The use of this meditation
Nine Cycles meditation is useful to expel all inner negative winds
and to inhale those positive winds necessary to our well-being. It
is very useful as a healing practice, to fight stress, nervousness,
tension and so on. It is also useful as a preliminary practice in
meditation. The right
The first thing you have to learn is the
right position during the meditation: the traditional posture is
with the legs in the Vajra posture (you can see this posture in the
This posture is very difficult, so, if it is too
much for you, or it is too uncomfortable or painful, you can just
sit in the most relaxed position.
One very important thing:
the spine must be straight as an arrow (and, at the same time,
Both hands should touch, the thumbs raised, touching
each other and forming a triangle; the right palm under the left:
this is called the meditation mudra.
The eyes gaze in the
direction of the tip of the nose and are half closed, neither too
open nor too closed. I have seen many people meditating with eyes
closed; this is wrong.
The lips are in a normal position and the
mouth is relaxed, neither open nor closed.
The chin is slightly
Shoulders are open and level; such as "vulture
This is called the Vairochana Buddha posture: we
should maintain this posture before starting a meditation. Remeber,
the most important thing is that you must feel very
During the meditation we should try to keep the mind
at rest; do not let it wander. (If we are doing a Tantric
meditation, at this point, we generate ourselves as the deity). Then
we visualise our body completely empty, without internal
Inside there are only three channels.
They run in the middle of the body, slightly in front
of the spine (although there is no spine). The central channel is
hollow, like bamboo; it starts in the middle of the eyebrows, goes
to the top of the head , curves down (it looks like an umbrella
handle) and ends at the level of the genitals. The right channel is
red and the left one is white. If we talk from the point of view of
Tibetan Medicine, the right channel is the blood channel, while the
left is the wind channel. The two side channels are thinner. All
three channels are hollow. Ideally, you could look trough them and
see the end.
Inside the channels are the negative
winds that disturb our meditation. They must be expelled. This is
very important. How can we expel them?
- First, raise the ring finger and close the left nostril.
Inhale into the right nostril while thinking that the air coming
inside has the nature of all the Buddhas, and that it is carrying
all the positive energy of the Buddhas of the ten directions, of
the Merit Field or of the Gurus. Before the meditation you have to
visualise yourself surrounded by all those beings.
you inhale, you can visualise the breath as luminous and full of
healing energy. The two side channels are a little bit longer than
the central one and are joined together. When we inhale, the white
light flows down the right channel, goes up through the left
channel and comes out of the left nostril.
- While exhaling, we close the right nostril and think that all
the negative actions that we have committed, especially those
caused by attachment, and the imprints of these actions, abandon
We repeat this three times.
- Then we gently press the right nostril with the ring finger
and inhale trough the left nostril. This time we will expel (from
the right nostril) all negativity and its imprints, derived from
the power of anger and rage.
We repeat this three times
- Now we imagine we are inserting the side channels into the
central one and we inhale through both nostrils: the breath with
the positive energy enters and flows down into the central
We repeat this breathing three times.
- Then we hold the breath as long as possible.
- Finally, we breath out strongly three times. (If you cannot
hold the breath, close your nose and then breathe out strongly for
While exhaling, we imagine that we are purifying
our central channel from all obscurations and the negativity
mainly due to the power of ignorance.
This meditation is
called the "Nine Cycles meditation" because we breathe in and out
nine times. Although it is a simple practice, it is very powerful
since it purifies all the negativity in our mental continuum. It is
also very useful to calm ourselves and to loosen the knots of the
channels. If we practise it often, we can keep our channels clean
and our mind calm. With the Nine Cycles meditation we can obtain
important results: slowly our body becomes bright, the mind more
stable, clean and sharp. We become the proper vessel for the
practice of Tantra, so that we can reach the luminous body of a
According to my personal experience I can guarantee
that it is an excellent preliminary practice. I taught it not only
in the West but also in Tibet, in Nepal and in India. I have always
witnessed very good results. When people came to me and said: "When
I recite mantras, instead of feeling better my lhung increases and I
become more nervous", I would advise them to practice this breathing
as a preliminary to the recitation of mantra. In this way, they
could overcome their problem.
One day the Tibetan Government
in exile issued an order for all Tibetans to recite 1,500,000
Chenresig mantras. A lot of people started to experience lhung
problems: they had their minds full of their own problems; they
wanted to obey and yet they were feeling very bad. At this time, I
taught this preliminary practice to many people. Then they felt much
better and could complete the recitation of the mantras.
This practice is also beneficial for normal people, that are
not practising nor reciting mantras, but who are very nervous. All
my patients in Milan, who received this teaching had great
improvements. They were very grateful because they had found a
simple but effective mean to fight nervousness.