The Six Yogas of Naropa is a very skillful, effective, and profound highest yoga completion stage practice. Through consistent tantric application, a diligent practitioner will achieve insight into their deepest nature of mind—the fully awakened state. By working with the innate subtle body’s energy system: lung, drops, chakras and channels et cetera a practitioner will become adept at opening to their inherent and primordial bliss emptiness.
The Six Yogas of Naropa is a complete integrated system composed of: Yoga of Tummo, Illusory Body Yoga, Clear Light Mind Yoga, Dream Yoga, Bardo Yoga and Phowa Yoga. Within the vast teachings of the secret treasure house of highest yoga tantra instruction, the Six Yogas of Naropa are held in the highest esteem by the great yogis of the past and present. These extraordinary meditation practices, which have been transmitted from guru to disciple in great secrecy for many generations, hold the key techniques to dissolve and transform conceptual elaborations such as thoughts and emotions of fear, anger, and excessive desires. By doing so one’s true nature will manifest, and great inner peace and extraordinary bliss will arise. Highest yoga tantra practice can through consistent and correct practice eventually and may swiftly lead a dedicated practitioner to the state of enlightenment—the union of the conventional pure illusory body and the ultimate clear light mind.
The basis or foundation of the Six Yogas of Naropa is the Yoga of Inner Fire or Tummo. Within this system, the other five yogas including Illusory Body and Clear Light Mind are achieved on the mastery of tummo. The Six Yogas is a complete set of practices, and are sequential, even though they can be practiced independently. It is therefore necessary, under the guidance of a qualified lama/guru to be familiar with and have competence in tummo theory and practice.
The Six Yogas of Naropa
Is the practice of developing and enhancing inner heat, the “fierce women” below the navel chakra through breathwork, visualizations, meditation, and working with subtle body energy. By controlling this energy and dissolving it into the central channel, a practitioner can achieve blissful states of awareness that is used for the other yogas and, as a means, to achieve enlightenment.
Illusory Body Yoga
Illusory body is our innate hidden, divine, subtle body that needs to be activated and developed from our primordial substantial vital wind energy and clear light mind. The practice of Illusory Body Yoga enables us to learn what is illusory and how to experiences this nature.
One’s illusory body is characterized as:
- A mental body like a dream body, devoid of the gross body elements of bone and flesh
- A body free from pain and physical limitations
- It is initially located at one’s heart chakra, but through practice can “fly” to anywhere
- Its nature, its natural expression and experience is blissful emptiness
- Its perception can only be seen by others who have achieved the state of illusory body
There are four types of illusory body that can be achieved through the guidance of a qualified lama/guru, and through sustain diligent practice.
- Impure illusory body
- Pure illusory body
- Illusory body of learning
- Illusory body of no more learning
In order to learn and achieve significant benefit from the basic theory and practice of the Six Yogas of Naropa one needs to be initiated into a highest yoga deity empowerment.
In the learning and practice of Six Yogas of Naropa, a practitioner is attempting to have a direct, and uninhibited experience of innate great bliss, using this bliss to realized profound and genuine emptiness. This emptiness which is the source of clear light mind and illusory body conjoins these two yogas with the power of tummo to achieve a state of no more learning—perfect enlightenment.
Clear Light Mind Yoga
Clear light mind is both the source and destiny of our life’s meaning. It is conventionally where we are coming from and, also where we are ultimately going, that is, the innate spontaneous blissful mind that realizes the wisdom of emptiness. When we are fully immerse in this state it is a multi-dimensional experience that is: 1) free from all the bondages of conceptual elaboration, thoughts and emotions related to hopes and fears and other obstructions to pure awareness, 2) helps us see lucidly, like being on the summit of Mount Everest, where one’s vision is vast and a practitioner sees with infinite luminosity, 3) one feels an immense deepness and a profound tranquility and, 4) one is saturated with blissfulness and has an ecstatic view of life. The practice of Clear Light Mind Yoga is learning what truly is and how to have a genuine experience of it.
There are four stages of Clear Light Mind Yoga that will be progressively taught.
- Example Clear Light Mind Yoga
- Meaning Clear Light Mind of Four Stages
- Meaning Clear Light Mind of Learning
- Meaning Clear Light Mind of no more Learning
We spend a third or more of our life sleeping! Although for our physical and mental well-being sleep is extremely important, from a Buddhist practice perspective it can also be utilized for a completely different purpose, a means to awaken to deeper aspects of ourselves. Dream Yoga is a robust and transformative way, one may say a revolutionary means, to delve deeply into the inner workings of the mind. The ultimate purpose of dream yoga is to enable the practitioner to rest in the state of clear light mind during sleep and to maintain this awareness throughout the waking state. Through careful instructions to prepare oneself for dream yoga and how to seize lucidity during the dream state, Khen Rinpoche will guide students to access and use their dreams to enhance their daily practices and transform their waking lives into richer, more purposeful meaning.
According to the masters, there are several intermediate states between death and rebirth, and we will all travel them again and again. By becoming familiar and mastering tummo, clear light mind, illusory body and dream yoga, a practitioner will become familiar with these states and will be able to recognize them at the time of death or during the subsequent bardo states. If a practitioner can accomplish this, then they may reach enlightenment or, at the very least, obtain a joyous rebirth with conditions allowing them to advance on the path to liberation.
The Yoga of Phowa
This practice is meant to ensure that a practitioner can transfer their consciousness at the time of death into a pure land, that is into a state of primordial awareness, or at the very least into a good and beneficial future life. According to Jé Tsongkhapa, a practitioner should have trained intently with inner heat (tummo) and developed their Illusory Body and Clear Light Mind yogas so they are ready, at the time of death, to achieve transference to the abode of their wishes.