Photo of A Tibetan Yogin

26 Jul


I have always loved this photo that I saved from the Internet sometime ago. This sepia photo depicts a Chod yogi wielding his ritual Chod drum and thighbone trumpet along with a display of ritual implements right before him. Chod is a practice of cutting off the self-cherishing mind. It is a meditative practice developed uniquely in Tibet by the awakened yogini,  Machig Labdron, an emanation of Vajrayogini herself.

Such practices are usually performed under the cover of night and right in the heart of all all fears – the cemetary. It is also a solitary practice that requires one to come face-to-face with our biggest internal foe – fear itself. The meditations is to graphically cut and chop up a replica of ourselves (representing our ego) and offer it to the spirits and various supernatural beings. This is clearly not for the feign hearted. 

That is how fear is used as a means to cut away at the root of all evils – our self-cherishing mind that we conventionally call the ego. I don’t think I will ever be able to practice such an advanced practice but there is something alluring about it and the hynotic and rhthymic chant seemed ethereal and otherworldly, that perhaps hint of its supernatural origin. 

Whatever it is, this rare photo evoke a time of the Mahasiddhas of old and the tremendous power they held over the imagination of the people and the development of Buddhism in Tibet. 

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