“ Be the Change that you want to see in the world. ” ...is by Mahatma Gandhi...

17 novembre 2009

Tibetan Chakras and Anatomy


The Tibetan Buddhist Theory of Chakras


Tantric Buddhism (or Vajrayana) broke off from the Indian Tantric one at a very early stage.  Hence they developed a rather different version of the chakras.

Tibetan Buddhism acknowledges four (navel, heart, throat, and head), five, seven, or even ten chakras or "channel wheels"; each with a different number of "spokes" to its Indian Tantric counterpart.  The navel chakra for example has sixty-four spokes, the heart chakra eight, the throat sixteen (the only one to agree with the Hindu scheme), and the head or crown chakra thirty-two.

There is also, as in Laya-yoga, an elaborate system of correspondences.  Note that in this system it is the head-centre, and not, as in many Western interpretations of Hindu Tantra, the Perineal or the base, that is associated with the body and physical consciousness.
"The Perineal Chakra
(Hui Yin )Secondary (Yin) Chakra  

This chakra - called in Taoism Hui Yin - is located between the genitals and the anus; the part of the body called the perineum.  It constitutes the lowest of the Yin or descending energy chakras, and is the lower meeting point of the Governor (Yang) and the Function or Conception Vessel (Yin) channels. 

Through the legs and feet it is the main link with the universal Earth Ch'i or yin energy.  It also connects with the central channel that runs along the centre of the body to the Crown Chakra. Through this nadi flows the Heaven chi energy (Universal Yang) from the crown chakra.
The Perineum centre - often but incorrectly called the Muladhara or Base Chakra - thus constitutes the red or broadcasting pole in the universal energy stream that enters through the crown centre (the violet pole).
The Hui Yin is located between the genitals and the anus; the part of the body called the perineum.  When the Perineum is strong, the organs remain firm and healthy; when it is weak the organs lose cohesiveness and Chi energy drains away.  Because this Centre is the gate through which Ch'i energy from the other organs can be either retained or lost, it is called the "Gate of Life and Death."
This centre constitutes the lowest of the Yin or descending energy chakras, and is the lower meeting point of the Governor or Yang, and the Conception or Yin nadis or channels.  It is connected to the element Earth and hence corresponds to the physical plane of existence, and is (through the feet) the main link with the Earth Chi energy.The following sketch, from Mantak Chia's book on Awakening Healing Energy, illustrates the way that the Perineum centre is connected by four primary nadis or energy channels:


The first runs along the centre of the body to the Crown Chakra.  Through this central nadi flows the Heaven Ch'i energy (Universal Yang) from the crown chakra.  The exploration of the universe is the attraction for this universal Yang energy. 
The Perineum centre - often but incorrectly called the Muladhara or Base Chakra - thus constitutes the red or broadcasting pole in the universal energy stream that enters through the crown centre (the violet pole).  


Barbara Brennan's Coccygeal Center seems to confuse the Perineal and the Muladhara chakras.
The second connects to the soles of the feet and allows the absorption of Earth Chi energy (Universal Yin).  This Earth Ch'i energy plays a central role in shamanism and neo-paganism; it is the energy of Gaia, Mother Earth.  (e.g. the "Rainbow Serpent" of Australian Aboriginal mythology). When you walk barefoot on the ground and you get a good feeling from that, that is the Earth or Yin energy.

The third - the Yin or Conception channel - connects to and receives chi from the navel and genital centres.

And the fourth - the Yang or Governor channel - connects to the rear Coccygeal and Sacral Centres and receives from them universal nature energy, as well as transmitting Chi from the the navel and genital centres during the Microcosmic orbit."

The throat centre represents a more subtle state of consciousness, the dream state; and the heart centre the refined of all, deep meditataion, dreamless sleep, the peaceful deities and the Clear Light.

woodcut prints 
Tibetan Woodcut drawings from Ballabene's Paranormal Pages


Instead of Kundalini, reference is made to the red and white subtle "drops" in the navel and head chakras respectively, although sometimes other drops are mentioned as well.  


Through the dissolution of these drops, and of the various subtle winds, in the central channel, one attains transcendent awareness.  This happens not only during advanced yoga, but also at the time of death; and constitutes the phenomenon known as the "Clear Light".


The Vajrayana chakras






Chakra




spokes (petals)




location




shape of centre




colour




body




activity




deities




Mahasukha chakra




32




head




Swabhavika-kaya




Triangular




white




body, 
waking




Wrathful




Sambhoga chakra




16




throat




circular




red




Sambhoga-kaya




speech, dreaming




Wisdom-holding




Dharma chakra




8




heart




circular




white




Dharma-kaya




mind, 
sleeping




Peaceful




Nirmana chakra




64




navel




triangular




red




Nirmana-kaya



Tibetan Anatomical Paintings

All artwork, photography and content is copyrighted by it's respective creator. All Rights Reserved These Tibetan medical tangkas were "painted by the Nepalese tangka artist Romio Shrestha and his Tibetan, Nepalese, and Bhutanese students in Kathmandu during seven years in the late 1980's and early 1990's."
The Face of Impermanence


Images of Impermanence


Cadaver


Vulnerable Points


The Inner Mandala







Chakras and Energy Channels


Chakras and Energy Channels


Topographical Lines of Channels



"Thangkas illustrations of the points of the body associated with bloodletting, moxibustion and minor surgery, differentiated, respectively, by the use of the colors blue, yellow and red."


Bloodletting Channels


Dzogchen Channels


Cranial Physiognomy


Anatomy of Light


Anatomical Grids
-
some of these illustrations come from the book The Tibetan Art of Healing by Ian A. Baker - worldcat [link] Powell's books [link] - amazon [link]others (along with many more) are from the American Museum of Natural History's collection "Body & Spirit: Tibetan Medical Paintings" [link]
Romio Shrestha's website [link]