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The six practices of prana yoga

The six practices of prana yoga: 

(1) Counting the breath: Observe the crucial points of the body by sitting in the seven point meditation posture of Vairocana, and slowly inhale through the left nostril, holding the right nostril closed with the right index finger, and then forcefully expel the air through the left nostril. Then slowly inhale through the right nostril, holding the left nostril closed with the left index finger, and then forcefully expel the air through the right nostril. Next slowly inhale through the both nostrils, and then forcefully expel the air through both nostrils. Without allowing the mind to wander, begin with short sessions and gradually increase, starting by counting seven breaths, and so on, eventually building up to one hundred. When you exhale, visualize a white OM traveling out on the breath a distance of four or sixteen inches in front of you. Then, as you inhale, visualize a red AH coming in on the breath. Then hold the wind four inches below the navel in a blue HUNG.

(2) Following the breath: After you have mastered the first technique, then your practice of śamatha will become very stable, with fully present and fully focused clarity. There is no real separation between the mind and wind. When you identify the wind, inquire into whether the wind pervades the entire body or whether it simply flows to one part of your body or the other. Meditate by focusing on the wind, following it wherever it goes.

(3) Placement: According to the Abhidharma tradition, remain fully focused looking inward from the tip of your nose to the tips of your toes, as though they are connected by a thread of jewels. Contemplate on how the wind fills your entire body, and remain in a non-conceptual state, without contriving or altering anything.

(4) Realizing: Although it is taught in the Abhidharma tradition to simply examine the five aggregates, in the Mahāyāna, having recognized the wind as the mind, by understanding that it is without intrinsic nature, enter into the realization of the ultimate nature of reality.

(5) Changing: Having previously focused on the wind, change the object of meditation to various objects, such as color, shape, or bliss and emptiness, and practice according to the oral instructions for śamatha.  

(6) Completely purifying: Having undertaken these earlier practices, dualism will crumble. The thoughts of grasper and grasped will be completely purified. Since thought itself is in the nature of wind, by subduing the wind, thought will become purified. This is the understanding of both sūtra and tantra. According to the sūtra tradition, as stated in the Abhidharma teachings, upon gaining mastery in training the winds, one will attain the path of seeing. According to the Daśacakrakṣitigarbha Sūtra as well, since the mind, which is very difficult to tame, is not apprehended as different from the wind, therefore, that which is called the mind is in fact the wind. And according to the tantras, the wind is very subtle form, the mind and wind remain completely mixed. Finally, according to the pith instructions of Hevajra, the mind and wind are said to be inseparable.