The establishment of Drala Jong will mean that the Aro gTér tradition with its collection of small family gTérmas will get a deeper rooting in our world. As a Naljorpa I have a deep love for our tradition, as it enables a family man or woman to be an authentic Vajrayana practitioner and still keep an ordinary job. I also have a deep passion for Jong-dar, the Psycho-physical systems of the Aro tradition. Jong-dar is an abbreviation of jong-dar chèd pa.
Jong (sByong) means: to distil, practise, train, exercise; or dispel.
Dar (rDar) means: to grind, sharpen, hone, perfect, or polish.
Chèd pa (byes pa) as in jong-dar chèd pa means to: do, make, create, produce, act, cause to happen; or, be efficacious.
So Jong-dar are sets of physical practices and some of them belong to the category of Dzogchen long-dé. These are sPrul’khor, Ying’khor, Tob’khor and sKu-mNyé and they work on the pervasive rTsa rLung, in contrast to the rTsar rLung of Anu yoga.
sKu-mNyé was the first system that was taught, and you can read about it here: http://arobuddhism.org/q-and-a/sku-mnye.html
sPrul’khor, Ying’khor, and Tob’khor belong to the Thangtong Thugtig gTérma and they consists of 25 exercises each. My favourite among these three is Tob’khor which makes use of practice equipment such as iron spheres, clubs or hammers, kettlebells and khram-shing (a wooden stick with iron spheres on its ends).
Personally, I find it quite amazing that these practices are not restricted, but taught to anyone who has an interest.
By establishing the Drala Jong retreat centre it would be possible to have regular longer retreats where these interesting systems of practice can be taught.
So why do I love all these physical practice systems?
Well, the short answer is, they make me feel pretty damn uplifted and happy. Many of these systems raise enthusiasm, promote good health, maintain life force and enhance the dynamic drive of the individual. What more can one ask for?
At the same time, they help tremendously with our main practice of silent sitting.
Naljorpa Druk-tsal Pawo
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