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Consort Practice

[originally found through ]

Subject: Consort Practice

By Grand Master Sheng-yen Lu

Translated by Janny Chow

[This is an excerpt of a series of lectures titled "An
Overview of the Buddhadharma" given by Grand Master Lu
during May 3-10, 1993 at the Rainbow Villa in Western
Washington. The first part of the article is excerpted from
day four of the discourse. The second part of the article
comes from the question and answer period on day eight.]

ΚΚΚ Many Tantrayana students engage in Consort Practice, and
I dare not say that none of our students engages in this
practice. A person may feel that he is capable of doing the
Consort Practice, but at the end, as a result of the Consort
Practice, a child is born. [audience laughter] My God!
[audience laughter] What kind of Consort Practice is this?
This is just the ordinary conjugal practice between a
couple, how could it be called the Consort Practice? It is
an error to mistake the "married life" for the Consort
Practice. An authentic Consort Practice will not give rise
to any conception of a child. The birth of a child is an
indication that he still has leakage of his light drops or
vital essence. Such false claims of Consort Practice is an
infraction of the precepts and can cause one to descend to
the Vajra Hell.

ΚΚΚ Consort Practice does exist in Vajrayana Buddhism. We
cannot deny its existence in the past in the Highest Tantra
Section of Tibetan Vajrayana. However, the practice was so
greatly abused that almost everyone was engaging in the
Consort Practice. No wonder there are so many lamas.
[audience laughter] Here in the state of Washington, there
was also a great Tibetan lama who engaged in the Consort
Practice with an American woman, and she gave birth to a
little lama! Now the child is training to become a little
lama in Nepal! Such a happening did occur, but it was not
Consort Practice. Such a Consort Practice is a grave
infraction of the Vajrayana Precepts.

ΚΚΚ The minimum requirement for Consort Practice is to first
develop the conscious chi, your transport vehicle. You then
elevate the light drops and place them in the truck and send
them to be accumulated at the heart chakra. This way, all
the light drops from the five chakras are centralized at the
heart chakra. When there is no longer any light drop at the
root chakra, you can practice the Consort Practice and enter
into a Great Stabilization of Ecstasy and Emptiness.

ΚΚΚ Padmasambhava himself had five female consorts. During
the Consort Practice, he would enter completely into the
Condition of Emptiness and abide in the Great Stabilization
of Ecstasy and Emptiness. It is a kind of stabilization that
can transform Ecstasy into the Condition of Emptiness:
"Ecstasy is Emptiness; Emptiness is Ecstasy." [audience
applause] This is a practice that benefits both
participating parties. During the process of such a
practice, there is no longer any movement of light drops,
just the movement of chi. Through the movement of conscious
chi, Ecstasy is generated and transformed into the Condition
of Emptiness. When the point of complete Emptiness is
reached, it will gradually transform back into Ecstasy. At
the apex of Ecstasy, the condition transforms and reverts to
that of Emptiness. The stability resulted from the cyclic
movements between Ecstasy and Emptiness is known as the
Great Stabilization of Ecstasy and Emptiness.

ΚΚΚ Not many people have knowledge of the techniques of the
Consort Practice; there are also very few who are qualified
to engage in this practice. Yet many people are still using
Consort Practice as a pretext. Do not trust such pretexts as
it can lead to conception of babies. We who can "see" the
energy can see right away whether someone is qualified to do
the Consort Practice -- whether there is sufficient chi in
him, whether he can manuever the chi, and whether the
central channel is open. When a person does not have a
truck, and his light drops are leaking, how is he then
qualified to engage in the Consort Practice?

ΚΚΚ I have given you a clear explanation of what are the
prerequisites for entering into the Great Stabilization of
Ecstasy and Emptiness. The first requirement is the
possession of a full and sufficient chi. One has to be an
adept in the practice of Chi Kung and is able to manuever
the chi to ascend or descend. With a truck in the body, one
can elevate the light drops. There are techniques that
involve movements of the head, body, as well as the legs.
There is a certain posture the body has to get into for the
elevation of the light drops. The instruction are taught to
one by one's guru. If one does not have the knowledge or
ability to do such a practice, one is actually doing what
the Chinese proverb says: "Build a cart behind closed
doors." Or, in this case, build a truck behind closed doors,
[audience laughter] except that in this case, a baby, rather
than a truck, is produced.

ΚΚΚ This is the difference between the Buddhadharma and
conventional practices. If you do not know how to release
the egotistical self and enter into the Condition of
Emptiness, you will only experience "pleasure" and not
Emptiness. Herein lies the problem! Therefore, the
practitioner has to first realize the Nature of Emptiness
and then co-ordinate it with the other element, Ecstasy,
during the practice. Padmasambhava has likened this process
to that of "taking the pearl from the tongue of a poisonous

ΚΚΚ There are now some people who claim that if you would
pay a certain sum of money, they can open the central
channel for you. With the freeway open, you can drive your
truck around. Did the Buddha ever say anything to that
effect? Can someone open your central channel for you? As
your central channel is in your own body, you have to open
it yourself. How can someone else open it for you? "How can
you be so naive as to believe that it can be done by someone
else?" [in Taiwanese to audience laughter] It is possible
for me to give you a little boost of energy, but you
yourself still have to manuever the chi to transform it into
the conscious chi. This is a key point. You still have to do
your own cultivation. [audience applause]

Part 2 (See footnote 1)

ΚΚΚ [Q-65] My first question pertains to attaining the state
of "non-leakage." How can the "stopping of menstrual flow"
be achieved? How does one achieve the state described by the
Taoist term of "conquering the dragon and tiger"? Where are
the "three hun and seven pa" [a term that describes the
different constituents of a person's soul] located? What are
the Four Deva Kings' mantra seed syllables and their colors?

ΚΚΚ [A] Writings on the "three hun and seven pa" may be
found on page 83 of my 98th book, Transpersonal Experiences
in the Ocean of Beings. The mantras of the Four Deva Kings
may be found in my 49th book, The Method of Vajrayana.

ΚΚΚ I shall address now the questions pertaining to
"non-leakage" and "stopping of menstrual flow." It is known
in Taoism or Tantric Buddhism that when one exhausts the
vital essences in one's body, one dies. It is therefore best
if one can achieve a state wherein there is no leakage of
any of the vital essences of one's body. Simply put, males
have to be able to keep light drops from leaking. Light
drops include both the non-physical "wisdom light drops" and
the physical "semen." For females, it would be non-physical
"wisdom light drops" and the physical "menstrual blood." How
does one stop these light drops from leaking? These are
"internal level" practices. First, one must learn to do the
Treasure Vase Breathing to fill the whole body with a
vigorous chi. Sometimes the hand can be used as a tactile
guide for the movement of chi. When the finger moves upward,
visualize chi also moving upward along with the finger.
Eventually, the chi will move upward without any tactile
guidance. By practicing the Treasure Vase Breathing, one's
whole body becomes like a treasure vase filled with vigorous
chi that filters down to the capillary level.

ΚΚΚ Light drops that are about to leak can be elevated by
assuming a certain body position or posture. In the
tempering process, the inner fire is used to burn these
light drops and transform them into vapor. The vapor will
rise inside the central channel and, upon reaching the five
chakras, transform into sariras.

ΚΚΚ In Taoism, this process is known as "conquering the
dragon and subjugating the tiger," "non-leakage of light
drops," and "cessation of the menstrual flow." It is easy to
speak about this process but, in reality, in order to
achieve the "non-leakage of light drops," one has to lower
one's desires. The six senses of sight, hearing, smell,
taste, touch, and thought have to be shut off. When one is
desire-free, an inner peace is sustained. Then one may
practice the four steps of "lowering, elevating, sustaining,
and dispersing," and use the "elevating" method to raise
light drops, temper them with the inner fire, and transform
them into vapor. This is also what is termed in Taoism the
practice of "ching, chi, and shen." Ching transforms into
chi, which transforms into shen, which then returns to the
void. This is the Taoist method of cultivation to return to
the Original Source.

ΚΚΚ In Tantric Buddhism, "non-leakage of light drops" is
also the goal. In Vajrayana Buddhism, engaging in consort
practice, while one still has leakage of light drops,
constitutes a breaking of the vajrayana precepts and can
cause one to descend to the vajra hell. Consort practice is
engaged in vajrayana because it is an effective way to
induce the lowering of the fluid known as "white bindu."
While still engaging in consort practice, chi is transferred
and instilled into the other party's central channel to open
it up. In this process, chi is transformed through skillful
means into "wisdom chi," which is used to open up the
central channel. This is tantamount to helping the other
party to experience the state of liberation. The circulation
of chi enables the other party to enter into the same realm
as one is in oneself. This is the reason why this very
secret yoga is practiced in Tantric schools. However, if the
female party is not able to consciously achieve cessation of
menstrual flow and the male party is not able to prevent the
lightdrops from leaking, then engaging in such practices can
cause one to descend to the vajra hell. The successful
practice of "non-leakage of lightdrops" is a minimum
prerequisite before one should attempt the consort practice.
Padmasambhava had five female consorts with whom he entered
into sexual union practice for the above reasons. Κ


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