorrect, by applying various special methods such as the mother's posture and movewents one must try promptly to restore the foetus to the correct position.

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CALCULATION OF THE DURATION OF PREGNANCY

It is customarily said that in general the foetus remains in the womb for 'nine months and ten days' that is forty weeks or 280 days from the initial (embryonic) formation to the time approaching delivery. The moment ofinitial (embryonic) formation must be reckoned from the moment of interruption of the last menstruation. For example, if menstruation ceased on the first day of the twelfth (lunar) month, subtracting 3 from 12 leaves 9 months. This number indicates the ninth (lunar) month of the following year. Then, adding l 0 to the first day one obtains 11. That number indicates the date of the (9th) month. This means that we can know that childbirth should occur about the 11th day of the 9th month of the following year. In spite of this calculation, depending on factors such as the pregnant woman's improper diet and behaviour, the good or weak degree of her. physical strength and whether she has had womb haemorrhages during pregnancy and so forth, cases are possible in which delivery is delayed or slightly premature.

SIGNS THAT INDICAn: THE MALE OR FEMALE GENDER OF THE CHILD

If the child to be born is male, in most cases there occur evident signs such as: the mother's abdomen protrudes more on her right side, she has a, sense of physical lightness, she likes to talk and her dreams are clear, the colostrum will secrete first from her right breast and her kidney pulse is stronger on the right side (i.e. in her right wrist). If the child is female, in most cases there occur evident signs such ~s: the mother's abdomen protrudes more on the left ~ide, she has a sense of physical heaviness, she likes dancing, singing and ornaments, she desires to meet men, the colostrum will se-

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crete first from her left bteast and her kidney pulse.is stronger on the left side (i.e. in her left wrist). If twins are to be born this can be understood by the occurrene~ ofthe evident sign ofboth sides of her abdomen protruding and the centre being slightly low.

SIGNS OF APPROACHING BIRTH

When the child reaches the month of delivery and birth is approaching, there occur evident signs such as: the bottom of the mother's uterus descends more or less half way down between the lower edge of her sternum and navel. Her abdomen becomes lighter and her breathing and appetite become slightly better than before. As the lower intestinal region gets heavier, while walking she feels as if the tendons and ligaments are pulling at her groin. Her eyes become strained, she loses abundant liquids or vaginal secretions, she repeatedly feels the urge to urinate and her genitals slacken outwardly etc. In particular, when birth is imminent there occur the following clear indications that, with the opening of the womb, birth has begun: she feels continuous pain around her waist and lower abdomen and blood and water discharge from her womb.

How TO PREPARE FOR CHILI>BIRTH One of the most important things to remember is that until now the child to be born has remained in the mother's womb. Thus its five senses have never come into direct contact with the sense objects that appear as external objects and eventually the moment of childbirth will be the first occurrence of the meeting of the child's sense organs with the external sense objects. For this reason, the child's parents, relatives and friends must suitably prepare all the procedures for the delivery with a basic understanding ofthi§ fact; this is very important.

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Depending on the good or bad initial contact ofthe child's senses with the external objects that occurs in that special moment there can be many situations in its (later) life that manifest as the result of that contact and whose origin is related to that contact. This can be simply understood through the fact that the good or bad course of a person's life can be forecast on the basis of the specific 'element ofCapacity'20 of the child's day of birth. In general, 'deficiency, excess and error', i.e. respectively, total lack of engagement or no contact, too much engagement or excessive contact, or erroneous engagement or erroneous contact with sense objects, such as pleasant or ugly visual objects in people's daily behaviour, are recognised as being one of the main sources of health problems. Thus we can naturally understand that for a new born child who in this life and body has never had any previous contact with the sense objects that manifest externally and whose sensations are very subtle and keen, the moment when the senses meet various sense objects without any graduation is certainly a very traumatic situation. With this basic understanding we should appropriately create the necessary conditions. With regard to the house where the baby will be born, (it should be) a place which is not too illuminated with sunlight or with overly bright electrical lights that disturb the baby's eyes but (instead be) dark, quiet and without frightening sounds or loud voices that disturb its ears. Or (alternatively it should be a place) with pleasant soft music. For the sake ofthe child's breathing after delivery, (it should be) an environment with pure air unpolluted by cigarette smoke, chemical perfume or swirling dust particles.

Together with the elements of Life Fon:e (srog), of Body (/us), of Fortune (rlung rta) and of Protective Energy (bla), the element of Capacity (dhang thong) constitutes one of the elements taken into consideration in the astrology of the elements for prognostications concerning the life of the individual. 21

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How TO ASSIST CHILDBIRTH If the pregnant woman has never experienced childbirth before, it takes some time from the first pain until the complete opening of the womb. From the moment when the labour pains start, she should take the appropriate medicine2 1 for (facilitating) delivery and lie down warm and comfortable in her bed. When labour begins she should lie on her back with a pillow (under her head) and her legs slightly bent and firmly clasp a rope or a rolled up strip of cloth as a hand support (placed) behind her pillow. Initially, the duration of the contractions is short and the pauses longer, then gradually the contractions intensify and the duration of the pauses become shorter. During all these phases the woman in labour should continuously breathe slowly and deeply through her nostrils thinking that the breath is pulled down to her navel. In particular, at all times when pain arises, after inhaling she must hold her breath, pushing it slightly downwards. At the same time the midwife should massage the woman's abdomen downwards very slowly and gently as if she was pushing the baby downwards. However it is very important for the force of the massage not to be too strong. In that way, after several contractions the vagina dilates significantly, blood and liquids leak out and the baby's head descends. In that moment, because the baby's weight exerts pressure on the sigmoid flexure the woman has the feeling that she 'is defecating. At that time if, in conjunction with the arising pain the mother inhales slowly and then presses downwards as if she were defecating, this facilitates delivery. However, during the pauses between the contractions she should rest a little as a preparation to push again when the contractions resume. At times even if the vagina has not completely dilated, because of excruciating pain the baby's head may emerge very quickly. If For example, among the medicines that facilitate childbirth there are Shije II (zil.i lzyed hcu gcig) and Shije 6 (zhi byed drugpa) that act on the Downwardclearing Wind. These are administered every two hours.

11

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this happens there is the danger of tearing mother's perineum, therefore, at that time, with her mouth open she should take short breaths (thus) making the head of the baby emerge slowly. As soon as the baby is born, its mouth and nostrils should be cleansed from the sticky Jiquids with a clean cloth so as not to obstruct breathing. If the baby's face turns dark brown, or if it does not cry or the movement of its breath is not evident, it should be given a light blow to the buttocks and in this way be made to cry and coaxed to breathe. In any case it is not advisable to hold a new born baby by its feet, keeping it hanging in the air head down and hitting it on the buttocks to make it cry violently; there is no need for this. This seems terrifying to a child that has just entered the human world, and if a small baby has suffered a great fear the consequences of this may follow it throughout its whole life, the traces of these fears becoming unfavourable conditions in life. Thus, we must be skilful in these procedures: this is very important. After the navel has ceased pulsating the umbilical cord should be bound tightly with a thin thread at six fingers and eight fingers width from the navel and then cut in the middle (of these two points) with sharp scissors. It should then be bound tightly again with a sterilised thread at two points, at one and two fingers width from the navel, and two knots made for each ligature. The remaining parts ofthe umbilical cord should then be cut again with sterilised scissors and the tip of the umbiJical cord covered with clean gauze and fixed by wrapping gauze around the baby's waist. Nowadays this procedure (for cutting the umbilical cord) is taken as the base for the procedure still applied at the Institute of Traditional Medicine and Astrology22 in Lhasa. Shortly after the baby's birth the mother still feels pains and the placenta is expelled. At that time too she should inhale slowly and deeply, hold her breath and push downward. The midwife should massage her abdomen and with gentle strokes massage the lower part ofthe abdomen downwards as earlier during delivery to impel expulsion of the entire placenta. 22

sMan rtsis khang.

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How TO ATTEND TO THEN EW-BORN BABY In the ancient custom of the Tibetan people there was the tradition that after birth the baby was washed very delicately with lukewarm milk and water, then placed in contact with the smooth fur of tanned kid pelt and dressed in any other necessary clothes over this. This ancient custom was not only used in former times, it was stiJJ a widespread practice at the time of my birth. Moreover, I still remember dearly that when my younger brother was born he was swathed in a kid pelt. Among the usual articJes suitable for people's cJothing in ancient times it was very difficult to obtain something as smooth and soft as a kid pelt. The kid pelt has a special quality of smoothness and softness, but this does not mean that because of this even nowadays we should insist on looking for a kid pelt in which to swathe a baby. The fact that the ancient Tibetans wrapped the newly born baby in a kid pelt reveals clearly the importance that the tactile sensation in the first contact of a baby's body be soft and smooth. Nowadays, in this time ofhigh development many industrially produced materials as smooth and soft as kid pelt or even softer and smoother can be manufactured. Among these we must certainly try to get the smoothest and softest cloth, in terms of quality, for the initial contact of the baby's body. However, most of the things industrially produced today are articles made with chemicals, and even though they may be of good, smooth and soft quality, on contact with the baby's body they can have an unhealthy and hannful influence on the skin, blood, etc. Thus we need to use a suitable cloth made from natural materials, such as wool, silk and cotton. Holding the baby close to the warm flesh of its parents spontaneously fulfils its wishes and is also the best way to sustain its fortitude. Such conduct is of great medical value in that it contributes to preserve the elements of the baby's body in good health and .w,ill also develop a natural relationship between its body and

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mind. In particular, breast-feeding the baby while holding it close to the mother's chest is not only the best way to nurture physical growth but is certainly also one of the most important foundations for the formation of great strength of character. If the mother is not weak and is in good health then the longer she can breast-feed the baby the greater the benefit. However, just as observing meal times and (consuming) food and drink that are suited to the digestive capacity are fundamental to fostering good health, the same applies to babies. Therefore, initially she should begin by suckling the baby five or six times a day, (including) early morning, midday, evening and night. Also, since suckling is (to be done) according to the baby's stage of growth she must accustom the child by gradually (reducing) the frequency of daily suckling to five or four times, as appropriate. The mother's milk, which is the baby's sustenance, derives from the nutrients of food and drinks the mother ingests. The process of transformation of foods and drinks into nutrients depends not only on the food items themselves but also on the mother's behaviour, chiefly walking, standing, sitting and sleeping. Thus, throughout the period in which she sustains the baby with her milk she should be careful about the kinds of food and drinks she consumes and always follow those types of behaviour that balance her Humours and Organic Components. Especially when the child is unwell, distinguishing clearly the correct behaviour to adopt and correct food to eat from those to be avoided, with due discrimination the mother should act so as to restore the baby's (normal) condition, to avoid the recurrence of disturbances to its condition and to keep it in good health.

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LIFE

LIVING HUMAN LIFE IN GooD HEALTH

In order to live and always remain in good health every individual, whether woman or man, young or old, must first of all have an understanding of the nature of the 'three doors' and of the nature of the human body that 'lives', of the nature of the Humours and of the Organic Components that 'give life', and of the nature of the behaviour that constitutes 'life'. It is on the basis of a precise knowledge of these that we must work in order to live our life in good health.

THE NATURE OF THE THREE DOORS OF THE INDIVIDUAL

All human beings possess the 'three doors': the concrete material 'body', the 'voice' that (in its aspect as energy) pervades every part of the body and serves as the base of all the activities of the material body, and the 'mind' that governs every action of body and voice. These are generally known as the 'three doors of the individual'. Let us see the reason why body, voice and mind are referred to by the expression 'three doors'. Needless to say, we can gain comprehensive knowledge of the nature of the three Humours and of the Organic Components etc. which are in every respect connected with the three doors, by means of an accurate examination of their nature via our three doors. In the same way, when we have a problem (affecting) our three Humours or the Organic Components that are connected with the three doors we will be able to resolve it rapidly if we apply, via our three doors, the remedy tha~uickly liberates us from this kind of problem. Any deed

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or activity we undertake is connected with our three doors and if, understanding this principle precisely, we undertake any action and activity in complete accord with the three doors we wilJ be able to accomplish all our aims without difficulty. For example, if we wish to see and to know precisely which jewels are kept in a very famous treasure house we must have the opportunity, once we have entered that house through the door, to examine the jewels properly. In the same way when we want to gain sound knowledge of the authentic condition of our three Humours and of our Organic Components, by precise examination through our three doors we will achieve a comprehensive knowledge that is certain through direct experience of our condition. Similarly, if we want to escape from some undesirable place such as a dungeon where we have been imprisoned and to create the conditions for going wherever we want in places of freedom, we must reach the outside through our cell door and (then) travel wherever we want in free places. In the same way if we want to liberate ourselves quickly from any suffering that is oppressing us and to achieve a condition of freedom and happiness we must accomplish these aims by relying on our three doors, knowing their condition precisely. With regard to the condition of the 'three doors', the 'door of the body' is the indispensable base on which the two doors of voice and mind depend and it is comparable to the domain of a kingdom. The 'door of the voice' has the nature ofthe life sustaining Wind as well as of the other types of Winds and is the base or root of all the functions of body. It is comparable to the great ministers that control the various affairs ofthe kingdom. The 'door of the mind' governs all the activities of body and voice and is comparable to the king. Among t~e three doors, although the doorofthe body, the support, is indispensable during human life, when it separates from the two doors of voice and mind that rely on it, this composite and material aggregate remains behind in a cemetery. It is said that for this reason the body came to be called Ius in Tibetan, which

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means •remaining'. Until this situation of the body occurs, the body is an indispensable base for the doors of voice and mind. And as long as the doors of voice and t:Qind reside in their support ofthe body, as explained in the texts of the Secret Mantra, the voice (or energy) resembles a blind horse. Even though it has the ability to go everywhere, being unable to see without relying on a guide it is incapable of going anywhere by itself. The mind is like a lame rider who knows where he has to go and is able to lead the horse there but, being lame and without an animal to ride is unable to go anywhere by himself. In the same way, mutually relying on each other the two doors of voice and mind can accomplish all the aims that they need to. In general, regardless of whether we are youngsters, adults or aged and of whether or not we follow the true teaching, any problem with our Humours and Organic Component'i or with the different parts of our body that we may encounter is certainly connected to our three doors. To explain: needless to say, various temporary secondary causes such as the imbalance in the functions of our elements or the deterioration of the power of some functions or their mutual disturbance etc., can provoke different harmful secondary causes in our Humours.and the Organic Components and in our material body. Thus, we need to be able to ascertain whether there is an imbalance in the functions of the elements, the deterioration of the power of some functions or their mutual disturbance. If there is such an imbalance we must know which method to apply to restore their balance. If there is a deterioration of the power of their functions we must know which method to apply to reinforce it. If the disturbance is due to a conllict in their energy we must know which method to apply to return them to their normal condition. In order to prevent such (harmlui secondary causes) from repeatedly manifesting in the future and to be able to live in good health we must know the various means we need to apply through various methods related to the body, voice and mind, such as adopting appropriate behaviour and diet, to jncreasingly improve the wellbeing of our body made of llumours and Organic Components. 65

THE NATURE OF THE LIVING BoDY

Although the natural condition of Humours and Organic Components and the characteristics of the body of each individual, whether woman or man, young or old, is already clearly explained in the General Introduction, in the two periods of adult life and old age harmful secondary causes increasingly accumulate. For this reason (in the following pages) the nature of 'what is disturbed' i.e., the Organic Components, and of the Humours i.e., 'what disturbs', will be explained in greater detail together with the way in which the Humours, the Organic Components and the excretionsll arise in mutual dependence on each other. In any case, the various problems related to them (that arise) in the course of human life are directly experienced by the living body we have now. Thus, in the periods of adult life and old age we must seek to maintain a state of good health on the basis of sound understanding of the nature of the Organic Components, 'what is disturbed', and of the Humours, 'what disturbs', as clearly explained in the General Introduction above.

TJIE MANNER IN WtnCH THE METABOLIC HEAT OF THE ORGANIC COMPONENTS DEVELOPS

With regard to how the metabolic heat of the Organic Components, 'what is disturbed', develops, metabolic heat (me drod in Tibetan) refers to the basis for digestion, that is to say the Digestive Bile, and (also) to the heat of the Humours, Organic Components and excretions. It carries out many extremely important functions such as generating energy in healthy people, strengthening life, the radiance of the body, the Organic Components and the metabolic heat itself, and entering the post-digestive tract (where it performs further functions), etc. n

The excretions (dri ma gsum) are urine, faeces and sweat

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When the vigour of an individual's metabolic heat is normal food and drinks are digested and move downward, whereas when the metabolic fire is weak, food and drinks are excreted without being assimilated. Therefore, the metabolic heat is the principal cause for the development and growth of Organic Components and radiance. It is thus necessary always to seek ways to preserve the metabolic heat by eating food that is light and warming and by adopting a lifestyle characterised by these same qualities. By doing this the stre~gth ofour body will continue to develop and our life will last long. Concerning the way the metabolic heat digests food and drinks, through the function of the Lite-sustaining Wind food and drink are brought to the stomach. Then, stimulated by the Fire-accompanying Wind, the Digestive Bile makes (the foods) 'boil' as if they were medicinal ingredients24• To explain: first, the ingested food and drink of any of the six tastes are amalgamated by the Amalgamating Phlegm and having become sweet and bubbly, produce Phlegm. Second, digested by the Digestive Bile, food assumes a hot aspect and a sour taste, thus producing Bile. Last, separated into nutrients and waste by the Fire-accompanying Wind, food becomes bitter, thus producing Wind. So in most cases food and drink that are of the nature of the five elements have the capacity to produce the three Humours of Wind, Bile and Phlegm, i.e. 'what disturbs'. By being balanced in the correct way (food) acquires the virtue of being the best factor for developing the five clements of our body and for living in good health. As to the manner in which the metabolic heat develops, after digestion food and drink are separated into pure essence and waste. The waste derived from that separation is divided into solid and liquid parts in the small intestine, with the solid part becoming faeces and the liquid part urine. The pure essence is 'ripened' by the metabolic heat of each Organic Component in the following way.

l4

This is an allusion to the process of making extracts by boiling medicinal

ptbnts.

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Passing through nine conductive vessels the pure essence (of food and drink) is conveyed from the digestive apparatus to the liver where it becomes blood. From blood (the pure essence) becomes flesh, from flesh it becomes fat, from fat it becomes bones, from bones it becomes marrow and from marrow it becomes vital essence. The waste of these Organic Components turns into gastric juices and bilious liquid. In this way, having reached completion and ripening, the 'juice' ofthe Organic Components (as vital essence) permeates every part of the body, ensuring the steady duration oflife and radiant complexion of the body. THEN ATURE OF THE HUMOURS AND ORGANIC COMPONENTS THAT GIVE LIFE

The Humours and the Organic Components are the indispensable base of the three phases, creation, subsistence and destruction, of the life of every human being, irrespective of being old, young, man or woman. That being said, the natural Humours and Organic Components that are balanced in their natural and genuine condition and unaltered by temporary and adverse secondary causes are called 'unaltered Humours'. The three Humours in their unaltered state assist the Organic Components and, dependent on the energy of these three, the power of the Organic Components reaches its optimal level and serves as a factor for living increasingly in good physical health. However, many adverse secondary causes can arise that are the result of or depend on many aspects of our temporary environmental situation such as the place, season, living conditions and behaviour of body, voice and mind. Because of these temporary secondary causes, there are many occasions in which the force of the three Humours becomes unbalanced during any of the three stages of an individual's life, i.e. childhood, adulthood and old age. In consequence the three Humours stir up all the Organic Components becoming the factors of disturbance for the body; these are called 'altered Humours' 25• Literally 'altered illness' (rnam pa gyur pa 'i nad) where illness stands for the three Humours.

21

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How THE HUMOURS AND TilE ORGANIC COMPONENTS BECOME DISTURBED

Although the three stages ofbeginning, formation and completion of the foundation of our body, (that is) an aggregate that is connatural with the three Humours and the various Organic Components that are present in all these stages, may have taken place normally, in order to preserve our body and health for an extended time we need to understand the ways, clearly explained above, by which through the alteration of the nature of our Humours and Organic Components these (can) become 'disturbing agents' and •disturbed factors' and give rise to illness. With regard to this, the topic of the nature of our Humours and Organic Components is not merely akin to a description of something that has arisen in the ancient past. The manner ofbeginning, formation and completion, through growth, of the foundation ofthe individual's body and life force represents the undeniable condition of the body existing and living in the present moment. It is for this reason that, for example, knowing the nature of this existing and living body we now have; knowing the energies ofthe elements that govern this body; knowing how, circulating in the hidden channels and nerves of our body the various types of Winds and chiefly the Life-sustaining Wind supply and maintain the continuity of the body's life; knowing what the source of the various adverse secondary causes to the continuity of our human life are, and knowing how to apply correctly the methods for eliminating the adverse secondary causes etc., we must know clearly in all circumstances the favourable conditions we need to create (in order) to keep the Humours and Organic Components in a (state of) increasingly better health. For example, someone familiar with all the streets of a big city knows all the ways to go travelling by any road and can thus quickly reach the place they need to reach. Even ifthey find obstacles that make it difficult to follow one road they will be able to proceed by an alternative route. In the same way, if we recognise the basic potentialities of the Hu-

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mours and of the Organic Components and know how to be in harmony with their nature we will know (how) to resolve, in any specific situation and in the right way, any physical problem that may arise in connection with our present body and life. It is wrong, thinking that our body has the functions of the Humours, Organic Components and five elements that have completely developed from birth, to remain satisfied and careless. For example if thinking that it is enough to use our car whenever we need it we leave it without taking any care of it one day the car wilJ not work. In the same way if we do not take any interest in or look after the functioning of our Humours, Organic Components and elements and deem it enough to use (our body) freely, this is not only inappropriate but also incongruent with the nature of our body and lite, as well as being utterly mistaken. Why? To explain, let us take the example of a car. A car has its specific standard capacity, such as its strength and size, tyres etc. We use a car as long as it lasts adding its other requirements such as petrol, water etc. Concerning its functioning, the car is something that cannot perform functions other than those of its standard capacity. This support, our human body that is an aggregate of Humours and Organic Components, as explained in the Buddhist scriptures is a special body that at the beginning is extremely difficult to obtain in terms of cause, example and number-2 6• (Moreover) in this human body inconceivable capacities based on manifold primary and secondary causes are present. After completion of its growth in the mother's womb this aggregate collection of primary and secondary causes is born and subsequently lives on the basis

These three reasons why human birth is difficult to obtain· refer to the traditional explanation ofthis concept. The cause refers to ethical conduct that is difficult to maintain. The example is that of the probability of a blind turtle that emerges from the bottom of the ocean once every hundred years poking its head through a hoop floating on the water. The number, finally, refers to the purely statistical possibility of finding a human birth considering the boundless number of other forms of life. 26

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of the various powers of the elements connected to the unaltered state or natural condition or essence ofthe three Humours: Wind, Bile and Phlegm. Correctly understanding these principles we should find a way to lead our human life continuously aware of them. THE SECO~DARV CAUSES OF DISTURBANCES TO THE Hu:MouRs AND ORGANIC CoMPONENTs

Our Humours and Organic Components are modified by various and temporary adverse secondary causes. These adverse secondary causes are not to be understood only as sudden and extreme adverse secondary causes such as (being· crushed under) the co1lapse of the roof of a house, faJling from a cliff or a wound (caused) by a weapon. Indeed these harm the body and life. However they are sudden accidents, major or minor, of various kinds, that are not the result of a disturbance and alteration of the Humours or of the Organic Components. The manner in which our Humours and Organic Components are altered and disturbed by various temporary and adverse secondary causes is mainly (related to) two kinds of secondary causes of disturbances, general and specific.

The General Secondary Causes of Disturbances The general secondary causes that disturb and alter the natural condition of our Humours and Organic Components are abnormal climatic conditions, provocation by negative forces due to deterioration and perturbation of the individual's Humours and Organic Components,.poisoning, ingesting unhealthy food and beverages, wrong cures and the awakening of former negative actions.

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THE SPECIFIC SECONDARY CAUSES OF DISTURBANCES

Our Humours of Wind, Bile and Phlegm that are in a natural condition can be disturbed and altered by manifold specific secondary causes and (thus) arise as illness.

The Secondary Causes of Wind Disturbances The main secondary causes that instigate Wind disturbances are the following: excessive mental activity, great sorrow, thinking too much, getting angry, experiencing sadness, remaining witho~;~t eating for a long time, not having (proper) sleep at night, insufficient nutrition, eating an excess of peas or Sichuan pepper, consuming excessive amounts ofbitter, light and coarse food and beverages, severe diarrhoea and vomiting, strong haemorrhages including nose bleeds, excessive exposure to wind and cold breezes, travelling too much at night, excessive sexual intercourse, weeping to exhaustion, carrying out vigorous activities of body and voice on an empty stomach, taking food and beverages that are not nutritious, talking too much, singing, reciting or reading with too much effort, forcefully blocking the urge to urinate or defecate, pressing too hard to defecate when the urge is not there, etc. In brief, any food, beverage and behaviour oflight and coarse qualities serves as the cause for the disturbance of the Wind Humour and its arising as illness.

The Secondary Causes of Bile Disturbances The main secondary causes that instigate Bile disturbances are the following: the arising of strong anger, pride or jealousy, extreme demeanour of body and voice, eating too much yak meat, taking an excess of broad beans, black pepper, onions, garlic, seed oils or old butter, wine or liquor, consuming too much sour, spicy or oily, sharp and warming food and beverages, excessive con-

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Numption of salt in foods, excessive temperatures (affecting) the hody, sleeping during the day and in particular in the afternoon, cuting and drinking contaminated food and beverages, putting too much effort into tiring work, excessive warming in the sun or near tires, sudden changes of the weather. These kinds offactors serve us the cause for the disturbance ofthe Bile Humour and its arising us illness.

The Secondary Causes of Phlegm Disturbances The main secondary causes that instigate Phlegm disturbances nrc the following: eating rotten meat or rancid butter, excessive drinking of acidic alcoholic beverages, cold water, cow's or goat's milk, excessive consumption ofbutter, yoghurt, buttermilk, turnips, rnw fruit especially if unripe, raw green vegetables, dandelion, ox und goat meat, pork and the meat of herbivorous game, wheat, nuts, mustard seed oil, and potatoes. Also, not eating regular meals und eating too early, i.e., taking one's next meal before having digested the food from the previous· meal, etc. In brief, things like excessive consumption of foods and beverages that are bitter or sweet or that are cold, oily or heavy in quality; being lazy because of dullness or sloth; entering cold water; laying down in the damp or staying too much in damp places and getting chilled and cold, serve as the cause for the disturbance ofthe Phlegm Humour and its arising as illness. The illnesses ofthe altered Humours not only arise as a single Humour disorder, but because of many various environmental circumstances they arise as a double Humour disorder (these are as Wind disorder associated with Bile, Bile disorder associated with Phlegm, Phlegm disorder associated with Wind etc.), as disturbances ofalt three Humours together; and as critical illnesses, for example, when in the presence of an illness of any of the altered Humour another illness is added. Within these (four) principal types there develop all the so calted 'four hundred and four main illnesses'.

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Particular Secondary Causes of Ulst Ul'hauu.'l'M The main particular secondary causes ofillnesscH,llH explained in all the better known treatises of Tibetan medicine, arc the result of periods of accumulation, manifestation and pacification27 (of humour disturbances) and of the three conditions of dearth, excess and conflict closely connected with the individual's behaviour in daily life. Therefore, with a good understanding of these we must seek ways not to disturb our Humours and Organic Components, to restore those that are disturbed and to live in good ·health. THE MEANING OF ACCUMULATION,

MANIFESTATION AND PACIFICATION

As to the real meaning of accumulation, manifestation and pacification, (the first refers to) the accumulation of the fundamental secondary causes for the alteration of the three Humours and Organic Components based on the period oflife and season. (The second refers to) the manifestation of the accumulated secondary causes as Humour alteration on the basis of any immediately preceding circumstance. (The third is) finding the opportunity to live in good health for a while once the manifestation of the Humour alteration has been pacified thanks to the application of the remedial power of diet, behaviour, medicine, and external therapy. These three are referred to as 'accumulation, manifestation and pacification'. Knowing that these stages are closely related with the factors that cause the illness of our Humours and Organic Components and with a sound understanding of these stages, we should always rely on presence and awareness of what to do and what not to do. This is a very important point for living in good health. Pacification (zhi ba) is, of course, not a secondary cause of illness but is mentioned in this context as such, because the three- accumulation, manifestation and pacification - are usually discussed together.

27

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II ow the Three l,erlodH of l.ll'c nrc l{clatcd (to the N'•t•ondnry Causes of Ulsturbanccs) There arc three periods in any individual's human life: childhood,udulthood and old age. Childhood is the period up the age of lll)llccn. Then, in the period to seventy years of age the Humours 1md rganic Components, senses, radiance and strength develop, thus this period is called adulthood 28 • From then onward the Humours, Organic Components, senses, radiance and strength gradunlly deteriorate and become d·epleted: this period is called old age. I >uring childhood, the individual's body is mainly dominated by Phlegm, during adulthood mainly by Bile and during old age mainly hy Wind and these periods oflife are closely related to the factors thut cause illness.

I low the Seasons are Related (to the Secondary Causes of Disturbances) The body of each one of us, regardless of the different countries where we live, exists expecially in (contact with) three sealions. These seasons are the hot season that comprises spring and the dry part of the summer; the cold season that comprises the first and second parts of winter; and the rainy season that comprises the second part of summer and autumn. In some countries these seasons are not so evident or mainly the hot or the cold or the rainy season is protracted over a long time etc; these climatic conditions do not correspond (to those of the above'three seasons). However the seasonal changes in most countries can be represented well by these three seasons described in the (Tibetan) medical treatises. In this regard, we can implicitly understand that the hot season is closely associated mainly with the Bile Humour, the cold season 11

Adulthood in Tibetan is dar ma, where dar means to flourish.

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is closely associated mainly with the Phlegm Humour and the rainy period is closely associated mainly with the Wind humour; These seasons too, are closely related with the factors that cause illness of our Humours and Organic Components.

Specific Details on the Manner ofAccumulation and Manifestation Regarding the individual's human life during childhood, the period of Phlegm Humour, there are more secondary causes that instigate disturbances of cold nature. For this reason it is very easy that the Phlegm Humour becomes altered and arises as illness. However, since the secondary causes that abet Wind or Bile disturbances are scarce they can accumulate, but they rarely manifest (as illness). During adulthood, the period of Bile Humour, there are more secondary causes that instigate disturbances of hot nature and for this reason it is very easy that Bile Humour becomes altered and arises as illness. However, since the secondary causes that abet Wind or Phlegm disturbances are scarce, they can accumulate, but they rarely manifest (as illness). During old age, the period of Wind humour, there are more secondary causes that instigate disturbances of Wind. For this reason it is very easy that the Wind Humour becomes altered and arises as illness. However, since the secondary causes that abet Bile or Phlegm disturbances are scarce, they can accumulate, but they rarely manifest (as illness). This is the way in which accumulation and manifestation take place in the three periods (of life). As regards the seasons, in spring and in the dry part of summer, the hot season, there are more secondary causes that instigate Bile disturbances. For this reason, it is very easy that the Bile Humour becomes altered and arises as illness. At the same time, since the causes for the arising of Wind and Phlegm disturbances are scarce, they can accumulate, but they rarely arise (as illness). In the first and second parts of winter, the cold season, there are more secondary causes that instigate Phlegm disturbances. For

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this reason it is very easy that the Phlegm Humour becomes altered and arises as i11ness. At the same time, since the causes for the arising of Wind and Bile disturbances are scarce, they can accumulate, but they rarely arise (as ilJness). In the second part of summer and autumn, the rainy season, there are more secondary causes that instigate Wind disturbances and the associated illnesses thus easily manifest. At the same time, since the causes for the arising of Bile and Phlegm disturbances are scarce, they can accumulate, but they rarely arise (as ilJness).

Specific Details on the Manner of Pacification Understanding correctly the nature of accumulation and manifestation of the secondary causes that disturb the Humours and Organic Components, the (disturbance) can be pacified by applying as antidote for the disturbed Humours that have arisen as illness whichever remedy is necessary. (These are) diet, behaviour, medicine or external therapies, for example using a hot (qua1ity) as a cure for a cold disturbance and a cold (quality) as a cure for a hot one.

Diet and Behaviour that Help to Pacify Wind Disturbances The diet that helps to pacifY disturbances of the Wind Humour consists of foods and beverages that are oily, warming and nutritious such as: • • • • • • • •

Rice soup. Bone broth. Mutton and horse meat. Matured meat. Broad beans. .Nettles. Onion and garlic. Seedoil.

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• • • • • • • • •

Butter. Marrow. Wheat. Nuts. Sugar cane molasses. Nutmeg. Cinnamon. Milk. Brews of good quality.

The behaviour (includes) rest and sleep in a relaxed frame of mind, in a warm place that is not too bright while wearing warm clothes. Also, adopting peaceful and relaxed behaviour congruent with one's desires such as having pleasant conversations, etc. with nice friends, and sometimes harmonising and stabilising for a long time the energy of one's elements through breathing practices combined with Yantra Yoga movements done in a way that is not forceful. On the basis of these various methods we should pacify completely the disturbances of the Wind Humour.

Diet and Behaviour that Help to Pacify Bile Disturbances The diet that helps to pacify disturbances of the Bile Humour consists of food and beverages of a cold nature such as: • • • • • • • • • • •

Cow's or goat's milk. Yoghurt and buttermilk. Fresh butter. Rice soup. Roasted barley flour soup. Dandelion. Wheat. Goat and ox meat. Herbivorous game in general. Weak tea without milk. Boiled water drunk cold not more than a day after boiling.

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The behaviour (consists in) remaining in a relaxed frame of mind in the coo] shade of trees such as (near) the banks of a river without any agitation. (In these ways) we should pacify completely the disturbances of the Bile Humour.

Diet and Behaviour that Help to Pacify Phlegm Disturbances The diet that helps to pacify disturbances of the Phlegm Humour consists offood and beverages that have warming, light, and coarse qualities such as: • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Water boiled with ginger powder. Matured brews. Mutton and yak meat. Fish. Honey. Polenta made from old cereal cultivated in dry places. Peas and lentils. Broad ~ans. Pomegranate. Apples. Sorrel. Cinnamon. Coriander. Aniseed.

The behaviour (includes) warming oneself next to the fire or in the sun, wearing warm clothes and living in a dry place and doing the right amount of physical exercises. Also, receiving massage in the afternoon and evening on an empty stomach and especially balancing and stabilising for a long time the Humours and Organic Components through the practice ofYantra Yoga. (In these ways) we should apply all the suitable means (to pacify the disturbances {lfthe Phlegm Humour).

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THE MEANING OF DEARm, EXCESS AND OPPOSITION

The real meaning of dearth, excess and opposition can be explained in the following way. In any phase of our human life the main secondary causes that alter and disturb the natural condition of the Humours and Organic Components causing illness are the natures of Humours and Organic Components themselves (when) altered by any secondary causes of dearth, excess and opposition. These apply to the three periods of life: childhood, adulthood and old age; to the nature of the seasons; to the functions of the six senses; and to behaviour of body, voice and mind not in harmony with the nature of our Humours and Organic Components. These alterations of Humours and Organic Components are called 'dearth, excess and opposition'.

How TO DEAL WITH D~o:ARTH, ExcEs..~ AND OPPOSITION

Understanding that our human life is connected to the various periods of the individual and to the difterent seasons, to the various types of behaviour of body, voice and mind and to how our senses relate to their objects, we will know the conditions ofdearth, excess or opposition of each of these factors. Knowing this we should readily engage in ways to reinforce what is lacking, diminish what is in excess and restore to normality what is in opposition.

How TO BE I~ HARMON\' WITH THE PERIODS OF LIFE

In childhood, the period ofPhlegm Humor, the secondary causes that instigate Bile and Wind disturbances are few and consequently in that period there are few problems of Bile and Wind. However the secondary causes for the arising of Bile are more numerous in adulthood and those for the arising of Wind are more numerous in old age. For this reason during these periods all the causes of

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illnesses of Bile and Wind that have accumulated before (in childhood) will fully ripen and various problems will clearly manifest. In the same way in adulthood, the period of the Bile Humour, the secondary causes that instigate Wind and Phlegm disturbances are scarce and consequently in that period there are few problems of Wind and Phlegm. However, because the secondary causes for the arising of Wind disorders are more numerous in old age, the causes for Wind and Phlegm disorders accumulated in adult life through inappropriate daiJy diet or incorrect behaviour of body, voice and mind fully ripen (in old age). To summarise, knowing the three periods of our human life we must be in harmony with these.

How THE SENSES MEET THEIR OBJECTS Human beings have five or six sense organs. These are the eye sense organ, the ear sense organ, the nose sense organ, the tongue sense organ, the sense organ of the body and that of the mind. These sense organs continuously experience their respective objects. Our eye sense organ experiences beautiful, ugly or neutral forms. Our ear sense organ experiences pleasant, unpleasant and neutral sounds. Our tongue sense organ experiences good, bad and neutral tastes; our nose sense organ experiences good, bad and neutral odours; our body sense organ experiences smooth, rough and neutral sensations; our mind sense organ discerns and experiences the details of things. The ways our senses experience their objects also serve as secondary causes that disturb the condition of our Humours and Organic Components and are factors that turn the natural state of our Humours and Organic Components into illness. Examples are a deficient experience such as being in a dark room where our eyes do not see any form at all, an excessive experience such as looking immoderately at a pleasing and attractive form or an oppoaite experience such as looking in an unnatural way or in a way that is unsuitable to the nature of the (seen) object.

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BEHAVIOUR OF BODY, VOICE AND MIND

In our daily behaviour, with the door ofthe body we do various actions such as work, with the door of the voice we do different actions such as speaking and breathing and with the door of the mind we do various actions such as discerning positive and negative deeds, being concerned about things and becoming emotional. If these are deficient, in excess or in opposition on account oftheir being distorted or inappropriate they also become secondary causes that disturb the condition of our Humours and Organic Components and factors that turn their natural condition into illness. For this reason, by developing perfectly the favourable conditions for the well being and continuity of the natural condition of our Humours and Organic Components and by the timely application of the required remedy of diet, behaviour, medicine and external therapy for the specific presenting harming factor, we should swiftly pacify and eliminate any adverse secondary cause disturbing them.

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DEARTH, EXCESS AND OPPOSITION

Seconciiliy-'-' ~--:. --.·::-~;-~?. .:~._.:.:~!~~- --~.. .:::: ::-:;;~ ~;~:;::::;;..-:~:-.-· ~~~--:-- . ~:(:.:~:>:;.: :~ .--~::;::':.o~-~~:::;.-.-~:r~·-:.::y.~:~~:.:-t_~L . ·• ::..~ ::,.;. cause of .Condition Dearth· Excess: Oppositioli ··::::;:-~; :>· . .... . ·.· . - . .: dis~rbances . -· :· : .... -.....•. : : · ?~:·;,...,.- ; :.. -::· ~-;;~ ._if;J~ Hot Sea..'lon Insufficient Great heat Cold (spring and heat early summer) Insufficient Great cold Heat Cold season (first and cold Season second pan of the winter) Rainy season Insufficient Great Rain Drought (last pan of the rain summer and autumn) Eye looking at Insufficient Too many Unpleasant and frightening forms form sense sense stimuli stimuli Unpleasant and Ear hearing frightening sounds sounds Nose smelling Bad or nauseating smells odours Disagreeable or Tongue tasting disgusting flavours, flavours Sense organs Body Coarse objects, experiencing taking baths (for a tactile person with a cold sensations condition) or massage (for a Mind directing person with a hot (toward an condition) object) Inappropriate and wrong views Body moving Insufficient Too much Suppressing hunger movement movement etc., applying excessive force or strain in physiological functions, bad bodily Behaviour twists Voice talking Insufficient Too much Weeping arguing, talking talking fighting Insufficient Too much Experience of great Mind thinking thinking thinking sorrow ~-

~.

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-~

THE MANNER OF ACCUMULATION, MA.~IFESTATJON AND PACIFICATION OF ILLNESSES OF A SINGLE HUMOUR

The increase of a single altered Humour is what is meant by 'illness of a single Humour' (rkyang pa 'i nad). This 'increase' is such that, on the basis of the primary causes: the various tastes, potentialities and qualities offoods and medicinal ingredients; and of the secondary causes: the seasons, the specific signs of accumulation, manifestation and pacification manifest clearly in terms of its nature of development, abiding and disappearance. The primary causes of the accumulation of the Wind Humour are the Jean, light, rough and mobile qualities of certain foods and medicinal ingredients. Accumulation occurs during the early summer, (with the Wind Humour) increasing in the bones and the parts of the body below the navel; as its particular sign one desires warming and nutritious food. The primary causes of the manifestation ofWind illnesses are the same lean, light, rough and mobile qualities of certain foods and medicinal ingredients. Manifestation occurs during the latter part of summer when there is less heat, (with the Wind Humour) moving into the seats of Phlegm and Bile; as its particular sign the symptoms ofthe Wind disorder become clearly discernible. The primary causes of the pacification of Wind illnesses are the smooth, heavy, warming, oily and stable qualities of certain foods and medicinal ingredients. Pacification occurs during the autumn season with the balancing of the Wind Humour in its own seat; its particular sign manifests as balance (of the Humour). The primary causes of accumulation of the Bile Humour are warming, oily and sharp qualities of certain foods and medicinal ingredients. Accumulation occurs in the second part of summer when it is less cool, (with the Bile Humour) increasing in the area of the body between the heart and navel, in the blood and in perspiration; as its particular sign one desires cool (foods). The primary causes of the manifestation of Bile illnesses are the same warming, oily and sharp qualities of certain foods and medicinal ingredients. Manifestation occurs during the autumn

84

when it is less cool (with the Bile Humour) moving to the seats of Phlegm and Wind; as its particular sign the symptoms of the Bile disturbance become clearly discernible. The primary causes ofthe pacification of Bile illnesses are the dull, cool, flexible, liquid and dry qualities of certain foods and medicinal ingredients. Pacification occurs during the early part of the winter with the balancing of Bile in its own seat; its particular Kign manifests as balance (of the Humour). The primary causes of the accumulation of the Phlegm Humour are the smooth, heavy, oily, stable and dull qualities of certain foods and medicinal ingredients. Accumulation occurs during the second part of the winter when it is extremely cold, (with the Phlegm Humour) increasing in the parts of the body from the heart above, in the nutritive essence or chyle, the flesh, fat, marrow and generative fluids. As its particular sign one desires warming (foods). The primary causes of the manifestation of Phlegm illnesses nre the same smooth, heavy, oily, stable and dull qualities of certain foods and medicinal ingredients. Manifestation occurs in spring when coolness is lacking and if it is very hot, (with the Phlegm Humour) moving to the seats of Wind and Bile; as its particular sign the symptoms of the Phlegm disorder become clearly discernible. The primary causes ofthe pacification of Phlegm illnesses are lean, hot, light, sharp, rough and mobile qualities of certain foods und medicinal ingredients. Pacification occurs during the early summer with the balancing of Phlegm in its own seat. THE MANNER OF INCREASE AND CONSUMPTION IN THE ILLNESSES OF

Two HUMOURS

The increase of the imbalance of two Humours on account of n wrong diet or behaviour is called 'illness of two Humours'. In all there are eighteen illnesses of two Humours in the form of increase and consumption29• ,·, :Nine are differentiated in terms of the mode of the increase and the levels of deficiency and severe (increase). These are: three of equal increase of Phlegm

85

THE MANNER OF INCREASE AND CONSUMPTION IN THE hLNESSES OF THE THREE HUMOURS TOGETHER

The deviation from their natural level and perturbation of all three unbalanced Humours on account of wrong diet or wrong behaviour is called 'illnesses of the three Humours together'. In all there are twenty-six illnesses ofthe three Humours together in the form of increase and consumption30• and Bile, severe increase of Wind; equal increase of Phlegm and Wind, severe increase of Bile; equal increase ofWind and Bile, severe increase of Phlegm. Six are: deficiency of Phlegm, increase of Bile, severe increase of Wind; deficiency of Bile, increase of Phlegm, severe increase of Wind; deficiency of Phlegm, increase of Wind, severe increase of Bile; deficiency of Wind, increase of Bile, severe increase of Phlegm; deficiency of Wind, increase of Phlegm, severe increase of Bile; deficiency of Bile, increase of Wind, severe increase of Phlegm. Nine are differentiated in terms ofthe mode of consumption, and the levels of deticicncy and severe (deficiency). Three are: equal consumption of Phlegm and Bile with severe consumption of Wind; equal consumption ofPhlcgm and Wind with severe consumption of Bile; equal consumption of Wind and Bile with severe consumption of Phlegm. Six are: balanced Phlegm, consumption of Bile, severe consumption of Wind; balanced Phlegm, consumption of Wind, severe consumption of Bile; balanced Bile, consumption of Phlegm, severe consumption of Wind; balanced Bile, consumption of Wind, severe consumption of Phlegm; balanced Wind, consumption of Phlegm, severe consumption of Bile; balanced Wind, consumption of Bile, severe consumption of Phlegm. 30 The twenty-six illnesses of the three Humours ( 'dus pa 'i nad) together in the form of increase and consumption are the following: Equal increase of all Three Humours; (six in terms of extreme, medium and weak degree oftheir increase:) extreme increase of Wind, medium increase of Phlegm, weak increase of Bile; extreme increase of Wind, medium increase of Bile, weak increase of Phlegm; extreme increase of Bile, medium increase of Phlegm, weak increase of Wind; extreme increase of Bile, medium increase of Wind, weak increase of Phlegm; extreme increase of Phlegm, medium increase of Bile, weak increase ofWind; extreme increase of Phlegm, medium increase of Wind, weak increase.ofBile. Three with one Humour severely increased: increase of Phlegm and Bile, severe increase of Wind; increase of Wind and Phlegm, severe increase of Bile; increase of Wind and Bile, severe increase of Phlegm. Three with two Humours severely increased: increase of Phlegm with severe increase of Wind and Bile; increase of Bile with severe increase of Wind and

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THE MANNER OF THE COMBINATION OF INCREASE AND

CoNSUMPTIO~ ~mE lu.N~ES oF THREE HuMouRS TOGETHER

In all there are twelve illnesses of three Humours together in the form of combinations of increase and consumption31 • Phlegm; increase of Wind with severe increase of Phlegm and Bile. These are thirteen illnesses of the three Humours together ditlerentiated in terms of the mode of increase. Equal consumption of all Three Humours; (six in terms of extreme, medium and weak degree of seriousness of their consumption:) extreme consumption of Wind, medium consumption of Phlegm, weak consumption of Bile; extreme consumption of Wind, medium consumption of Bile, weak consumption of Phlegm; extreme consumption of Hile. medium consumption of Phlegm. weak consumption of Wind; extreme consumption of Bile, medium consumption of Wind, weak consumption of Phlegm; extreme consumption of Phlegm, medium consumption of Bile, weak consumption of Wind; extreme consumption of Phlegm, medium consumption of Wind, weak consumption of Bile. Three with serious consumption of one Humour: consumption of Phlegm and Bile, serious consumption of Wind; consumption of Phlegm and Wind, serious consumption of Bile; consumption of Wind and Bile, serious consumption of Phlegm. Three with serious consumption of two Humours: consumption of Phlegm with serious consumption of Wind and Bile; consumption of Bile with serious consumption of Wind and Phlegm; consumption of Wind with serious consumption o(Phlegm and Bile. 11 The twelve illnesses of three Humours together in the form of combinations of increase and consumption are: (six combinations in which one of the three Humours is balanced, one increased and the other consumed:) balanced Wind with an increase of Phlegm and consumption of Bile; balanced Wind with an increase of Bile and consumption of Phlegm; balanced Bile with an increase of Phlegm and consumption of Wind: balanced Bile with an increase of Wind and consumption of Phlegm; balanced Phlegm with an increase of Wind and consumption of Bile; balanced Phlegm with an increase ofBile and consumption of Wind. Three are combinations in which one of the three Humours is consumed and two increased: consumption of Wind with excess of Bile and Phlegm; consumption of Bile with excess of Wind and Phlegm; consumption of Phlegm with excess of Bile and Wind. Three are combinations in which two Humours are consumed and one increased: consumption of Wind and Bile with an increase of Phlegm; consumption tlf Phlegm and Bile with an increase of Wind; consumption of Wind and Phlegm with an increase of Bile.

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CRITICAL ILLNF..SSF.S

Critical illnesses32 refer to illnesses that in consequence ofwrong diet or behaviour adjoin to a previously existing illness that has disturbed the Humours and Organic Components. In all there are twenty-seven main types of critical illness33• As signs of these illnesses there manifest many symptoms indicating

32 'Critical' illnesses (hla gnyan can): bla denotes the vital energy (srog) and gnyan can denotes 'constituting danger', i:e. for the life force (WangdO. gSo ba rig pa 'i tshig mdzod gyu thog dgong,y rgyan, Mi rigs dpe skrung khang, Beijing 1982, p. 832). 33 Among the twenty-seven main types of critical illnesses, nine are invasive illnesses characterised by the penetration of one Humour into the seat of another. These are: Phlegm invading the seats of Wind; Phlegm and Bile invading the seals of Wind; Bile invading the seals of Wind; Wind invading the seals of Bile; Phlegm invading the seats of Bile; Phlegm and Wind invading the seals of Bile; Wind invading the seats of Phlegm; Bile invading the seats of Phlegm; Wind and Bile invading the seats of Phlegm. Nine are transformational illnesses caused by a disturbance of a Humour that has not been pacified: a Wind disorder that has not been cured transforming into an illness of Bile; a Wind disorder that has not been cured transforming into an illness of Phlegm; a Wind disturbance that has not been cured transforming into an illness of Phlegm and Bile; a Bile disturbance that has not been cured transforming into an illness of Wind; a Bile disturbance that has not been cured transforming into an illness of Phlegm; a Bile disturbance that has not been cured transforming into an illness of Phlegm and Wind; a Phlegm disturbance that has not been cured transforming into an illness of Wind; a Phlegm disturbance that has not been cured transforming into an illness of Bile; a Phlegm disturbance that has not been cured transforming into an illness of Wind and Bile. · Nine are illnesses from a clash caused by a mutual clash between Humours: Wind taking over the seats of Bile and clashing with Phlegm; Wind taking over the seats of Phlegm and clashing with Bile; Wind remaining in its own seals and clashing with Phlegm and Bile; Bile taking over the seats of Wind and clashing with Phlegm; Bile taking over the seats of Phlegm and clashing with Wind; Bile remaining in its own seats and clashing with Phlegm and Wind; Phlegm taking over the seats of Wind and clashing with Bile; Phlegm taking over the seals of Bile and clashing with Wind; Phlegm remaining in its own seats and clashing with Bile and Wind.

88

that a 'disturbing' (Humour) has invaded the seat of another Humour, has transformed into (the illness of another Humour) or has Iuken over the seat of another Humour. When this occurs, the doctor, having diagnosed the illness on the basis of the location of the illness etc. should take great care since it is possible that the treatment will abet the aggravation of the illness. For example, when Wind symptoms manifest as a result of the Wind Humour's invasion of the seat of Bile it is necessary to apply predominantly u treatment for the Wind disturbance. When symptoms of a Wind disorder that has not been cured and has transformed into an illness of Bile manifest, it is necessary to apply mainly a treatment for the Wind disorder. Also when Bile symptoms manifest as a result of Wind taking over the seat of Bile and clashing with Bile it is necessary to apply mainly a treatment for the Wind disorder. Thus, by identifying 'the disturbing Humour' and applying the remedy for it all these 'critical' illnesses will be cured.

How To OBSERVE A CoRRECT DAILY BEHAVIOUR

On the basis of correct understanding of the Humours and Organic Components that are the basis of our body and of its condition, from the moment of conception until now, as clearly explained, we should observe (correct) daily behaviour. Every day we must tty to keep the three Humours in their undisturbed and natural state and to enable everything we do to support our health. If there are any secondary causes that have become prominent and can ripen into illness (we must try) to prevent them from arising as illness and pacify them, and to cure quickly those illnesses that have actually manifested by recourse to the necessary diet, behaviour, medicines or external therapies. Using the methods of diet and behaviour we must engage in the various ways that enuble us to end the illnesses of the altered Humours and to bring the ultered Humours back to their natural condition. It is extremely important to rely on the continuity of presence and awareness of these principles. 89

If we are able to follow a correct diet and behaviour in everyday life this will keep our Humours and Organic Components balanced. The harmony of our Humours and Organic Components will guarantee that we live in good physical health. And the balance of the forces of the elements of our body will make it difficult for the forces of the elements from the outer environment to harm us. Also, with the condition of our inner state of mind not governed by drow~iness, agitation and dullness we will be able to live at ease in a state of natural relaxation, peace and happiness. For this reason we should eschew those foods that, on the base of our direct experience, we recognise as unsuitable to our individual constitution. And with regard to the way we eat, we also should avoid those unhealthy food combinations described in the medical texts that when consumed are like a poison that harms our body.

UNHEALTHY Fooo CoMBINATIONS

In general, with regard to the way we eat, there are certain food combinations that are unsuitable to our constitution. Some of the principal (ones) are: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Incompletely formed yoghurt and just-fermented brews. Fish and milk. Milk and fruit. Eggs and fish. Cooked peas and molasses. Cooked peas and yoghurt. Mushrooms and mustard oil. Poultry and yoghurt. Honey and sesame oil. Honey and salt. Drinking cold water after eating melted butter. Meat and milk or yoghurt. Meat and acidic foods. Acidic foods and milk. Eating a meal before having digested the previous meal etc. 90

These are unhealthy food combinations; thus at all times we should avoid eating such food combinations and abstain from foods that are unsuitable to our own individual constitution.

THE BENEFIT AND HARM OF FooDS

Any kind of solid food, watery food and beverages, as well as the tastes and qualities of most foods, have a double function: beneficial and harmful, or triple function: beneficial, harmful (and neutral). As regards the double function, the beneficial part (of food) harmonises some aspect of our body and helps to maintain its health, and the harmful part becomes a secondary cause that disturbs some aspects of our body and damages its health. The varieties of solid food, watery food and beverages are of six kinds: cereals and pulses, meat, oils and fats, vegetables that are solid food, various watery food that are cooked and spiced, and beverages.

CEREALS A.I\D PULSES

There exists a great variety of edible cereals and pulses in different countries, so they cannot all be listed here. The following (table at p. 92) gives general examples of how benefit and harm ensue from the tastes, qualities and properties (of certain cereals and pulses).

91

CEREALS AND PULSES

Barley and millet that ~re ready after only sixty days. Seminal stones (khu ba 'i rde 'u): possibly a tumor-like formation in the seminal vescicles. 36 Red-black beans (ma sha I ma sha ka ): small beans, half-red and half-black. 34 35

92

These, and all other kind of pulses and cereals when they are new or not dry, are of heavy nature; ripe, dried or matured ones are of light nature; boiled or roasted they become even lighter. In brief, rice, millet and other bristly cereals as well as leguminous crops such as peas that are sweet and sweet tasting also in the digestive tract enhance sexual potency and physical strength and are very effective in curing Wind disturbances; however they have the defect of increasing Phlegm.

MEAT

There exists a great variety of edible meat of animals in different countries; among them, the following (table at p. 94) gives general examples of how benefit and harm ensue from the tastes, qualities and properties (of certain types of meat). All kinds of meat, when fresh, have a cool nature; when matured, they acquire a warming and nutritious quality. Meat that is matured for a year is very beneficial for sedating the Wind humour and in increasing the metabolic heat. Raw meat, frozen meat and grilled meat are all of heavy nature and are difficult to digest. Dry and boiled meats are light in nature and are easy to digest. In brief all meats, for the most, are sweet in taste and also assume a sweet taste in the digestive tract. Differences due to the habitats where the animals live: the meat of animals living in dry places is cool, light and coarse in nature; it cures fever caused by a combined disturbance of Wind and Phlegm. The meat from animals that live in wet places is oily, heavy and warming in nature; it combats gastric complaints, problems that develop around the kidney and lumbar regions and cold nature illnesses associated with Wind imbalance. The meat of amphibious animals has both these qualities. The meat of predators and birds that eat raw flesh is coarse, light and warming in nature; it develops metabolic heat, breaks -d~wn tumours, increases the flesh and cures cold nature illnesses.

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MEAT

in the cure of sexually transmitted smallpox and burns but has the increasing Wind, Bile and Phlegm

Goat

1u""''""'~•

Sweet Sweet Sweet

wounds and ulcers, increase sperm Helps in the hoarseness, Cures stomach and liver ailments and cold nature illnesses, develops metabolic heat ing and Combat fevers due to disturbances of two Humours

IEr1hanc1:s sexual performance, cures pain in and lumbar regions, combats problems, stimulates the improves the eyesight and cures disruptions that cause ulcers and

1...,..,.......... ,

The category of disturbanc~;s called 'dark phlegm' (bad kan smug po) subsumes disorders tied to the blood, the lymph and the three Humours with symptoms such as hyperacidity, difficult digestion, ulcers and visceral tumours.

17

94

OIL AND FATS

taste arid

'-":~r,~::~~Y!:?~::,,:;;: -:r:.;:_ ?':t~;~ r~~ ~ype :;0?[il1:-: Quality>: ,:..:omo4o cool Sesame oil Hot and sharp

Mustard oil

Marrow

Animal fat

Increases sexual performance, develops physical radiance and strength, cures fever due to Bile imbalance Beneficial in the case of madness, epilepsy and fainting Effective in fostering sharp intelligence, presence, increasing metabolic heat, physical strength and longevity Stimulates the appetite, causes constipation, cures Phlegm disturbances

Effective in curing combined disturbances of Wind and Phlegm and in developing metabolic heat Effective in curing disturbances of Wind associated with Cold illnesses Helps heal fevers due to Wind imbalance Helps lean people put on weight and fat people lose weight lind gives tone to the flesh, cures combined disturbances of Wind and Phlegm Effective in sedating Wind disturbances but at the same time has the defect of increasing Phlegm and Bile Cures Wind disturbances, strengthens the sperm but at the same time has the defect of increasing Phlegm Soothes joint pains, cures bums, combats Wind disturbances, soothes earache and migraine, helps heal gynaecological illnesses

A kind of cream (zo mar) that forms on the sides of containers where milk is kept. Tibetan nomads were wont to dip wooden sticks into the milk; after some;: time this cream would adhere to them. l 9 Dri ( 'bri) is the female counterpart ofthe yak (g.yag). 40 'Diomo (mdzo mo) is the female offspring of a yak and a cow. n

95

OILS AND FATS

There exist a great variety of oils and fats; among them, the table at p. 95 gives general examples of how benefit and harm ensue from the tastes, qualities and properties (of certain oils and fats). In brief, the following benefits (of oils and fats) are clearly described in the (Tibetan) medical texts: ''They have the good quality of making the inner metabolic heat of people who eat oils and fat blaze, they cleanse the viscera, strengthen the Organic Components, develop vigour, increase radiance, stabilise the function of the st;nses and (applied externally) rejuvenate the elderly, etc." The fine olive fruit, from which the olive oil that is widely used in the West nowadays is made, is a type of emblic myrobalan41 ; thus its oil has great beneficial qualities.

VEGETABLES

A great variety of vegetables grow in sundry countries; among them, the following table at p. 97 gives general examples of how benefit and harm ensue from the tastes, qualities and properties (of certain vegetables). In brief, sharp tasting vegetables, such as onion, are efficacious in curing Phlegm, Wind and cold nature disturbances. Bitter vegetables, such as dandelion, are effective in overcoming fevers associated with Bile disorders. Vegetables that grow in dry places are of warm and light quality and therefore they are effective in dispelling cold nature disturbances.

Emblic myrobalan (skyu ru ra) is a small, acidic fruit widely used inTibetan medicine and Ayurveda.

41

96

VEGETABLES

wounds and ulcers but at the same increases Phlegm and Bile

·,~,.....,Do

Laxative but harmful to the eyes Cures Wind, Bile and Phlegm disturbances C'henopodium

Mushrooms

Very effective in curing inflamed wounds and ulcers but increase blood pressure in those blood nri'!.,QIIrP

White and yellow sowlhistle Fresh ginger IUmbarb and 1·huharb leaves

hot nature illnesses and fevers caused by migraine Eliminate Phlegm disturbances, stimulate the appetite

97

Vegetables that grow in damp places are of cool and heavy quality and thus are effective in curing hot nature disturbances. Vegetables that are dried are of warming and light nature and thus effective in removing cold nature disturbances, while raw vegetables are of cool and heavy quality and thus effective in curing hot nature illnesses.

FRurr Due to the particular conditions of different countries there is indeed a great variety of edible fruits. The following are general examples of how benefit and harm ensue from tastes, qualities and properties (of certain fruits). • Apples are sweet and sour and for this reason they are very effective for curing rumbling and troubles of the small and large intestine. • Grapes are efficacious in healing lung ailments and dispelling fever. • Pomegranate is effective in curing all digestive problems, developing metabolic heat and healing all Phlegm illnesses and cold nature disturbances. • Walnuts are effective in overcoming Wind disturbances and straightening contracted limbs (deformity secondary to arthritis or paralysis). • Medlars are effective in curing lung disturbances and expectorating catarrh. • Peaches and apricots are very efficacious for the growth of bodily hair and in drying lymph. PREPARED FOOD AND SPICES

Due to the different customs of various countries there are very many prepared foods. In the table at p. 99 there follow general examples of how benefit and harm ensue from the tastes, qualities and properties (of prepared food). 98

PREPARED FooD

~~~:&f1tii~- Quality c _j;:_Je: ~~~;~lr(rlr~~~r~~J~';t~wr~-rjftrJ t•ste'alitt:T~

Very runny rice soup

Very light

Thick rice soup

Appeases thirst and hunger, beneficial in cases of physical weakness, dispels nausea, removes constipation, increases heat, and is also effective in fostering the course of illnesses

Very thick rice soup Boiled rice

Effective remedy for loose bowels, thirst quenching, cures nausea, eliminates Wind, Bile and Phlegm excesses, facilitates digestion, fosters balance of the Organic Components, increases heat, tones up the blood vessels

· Effective remedy for stopping diarrhoea, quenching thirst, stimulating the appetite Light

Very easily digestible

Boiled milk with Heavy roasted barley flour

Effective remedy for Wind disturbances

Roasted rice

Effective remedy for stopping diarrhoea, cures fractured bones

Soup of cereals harvested before ripening42 and barley soup

Very good for reinvigoruting the body; have the defect of obstructing blood circulation and diminishing metabolic heat

Roasted barley soup

Light, smooth, Always very suited to the stomach warming

Cold roasted barley flour

Heavy

Effective in increasing physical vigour

Roasted barley porridge

Light and smooth

Easy to digest

Meat broth

Heavy

Effective remedy for Wind disturbances, and for restoring (the strength) of a weak body

Toasted barley flour dumplings43

Very good remedy for Wind imbalances

Nettle soup

Very good for developing heat and curing Wind disturbances; however has the defect of causing Phlegm and Bile disturbances

42

Si'ill' t;ug: the ears of the cereals, gathered before they ripen, are prepared

as a soup.

Zan skarn: small dumplings made with toasted barley flour; they are dried and then boiled.

43

99

(Some ofthe ingredients and spices used in the prepared foods have the following properties:) • Honey is an effective remedy for Wind and lymphatic disorders44. • Sugar is effective in removing Bile and blood ailments as well as hot nature disturbances. • Sugar cane molasses is a good remedy for cold nature illnesses associated with Wind imbalances. • Salt gives flavour to food, increases metabolic heat, facilitates digestion and is effective against constipation but, at the same time, it has the fault of aggravating blood pressure in those prone to that ailment. • Aniseed gives flavour to food and is a very effective remedy for combating fever due to Wind disturbances, poison and eye problems. • Sichuan pepper gives flavour to food and is a very good vasodilator but has the defect of increasing Phlegm and Wind. • Ginger gives flavour to food, develops heat, stimulates the appetite and overcomes Phlegm and Wind disturbances. • Cardamom gives flavour to food and is effective in curing kidney disturbances and cold nature illnesses. • Coriander gives flavour to food and is an effective remedy against gastric Phlegm and hot nature disturbances. • Long Indian pepper gives flavour to food and is an effective remedy for all cold nature illnesses. • Pepper gives flavour to food, increases metabolic heat, and is an effective remedy for all cold nature illnesses. • Cinnamon gives flavour to some types of food, it has the virtue of curing stomach and liver ailments and cold nature disturbances associated with Wind imbalance.

Lymph (chu .ver) refers to the red-orange viscous fluid that is an admixture of the pure yellow component' of the bile liquid and the blood-red residual component. The lymph is found in various parts of the body: in the skin, bones and inner organs, but mainly between muscle and skin and in the joints.

44

100

• Nutmeg gives flavour to some types of food, it has the virtue of overcoming imbalances of the Wind humour and all cardiac problems. • Cloves give flavour to some types of food, it is a remedy for problems with the vital blood vessels (aorta and vena cava) and cold nature disturbances associated to Wind imbalance. All frozen and extremely cold foods have the fault of destroying digestive heat and thus it is important always to avoid these. BEVERAGES

There is a great variety of beverages that are drunk widely in sundry countries. Among them, the following (table at p. 102) gives general examples of how benefit and harm ensue from the tastes, qualities and properties (of beverages). Milk is sweet, a flavour that it also keeps during digestion, and has an oily quality, so it improves physical radiance, develops the Organic Components and the sperm. Since milk is heavy and cool it cures Wind and Bile disturbances but has the fault of increasing Phlegm. Milk that has just been milked· is like nectar that develops the Organic Components of the body. Milk milked the previous day is of cold nature; it is heavy and cool and fosters the increase of bacteria and ofPhlegm. When boiled it acquires a light and warming quality. Ifcondensed this milk becomes heavy and is thus hard to digest. Milk that has not been boiled is of heavy and cool nature and fosters the increase ofbacteria and of Phlegm. Milk that has been boiled is of light and warming nature. Boiled a long time so as to condense it becomes hard to digest. Warm milk that has just been boiled is like nectar. ·skimmed milk is of coarse and cool quality.

101

MILK

ijiJkJ%0Y QliaH~~~m,JC rt-~~J!{0~~~&fuf0.ffrf10f{ffifJ~?fiv~ Cow's milk Cool

Prescribed in cases of perforated lungs45-, TB, Bile illnesses that affect the blood, protracted influenza, excessive urination, breathing difficulties, catarrh, exhaustion caused by hunger and thirst, dizziness and intoxications; produces mother's milk, gives courage and sustains health

Ewe's milk Warming

Very nutritious, helps in overcoming Wind disturbances but contraindicated for heart diseases, respiratory problems and bacterial illnesses; increases Phlegm and Bile

Goat's milk Cool

Goat's milk is light and cool. By virtue of these qualities it is a very effective remedy for illnesses that cause thirst, contagious diseases, breathing difficulties, blood ailments and fevers due to Bile disturbances

Drimilk

Helps to cures Wind disturbances but is contraindicated for those affected by Phlegm or Bile illnesses

Warming

Dzomomilk Balanced cool Suits (every) constitution and is very beneficial for and warming health quality Elephant milk

Very stable

Buffalo milk Very heavy andeool

Easy to digest, cures insomnia

Horse's and Spicy, acid ass's milk and salty

Very beneficial in the cure of lung illnesses and for dispelling secondary Wind disturbanccs46 but makes one stupid

Camel's milk

Human milk

Slightly coarse A remedy for abdominal distension due to Phlegm and warming, and Wind, for bacteria, for oedema, dropsy and very salty and rectal ailments light A remedy for disturbances of Wind, Bile and blood; used in drops it heals nose ailments; used as eyewash it cures eye ailments; applied, it cures wounds and ulcers.

45 Lung perforations (glo rdol): a disturbance accompanied by ruptures in the capillaries and small veins ofthe lungs. 46 The secondary Winds (yan lag gi rlung) are not described in Tibetan medicine but in the tantric literature. There are five types: snake Wind (niiga, klu 'i

102

Fresh buttermilk is astringent and sour tasting and its quality is light. Therefore, it is beneficial for increasing the metabolic heat, curing tumours, dropsy and spleen ailments, haemorrhoids, scant urine production, loss of appetite, anaemia, indigestion caused by fat and poisoning from compounded poison. All kinds of yoghurt are of acidic flavour that they maintain during digestion and are of cool, oily and heavy quality. For this reason yoghurt is a very effective remedy for Wind disorders and hard faeces, it stimulates the appetite and combats contagious diseases associated with cold illnesses, influenza and the common cold caused by an imbalance ofthe elements, urine retention and diarrhoea. However, it (abnormally) increases fat, sperm and Phlegm and causes Bile disturbances that affect the blood and oedema. • Yoghurt made from skimmed milk is beneficial in curing influenza and the common cold caused by an imbalance of the elements; it remedies indisposition (accompanied by fever) due to a trauma and stops diarrhoea but is slightly harmful to the Wind Humour. • Yoghurt made from full fat milk is like poison ifeaten at night in spring, early summer or autumn. If one eats yoghurt in these seasons it should be eaten with any of these: butter, sugar, honey or (powdered) emblic myrobalan. In any case eating yoghurt, always and in particular eating it before going to bed, can be a secondary cause that produces influenza, blood ailments, erysipelas, leprosy, anaemia and dizziness. • Yoghurt whey is like skimmed milk or a watery liquid. It is of very light quality and its benefits are similar to those of butterrlung) tied to the space element and the perception of forms; tortoise Wind (karma, ru.Y .Ybal gyi rlung) tied to the air element and the perception of sounds; lizard Wind (k['kara. rtsungs pa •; rlrmg) tied to the fire element and the perception ofodours; divine gift Wind (devadattu, lha byin gyi rlung) tied to the water clement and the perception of flavours; victorious Wind through wealth (dhanaiijuya, nor rgyal gyi rlung) tied to the earth element and the perception

oftou~b.~

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• • •

milk; in particular it is a very good remedy for diarrhoea; it facilitates excretion of the faeces and cleanses the blood vessels. Fresh 'cheese', that is, the solid, filtered part from the fermentation of buttermilk and milk mixed together, is of heavy quality; thus it increases physical strength and the production of semen (but) it causes sleepiness, increases the Phlegm and hardens the faeces. Milk milked from a cow or other domestic animal that has just given birth is of heavy quality and thus has properties akin to those of fresh 'cheese'. The butter that forms inside the containers used to collect and keep milk is of heavy quality and has the same benefit ·and harm as fresh 'cheese'. Whey, the residue of fresh cheese production, does not increase Wind and Bile and is a good remedy for (excess of) Phlegm. Cheese is of heavy quality and thus has the same benefit and harm as fresh 'cheese'. Cooked yoghurt has the benefit of hardening faeces and stopping dysentery caused by fever.

(Water can be of different kinds:) • Rainwater is ofcool and light nature and has many good qualities: of good taste, it satiates and is healthy, etc. However, in our days the air and atmosphere are not as clean as they were in the past and it is difficult for rainwater to have such good qualities. • Glacier water is of cold and stable nature; it is a remedy for Wind and Bile disturbances but it has the defect of contributing to rheumatism in the legs47 and cardiac problems.

Rheumatism in the legs (rkong bam): an illness that despite its name can occur in various parts of the body. According to Tibetan medicine this illness may be due to various causes (e.g. wrong treatment of a blood disturbance, dropsy, contagious disease, trauma or drinking contaminated water).

47

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• Pure water is water that issues from unpolluted, sun-kissed, windy lands; it is suitable to the body and has many good qualities. • Water that issues from marshy bogs, is covered with an efflorescent crust, has herbs and leaves in it, is shaded by trees, is saline or soiled by human or animal faeces or urine, has the defect of causing all kinds of Wind, Bile and Phlegm disturbances. Fresh water (drunk cold and sprinkled over the body) is good for eliminating: • • • • • • • • •

Fainting. Fatigue. Hangover. Dizziness. Alcoholism. Insatiable thirst. Hyperthermia. Serious Bile illnesses that affect the blood. Food poisoning. Boiled water is very beneficial (because) it:

.• • • • •

Develops the digestive heat. Facilitates digestion. Stops the hiccups. Eliminates flatulence due to Phlegm disturbances. Relieves breathing problems. Immediately blocks newly contracted influenza and the common cold. Boiled water taken cold:

• Does not increase Phlegm. • Is an excellent remedy for Bile disturbances. If, however, twenty-four hours (or more) have elapsed, boiled water becomes like a poison and causes all illnesses and thus cannot be drunk. 105

The various brews are sweet, acidic or bitter tasting and in the digestive tract they take on an acidic flavour. These beverages are of sharp, warming, coarse, subtle qualities and are slightly laxative. Brews have the following good qualities: they make (the body) heat blaze, they instil courage, foster sleep and cure the combined disturbance of Phlegm and Wind. However, taken in excess, brews alter the state of mind, induce loss of shame, loss of conscientiousness, loss of fear and therefore are beverages that we must always be careful with. • •

Freshly fermented brews are of heavy and smooth quality and therefore they increase digestive heat and are easy to digest. Matured brews are oflight quality.

Brews made from wheat are ofheavy quality, while those made from rice are lighter and those made from barley lighter still. Alcoholic beverages made from a thick shelled kind of barley, from sred da, a cereal similar to oats, and from roasted barley too are light

APPROPRIATE FOODS AND MEALTIMES

Concerning the way in which we take various kinds of food and drinks daily, in general during the second part of summer (that is, during the rainy season) and in winter we must eat sweet, acidic and astringent tasting foods as well as warming foods. In spring we should eat foods that are salty, bitter and spicy in taste and of coarse quality. During the early summer we should eat sweet tasting foods and foods of ceol quality, while in the autumn, those that are sweet and astringent in taste and of cool quality. As to daily mealtimes, on the basis ofthe habits and customs of the country where we live we should take our meals in specific periods, no matter how many these may be, mainly morning: breakfast time, midday: lunch time, and evening: supper time. Moreover, we should get used to having dinner not too late in the evening,

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not having foods that are very hard to digest for dinner, and not having acidic foods such as yoghurt late in the evening. If everyday we can maintain regular mealtimes this will enable us to always live in good health.

EATING THE RIGHT AMoUNT

No matter what we eat and drink we must always have the right amount. This is a very important basis for maintaining our body in good health. To explain: we must determine (the right amount) in relation to the degree of the light or heavy quality of the type of food. If it is a light food we can eat until we feel that our stomach is full. If the food is heavy we should eat an amount that will about half fill our stomach. Eating in this way has the great merit of favouring easy digestion of any type of food we ~at, of favouring the wellbeing of our body and of enhancing our digestive heat. If we do not eat the right amount and our intake of food is too little, not only will the strength and radiance ofour body not develop but all kinds of Wind disturbances will arise. If we exceed the right amount, any food we eat will not be digested and on account of the formation of gastric mucus the channels of the Fire-accompanying Wind will be obstructed, the digestive heat will deteriorate and all kinds of Wind, Bile and Phlegm illnesses will ensue. In order always to live in good health we should do as clearly explained in the (Tibetan) medical texts: two quarters ofthe stomach should be filled with food, a quarter with beverages and another quarter left empty for the Wind Humour. Drinking water to satiation after meals has great benefits: it contributes to the breakdown of the foods, facilitates the digestion, nurtures the body and develops strength. In the case of weak digestive heat and difficult digestion, drinking brews and eating meat has the highly beneficial effect of enhancing.tbf. metabolic heat.

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In the case of indigestion and flatulence, drinking boiled water after eating helps eliminate flatulence. Anyone, man or woman, who wishes to put on weight should drink some good brews after their meals, while fat people wishing to slim should drink boiled water mixed with honey after their meals. Regardless of whether eating yoghurt, foods contaminated with poisons or honey or drinking brews become a secondary cause for an ailment or not, drinking fresh water immediately after these foods is very effective in eliminating pains that these may cause and preventing the problem recurring in the future.

PARTICULAR FORMS OF CORRECT BEHAVIOUR

If our daily behaviour of body, voice and mind is correct then our Humours and Organic Components will maintain a state of harmony. This harmony can guarantee the health of our body and for this reason, relying thoroughly on our presence and awareness we should train correctly in the modes of behaviour that are the source of our physical wellbeing. With regard to the particular forms of behaviour that are the source of our physical wellbeing, three different aspects of behaviour, daily, seasonal and occasional behaviour, are described in the fundamental texts of Tibetan medicine.

Correct Daily Behaviour All of us live in a given social environment associated with a variety oftemporary conditions. That environment is also linked to time, and thus, from day to day, the situation of the environment undergoes all kinds of changes. It also happens that we may be compelled repeatedly to make modifications that, for the most part, do not correspond to the (original) plans made with our mind and thoughts. This we can understand from our own experience. This being the case, it is very important that with a continuity of pres-

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ence and awareness we know how correctly to adapt the behaviour of our three doors to diverse circumstances. For example, unless we need to it is not appropriate to travel in very dangerous places or perform similar hazardous activities. Getting drunk or depleting the strength of our body, being overcome by sorrow, getting tired or exhausted, talking excessively or being shocked by fear during the first part of summer when the rough quality (prevails) and the night is shorter than day will particularly deprive us ofphysicai strength and increase the Wind Humour. Such behaviour is especially very damaging to the elderly. If those who incur such problems take a nap during the day, the oily and heavy qualities of sleep will certainly have the effect of abating the Wind. In all other cases, sleep increas~s the Phlegm Humour, causes swelling, obfuscates the mind, causes headache and lethargy and contributes to the arising of influenza. Thus, not to sleep during the day is especially beneficial. When sleep is excessive, taking emetics, fasting and also having sexual intercourse will decrease sleep. If sleep is too little, drinking warm milk, eating yoghurt, drinking alcoholic beverages or meat broth or other warming and nutritious foods, as well as rubbing sesame oil or other oils to the head or filling the ears with slightly heated oil, will help to sleep well. Men wishing to have sexual intercourse should avoid it with beings whose birth is dissimilar from ours (i.e., animals), with married, ugly, pregnant, emaciated or weak women and those who are menstruating. Sexual relations with unpleasant, pregnant or dangerously frail woman consume the strength and radiance of the (male's) body and also disrupt the (course of) life; therefore they should be avoided. In winter, when sperm increases exceedingly and is exuberant because of sexual desire there are no restrictions for men even if they engage frequently in sexual intercourse. Furthermore, in autumn and in spring it is advisable to have sexual intercourse once every two days and in the first and second parts of the summer (May to-August), twice a month (once a fortnight). The (Tibetan)

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medical texts explain that indiscriminate sexual relations may become a secondary cause for the deterioration of sight and of the other sense faculties, dizziness and other problems, and ultimately premature death. Constantly applying oils, massaging and rubbing the body, in particular applying oil from time to time to the head, the soles of the feet and ears has great benefits: it retards ageing, alleviates fatigue and cures all Wind disturbances. Massage imparts a sense of physical lightness, reduces body fat and, by creating (good) physical condition, it clarifies the senses and markedly increases the metabolic fire, makes the body robust and enhances the functional capacity of the body, voice and mind. Nevertheless, excessive massage is unsuitable and inappropriate, in particular for the elderly, children and those suffering from Wind or Bile disturbances or from both. With the exception of the elderly and children, anyone who is physically powerful and used to eating predominantly fatty foods and especially those suffering from Phlegm disturbances should devote themselves assiduously to physical exercise during the winter and spring seasons. Bathing has the effect of enhancing sexual performance, physical strength, life, and radiance and at the same time it eliminates itching, sweating, bad body odour and thirst. Bathing or washing the lower part of the body with hot water increases physical vigour but washing the head with hot water has the defect of depriving the hair and eyes of their strength. Bathing should be avoided in the case of diarrhoea due to fever, flatulence, the common cold, indigestion, ailments of the nose or eyes and immediately after meals. In brief, we must ensure that every deed or activity of our 'three doors' (of body, voice and mind) is governed by presence and awareness.

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Correct Seasonal Behaviour With regard to correct seasonal behaviour, in early winter (November and December) with the skin pores closing for the cold the Wind Humour ignites the force of the heat. In consequence if we eat too little the bodily constituents will weaken, therefore we should eat adequately and eat a greater quantity of sweet, acid or astringent tasting foods. In this period as the night is longer (than the day) we feel hungrier and this weakens the bodily constituents. Thus we should adopt the following behaviour: applying sesame oil to the body, drinking fatty meat broth, wearing furs, always wearing shoes and applying warm compresses, heating ourselves in moderation by the fire or the sun and staying in warm places. In the winter the Phlegm Humour accumulates internally and in spring due to the warmth.of the sunlight the metabolic heat diminishes causing the arising of Phlegm ailments. Therefore, (in spring) we should eat a greater quantity of salty, bitter and spicy foods. By eating matured barley, honey and the meat of animals from dry areas, drinking water boiled with ginger and adopting behaviour of a coarse nature (i.e., vigorous activities), remaining in the shade in perfumed gardens and doing physical exercises and then drying our sweat, we eliminate Phlegm disturbances. During the early summer (May and June), the intense heat of the sunlight weakens the strength of our body. Therefore, we should eat a greater quantity of sweet, light, oily and cool foods, avoiding salty, spicy and acid foods, as well as shunning physical exercise and exposure to the sun. We should bathe in cold water, drink good quality water, wear light clothing, perfume ourselves with scent and remain in a cool house or in the fresh breeze of shady trees or of a riverbank. During the second half of summer (July and August), clouds start to gather in the sky and rain makes all the soil wet. The arising of wind and of a cool sensation, the humidity ofthe earth ,nd muddy water etc., damage the digestive heat. Therefore, in

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this period we should eat primarily foods that produce digestive heat and in particular sweet, acid, salty, light tasting food and foods that have a warming and oily quality. We must drink brews made from cereals cultivated in dry places and not stay in cold places like on the roof of a house. In this cool part of the summer the body gets immediately disturbed by the sun's rays and Bile Humour that has accumulated in the rainy season in autumn will instigate Bile illnesses. Therefore (in autumn) in order to eliminate such illnesses we should eat sweet, bitter and astringent tasting foods, scent our clothes with camphor, sandalwood and orchid48 and remain in houses, parks etc., permeated by refreshing fragrances. In brief, in the latter part of summer and in winter we should rely on diet and behaviour with a warming quality. In spring we should rely on a diet and behaviour with coarse quality, and in the first part of the summer and in autumn on a diet and behaviour with cool quality. In particular in the second part of the summer we should rely mainly on a diet of sweet, acid and salty tasting foods, and in spring, prevalently of foods that are bitter, spicy and astringent. During the first part of the summer, of sweet foods and in autumn, prevalently of sweet, bitter and astringent tasting foods.

Correct Occasional Behaviour There are various aspects of our daily behaviour that need particular attention. For example, to suppress eating when we feel hungry may become a secondary cause leading to the collapse and weakening of our physical system and also cause loss of appetite and dizziness.

48 Major Himalayan orchid- Dendrobium (u shi ralpu she/ tse): 'Khrungs dpe dri med shal gyi me long, photon. 482, published by Mi rigs dpe skrung khang, Beijing 1995.

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Similarly, to suppress drinking when we 'feel thirsty may become a secondary cause leading to more thirst, dizziness and various cardiac problems. To suppress vomit when we fee11ike vomiting may become a secondary cause leading to loss of one's appetite, breathing difficulties, anaemia, erysipelas, rash, abscesses, leprosy and eye problems. To suppress yawning when we fee11ike yawning may become a secondary cause leading to facial paresis and jaw fractures, etc. To suppress sneezing when we feel like sneezing may become a secondary cause leading to decreased clarity of the senses, headache and torticollis. To suppress panting when tired or exhausted may become a secondary cause leading to tumours and cardiac problems. To suppress sleeping when teeling sleepy may become a secondary cause leading to a lot ofyawning, apathy, a heavy head, eye impairments and indigestion. To suppress expectorating catarrh may become a secondary cause leading to the increase of mucus, breathing difficulties, getting thin, hiccups, loss of appetite and cardiac problems. To suppress tears may become a secondary cause leading to dizziness, secretion of liquid from the nose, loss of appetite and cardiac problems. To suppress evacuation of faeces may become a secondary cause leading to the presence of impure residue in the mouth, headache, cramps in the legs and the common cold. To suppress the evacuation of intestinal gases may become a secondary cause leading to hardening of the faeces, constipation, sharp pains due to tumours, poor eyesight, little digestive heat and cardiac problems. To suppress urination may become a secondary cause leading to the formation of (renal) calculi, pain in the urethra and genital problems. To suppress ejaculation may become a secondary cause lead,. iBI to pain in the penis, urinary retention and the proliferation of calculi. 113

For these reasons, whoever wishes to create the conditions for living in good health should follow a correct conduct of body, voice arid mind. Moreover, an indispensable requisite (for living in good health) is that we must be able to discern how the tastes, qualities and so forth of the food and drink we consume daily are beneficial and how they can become a cause of harm to our body. THE PROPERTII!:S AND QUALITIES OFTASTI!:S

The main secondary causes that disturb our Humours and Organic Components or alter the condition of the three Humours arise from the properties of tastes and qualities of the food and beverages we consume daily and from the properties of the manner in which we behave. The ability to pacify the disturbances of our body and to live happily in a natural condition must come from the balance of the properties oftastes and qualities and ofbehaviour. Therefore, now that we are alive we must gain sound understanding of the nature of the six different kinds of taste, the eight different qualities and the seventeen properties of foods and medicinal ingredients that are closely tied to all the necessities of our life. It is important then to be able to apply that understanding concretely in relation to our daily living conditions: our behaviour and diet, without leaving it as mere theoretical knowledge to flaunt. If such understanding really becomes part of our being, not only will the Humours and Organic Components of our present body be in harmony and free from adverse conditions but this understanding will become a perfect factor for removing afar the time of our death. THE NATURE OF THE SIX KINDS OF TASTE

Now, with regard to the six well-known k•nds oftaste inherent in our customary food and beverages: sugar and molasses etc., whose nature is that of the Earth and Water elements, are sweet. Their sweet taste has the property of curing Wind and Bile disturbances and after digestion this taste remains sweet. 114

Brews and buttermilk etc., whose nature is that of the Earth and Fire elements, are acid. The acid taste has the property of curing Phlegm and Wind disturbances; after digestion this taste remains acidic. Pomegranates etc., whose nature is that of the Earth and Air elements, are astringent. The astringent taste has the property of curing Phlegm and Bile disturbances; after digestion this taste becomes bitter. Rock salt and sea salt etc., whose nature is that of the Water and Fire elements, are salty. The salty taste has the property of curing Wind disturbances; after digestion this taste becomes sweet. Dandelion and coffee etc., whose nature is that of the Water and Air elements, are bitter. The bitter taste has the property of curing Phlegm and Bile disturbances; after digestion this taste remains bitter. Chilli pepper etc., whose nature is that of the Fire and Air elements, are spicy. The spicy taste has the property of curing Phlegm disturbances; after digestion this taste becomes acidic. THE SIX KINDS OF TASTE

The Eight Qualities With regard to the well known eight qualities inherent to the essence of our usual foods and beverages, salty, astringent and sw~t foods are of heavy quality and therefore are great remedies for Wind disturbances. 115

Salty, acid and sweet foods are of oily quality and therefore are a great remedy for Wind disturbances, but at the same time their defect is that they increase the Bile Humour. Astringent, bitter and sweet foods are of cold quality and therefore are great remedies for Bile disturbances. Bitter, astringent and sweet foods (also) are of dull quality and therefore are great remedies for Bile disturbances. Acid, spicy and bitter foods are of light and coarse quality and therefore are great remedies for Phlegm disturbances. Spicy, acid and salty foods are of warming and sharp quality and therefore are great remedies for Phlegm disturbances, but at the same time their defect is that they increase the Bile.

THE EIGHT QUALITIES

The Seventeen Curative Properties of Foods With regard to the well known seventeen properties inherent in the essence of our usual foods and beverages, moonseed49 and roasted barley soup have a smooth quality and therefore cure Wind disturbances caused by the coarse quality. Molasses etc. have a heavy quality and therefore cure Wind disturbances caused by the light quality.

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Lamb etc. have a warming quality and therefore cure Wind disturbances caused by the cool quality. Seed oil and marrow fat etc. have an oily quality and therefore cure Wind disturbances caused by the hard and subtle qualities. Nutmeg and garlic etc. have a firm quality and therefore cure Wind disturbances caused by the mobile quality. Soup made from the flour of roasted barley and cold water etc., have a cold quality and therefore cure Bile disturbances caused by the oily quality. Blue poppyS0 etc. have a dull quality and therefore cure Bile disturbances caused by the sharp quality. Gentian and camphor51 etc. have a. cool quality and therefore. cure Bile disturbances caused by the hot quality. Fresh butter, yoghurt and buttermilk etc. have a supple quality and therefore cure Bile disturbances caused by the light quality. Laxatives etc. have a liquid quality and therefore cure Bile disturbances caused by the bad-smelling quality. Anti-diarrhoea remedies etc. have a dry quality and therefore cure Bile disturbances caused by the laxative and humid qualities. Peas and lentils etc. have a lean quality and therefore cure Phlegm disturbances caused by the oily quality. Black pepper and chilli 52 etc. have a hot quality and therefore cure Phlegm disturbances caused by the cold quality. Szechwan pepper and boiled water etc. have a light quality and therefore cure Phlegm disturbances caused by the heavy quality. Brews of good quality etc. have a sharp quality and therefore cure Phlegm disturbances caused by the dull quality. Nuts, fish and pork etc. have a coarse quality and therefore cure Phlegm disturbances caused by the smooth and viscous quality. Emetics etc. have a mobile quality and therefore cure Phlegm disturbances caused by the firm quality.

Blue poppy, Tib. ut pa Ia. ,. Gentian, Tib. tig Ia; camphor, Tib. ga bur. ' 2 ~lack pepper, Tib. no /e sham; chilli pepper, Tib. tsi tra ka.

so

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THE SEVENTEEN PROPERTIES

OF fOODS AND MEDICINAL INGREDIENTS

~liaf~eiertst~t· ~ishtrban~ ·• _Reineciy,t~iY61t{. E~~mpie :'::~!tALtJii!\ Smooth

Wind

Coarse

Moonseed

Heavy Warm

Wind

Light

Molasses

Wind

Cold

Lamb

Oily

Wind

Subtle and hard

Seed oil

Firm

Wind

Mobile

Nutmeg and garlic

Cold

Bile

Oily

Roasted barley soup

Dull

Bile

Sharp

Blue poppy

Cool

Bile

Hot

Gentian and camphor

Supple

Bile

Light

Yoghurt and buttermilk

Liquid

Bile

Bad-smelling

Laxatives

Dry

Bile

Laxative and humid Anti-diarrhoea remedies

Lean

Phlegm

Oily

Peas

Hot

Phlegm

Cool

Pepper

Light

Phlegm

Heavy

Szechwan pepper

Sharp

Phlegm

Dull

Good quality alcohol

Coarse

Phlegm

Smooth and Viscous

Nuts, fish and pork

Mobile

Phlegm

Firm

Emetics

THE CoNTINUITY OF CoRREcr PRESENCE AND AwARENE..~

The most important thing concerning the behaviour of our three doors and all possible factors causing imbalance of the Humours and Organic Components, such as the deficiencies, excesses and conflicts etc. connected with them discussed so far, is to have stable continuity of presence (dran pa) and awareness (shes bzhin) in every aspect of our life. In general, we understand the meaning of the (Tibetan) term trenpa (dran pa) to refer to the mere recollection of something that has not been forgotten and that is remembered when certain

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circumstances bring it to our memory. In the same way we understand the (Tibetan) term shezhin (shes bzhin) to refer to the mere fact of being aware of something we know. It is true that these are aspects of 'presence' and of 'awareness', nevertheless they do not represent the complete meaning ofthe expression 'continuity of presence and awareness' as intended here. The true meaning of 'presence' is not only remembering an important issue as an object of our mind but (rather)having a vivid mental presence of it without ever forgetting it in any circumstances. For example, if we always have a vivid presence that we are living in time and we never forget this it can bring many benefits, for example, we will not find it difficult to adapt to changes. As all the aspects of the environment in which we live are subject to time, spontaneously all the world and its inhabitants will manifest to our perception in the nature of impermanence and we wil1 not needlessly waste our life and so forth. Similarly, the true meaning of 'awareness' is not only. to be aware of some important issues but (rather) refers to awareness that knows positive and negative aspects precisely and is always present vividly clear in our mind independent of temporary factors or any kind of mental judgement. Therefore this awareness can become of a nature that immediately knows what to accept and what to avoid whenever any negative circumstance manifests without the need to enter into mental judgement ofthe situation. Any project undertaken through our mental judgement is done on the basis of the various factors of the particular circumstances of time and therefore it is difficult for such projects to always accord with what happens everyday, since circumstances change. This reason compels us continually to modify all our plans in the course of time; this is a situation that each of us can understand clearly on the basis of direct experience. If we had stable continuity of presence and awareness that does not need particularly to depend on mental judgement we would obtain many benefits: our projects would not be hindered by circumstances, and we would be aQie easily to modify our plans and to achieve without difficulty what we need in various situations. 119

The expression 'continuity of presence and awareness' refers to ever-present knowledge in which presence and awareness are indivisible in the mind of any individual, woman or man, old or young. Needless to say, anyone who has entered the gate of the Buddhist path, particularly the Ati Dzogpa Chenpo teaching, and is a practitioner must definitely possess continuous authentic presence and awareness. In any case genuine continuity of presence and awareness is a very important requirement in the life of an human beings regardless of whether one has entered and practises the teaching of Ati or not. This is because, in addition to the suffering of birth, old age, ilJness and death that are a natural part of our life, always turning away from awareness we engage only in selfish activities due to the primary causes of attachment, anger and delusion, and on the basis of various temporary causes, through these secondary causes there arises the miserable situation in which we make both ourselves and others unhappy and are helplessly compelled to experience only suffering. In these times most people are very far from continuous presence and awareness in their behaviour of body, voice and mind. There is the habit of seeing a human being simply as an aggregate of flesh and blood, our environment simply as an object that appears through the senses of the individual and most of our energy is spent in the acquisition of different material needs, and this we consider sufficient. This is a situation that is before everybody's eyes. Nevertheless, human beings should be considered in the totality ofthe 'three doors'; it is not possible to see us only in terms of the 'door' of the body. Were one to do so there would be no difference between us and the imitation of man or 'robots' created by modem technology. It is true that our human body begins as (an aggregate ot) Humours and Organic Components on the basis of the energy of the elements, but the 'door' of our voice continues to exist on the basis of the energy of the elements (even though it is not formed by the Humours and Organic Components). Whenever the ele-

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ments of our body are disturbed by adventitious causes our condition becomes unhealthy and we have direct experience of the various sufferings of illness and so forth. An illness or some other problem that depends solely on the body is a condition that can be directly perceived by our senses; in this case it is easy to understand how the problem should be solved and just as easy to find a method to resolve the problem immediately. However, if instead we have some problem connected with the 'door' of the voice, i.e., the condition of the elements (or energy), or in particular with the 'door' of the mind, the very 'hidden' nature ofthe problem is such that it makes it difficult to understand how the problem should be tackled and even more difficult to find the appropriate method to eliminate it. Concerning our three doors of body, voice and mind, the (door of the) body that is an aggregation of the Humours and Organic Components is the physical support for the doors of voice and mind that depend on it, and the three doors of body speech and mind exist in a relationship ofsupport and supported. Therefore in general during our human life not only can various problems related to the door of the body arise, but also problems in connection with the doors of voice and mind can manifest. Since the body is the base of all these, needless to say initially we must try to solve such problems by working on the door of the body. However, it is necessary to understand precisely that there can arise various problems which are different from those that are strictly physical and that all problems of the voice, not only those of the door of the body, are interconnected with the door of the mind. If we lack the solid foundation ofthis understanding it will prove difficult to find the opportunity to get free from this kind of problem; and often it is the very fact of not having such precise understanding that permits even a small problem to become serious. For these reasons, we need thoroughly to comprehend the nature of the 'doors' of the voice and mind so that we can finally come to possess stable continuity of awareness that knows how to create the necessary conditions for (the wellbeing ot) voice and mind. To possess defi-

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nitely such awareness is an extremely important need for each oneofus. For example, if someone is suffering from a problem caused (by) a mental disturbance they need to acknowledge that the main origin of this problem is a disturbance of the Wind humour. To eliminate the disturbance it is necessary primarily to rely on techniques of breath control53 that are linked to the 'door' of the voice and to apply the pertinent diet, behaviour, medicine and external therapies. It is in this way that the problem of the disturbance of Wind needs to be solved. In order· to ensure that breath control is effective we should train in the body postures and Yantra Yoga exercises that are related to the 'door' of the body. Thus it is necessary to be aware that the· effectiveness of breath control does not depend only on the 'voice' but is also connected with the 'door' of the body. Applying the various methods of breath control empowers us temporarily to resolve the problems caused by the imbalances of such kinds of disturbance. However if we do not apply them regularly we may resolve the problem once or twice but we will not have the guarantee that the same problem will not recur. This is because we are always living in the circumstances of time and environment, and moreover we are bound to the fetter of dualism and we live conditioned (by it). Hence large or small adverse circumstances certainly always arise and in dependence on these, various problems arise that are linked to disturbances of the energy of the elements. If we really want to free ourselves from these kinds of problems we must finally understand that the 'door' of our mind is always dominated solely by dualism, the result of strong egotism, which finds expression in fixation with and attachme~t towards ourselves and hatred and aggre.ssiveness towards others. At the same time, 'the door of the mind' completely ignores the authentic nature of its own condition and never dwells in it. And since it is dominated solely by dualism we experience, much to our regret,

53

Breath control or priipiiyama (rlung ,ybyor).

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endless problems and ilJnesses tied to our three 'doors'. We must properly understand this situation and, in accordance with this understanding, ensure that we are governed entirely by awareness in every circumstance. THE NEED TO DIMINISH OUR SELt'ISHNESS

Every human being always wants to be happy and to avoid suffering. Every day we use much of our energy to achieve this goal. However we do not correctly understand what the primary and secondary causes for the arising of happiness and what the primary and secondary causes of suffering are. Thus in addition to not accomplishing the various forms of happiness we desire in the appropriate way we create unwanted suffering and other mishaps. Just as we wish to be happy all others too wish for happiness. Just as we do not want to experience any suffering others too do not wish to experience any suffering. In this regard, we are similar. However, we are so dominated by strong attachment due to our selfishness that it is difficult 'for us even to recognise that we are selfish, and when we are unhappy or have some problem we look and search for someone to blame. Even when it is we who have behaved wrongly, in all possible ways we try to prove ourselves innocent, through various direct and indirect reasons, and to accuse, directly or indirectly, someone we do not like and concentrate our efforts in increasing our selfishness even more than before. This selfish attitude is definitely the sole origin of all our conflicts: personal, group, racial, religious and between nations. A traditional proverb says: To see others we have eyes, But to see ourselves we need a mirror.

Accordingly, before accusing others we must observe our own attitude a little. In this way, our obsessive selfishness wilJ loosen and we wilJ be able to properly respect others• dimension and sodklise with others more easily. We will .also clearly understand

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that the stresses due to the accumulation of a great number of needless worries and great or small anxieties on matters we attribute a lot of importance to is nothing but our own fault. In this way the stress will unravel itself and vanish in its own condition. Diminishing one's selfishness has the further merit of becoming a perfect circumstance for the birth, within us, of authentic Bodhichitta, the genuine (wish) to benefit others.

THEN EED TO FREE OuRSELVES oF WoRRIES We crave and cling to aH the beautiful things of this world; at the same time we are irritated and feel aversion towards things that are ugly. This dualism gives birth within us to hopes, fears and worries of various kinds that are utterly needless and we spend most of our life under their influence. We not only pass our life in this way, these conditions also bring us endless unhappiness and suffering of body, speech and mind, and when these difficulties present themselves we struggle with them directly without the least consideration of the primary and secondary causes that have produced them. Needless/to say, this habit does not become a factor for solving problems; rather it definitely becomes a factor that increases them further, like adding wood to fire. Any problem that actually manifests to us is the result of previous specific primary and secondary causes that are conditioned by dualism; thus however much we contend with that manifest result it can never become a means to free ourselves from that problem. Therefore, always maintaining awareness of stable certainty that the primary and secondary causes, which are the base of such kinds of problem, lie in the strong dualism rooted in our mind, it is necessary to apply personally the appropriate method for eliminating the problem. As long as we depend on and live in this body made of flesh and blood there is no person that does not undergo the suffering of physical illness etc., the disturbance ofthe (five) elements and the arising of emotions such as craving and anger in the mind. But if

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we have continuity of presence and awareness of what the nature of these problems is, we will not become governed by them and we wil1 be able to free ourselves without difficulty, as well as be able effortlessly to free ourselves from the great anxieties (that may result). In every respect, this corresponds with what occurs, for example, when during dreams we have while sleeping we experience unhappiness and suffering or are oppressed by a great fear. The sensations ofbody, spee~h and mind we feel at that time are identical to those we actually experience during the day. However, if our dream is governed by presence and awareness as soon as we recognise that we are dreaming, even though the dream images do not cease the feeJing of fear vanishes spontaneously in its own nature. We should not think, ..What similarity is there between life and the dream state? The dream consists of i1lusory visions occurring during sleep while the vision of our human life is concrete, thus the two cannot be alike at all". In reality, the condition of our life and the nature of the dreams that occur while we are asleep differ only in their duration but are not fundamentally different. And this is the reason why, in order for practitioners of the path to understand the fundamental condition of unreality of what manifests in life on the basis of recognition of the nature of dream there arose the system of training in various dream practices at night while sleeping.

THE NATURE OF DREAM

All possible forms ofsuffering, such as il1ness, that we undergo in life and that are related to our material body of flesh and blood are experienced within this body of flesh and blood concretely formed of coarse elements. In the dream state, the eye and other sense organs of our material body together with the sense consciousnesses withdraw internally and no longer experience their sense objects or perform their respective functions: this is called

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'sleep'. While our material body continues to sleep, after a while the mental consciousness awakens from sleep and depends on the support of the eye (sense consciousness) and other sense consciousnesses: this is called the 'mental body'. Depending on particular temporary circumstances there occur various vicissitudes that give rise to happiness or suffering: these are called 'dreams'. Whatever feelings of happiness or suffering we experience until the moment of waking up or until we recognise the dream as such, manifest exactly like (those) we have during the day. The world of the external environment in which we live, that exists as a shared vision with all other human beings, and the beings that inhabit this external environment are undeniably real and concrete. However just as when we wake from sleep only a mental image of the dream remains and cannot be grasped as something concrete and real, when eventually we die and our present visions disappear it will become clear that these present visions, which we conceive as undeniably concrete and real, are like a dream. They abide only as mental images and cannot be grasped as real or concrete. If, in every circumstance of our life, we do serious mind training that is based on the understanding of this principle we will at last be able to loosen our strong attachment and the endless fears, apprehen.sion and worries that are related to this attachment. In this way we shall be content and satisfied by the living conditions in whjch we find ourselves and be able to spend our life in a relaxed way. THE NEED TO BE CoNTENT WITH OuR LOT

Another aspect that must definitely be governed by our presence and awareness in every day of our life is 'being content with our lot'. For most of us it is difficult to possess the virtue of being content. For example, even if we have a standard of living that allows us to fulfil our immediate needs, such as a house in which to live, clothes, food and other primary necessities, still w~ are not

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satisfied with only this and wish to have at least the same or a better standard of living than our friends or others. Or, if we have no job and have problems with our livelihood, until we find a job congruent with our qualifications, because we lack contentment we do not accept another job opportunity even though its salary is adequate to solve our precarious situation and continue to live in difficulty. These are other aspects of discontentment: becoming envious and thus discontent upon meeting others higher than us; becoming proud and thus discontent upon meeting others lower than us; becoming competitive and thus discontent upon meeting others equal to us; and not a~cepting, considering inadequate or not being content with the actual condition we have. But in actuality, it is on the basis of correct understanding and acceptance of our actual condition that we must train correctly in the continuity of presence and awareness with regard to the need to improve, gradually and in accordance with our life circumstances, whatever qualities are possible to improve. If we are never separate from this continuity of presence and awareness and all circumstances of our life are not separate from it, regardless of whatever important problem arises at that time we will be able to resolve it or it will resolve itself spontaneously. Thus, we can understand clearly that the body represents an. indispensable support for voice and mind. In the same way, the 'doors• ofvoice and mind are the foundation of all the activities and behaviour of the individual. In particular, we must understand the authentic nature of the 'door• of the mind. Once we have this understanding we should maintain this knowledge by means of continuity of presence and awareness. This is a fundamental principle of extreme importance for living our life in good health as a temporary benefit and, as well, is certainly related to the motive of achieving ultimate happiness as it is conceived in the belief of each individual.

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The great sages ofthe past distinguished the condition of the 'door' of the mind from its real nature or authentic condition by calling the first 'mind' (sems) and the second 'mind essence' (sems nyid). What is the fundamental difference between 'mind' and 'mind essence'? 'Mind' is always dependent on time, while 'mind essence' is completely beyond time. 'Mind' has the nature of discursive thought, white 'mind essence' is completely beyond mental judgement. 'Mind' is dependent on the three 'doors', that are relative faculties, white 'mind essence' has no need to depend on any relative faculty. These are some of the great differences that distinguish them. The sacred masters, holders of the Ati Dzogpa Chenpo teaching, taught the fundamental nature of mind essence using the expression 'self-perfected primordial potentiality'. To explain: in the state of every sentient being there exists in finite primordial potentiality or energy that is self-perfected. Nevertheless, among humans, those who understand the nature of the self-perfected potentiality of the fundamental condition just as it is are rarer than stars seen by daylight, not to speak of other kinds of beings. Unless a profound knowledge of the 'self-perfected primordial potentiality', which is our fundamental condition, has arisen in our mind, even though we have infinite self-perfected primordial potentiality,just possessing it is of no benefit. The following metaphor illustrates this point. Once in a country there lived a beggar; during the day he used to go to the village to beg and at night, as he had no home he would go into a cave in the foothills ofa mountain. That is where he slept, and as a cushion he used an oval-shaped rock. Spending many years of his life in misery. he became old and finally was struck by a fatal illness; with nobody to help him he died. oppressed by suffering in his cave. Facing the mountain was a hermitage where a sage lived in retreat. He saw the beggar leaving his cave every morning to go to the village and returning every evening to his cave. One day he

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did not Hee him any more nnd wondered if the beggar had died. In aa Hlate of wisdom clarity he looked f(n an instant (into this matter) nnd saw that the beggar, struck by a fatal illness, had died in misery in his cave. He also saw that the oval shaped rock that the beggar had used as a pillow throughout his life, was full of diamonds. Even though the beggar had always rested his head on this rock he had spent his life begging in poverty because he did not know that the rock was brimming with diamonds: having as his pi Ilow a rock full of diamonds had been of no use to him. SELF-PERFECfED PRIMORDIAL P~AUI'V

The very ancient texts (that contain) the essence of the Ati Dzogpa Chenpo teaching explain very clearly how the nature of the self-perfected potentiality of the primordial condition of every Hcntient being is. The condition of the primordial state of each of us is compared to the empty essence, clear nature and uninterrupted potentiality of a mirror. Even though different tbrms appear in the mirror these are only reflected images and are not concretely present in the mirror. This is referred to as 'empty essence'. Although in the mirror nothing concretely exists yet by virtue of interdependence between the secondary cause of the reflection, i.e. everything in front of the mirror, and the clarity of the mirror, the reflected image that is just like the vision of the object can vividly manifest instantly. This is referred to as 'clear nature'. As soon as the mirror meets the various secondary causes for the appearance (of the images) the mirror need not depend on any preparation etc. in order for the particular reflection to mani1est, and as the mirror has unlimited capacity of manifesting images, every image can and does appear unimpeded. This is referred to as 'uninterrupted potentiality'. Concerning the real meaning (of the metaphor of the mirror that indicate) our self-perfected potentiality, although all appearing phenomena manifest as existing and real, in their true condi-

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tion they are pure (i.e. empty) from the beginning and nothing real can be found in them, just like a reflection in a mirror. This quality is referred to as 'empty essence'. Although nothing concretely exists, just as in a mirror the reflection of any object that is interdependent with it can manifest unimpeded, on the basis ofthe universal variety of interdependent phenomena as secondary causes all inconceivable and illusory manifestations, that are the qualities of primordial self-perfection, manifest spontaneously and effortlessly. This quality is called 'clear nature'. Just as the appearance of the diverse reflections in a mirror does nQt require any particular preparation and the form of the object can manifest immediately just as it is, this clear nature need not depend on any specific occasion or factor of time. This clarity has the capacity to manitest continuously in the precise form of interdependent phenomena, and any form that manifests cannot be interrupted by any secondary causes.' This quality is called 'uninterrupted potentiality'. These three primordial qualities: empty essence, clear nature and uninterrupted potentiality, are generally designated as 'three primordial wisdoms' 54 • These are comparable to the natural capacity of a mirror, which although differentiated into the three aspects of its way of appearing as pure, clear and limpid, in reality· cannot be separated into three different natures. But how do the energy manifestations of self-perfected potentiality arise from these three primordial wisdoms? The basis for the initial formation of our body composed ofHumours and Organic Components, are the red constituent of the mother possessing solar energy and vibrating with the natural sound of A and the white constituent of the father possessing the lunar energy and vibrating with the sound HAM. By meeting, these two constituents gradually, on the basis ofthe function of the five lights that are the pure essences of five elements, develop as form and shape

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and ripen as a physical body made of flesh and blood as aspects of the rays. Thus, the nature of potentiality of the primordial base can be fully represented by the three primordial potentialities of 'sound', 'light' and 'rays'. In general, when we speak of 'sound' we mean an audible sound produced by something material as an object of perception, which can be pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. In reality, however, there are three types of sound: outer, inner and secret. Sound we perceive with our ears is 'outer' sound. 'Inner' sound cannot be perceived with the ears but must be discovered through the 'vibration' of the elements. 'Secret' sound is not perceived even through the vibration of the elements but can be perceived and manifests as the inherent primal energy of the real nature of existence (chos nyid) once we have mastered the state of instant presence, the state of Ati. When sound gradually expands as light the aspect of the clear nature arises as an object of vision. Then, from the capacity of manifestation (of rol pa and rtsal) the five colours, that are the nature of the five elements, manifest as rays, and various pure and impure visions appear on the basis of the interdependent action of whatever secondary causes are present. The base of these manifestations is called the 'three primordial potentialities'. How do we realise the unlimited nature of the self-perfected primordial potentiality in us? This depends exclusively on whether or not we are able to enter directly and nakedly into the state of instant presence without letting our authentic condition remain a mere object of our intellect.

INSTANT PRESENCE

Those who with dedication study and apply the content of the extensive scriptures of the sutras and tantras, different forms of the sublime teaching, ascertain the fundamental nature of all phe;omena with the help of various methods pertaining to their re-

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spective systems. However those who are interested in the Ati Dzogpa Chenpo teaching and follow its·principle must first of all train earnestly in separating nature of the mind, or instant presence, from mind The principal reason for the need for this separation is to avoid the deviation and error that can occur when most practitioners apply the practice on the path, i.e. that of mistaking experiences such as emptiness or clarity for our real nature. Moreover, any experience related to our three doors and all the various feeJings of pleasure and pain are connected with the mind and are subject to time. Therefore those who are dominated by the mind not only have feelings of pleasure and pain but experience them just as an ordinary person does when they present themselves. Whereas those who instead abide in the real condition of the mind essence, even though in their perception these sensations of pleasure and pain manifest themselves in the same way (i.e., in the ordinary way) are not compelled to follow them as they are not conditioned by mind. One who, governed by mind, experiences the feelings of pleasure and pain just as they are, dwells in our ordinary human vision. Instead one who has intellectual understanding that our karmic vision is devoid of reality yet has not separated mind from mind essence is like a man who on seeing the beautiful or ugly images appearing in a mirror knows that they are merely reflected images devoid of reality. But even though he knows that the reflected images he sees with his eyes are not real, this does not change anything in his belief in the true existence of the objects that are interdependent with (i.e. in front of) the mirror. So his (intellectual understanding) does not change anything with regard to his experience of the sensations of pleasure and pain. One who has correctly separated mind from mind essence and who abides in the fundamental essence of mind can be compared to those who do not apprehend a mirror as an object but are themselves the mirror. Although various visions can manifest as the natural energy of their clarity on the basis of occasional secondary causes, just as whatever vision (reflection) that occurs brings

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no benefit or harm to the mirror likewis~ those who abide in the fundamental essence of mind are not governed by mind. Thus, even though the visions of mind may arise without interruption they do not fall under the sway of the sensations of pleasure or pain related to those visions. And whatever appears, inasmuch as it is just a quality of self-perfection, spontaneously liberates itself in that very condition (of mind essence). For these reasons, now, while we are living in good health, we must follow a teacher who has a true experience ofthe Ati Dzogpa Chenpo. And, on the basis of instruction of the teacher separating mind from mind essence we must discover mind essence directly in our state. There are some who think, "Even if we do not rely on a teacher we still can separate mind from mind essence and discover the mind essence directly within our state by reading the many instruction manuals that are available and on the basis of our intellectual analytic capacity." These persons, who (thinking in this way) reinforce their conceit and selfishness and are unwilling to follow a teacher, by understanding clearly the nature of their conceit and selfishness must eventually diminish their pride and selfishness and follow an authentic teacher: this is a point of crucial importance. This is because awakening past predispositions without needing to depend on either reading the various instruction manuals or using intellectual analytic capacity is possible only for those few who have a very strong previous karmic connection as well as the predisposition from the past to be awakened. For most humans, however great their intellectual capacity, since the nature of mind essence transcends any object of mental judgement, it is absolutely impossible to understand precisely the authentic state of instant presence or mind essence merely by reading books on the principle of Dzogpa Chenpo or by relying on any logical analysis.

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THE PRINCIPLE OF PRIMORDIAL TOTAL PERFECTION

(An DzoGPA CHENPo) Many of us are attached to our particular religious tradition or theoretical knowledge, so when we (try to) learn the principle of Ati Dzogpa Chenpo we have a strong suspicion that this teaching may be incompatible with our condition or that it may change it or tum us into 'followers' of the Ati Dzogpa Chenpo system. However the main purpose of learning correctly the principle of Ati Dzogpa Chenpo is that this teaching is an extraordinary method for gaining precise experience and realisation of the infinite primordial potentiality of self-perfection present in each ofus. Also, to make us aware that we are completely ignorant of our real condition just as it is and that we are utterly enslaved by the dualism of hope and fear, position and bias etc., and then to enable us to escape from the cage of dualism. This does not at all mean adding a new cage of the Dzogpa Chenpo system to the deeply rooted dualism that already exists within us. Hence there is absolutely no reason to harbour such suspicions. 'Ati Dzogpa Chenpo' is not a religious tradition based on limitation and sectarianism, nor is it a philosophical system established by means of inteJiectual analysis. There have been some sectarians, attached to their own tradition, who have used the view of Dzogpa Chenpo to present it as if it was the essence of their own tradition. There have also been a few cases of philosophers, following theories established through intellectual analysis, who have claimed that the view ofDzogchen was the essence of their ·own philosophy. But in reality, we can understand through direct valid p~rception that their philosophical principles and the view of Ati Dzogpa Chenpo are radically different. Dzogchen is thus not at all a name of a sectarian religion or of a philosophical tradition of the scriptures of a religion or the texts of a philosophy; it is not a congregation hall or seat ofa religion or a philosophy. 'Dzogchen' is to be understood exclusively as the infinite potentiality of primordial self-perfection, the authentic condition present in each and every sentient being.

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The ancient Ati Dzogpa Chenpo masters, of whom the foremost is Garab D01je 55, taught fortunate beings like us the method by which, on the basis of their individual direct experience they realised the primordially present infinite potentiality of self-perfection that is their real condition. And it is that supreme method for realising this infinite potentiality of each individual, based on those experiences, that is known as the 'Ati Dzogpa Chenpo teaching'. To learn the view of Ati Dzogpa Chenpo we do not need to reject or accept anything, nor do we need to change anything. No matter what kind of religion we are familiar with or different ideology we may have, the true principle of the Ati Dzogpa Chenpo teaching consists in never being conditioned solely by the dualistic concepts of our mind and in persevering in the methods that enable us to recognise the authentic condition of mind essence. Thus if we learn the principle of Dzogpa Chenpo there is absolutely no need to harbour the suspicion that this teaching may be incompatible with our condition, that we may have to change our condition or that it may tum us into 'followers' of the Ati Dzogpa Chenpo system. Others may think, "I understand the importance of realising the nature of my primordial condition by following the teaching of an authentic master, but it is possible that others may see me as a 'follower' of a religion or ideology based on a belief." There may be many that have this suspicion. What we followers of Dzogpa Chenpo teaching have understood is that this teaching is not to be learned by depending on a belieffabricated by mind. A mind-fabricated belief can always be changed and thus in that way we can never understand the real meaning of the Ati Dzogpa Chenpo teaching. The authentic sense of the Ati Dzogpa Chenpo teaching must be understood through Garab Dorje (Prahe Vajra, dGa' rab rdo rje) was the ftrst master and source of the Dzogchcn teaching that has reached us in our own days. He was born in lhf cQuntry ofQ4