The Eighth Way: The Way of the Primordial Shen

The Deity of Longevity, Tsewang Rikdzin. This longevity practice is one of the tantric practices classified in the Eighth Way among the Nine Ways of Bon.

Among the Nine Ways of Bön, the Eighth Way is The Way of the Primordial Shen.  This Way is focused upon higher tantric practices which are distinguished by having both a generating stage of practice and a perfection stage of practice.  These two are based upon instructions for both method and wisdom.  Although they are united as one in ultimate reality, in order to guide sentient beings, they are taught individually due to our bias towards duality and conceptuality.

Because the root lama is the source of all spiritual accomplishment, one begins with arousing great devotion towards the root lama, taking refuge and generating a mind of great compassion.  After gathering the necessary ritual implements, Lord Tönpa Shenrap has emphasized the importance of making offerings to the governing spirits of the retreat place in order to elicit their support in providing circumstances to assist the practitioner.  After that, instructions are given in setting up the retreat place including the construction of the appropriate mandala. The main practice is focused upon generating a view of the external world as a palace of the divine and the sentient beings within it as gods and goddesses, and purifying the view of one’s own material body into the insubstantial body of light of the enlightened deity.  This process is supported by a single-pointed focus, visualization, and the use of sacred seed syllables.  According to the direct teachings of Lord Tönpa Shenrap Miwoche,

“From the light of meditative stability, the seed syllables radiate out and the environment along with its inhabitants, substantial forms, the physical body and karmic potentialities are all purified. The impure physical body is purified and transformed into a pure mudra in the form of the enlightened deity and the channels are transformed into buddha realms. The five elements and the five poisons are transformed into the five wisdoms.”

From this state of realization, mantra recitation and feast offerings are offered to the deities.  To conclude, one receives the blessings and extraordinary qualities of the deities.   From that, one abides within the state of realizing the phenomenal world and its activities as empty. This realization is developed and integrated  into every perception, and the ordinary conditions of avoidance and attachment are liberated.

For more on the Longevity Practice of Lama Tséwang Rikdzin, see post:

Raven Cypress Wood©2017


Posted on December 17, 2017, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. franziska stucki

    thank you,so beautyful and so helpful!

  2. very interesting and clear. If you read the book is very confusse.

  3. Thank you so much Raven. So clear!

  4. Dearest Mary Ellen, so glad that you enjoyed the article. Raven

  5. Thank you for the nice article. Beautiful thangka painting also.

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