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Deconstructing preconceived ideas about two Buddhist yogic practices: Lu Jong and Tog Chöd


What are the goals of walking through a practice of inner transformation or personal development?


We all suffer from our fluctuating mental states (happiness, sadness, joy, distress, calm, anger, etc.) and we all seek to develop lasting happiness, lasting joy, for our own well-being, but of course, or all beings since we are all well connected to each other.


This lack of inner emotional stability can be repaired, according to Tibetan Buddhism, through study, reflection and meditation, no matter who you are. It is not a matter of religion but of learning to observe our behaviors and learning to put in place the actions and antidotes to generate new habits that will generate results that will allow us to move away little by little from the suffering in which we have always swum in a totally unconscious way.


Lu Jong and Tog Chöd are two Buddhist yoga practices whose goal, as is originally the case with all yoga practices, is a process of inner transformation.




2 meditative practices 100% Buddhist


This inner transformation will operate through meditation, which requires 2 components :


  • a stabilization of the mind, that is to say a calm and clear mind,

  • the development of pure qualities.



The stabilization of the mind is obtained through meditative techniques of concentration of the mind in one point.



The qualities that are developed are the qualities of compassion, altruism, equanimity, joy.



The practices of Lu Jong and Tog Chöd respond to these two points and it is this complementarity which makes their strength.




A complementarity of Method and Wisdom


Focusing the mind in one place is not so easy because it requires regular, repetitive training, difficult to fit into our busy lives.



Developing the qualities requires hearing the teaching to understand how our minds are oriented to actions that ultimately create more suffering.



Tog Chöd allows us to engage in this process of focusing the mind on the object of meditation while performing various movements. This approach of meditation in action makes it easier to enter into the process of placing the mind. Moreover, the movements are ancestral movements, coming from the Tibetan tradition of monk dances, whose benefits in themselves carry all the wisdom of the union of body and mind, effectively activating the circulation of energy inside the body, even if the person, perhaps old, practices slowly.



Lu Jong works on opening the heart in order to develop these essential qualities of Buddhism. Its movements have their origin in the pre-Buddhist Tibetan Bön tradition, in the tradition of Shakyamuni Buddha, and in the Tibetan Buddhist medical tradition. Their principle is to activate the circulation of energy and open the channels allowing a body-mind union. The Lu Jong is also classified as an "external tummo", the tummo being a deep internal practice allowing to quickly open the energy blockages and thus to free the individual from his preconceived ideas.



We can see how these two practices are complementary, representing the method and wisdom aspects of the Buddhist path, one working on the Bodhicitta aspect, the opening of the heart, the other working on the clarity and mental calmness aspect.



Meditative practices


Each session consists of the three parts of a Buddhist meditation: the introduction, the session, and the conclusion.



In the introduction, listening to the Dharma awakens the understanding and establishes the motivation.



The practice itself works on the winds (channels) of the subtle body to stimulate the inseparability of body and mind and thus encourage effective reflection, which takes place in the meditation at the end of the session.



The conclusion is the stage in which we enter into meditation in order to put into practice the teaching we have heard. This meditation is stimulated by the flow of energy (wind) in the channels generated by the practice, allowing us to apprehend the object of meditation developed in the listening, in a deeper way, through a calmer and stabilized mind. This state of meditative depth thus leads to more easily obtain understandings and realizations.



Ideal for both Buddhists and non-Buddhists


Tog Chöd and Lu Jong are definitely essential practices for anyone :


  • wishing to deepen their Buddhist meditation without any risk of confrontation with the tradition or lineage already engaged,

  • wishing to enter into a process of inner transformation.


Tog Chöd and Lu Jong are also practices that will allow anyone who simply wishes to develop :

  • physical and mental well-being,

  • letting go,

  • self-confidence,

  • concentration,

  • general improvement of health (better joint flexibility, increased feelings of strength).


And above all, don't fall into the third laziness, the laziness of defeatism, which consists in telling yourself that you are not capable of doing it because...


... these practices are both open to everyone!


For Lu Jong, we seek to develop :


  • a flexibility of the mind and not of the limbs...

  • an inner strength and not big muscles,

  • an emotional balance and not a balance on the head!


For Tog Chöd, we seek to develop :


  • to train our mind, as mind and body are one in terms of health and evolution, which means that the body practices according to its possibilities!


Finally, if you still hesitate...


  • the youngest will be able to go all out, make great jumps, etc...

  • the less young will go quietly, internally, serenely...






Comments


--> Teacher training is given from 1 person upward. Kathy is in Lu Jong 1 teacher training ending in July. Aurore and Mickael are in training until January. It is possible to join or start a new training course from 1 person, Info here.
--> Johnathan returns to do the last course of Tog Chöd training in Chamonix at the end of June 2024. Venerable Oser is starting the Tog Chöd teacher training with the first face-to-face course in June in Chamonix and is already getting the hang of it with the theory through access to the online extranet. You can still join this training. The next training of Top Chod will perhaps start in June 2027 (or perhaps 2025 or 2026), to be continued...

--> A Tog ChOd discovery weekend is offered to everyone at the end of June! Info here

-->  We will be in Thailand in May and June and can offer discovery sessions or modules B of Lu Jong and Tog Chöd teacher training in French and English: in Chamonix from the end of June to the end of September, in Tenerife in October, in Nepal at the beginning of November 2024, in Thailand in November and December, and on Reunion Island in January 2025. And last minute... the Kora Kailash trip will take place in mid 2026 (the previous one was in 2018.. .), but will be reserved for former students or former participants of at least one trip with us! so if you would like to organize a retreat or training at these locations, contact us!

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