“Lu” means body and “Jong” means transformation. The practice comes from ancient Bon and Tantrayana Buddhist practices and modified by Tulku Lobsang for easy accessibility to all.
The Lu Jong movements place particular attention on the mobility of the spine. The spine is the energy box of our bodies as well as seat of our kundalini energy. The spinal column is the root connecting all the body parts and organs.
This movement of the body quiets the mind as we focus attention within, sensitizing ourselves to the body’s feelings and ceasing the stream of distracting thoughts. This is meditation in motion.
By opening the body’s physical blocks, we open ourselves to the opportunity for mental clarity, balanced emotions, invigorated energy and spiritual development.
Lu Jong is a simple practice that can be done by people of all ages and physical abilities. It requires no particular background or beliefs. Yet, this simple practice can surely change your life.
Benefits of Lu Jong
Lu Jong, a simple series of body movements done in conjunction with rhythmic breathing, has profound effects on the health of our body, mind and spirit. By working with the body in this specific way, we can develop resistance to disease, mental clarity, balanced emotions and vibrant energy. In other words, through Lu Jong, you will find strength, stability and happiness.
These movements are a practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Many people are not aware that there is a tradition of physical movements within Tibetan Buddhism; they think of Buddhist practices as being static and on a cushion. However, because of their intimate interconnectedness, one can work on the mind via the body.
The Lu Jong practice is very practical. For those monks that meditated in the mountains of Tibet, far from society, it was necessary to develop practices to keep their bodies in top condition, their immune systems strong and their healing abilities well-tuned. Additionally, their primary aim was always self-development and a heightened awareness of the nature of reality. Lu Jong accomplishes all of this.
And as one practices Lu Jong, love develops – love for the practice, for those that gave us the practice and for the way the practice makes us feel!
How Lu Jong Functions
To understand how Lu Jong is able to offer such benefits for the body, mind and energy, it is important to understand the Tibetan Buddhist view of these systems and also how the human organism interrelates with the environment.
The Buddha taught us in the Kalachakra Tantra about the thousands of channels that weave throughout our bodies. The health of these channels determines our overall health, since they transport the fluids of the body, like blood and lymph, as well as oxygen and the body’s more subtle vital wind, or energy. Beyond heightening our susceptibility to disease, blockages in the channels directly affect the stability of our mind, manifesting as disturbed emotions and lack of concentration. Therefore, by devoting attention to the openness and flexibility of our channels, we are simultaneously improving ourselves on the physical, mental and energetic levels.
Lu Jong combines form and movement to repeatedly place gentle pressure on particular points of the body. The effect of this is to give the channels the opportunity to release blockages and to allow the blocked energies to flow once again.
The continuous movement of the body also quiets the mind as we focus attention within, sensitizing ourselves to the body’s feelings and ceasing the stream of distracting thoughts. This is meditation in motion.
The Lu Jong movements place particular attention on the mobility of the spine. The spine is the energy box of our bodies. The spinal column is the root connecting all the body parts and organs. Disease in one of the organs will begin as a block in the corresponding point of the spine. One could even diagnose unmanifested diseases by finding sensitivities along the spine. Therefore, by doing movements that touch the entire spine, gently massaging each vertebra, we strengthen the organs, insuring that they receive the influx of nutrients and oxygen that they require to maintain peak functioning. Good spinal health also means a strong support system for the body, good posture and good flow of energy.
The theory of Lu Jong recognizes that we are composed of the same building blocks as the natural environment and that being in tune with natural rhythms has a profound positive effect on us. The five elements of space, earth, wind, fire and water comprise all natural phenomena, including our bodies, minds, energies, the earth and sea and outer space. The state of the elements is reflected in the state of the natural phenomena. Therefore, doing a practice such as Lu Jong, which balances and purifies the elements by working with each particular energy in turn, will balance and purify all aspects of the self. Doing the practice at particular times of the day will also make it that much more effective.
‘Lu’ means body in Tibetan and ‘jong’ means transformation. Through this bodily practice, we can transform ourselves.
Lu Jong was born from the traditions of both Bön and Tantrayana Buddhism.
Bön is the indigenous belief system of Tibet, well-rooted long before Buddhism was introduced. Bön is based on reverence for the natural environment, including its subtlest aspects, which we have mostly lost touch with today. Through careful observation of the patterns of nature, the Bönpos developed practices that aligned the individual and society with those rhythms in order to reach their fullest potential.
Around 2,500 years ago, Shakyamuni Buddha began spreading the teachings of Buddhism in India. It was until the late 8th century that Padmasambhava, also known as Guru Rinpoche, brought the Buddhist teachings to Tibet. Over time, the veracity of these teachings proved worthy to be adopted by Tibetans. As Buddhism was practiced more widely, many Bön traditions became incorporated into it.
Buddha Shakyamuni, in the fourth turning of the Dharma Wheel (the fourth round of teachings), taught the Kalachakra Tantra, which expounded in great detail on the rhythms of the universe, the movement of the stars, the structure and development of the human body and the connections between them all. Here, he presented the foundations of Tibetan Medicine, which includes the root of disease as well as the path to healing.
Tantrayana, the path of using the body as the vehicle for self-development, is found in all the main schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Therefore, there are Lu Jong exercises found in the Kagyu, Gelug, Sakya, Nyima and Jonang traditions.
Buddha himself taught at least two specific exercises. The rest were developed by his disciples through their own practice or through special realizations given to them by Buddha or one of the great yogis. Drawing from their knowledge of the Buddha’s teachings of the human body, their observations of the natural environment and our interrelationship with it, and their own experience, Buddhist yogis developed the practice of Lu Jong.
Lu Jong and Tulku Lobsang
Tulku Lobsang is the pioneer and transmitter of this Lu Jong practice. While the roots of Lu Jong are very deep, going back to the time of Buddha Shakyamuni, there are different exercises and variations found in each lineage, and they were developed for the conditions of the people living long ago.
Tulku Lobsang has always felt an affinity for the movement traditions of Buddhism, such as Lu Jong, Tsa Lung, Trulkhor and Tummo. This is his area of specialization and his own personal practice. Since he was a young boy, he sought out many masters, requesting that they transmit to him the unique wisdom of their lineage. He studied with masters of all the major schools.
Tulku Lobsang has collected these movements and distilled them into a single practice, as part of a complete cycle. After many years of teaching and giving medical consultations to Western people, he became very familiar with the unique conditions and limitations of the Western body. Tulku-la adjusted the movements to accommodate those for whom the practice is now intended, so that it would have maximum effectiveness.
It is Tulku Lobsang that we must thank for the opportunity to receive this precious practice. It is due to his devotion, diligence and wisdom that we are presented with Lu Jong today. And, with the utmost respect and honor, we continue spreading Lu Jong, always remaining true to his original intentions and thereby benefiting all sentient beings.
The Lu Jong Level 1 practice is composed of 4 groups of movements, plus two additional exercises.
The first group, The Five Elements Movements, balance and purify the space, earth, wind, fire and water elements in the body. If the elements are in disharmony, diseases of the wind, bile and phlegm humors result, as well as the aggravation of negative emotions. Therefore, this group of movements addresses these issues.
The second group is The Five Body Parts Movements. These exercises improve the mobility of the head, joints, spine and hips. They open blockages and increase strength and the range of motion of the body.
The third group is The Five Vital Organs Movements. These exercises work with the kidneys, heart, lungs, spleen and liver. Practicing these movements improves the functioning of these organs by removing blockages in the channels that supply them with blood, oxygen, vital nutrients and energy.
The fourth group is The Six Conditions Movements. These exercises address common ailments such as indigestion, tumors, water retention, low body temperature, incontinence, depression and improve the five senses.
Finally, there are two side exercises that address difficulty falling asleep and difficulty remaining alert.
Tulku Lobsang’s Lu Jong practice was developed with deep insight and careful consideration for the natural flow and progression of the body in order to create an ultimate balance. The movements are meant to be done in a specific order and as a whole set. For example, The Five Elements Movements should always be practiced as a group, in the order in which they are taught. It is not wise to pick just one or two of the exercises and practice them alone. Doing this, one will unknowingly create more imbalance and work counter to the aims of the practice.
Text from www.lujong.org