Over the past few weeks, the team and I have been immersed in hours of research on ancient Tibetan culture as part of an upcoming project that we will be releasing in mid 2014. Most of us associate this sacred region of the world with Tibetan Buddhism, but believe it or not, Tibet is rich with shamanic tradition. In fact, much of Tibetan Buddhism is said to have been influenced by Bon, an ancient shamanic tradition of Tibet, that predates Buddhism.
When delving into the healing methods of indigenous traditions worldwide, it is not uncommon to find shared systems of knowledge, even between groups that live thousands of miles from one another. This shared cross-cultural wisdom suggests an almost innate human understanding of what it takes to truly heal ourselves. For example, I recently came across a Bon teaching that was strikingly similar to one of the core fundamentals I was taught in the Amazon.
The teaching I’m referring to: Stillness. Silence. Spaciousness
Among the many concepts that the Bon tradition holds sacred is the foundational principle of Stillness, Silence, and Spaciousness. In the words of the honorable Bon teacher, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche, “With the pain body or identity, we ‘take the white pill’ and turn toward stillness; with pain speech, we ‘take the red pill’ and turn toward silence; and with pain mind, we ‘take the blue pill’ and turn toward spaciousness. As we enter the experiences of stillness, silence, and spaciousness, our pain becomes the path to liberation. Each condition transforms into a path that leads to our final liberation: connection with the changeless essence.”
If we are in a rush and feel agitated, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche advises that we embrace stillness and let the illusion of time wash over us. If we are speaking negatively to ourselves or others, he advises that we practice silence. If the urgency of life’s stresses are feeling too close or heavy, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche asks that we give ourselves some mental and emotional space from these external or imagined stimuli. The idea behind these three practices is to stop the pattern of reactive behavior and truly acknowledge the pain that is causing it. The pain itself is considered an entry point for inner exploration.
The Amazon Connection: If you watched The Sacred Science film, you witnessed these three principles in action. In fact, it is crucial to the success of an Amazonian healing dieta.
After their arrival and a quick debriefing, each of our patients was escorted deep into the jungle, down a winding path that ended at their own secluded dieta hut. While they were encouraged to venture out for a few walks each day to get some sunlight, each patient spent the majority of their time meditating inside their hut – stillness.
These simple one-room dwellings were tucked away in their own neck of the forest so that each patient was out of earshot of anyone else – silence.
A few days of solitude without the distractions of smartphones, reading materials, or the company of others can reveal a lot of who we really are. This is one of the most challenging aspects of the dieta, but most of the patients noted that once their yearnings for modern comforts subsided, they began to feel truly alive and in touch with parts of themselves they had long forgotten – spaciousness.
Stillness. Silence. Spaciousness.
This Tibetan-Amazonian connection is just one example of how these three sacred notions present themselves in ancient healing rituals around the world. The beauty of the Three S’s is that you can experiment with them right now. We all have pain (it comes with being human!) and this tool allows us to be with that pain and learn from it.
If you have some time and would like to explore these concepts further, below is a powerful video from Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche entitled “Turning Pain Into The Path”:
A question for you: What are some other healing traditions that use their own version of the “Three S’s”?
Watch our special interview with Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche here
Director, The Sacred Science
Hi! Did you ever come across the ancient tibetan healing method ” prananadi ” it is called in Danmark and Magyar?
Excellent. Thanks Nick. Right in line with Tolle. We are evolving! Bill
In relation to Silence, Stillness and Spaciousness you might want to check out ThomasTwin.com and the book, “The Prayer of Silence” in which I teach meditation in relation to these three. I have been teaching groups these concepts from about 1980, drawing on the Christian Gnostic tradition but also on Hindu and Buddhist ideas which are relevant. I also draw on my own NDE for some of the models of consciousness which underlie these ideas. There certainly are a lot of connections between traditions. You might also find The Thomas Book (same website) of interest in these regards. Peace, Bruce
I love the honesty of your commitment in learning and transmitting your knowledge. Thank you!
Thanks for this enlightening post. I am a Muslim and I do notice that Islam incorporates stillness and silence with the 5 daily prayers.
Thank you for the insights.
Everything is connected. Years ago my Taoist teacher gave me the Book of the Hopi to read. The similarities and prophecies are amazing. It makes declared borders seem transparent and synthetic politics.
A most wonderful informing given talk with such ease in simply knowing how, greatly appreciating its benefit, thank you so very much for your time in giving.
In the book that I am reading, “Illumination: The Shaman’s Way of Healing”, Alberto Villoldo, PhD, discusses the various brains we have; specifically, Reptillian; Mammallian; Neocortex and Frontal Lobe. He explains that Reptillian/Mammallian deal with “feeding, fornicating, fighting or fleeing”. The Neocortex/Frontal lobe provides the logic to assess the “Fs”, as well as triggering the emotions to rationalise the experience. (I guess if we give too much attention to “the incident”, the emotions feel as though they must justify their existence by trying to understand what they, the emotions, are experiencing). The example that Villoldo uses is, when a monkey is snuck up on by a jaguar, the reptillian brain takes evasive action but the monkey does not have the evolved Neocortex to suffer the feeling that it’s not fair to be attacked. The monkey just knows, that’s survival; move on. (Of course, Villoldo has a much more eloquent turn of phrase. And I love his concept that our Mind resides, not in our brain; not in our body; but in the universe).
Thanks for your well-considered reflections Nick. The Tibetan-Amazonian connection is very interesting indeed. These two sacred places are located at polar ends of the earth, yet connected axially. I have heard that the locus of the world’s spiritual knowledge (and reportedly, its most potent concentration of kundalini energy) is shifting poles from the Himalayan region, to the Amazon. In the 60s, global seekers went to ‘find themselves’ in the monasteries and ashrams of India and Tibet, many of them seeking a guru. We now see a new wave of seekers (and finders), some at the cutting edge of consciousness (some not), flooding into Peru and Ecuador to find another guru – a plant spirit, ayahuasca. The pulsating connected continuum between Tibetan and Amazonian shamanic traditions that you speak of Nick, seems to be a pulse of technologies of consciousness that echoes through the ages. This living pulse between these polar spaces seems to me to be a manifestation of what in yogic lore is known as the ‘spanda’, or divine rhythm of the cosmos.
Very helpful, I love it. In regards to other healing practices, I would like to offer Chiropractic as a wellness based lifestyle. By adjusting the spine or anywhere on the body, it frees the unnatural pressures placed on the nerves blocking communication to the brain,White pill of Stillness), this then allows the brain to send healing instructions to the body to quiet the pain(red pill of silence), which in turn brings about healing and release of pain to free the mind to perform it’s magic,(blue pill of spaciousness). It is a healing practice that encompasses the body, mind and soul.Still the body, silence the mind, open the soul to spaciousness to know the source of pain.It’s a package deal. Luminous.
I am very interested in he teaching “stillness, silence spaciousness.
,Thank you Nic Polizzi for bringing us Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche
He is wonderful for teaching us that which we have forgotten.
We are living in exciting times and I personally look forward
to what Sacred Science will be bringing us next.
When I gave birth to each of my 3 children I applied this simple principle to deal with the labour pains. The duration of each labour was 12-14 hours and the pains intense. As soon as I would feel the contraction pain coming I would close my eyes and stay absolutely still while breathing deeply. I would be very silent concentrating on my body, acknowledging the pain and caring for it. Then I would feel as if I was standing away from it giving it space to pass over my body and leave. I needed no other pain relief nor medical intervention. It is a simple principle taught by midwives in the UK to all young mothers to be. It seems so obvious now that it could be used for all ‘pains’ that you talked about. Thank you for opening my eyes to it. So simple, so obvious. Lots of lovexxx
Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche ‘s lecture is so much more than words. I kept being reminded of the saying that I have heard in the Past about the effect of the Master on anyone . Followers touched Jesus’s robe. The Buddhist traditions I have been reading about say that you can not learn without a leader to guide you. Then of course there is the holding of a child in the mother’s aura of protection.
I likes your documentary film very much. Do you use FB or linkedin?+I’d like to stay clocely connected and learn more.
I also work in smiliar fields of knowledge and healing. I facilitate Constellations work, and I work at the Kabbalah centre.
Please let me know if there are ways to stay connected.
Pure elegance! Extraordinary techniques of self awareness, empowerment and accountability.
With gratitude and appreciation.
thank you !!
Recently, I felt that I’ve been “doing” too much on my Spiritual journey & needed some silence. This is my confirmation. thank you.
My mother who was not a Tibetan, nor did shegrow up in the Amazonas that wasborninGermanytoaaPolishHasidicfamilywaswonttosay,”Ifyouhavenothinggoodtosay, keep still.” She was actuve even when her health faultering. As “old” ass he was she had vfriends both younger and older than she was. Indeed, one of her great qualities was that she got along with literally everybody.
I loved it he is very good by explaining
Thank you Nick. I am so grateful to Be on Beloved Earth Now! Blessings of happiness and peace abound in timelessness and Love.