Tibetan yogas, Singing bowl, Armpits

I’ve been reading Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep, by Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, which is a fascinating book. I’ve been interested in dreaming for a long time, spent a number of years keeping dream journals and dabbling with lucid dreams. That particular interest, of course, took a nose dive when My Gift was born. I guess I stopped sleeping soundly as soon as she was around. 😉

The practice of dream yoga has a distinct purpose. The idea is that if you can practice awareness while conscious (via meditation), then you can practice awareness in sleep (via dream yoga). And if you can become accustomed to being aware while sleeping, you will be able to remain aware at the point of death, when you enter the bardo.

Since I practice zen, people tend to expect that I am well-versed in all Buddhist belief systems, but no, I’m not. I am particularly uneducated in Tibetan beliefs and practices. I have spent some terrific time with a local lama, and I’ve done some casual reading, but I don’t really know much at all about Tibetan Buddhism. Try to tell my Mom that, though — she loves the Dalai Lama for some reason (I guess he seems more approachable than the Pope), and assumes his Buddhism is my Buddhism. Which, I guess, at the core it is. But I don’t know much at all about the trappings of Tibetan Buddhism.

Nevertheless, I am the proud owner of a Tibetan singing bowl that my sister gave me for Christmas. It is way cool and makes a really big sound. Much to the discomfort of the humans around me. The dog and the cat seem kind of curious about it. It has symbols on the side, one of which is the Tibetan letter A, which the yoga book suggests is a good symbol to visualize during meditation. Not sure why, yet — but it is a very appealing symbol, aesthetically. Here’s a picture: it’s the last consonant listed.

tibetanabc1.gif

Yeah, so the sound of the bowl can freak out humans (in other words, The Cop). I imagine he would argue he only takes exception to the volume and length of my concerts.

I find that I also have something that freaks out animals: a new Sonic Care toothbrush. Both the cat and the dog are very curious about it, but when I put it near them, they 1) crouch down as if to attack (dog), or 2) run the hell away (cat). Interesting. I have no idea what it sounds like to them, but they both acted like it sounded like something they’d never heard before.

And last but not least, practice notes. Good practice this morning. Quiet and focused. Chakrasana getting much smoother, though still doing it off the crash pad. Three regular urdhva dhanurasanas, two of the walking-the-hands-in version (for an Annie Pace acceptable total of 5). And afterwards, I did four of the elbows against the wall upside down armpit opening thingies.

Why do I want to open my arm pits? It’s an interesting question. Why do I want to put my foot behind my head or meditate while sleeping? I guess it’s my karma.

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