Science has now accepted for some time that the human body and everything else in the universe, while appearing to be solid and unique, is made up of smaller components – mountains of soil, rock and lava; buildings of sand, cement, iron and timber; people of skin, flesh, bone and liquids. Everything that exists can be broken down into smaller and then smaller again pieces – to elements, then molecules, then atoms and electrons, then again into sub-atomic particles and so on. Ultimately, it is said that everything comes down to a simple electrical charge, or a vibrational form of energy!

What appears to us as so solid, definite and real, is, in fact, the result of vibrations of particular frequencies and combinations, manifesting in particular ways to produce the apparent result.

Pure white light even, when passed through a prism, suddenly is clearly seen as consisting of a myriad of separate and distinct colours, all merged together into another form – white.

Taking this body of ours in particular. It is a combination of skin, flesh, fat, muscle, bone, blood and other liquids. It would appear to have a mind of it's own, so to speak. It breathes, blinks, moves as required (usually) and manages to get around in its own fashion. But what makes it move and function..?

Does it, in fact, control itself..? No! Without the mind to direct it, the body flounders. It becomes an uncoordinated, clumsy and, possibly, fatal mechanism.

Consider for a moment the number of processes involved in any form of movement, which we generally, take for granted. For example – walking. Something we learn at a very early age, yet which is, in fact, a bewildering feat of balance, movement and muscle control -

  1. We commence by being balanced;
  2. We immediately throw ourself off-balance and in the direction of intended travel;
  3. One foot is then lifted vertically;
  4. That foot then is propelled forward a predetermined distance;
  5. The same foot is then lowered to the ground, establishing a stable footing;
  6. We then, once again shift our weight on to that foot, to again become balanced;
  7. We then repeat this process, but using the other foot to move forward, and so on.

Even the above 7-step description is pathetically inadequate to really describe the complete process, where there are actually millions of processes involved, all in a matter of seconds – with running, it is in a matter of milliseconds. However, any error in that process will result in a less than perfect step, producing a stumble, trip, lurch, fall, shuffle or other outcome.

Now consider, for a just a moment, the myriad of functions that we have to handle during every moment of this existence… and what may occur should any single function fails to happen as it was supposed to. Think about our digestive, circulation, and respiratory, neural and other systems, all of which simply (or not so-), just "are".

Besides those functions that we may classify as "life-essential", which must happen to sustain our personal physical existence, we have to process all those generated by our senses as well - sight, smell, hear, taste, feel, thought and so on.

But what is this Mind..? Where can it be found..? How does it work..?

It is, in fact, a most esoteric thing..! Some feel it is synonymous with the brain. This has, however, been discounted by science and medicine, arguing that, while the brain does play a significant part in regulating/transmitting the bodies functions and instructions, it is difficult to suggest that it also holds the "rationalising self" which makes our species so unique.

There is no bodily organ called "mind", introspection cannot place it – yet we have the ability to reason, conceptualise and communicate – the essential elements for a "thinking entity". It is this that generates the idea of "self", the "I", which we see as ourselves.

Eastern science and philosophy has held for thousands of years, that there exists two aspects of a entity's existence – the gross, solid, perceived body; and a subtle, invisible energy body – intertwined and inexorably linked. Death is then held to be the separation of these two entities, where the gross body begins to decay and disappear, while the subtle body (comprising mind) moves on – following the law of physics that state that "energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed". Some feel the link between the two is the breath – for when it ceases, death is generally perceived to have occurred.

This philosophy describes the subtle body being like a transparent or translucent crystal image of the gross body, charged with the universal Life energy of the universe, known as "chi" or "Qi", or "prana". This rises up from the ground, traversing a myriad of 72,000 "channels" throughout the body in the form of "winds" and "drops", passing through points along the channels, known as "chakras". Depending on the school of thought, there can various numbers of chakras, but all generally agree on the existence of seven principle chakras, which are found along the three principle channels, aligned with the spine.

This "chi" has two aspects – the female energy "yin" and the male energy "yang" – which flow from opposite ends of the channels, as do their respective "drops" – the primordial essences of creation itself! There is the red female drop rising upwards fro the base of the spine, a white male drop descending from the crown, both of which have spawned from the "indestructible drop" found at the heart chakra, formed at the moment of conception, remaining until the moment of actual "death".

This concept is the foundation of all eastern health sciences, including acupuncture, Tai Chi and Qi Gong, reflexology, etc. How can one test for this "other" body..?

Talking with a person who has had a limb amputated, they often recount how they continue to "feel" the limb, for a long time after it has been removed – the nerves still react, pain can continue as if it was attached. Recently, with the use of "Kirlian" photography, photographs of not only just people, but many other living organisms, have displayed "ghost-like" images of the missing part of their whole-self, after they have been removed – limbs, leaves, flowers. This suggests that the subtle body takes longer to respond to the absence of its gross complement.

So how does one influence the other..?

The eastern view is that, for the body to function correctly "chi" must be balanced within the body and flow without restriction, the channels and chakras must therefore be open and clear. If this is maintained, then the body is capable of full-term life and health. Coupled with this is the need for proper diet, exercise and mental stability.

Consider a train locomotive engine – consisting of boiler, fuel, water and regulator. Only by the correct combination of fuel and water, into a sound boiler with correct regulation, can the locomotive achieve maximum and sustained pressure in order to pull its carriages efficiently, reliably and consistently. This is exactly the same premise. The "regulator" in this view is the use of "mind" to ensure proper flow of "chi", etc.

And how does one "use" the "mind"..? Meditation..!

There are several different forms of meditation – which is more commonly regarded as a means of generating relaxation, stress management or seeking "enlightenment". These are all equally true, but it is also the means to establish contact with our subtle self, through which, by restoring it's optimal condition, thereby also contributes to achieving all of the above as well – and more!

"Happiness", per se, should not be the ultimate goal, for this is nothing more than the opposite end of the same stick called "Suffering". What we should be seeking is "Contentment" – the balance point in the very middle of that stick. This also goes by the name of "Peace" – which in turn can transcend everything as "Universal Love".

Pain and suffering are the same thing. Peace, even if only approximated and if just for an instant, can have a profound benefit on the mind, the person, their associates and the universe – like a stone being dropped into water, the ripple radiates outwards infinitely.

By focusing our attention on the regulation and stabilisation of our energy, channels and chakras, purification of the subtle body and the essential elements from which all matter is deemed to consist of, we can effect profound change to ourselves and our environment.

What this takes is not just the "idea" of meditation, but also the "faith" that it will work – this is then called "self-healing meditation", or NgalSo (from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition). This also goes by the name "pranic" healing (Indian) and even "Reiki" (Japanese) – but the concepts are generally similar, if not the same.

It is important to also comprehend the following definition –

"To cure is to remove the problem, to heal is to change the problem into something else".

Self-healing is not necessarily going to remove any physical manifestation of the body, but it can certainly change that manifestation and may make it more manageable – and if that is better, then it is worthwhile, don't you agree..?

All the ills that plague us are manifestations brought about from different possible sources – external (poisons and toxins, extremes of hot and cold or wet and dry, physical trauma, etc.), internal (viral, chemical, bacterial, etc.) and emotional (stress, fear, anger, worry, delusion, etc.)

Since pain, sickness and disease can have many different causes, this holistic approach, for so long practiced throughout Asia, has marvellous prospects for success. The correct combinations of diet, exercise and meditation must produce improvements to our bodies, and since this body is the only one we have in this life, it is important to ensure that we take good care of it – agree..?

Diet, on its own, is an immense area of discussion, since it encompasses not only the physical nutritional and atomic structure of foods, but also the same "subtle" components - comprising "wind", "bile" and "phlegm" (this is a subject of separate and equally important discussion). These are known as "the three humours" in Eastern medicine.

Exercise, too, encompasses the various "yogas" which have become so entrenched in the Western world, but which have been nurtured for thousands of years in the East, and have extended into other forms, including martial arts, with assorted names and titles.

It is important to also totally accept the validity of the statement "…you can if you think you can, and equally, you can't, if you think you can't…". Confidence, cognition and faith are therefore powerful tools indeed.!

That doesn't mean that we all have to assume the same "perfect" body, or athletic proportions and dazzling performances. This is, by nature, impossible, for it would require that we all share the same, identical DNA, the same, identical life-style; and the same, identical environment.

What it simply means is that, whatever bodily form we have today, we should do everything to minimise its rate of deterioration, to no more quickly than it is meant to.

We will all surely, one day, die, of something, somehow, and ultimately, nothing that we may do will prevent that happening. So our task is simply to be as kind to us as possible during our brief visit to this existence. That includes sustaining good health..!

So, if you have now got this far, and agree (for the most part) with what I have said here, then we can proceed now, to an explanation in more detail, of how NgalSo can help you improve your body, your life and the universe itself.

Breath – we all share it. It is common to all humans and a huge percentage of sentient beings generally. Some simple breathing exercises before starting NgalSo is also important, opening up the lungs and aiding in preparing the mind.

Physical exercise, even simple movements and gestures, known as "mudras", help to strengthen and magnify the subtle energies generated through meditation and are an element of NgalSo.

Preliminary "warm-up" physical exercise also helps to prepare the "gross" and "subtle" bodies to receive the benefits produced from NgalSo practice. Correct posture is equally important as breathing, and also motivation and faith.

As with all "transmitted" teachings, for such practices to attain full effectiveness, it is necessary to establish the "connection" with its unbroken lineage of practitioners, up to the very source, through which the full "flow" of that energy can be received by the person practicing.

This requires the initial pro forma step of "requesting the permission of the guru to practice" and cannot be neglected, regardless of what variation of the practice might be applied.

Next, for those undertaking NgalSo and who do not have a Buddhist practice of their own, the mantra "om ah guru buddha siddhi hung" can be interpreted as –

  • Om .......... Universal Mind
  • Ah ........... Grant me
  • Guru ........ the Teaching
  • Buddha .... the Clear View
  • Siddhi ...... the Action
  • Hung ....... Completely
  • NgalSo employs two other "tools" to help repair our subtle body – sound and visualisation.

    Sound is simply another form of energy, which can generate "harmonics", which have the result of amplifying the original energy level, much like a transformer raises electrical energy. Certain sounds, like music, a word or series of words, called "mantra", all have an impact on the original energy flow. People have been aware of the healing and nurturing aspects of sound for centuries, on both humans and other organisms, including animals, vegetables and flowers.

    Colour, similarly, is a manifestation of energy, with the very same results on all living beings – and recognised so for many generations of humanity. We all recognise cold and warm colours and those that "match" our mood, and so on, don't we.!

    NgalSo uses these tools, in conjunction with our minds, to effect the positive restoration of our subtle body, in turn healing our gross body, inwardly and outwardly also.

    Once we have completed the practice, it is essential that the energy generated not be wasted or lost. To this end, as at the start of the practice, it is most important that we dedicate our effort and the result to firstly, our own benefit, then to our closest acquaintances and then to all sentient beings without limitation. This effectively ensures that our effort has not been wasted and is absorbed, encapsulating the whole practice.

    In summary, the process involves a few simple steps –

    1. Requesting permission to practice
    2. Purification of the elements comprising this existence
    3. Preparation of our body to also be purified
    4. Application of the purified elements to our subtle self
    5. Generation of a purified self
    6. Dedication of the result to self and our existence

    Why do we call it a "practice"..?

    Because it is something we must continually do, in order to eventually become successful at it – as the saying goes "…practice makes perfect..!". It is not something done once to achieve all the benefits – it is something we must absorb into our daily activities if we are to really benefit from the potential it promises – practice, practice, practice..!

    Still interested…? Wonderful..! So let's study NgalSo in all its detail…..

    …please contact me for further details on this wonderful practice… have a great day.!

    --- Jim Ferguson ---

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    Last revised: January 30, 2006