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Psycho-physical system

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Psycho-physical system– the subtle system of

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying says:

The Tantric Buddhist tradition of Tibet offers an explanation of the body that is quite different from the one most of us are used to. This is of a psycho-physical system, which consists of a dynamic network of subtle channels, “winds” or inner air, and essences. We are familiar with something similar in the meridians and ch’i energy of Chinese medicine and acupuncture.
The human body is compared by the masters to a city, the channels to its roads, the winds to a horse, and the mind to a rider.[1]

Channels

There are 72,000 subtle channels in the body, but the three principal ones are:

The right and left channels coil around the central one at a number of points to form a series of "knots". Along the central channel are situated a number of “channel wheels,” the chakras or energy-centers, from which channels branch off like the ribs of an umbrella.

Wind-Energies or Inner Air

Through these channels flow the winds, or inner air. There are five root and five branch winds. Each of the root winds supports an element and is responsible for a function of the human body. The branch winds enable the senses to operate. The winds that flow in the central channel are called 'wisdom winds'. The winds that flow in all the other channels except the central channel are said to be impure, and to activate negative dualistic thought patterns.

Essences

The “essences” are contained within the channels. There are red and white essences. The principal seat of the white essence is the crown of the head, and of the red essence at the navel.

Footnotes

  1. Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, revised and updated edition, Harper San Francisco and London: Rider, 2002, page 252.


Further Reading

Source

RigpaWiki:Psycho-physical system