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The Seven Point Posture of Vairocana.

The notes on this posture come from the mahamudra tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. Vairocana is the name of a Buddha and translates as Illuminating Clarity. So to adopt this posture helps to bring stability, clarity and insight to the mind through the skilful use of the body position. Here are the seven points Point 1 Spine straight. If the spine is straight, then the sushumna, the central energy channel of the body is straight and the Ida and Pingala (Moon & Sun or Left & Right) channels have equally moving wind/ energy. This is thought to be important in decreasing discursive thought i.e. it helps your mind relax from the incessant round of mental gossiping! Point 2 Hands in the posture of resting equally. This is hands open and resting palm down on each knee (if you are sat cross-legged). The hands are at the same height and in the same position and there is a sense of openness to the posture. A closed posture, on the other hand, would be folding your arms, for example. Point 3 Elbows slightly sticking out. The elbows do not hug the sides, but are lifted slightly away from the body. This brings a natural stability and a certain grace especially to the upper body. Point 4 Slightly lower the chin. This can also be described as lifting the top of your head upwards, or imagining that there is a string attached to the top of your head which pulls it upwards slightly. The effect is to seat the skull slightly more vertically on the spine. Point 5 Unwavering eyes/ gaze. You focus on a spot slightly beyond the tip of your nose. Point 6 Lips natural; tongue against the palate. Keep your teeth slightly apart and the lips also. In other words dont sit there with a clenched jaw and expect to be able to relax! Touch the tip of the tongue to the palate. Point 7 Legs in vajra posture. Vajra posture is also known as the full lotus position. There is also the instruction on posture by the great Buddhist master Kamalashila, known as the

Eight Aspects of Posture.


1. Vajra posture or half-vajra posture. Most important, though, is to be comfortable. 2. Eyes half-closed. Again the emphasis is on having the gaze and eyes relaxed so you dont have to think about them. 3. Upper body straight. This is so the energy channels are straight. 4. Shoulders level.

5. Look down the nose to a place four finger-widths beyond the tip of the nose. 6. Keep a slight gap between the teeth and between the lips. 7. Touch the tip of the tongue to the palate. 8. Breathe naturally and without effort.

The Mind in Comfort and Ease.


This is the posture advocated by the Dzogchen tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. It is the posture upon which we based our explanation at the beginning of this book. Even the name mind in comfort and ease gives the clearest indication of the atmosphere of this posture. It is comfortable and it is easy. So we sit with the spine straight yet in natural shape. Maybe even a very slight leaning back very slight. The legs may be crossed easily or you can sit on a chair. Remember the idea is not to collapse or go to sleep, so you sit up, with the back supporting its own weight. The head is upright and the eyes are open and looking straight ahead. The gaze is soft and not looking at anything in particular traditionally the expression is looking into space. You look into the space in front of you. You relax the habitual tendency to gasp onto the objects of vision that is, looking at this, then looking at that, with the idea of getting something from it, consuming it somehow. Instead, you relax you let the sights just come, whatever is there. You neither chase after it, nor push it away. This is how the quality of the gaze becomes soft and easy. Keeping the eyes open is said to activate the wisdom channels that run between the eyes and the heart. Also the idea is not to disconnect from the world in any sense, so we keep our eyes open. The hands are open with palms down, resting lightly upon the knees. This allows the chest and shoulder area to relax. Do not collapse the upper body though. There is a certain magnificence or majesty about the posture. It is, in some sense, like a mountain. And a mountain is very stable, very grounded, isnt it? And it reaches right up to the blue sky, to the heavens. The snow capped peak, in its purity, reflects the sun. this is the majesty that we embody by sitting in such a posture. The breath and breathing are left as they are there is no special breathing technique. You just breathe. You do, though, breathe mainly through the mouth. This is said, automatically to bring the subtle winds/ mind energies to the central channel. The teeth and lips are slightly parted, upper from lower, so the jaw is relaxed. Just as you leave the seeing in the seeing, as indicated above, you leave all the other senses just as they are, unaltered. You still have to make some effort though. There is still some little tension, you could say. Chogyam Trungpa used to say that you need to Perk up this, you need to bring a quality of freshness and awakeness to your posture. It is like the famous practitioner Machig Labdron (she invented the chod or cutting through practice) said: Loosely relaxed, yet vigilantly alert. This is a key point of the View. So these are some extra notes for those of you who wish to practise with your posture a little more.